If you are a regular reader of our articles, you may be as obsessed as we are with your bottle of apple cider vinegar! And there is no harm in that, when we remind ourselves of everything we can clean with it, and its numerous health and beauty uses. This little low-cost miracle product has a great deal to offer! But we often fail to consider its possible uses for our pets, although these 6 recommendations from an American vet could be about to change all that!
Note that none of these recommendations replace the advice of a veterinary professional. Your own vet knows your pet and their opinion is crucial before commencing any treatment, especially if these recommendations do not improve the situation.
1) To promote digestion
Animals can find it difficult to digest cereal based foodstuffs, which overly elevate the pH levels in their digestive systems. Adding a little apple cider vinegar to their food can reduce the pH so that good bacteria can prosper. For example, you can mash some raw vegetables and cover them with apple cider vinegar. Leave them to “ferment” in the fridge. Add a spoon of this mixture to your pet’s food.
You can also add 5 mls of apple cider vinegar per litre of water in their drinking bowl. This repels ticks and fleas from the inside, and makes your animal less appealing to unwanted ‘guests’. Animals tend not to like the taste, so provide them with two water bowls initially – one with the water and vinegar, and the other with just water.
2) For fleas and ticks
Fill a spray container with a mixture made up of one part apple cider vinegar and one part water. Spray the mixture to your pet’s fur so that the odour repels fleas and ticks.
3) To clean their ears
Ear infections are common in dogs with floppy ears. You can clean your dog’s ears with some cotton wool and a mixture of water (distilled if possible) and apple cider vinegar in equal parts. Only clean what you can reach easily – there is no need to go too deep. The vinegar will work on the pH levels in the area and reduce the amount of bacteria and yeast.
If your pet’s ears are painful, irritated or sensitive, add more water and less vinegar to the mixture, in order to dilute it.
4) For skin lesions
When an animal compulsively licks itself, scratches or chews on an area, it can cause skin lesions (pyotraumatic dermatitis, also known as a hot spot or acute moist dermatitis). Organic apple cider vinegar can thus prove very useful. Contrary to other types of vinegar, it contains proteins, enzymes and good bacteria. Spray an equal mixture of water and apple cider vinegar to the affected area, and massage it in for faster healing. It is best to do a patch test on a small area to check your pet’s reaction. If there is no improvement, you need to contact your vet.
5) Neutralise odours
Perhaps your pet doesn’t exactly smell of roses. In order to neutralise the bad odours that they leave behind, distilled white vinegar can help. You can spray a little to their blanket or dog mat (without washing it out), or add some to your carpet cleaner when you are washing it. You can also spray a little diluted vinegar to their bed or cushion.
This treatment is not suitable for all materials – have a look at the label and do a test on a small area beforehand.
6) For cleaning up
When it comes to animals, little accidents are inevitable, especially on your favourite rug! To clean up a urine stain, pour some bicarbonate of soda on to the area to combat odours and then add some distilled white vinegar diluted with water.
You can also clean your pets’ bowls with vinegar. And if you put their toys or cushions in the washing machine, you can add some white vinegar for perfect cleaning with no unpleasant odours.
Avoid using vinegar on wooden, marble or granite surfaces (or on stone in general) – it is much too acidic.