Apple cider vinegar has been touted to help with everything from boosting the immune system in humans and detoxifying kidneys to helping lower cholesterol.
Advocates of cider vinegar usually recommend raw, unfiltered, unpasteurized vinegar that comes complete with traces of the “mother,” a slimy sediment that contains the bacteria necessary for conversion from hard cider to vinegar and which are destroyed by the heat of pasteurization or distillation.
Jessica Peralta in Dogs Naturally lists three of the ways ACV can help dogs:
ACV can help relieve itchy skin and rashes caused by yeast and poison ivy. Itchy skin is often accompanied by itchy ears. Holistic veterinarian Dr. Karen Becker recommends a cleaning regimen using half ACV and half purified water to prevent ear infection. The anti-bacterial properties of apple cider vinegar make it ideal to clean dog ears out. Soak a small cotton ball or piece of clean cloth and gently wipe the ears as carefully as you can. As a flea and tick repellant, before you go out spray your dog with a 50/50 solution of ACV and water. The same acidity in ACV that repels yeast, also repels ticks and fleas.
The Whole Dog Journal asks: “What’s new in holistic pet care? Try apple cider vinegar – or, as its fans call it, ACV. OK, it isn’t new, but this centuries-old product is enjoying new popularity in canine circles.”
ACV enthusiasts say that the amber liquid has a multitude of actions and benefits for both dogs and people, including:
• Relieves or prevents arthritis
• Improves digestion
• Acts as a urinary system tonic, clears urinary tract infections, and prevents the formation of kidney and bladder stones
• Improves the growth and condition of fur and hair
• Clears the skin of bacterial and fungal infections
• Reduces skin flaking and dander
• Makes one less attractive to biting insects
• Helps prevent food poisoning
• Acts as a natural antibiotic by interrupt- ing the development of infectious bacterial and viral diseases
• Relieves muscle fatigue
• Alleviates itching
• Improves ability to adapt to cold temperatures
• Reduces hock and elbow calluses
• When applied to the ears, clears and prevents ear infections.
Unpasteurized ACV’s enzymes are said to improve digestion. Apple cider vinegar acidifies the gastrointestinal tract and promotes the growth of beneficial bacteria.
Are adverse side effects likely? If a dog is allergic to vinegar, he might vomit, scratch furiously, or have a similarly obvious reaction.
“You have to apply common sense,” says Sue Ann Lesser, D.V.M. “Most dogs are notoriously over-alkaline, and cider vinegar will help them. If a dog’s system is overly acidic, you’ll see clinical signs, such as obvious symptoms of illness. I know quite a few dogs that take cider vinegar and I don’t know of any that have had bad results.”
From a scientific point of view, the claims have not been subjected to the rigors of double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trials. Instead they are supported by personal experiences, testimonials, and other anecdotal evidence over generations.
To sum up by Wikihow: Apple cider vinegar is an excellent item to keep in your pet supplies. It can help improve health, control pests, and ensure general well-being of your dog. It doesn’t cost a lot and it works well, so it is definitely worth giving it a try.
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