Can dogs take Apple cider vinegar?
If you follow health updates regularly, you will come across Apple cider vinegar and its excellent benefits. Since 5000 BC, Greeks have consistently used apple ciders to cure colds and as a natural immune booster. A search on Google today will reveal the numerous ailments you can use apple cider vinegar to treat.
Hence, several pet parents believe it must also benefit their pets, especially dogs. But is it? Stay tuned to learn more about ACV and how it affects your dog's development.
What is Apple Cider Vinegar?
Apple Cider Vinegar, or ACV, is a product of apple fermentation. The cider contains mainly acetic acid, with little amounts of malic and lactic acid, which are organic byproducts of the fermentation process.
Because of these organic acids, Apple Cider Vinegar helps balance pH and aids digestion in the body. As certain reports show, the pH balancing function helps resolve disorders in dogs.
Is Apple Cider Vinegar safe for my dog?
Dogs can ingest ACV safely, although you would have to dilute it with water in equal parts. The cider's slightly acidic nature–about 3.1 to 5 on pH scales–helps balance the somewhat alkaline nature of your dog's body system. The balanced pH goes a long way to support the immune system, as it reduces the frequency and intensity of inflammations throughout the body.
Dog diets that contain high amounts of grains could make your dog's system more alkaline–that is, pH above 7–than expected. Abnormally low pH values could cause several conditions, ranging from urinary stones to digestive abnormalities and allergic reactions. Thus, you must constantly check your dog's pH parameters to ensure it is in great shape.
Is Apple Cider Vinegar Good for my dog? Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar
Dogs with normal pH levels, about seven on a pH scale, often do not need Apple Cider Vinegar. Others, especially those with low pH, would experience a restoration to good health if they were given Apple Cider in the right amounts.
As discussed above, Apple Cider helps with reducing the intensity of inflammation around the body. Hence, it is a good home remedy for itchy skin in dogs, especially those caused by allergies. You could also use ACV in your dog's bathing water to help resolve skin ailments. Note that you must dilute ACV before using it in any form.
Another essential benefit ACV gives is that it helps reduce gassiness in dogs. Gassiness is often a result of gas formation during digestion. The gases formed could cause your dog to burp frequently. They could also accumulate to form bloat, which causes severe discomforts in animals. Hence, as a pH balancer, ACV reduces gas formation within your dog's digestive system while ensuring the gut pH stays normal.
Urinary stones and infections are common in dogs with high body pH. The rocks crystallize out of salts present in the dog's urine and could block the passage of urine in dogs. Also, disease-causing bacteria would thrive well in your dog's urinary tract if its pH is not optimal. Apple Cider plays a significant role in alleviating such bacteria and ensuring crystals don't form in your dog's urinary system.
Obese dogs often have several complications related to oxidative stress. Oxidative stress usually results from the increased production of free radicals in the body. Feeding your dog some ACV will help reduce the free radicals and, in the long run, resolve the obese condition.
In addition to its functions internally, you can use ACV on your dog topically to resolve inflammations, particularly infections and allergies. The acidic nature gives apple ciders their antibacterial properties.
However, you must ensure you dilute the cider to about fifty percent before using it on your dog. Also, you shouldn't apply the solution to exposed skin, so it doesn't cause further irritations.
Does Apple Cider Vinegar have any side effects?
Considering its acidic nature, ACV usage demands some level of caution, so your dog doesn't experience dangerous adverse conditions. Some precautions you should take while using ACV include:
- Ensure you dilute the cider before administering it, whether topically or internally.
- The cider must not get into your dog's eyes and ears. Its acidic nature could damage the soft tissues in those organs.
- While applying it topically, you must ensure that the cider/solution doesn't fall on open sores or burns, so it doesn't aggravate the irritations.
If your dog has a kidney problem, you shouldn't give it Apple Cider vinegar, as the cider will cause more damage to the dog's system. Also, your dog might exhibit digestive system symptoms after drinking apple cider. These reactions are often because your dog's system is too acidic. Consequently, you would have to take the dog for checks to determine its pH status.
Using a urine strip test kit, you can check your dog's pH parameters at home. That way, you could determine whether or not to give it ACV.
Forms of Apple Cider Vinegar
The most beneficial form of Apple Cider Vinegar is the organic type, often labeled as the 'mother version.' The 'mother' ciders have all the enzymes and probiotics produced in the fermentation process, making them more potent than the pasteurized types.
Apple Cider Vinegar often comes in capsules, liquid, wipes, and sprays. Pills are not recommended for dogs since they could contain Xylitol, which is toxic to dogs. Wipes and sprays are used to treat skin conditions. The liquid forms are recommended for ingestion. You could also use them to prepare the spray type.
In summary, the key takeaways from this article are:
- Your dog can safely ingest ACV if it is appropriately diluted.
- ACV has numerous health benefits for both humans and dogs. Although there isn't much scientific research to back it, several reports support the benefits. Some uses for your dog include boosting its immune system, maintaining its digestive system functions, and preventing the formation of urinary system stones and infections.
- ACV has certain side effects. Your dog might exhibit such reactions if it has a low system pH or if you don't dilute the cider before administering.