Apple Cider Vinegar is Good For Your Dog, Cat and You – Health Benefits, Uses, Dosage

apple cider vinegar for dog and cats, health benefits and uses
6 min read
In this article:
  1. Introduction
  2. Nutritive and Medicinal Value
  3. Health Benefits, Uses and Recipes
  4. How To Use Apple Cider Vinegar as a Dietary Supplement
  5. Daily Dosage For Dogs and Cats 
  6. Cautions and Side Effects
  7. What To Look For When Buying ACV

.1 Introduction, About Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) has been used for centuries for its medical properties and as a dietary supplement. 
In Greece, around 400 BC the father of modern medicine – Hippocrates, prescribed ACV with honey to treat many ailments. 
By the later part of the 1700s about 70% of all farmers in USA’s New England states owned-operated apple cider milling and pressing equipment.  
Due to the many uses and its availability, ACV became a common currency of exchange. Particularly in rural areas where coins were in short supply.

about apple cider vinegar for dogs and cats   
.2 Nutritive and Medicinal Value
Naturally fermented, unpasteurized, organic ACV contains 'mother of vinegar'.
Mother of vinegar is a naturally occurring, cloudy sediment-filled liquid which contains the healthful properties of ACV.

Distilled, pasteurized ACV lacks the beneficial properties of unpasteurized, organic ACV.  Pasteurization and filtering destroys the ‘mother of vinegar’. 
Nutrients and Medicinal Properties in Mother of Vinegar
  1. Acetic acid (the primary active ingredient).
  2. Amino, Lactic and Propionic Acid.
  3. Anti-bacterial.
  4. Anti-fungal.
  5. Anti-viral.
  6. Vitamins and minerals including:
    • Vitamin A.
    • Vitamin B, B2 and B6.
    • Vitamin C.
    • Vitamin E.
    • Pro-vitamin Beta-Carotene.
    • Vitamin P (bioflavonoids).
  7. Potassium:
    • Potassium helps prevent tooth decay.
    • Supports heart-health, helps balance blood pressure.
  8. Pectin:
    1. Supports the immune system.
    2. Helps lower LDL (bad cholesterol).
  9. Potash:
    1. A source of good fibre.

3. Health Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar

health benefits and uses of apple cider vinegar for dogs and cats

Digestive Aid
ACV helps to stimulate stomach acid. Stomach acid aids the digestion of protein and fats.

ACV helps clean the blood and liver of toxins. 
A constant and heavy toxic load forces the liver to work overtime. Eventually leading to organ fatigue, toxicity and finally organ failure.  
There are many exposures in daily life that can contribute to a high toxic load. For example:
  1. Dry and Canned dog and cat food (dry kibble, wet canned food, treats).
  2. Fluoridated water.
  3. Conventional flea, tick, heartworm treatments.
  4. Chemical-based household cleaners (breathing in the vapours, licking surfaces, lying on chemically cleaned surfaces).
  5. Surface contact and/or ingesting grass treated with fertilizers and pesticides.
  6.  Road-salt.
  7. etc. 
Ear Care
ACV can be used to clean your dog and cat's ears. 
ACV can also be used to help treat bacterial infections. 
Instructions for Use
  1. Combine equal parts of ACV and distilled water.
  2. Mix well.
  3. Use a syringe or dropper to place about 10 drops of the liquid into your dog  or cat's ear.
  4. make sure that the syringe is located at the entrance to the ear canal.
  5. The syringe should never be placed inside of the ear canal. 
  6. Gently massage the ear in a circular motion.
  7. Then let your dog or cat shake her head. 
Do NOT use this treatment if your dog or cat:
  1. Has perforated ear drums. 
  2. Has a yeast infection in their ears.
 To learn more about ear infections, causes and other options for treatments and remedies continue reading here.

Fur and Skin Health
ACV helps prevent dry skin, promotes the growth and maintenance of healthy fur and is effective in the treatment of:
  1. Acne
    • Apply undiluted ACV with a soft cloth or cotton ball.
  2. Burns (minor)
    • Apply undiluted ACV with a soft cloth or cotton ball.
ACV should NOT be used if your dog is experiencing skin yeast infections. ACV will feed the yeast, resulting in a worsening of the infection.

Bacterial Skin Infections
bacteria-based hot spots and skin infections:
  1. Bath your dog or cat in a warm Rooibos Tea bath.
  2. Then rinse as follows:
    • Use one part ACV to three parts water.
    • If the effected spot is small you can use a soft cloth or cotton ball to apply both rinses.
  3. If the skin is broken dilute the ACV mixture further:
    • One part ACV to 4four parts water);
  4. Then be very careful as the acidic nature of ACV can cause stinging pain.
    • Test a small area first by dabbing the ACV water solution with a cotton ball onto a tiny test area. 
    • Do not do a full soak on skin with broken areas without testing first.
Skunk Odour Treatment 
  1. Sponge undiluted ACV onto fur and skin – avoiding eyes
  2. Allow the ACV to dry
  3. Follow with non-toxic, non-carcinogenic Shampoo and Rinse

Promote Growth of Good Gut Flora
ACV is a prebiotic and helps maintain a balanced pH level.
Prebiotics feed probiotics (good gut microbes).
Probiotics are healthy microorganisms that reside in the gut.
When the population of good bacteria is depleted bad bacteria can flourish resulting in candida and other health issues.
ACV Supports Digestive Tract Health
  1. Prevent and remedy constipation.
  2. Regularize bowl movements.
  3. Keep the colon clean.

Metabolism Booster, Appetite Reducer
If your dog, cat has a slow metabolism, adding ACV to the diet can help.
ACV can be taken in-between or before meals to stave-off hunger. 

Eye Infection Treatment 
Apple cider vinegar can be used topically to help treat eye infections.
For the eye drop recipe and instructions for use :
Insect Repellent Aid
ACV can help repel parasites such as fleas, ticks mosquitoes and worms.
Intestinal Parasites
To help discourage intestinal parasites add apple cider vinegar as a supplement to your dog or cat's diet. 
  • Follow the instructions provided further below.
Fleas and Mosquitoes
ACV insect repellent spray:
  1. For the Insect Repellent Spray Recipe and,
  2. Instructions for use:

Body pH Balance - Restore, Maintain Good pH Balance

ACV is an excellent aid to restore blood and urine pH balance. 
Poor diet can disrupt the pH balance of your dog’s blood. Dogs and cats on a dry food diet have an acidic body pH.
Acidification of the blood and urine makes the body highly vulnerable to health issues and chronic disease.

Apple Cider Vinager for Household Cleaning
Daily exposure to the air born vapors, droplets, and residue from synthetic chemical household cleaners increase a dog and cat's toxic load. 
You can help reduce the daily stress on your dog and cat's body by using dog and cat friendly natural household cleaners. 
Learn about the many ways you can use ACV to replace chemical based household cleaners.
  1. For ACV household cleaning recipes,
  2. And tips:

4. How to Use Apple Cider Vinegar as a Dietary Supplement

how to use apple cider vinegar as a supplement for your dog and cats
There are two options for dosing your dog or cat with ACV.
4.1 Option One: Add Apple Cider Vinegar to Food
If you choose to add ACV to your dog or cat's food:
  1. First allow your dog or cat to indicate if they want the ACV.
    1. If your dog or cat does not self-select the ACV, you MUST respect the indication.
    2. NEVER force your dog or cat to take ACV.
  2. If your dog or cat self-selects the ACV, you can add it to their food.
4.2 Options Two: Add Apple Cider Vinegar to Water
If you choose water dosing as the method of supplementation:
  1. Add the daily dosage of ACV to a second bowl of fresh water. 
  2. Place the water with ACV bowl beside your dog of cat's regular water bowl.
  3. Your dog and cat can self-select the ACV water or regular water as suites their need.
NEVER replace your dog or cat's regular water bowl with the ACV water bowl.
Always provide a bowl of pure water beside the ACV water bowl.

5. Daily Dosage for Dogs and Cats

Small Dogs and Cats
up to 14 lbs - 1 tsp
Medium Dogs and Cats 
15 lbs to 34 lbs - 2 tsp
Large Dogs
35 lbs to 84 lbs - 1 tbs
85 lbs to 134 lbs - 1.5 tbsp
135 lbs to 200 lbs – 2 tbsp

6. Cautions and Side Effects

A partial list

If your dog is on insulin or diuretics do not add ACV to his/her diet there may be an interaction between insulin/drugs and the ACV. When ACV is taken with a meal, ACV slows the rise of blood sugar – this suggests that a reduced amount of insulin is required to process the food. The dosage of insulin you give your dog may have to be adjusted to account for lower blood-sugar levels.

Dogs who are suffering from an irritated intestinal tract lining should not take (ingest) ACV. 
ACV should not be given to dogs experiencing gastroparesis.

ACV should not be given to dogs experiencing yeast overgrowth.

ACV should not be given to dogs with mast cell tumors.


7. What to Look for When Buying Apple Cider Vinegar

  1. An organic, unfiltered, unpasteurized apple cider vinegar.
  2. The product should have mother of vinegar sediment at the bottom of the bottle.

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Affiliations to Companies  
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✓ I don't sell food, supplements, or other products.
I'm not aligned with any companies. 
Article and graphics by Karen Rosenfeld.


    1. karen can i use Aspall organic cyder vinegar to my dogs ear she having alot bother with tem she is not in the form for eatin lookin sad i use extra virgin organic cocnut oil to see if it would ease her pain just rubbed a tiny bit on the top her ears the redness has gone away bt she still shakin her head i couldnt get avo vinegar and was wandering if it is safe to use the following vinegar above if you could gt back to me regarding this matter asap many thx

      1. Aspall organic vinegar does not have the antibacterial, anti-fungal, anti-viral properties that organic unpasteurized, unfiltered ACV has. Aspall will not help her ear.

        GSE or Colloidal Silver are even better than Organic ACV. Both can be used topically and as an ingested treatment. Choose only one to use not both (i.e. just use GSE or just use Colloidal Silver).

        Grapefruit Seed Extract (GSE) you can use it - its benefits and dosage is provided in this article

        Colloidal silver

        Cheers, K

      2. Wouldn't Peroxide work for ears if organic ACV isn't available? Or google how to make ACV (DIY), I just made my first batch this fall :)

      3. Read my extensive article on ear care

      4. Hi.
        My organic Aspall cider vinegar says it is unpasteurized. What brand would you recommend.

      5. I assume you are in the UK - you can get Braggs

    2. My 2.6yr old 6kg cavalier has had atopic dermatitis since 4 months old and is allergic to storage mites [lab tests] It has been an absolute nightmare for her & me. She has been on immunotherapy for over a year but it has been the steroids [which I detest] that only completely control it though we are down to 1mg three times a week though this dose doesn't offer full control. To cut a 2 year 'food' story short a couple of months ago I moved her to a raw diet & her skin is greatly improving . I am always researching & would love her [& me] to have a chew free, scratch free normal life. I give her 2mg of dog oil a day but she is putting on weight so I need to stop this. What I need to tackle is the dryness of her skin which flakes off. Shall I mix one part apple cider vinegar with one part water & spray it on her back half each day. How does it get to the skin. How much shall I add to food when she is only 6kg?
      Thank you so much for this informative article.

      1. Adding good source fat to her diet will not make her gain weight, in fact it would help to moderate her weight.

        You should adjust her food intake though. Feed her a little less of the raw food (i.e. 1 tbs /day less) and let her lose the weight slowly.

        Stop using the 'dog oil' as many are junk, instead go buy her human grade: Norwegian Cod Liver Oil, or Wild Alaskan Salmon Oil, or Norwegian Krill Oil.

        The dosage for ingesting ACV is provided in the article above.

        Add the following to her diet as well...(just type each into the search bar of my blog site and you will find articles that provide dosages, benefits, etc for each item listed.)

        Deep sea or Norwegian Kelp;
        Coconut oil;
        Grapefruit Seed Extract;
        Rooibos Tea;
        Aloe Vera;
        Golden Seal,
        Licorice root.

        Options for bathing irritated skin see these articles...

      2. I can't apologise enough for taking so long to thank you for your informative reply.
        I took her off the dog oil [having spent £20 on the last bottle which the skin vet said she should be on!] & am very hopeful that she will improve with the other treatments you have suggested.
        This has to be the best site by far for information on atopic dermatitis.
        Thank you again. I so appreciate the help you have given to me.

    3. Hi Karen,

      My dog Louie is 18 lbs. He has to have 3-4 meals a day. Should I spread out his daily ACV dosage throughout his meals or should I give him his daily dosage in ONE of his meals?

      Rachel & Louie

      1. Yes in the case of acid reflux - give the ACV with each meal :>)

    4. Is there any store in Ottawa that you can recommend to buy unpasteurized, organic ACV

    5. You didn't give ACV dosage amounts for cats (at least not that I saw) is it the same amount based on the weight of dogs listed?
      My concern in giving it to the dog(s) in water is that both dogs & both cats drink from the same water bowl & I don't want my cats ingesting to much ACV if I'm treating my dogs.

      1. Hi Tim and Tina - re-read the article the dosage for cats is provided on the same line as the dosage for dogs.

    6. Wow! The amount of time and effort you have clearly spent on your site is incredible! Thank you for the valuable information you've provided.

    7. Hi Karen! My friend gave a tea spoon of ACV to her dog, because he had a very bad diarrhea, but it was undiluted. What can happen? Is this very dangerous for the dog?

      1. Organic unpasturized unfiltered ACV is not harmful when administered in a reasonable dosage. My GSDs, Australian Sheperd and Pitbull get 1/2 tbs daily.

    8. Would you recommend using baking soda and ACV as the dog's regular shampoo and conditioner?

      1. No Dee, I would not use baking soda as a shampoo and conditioner - with or without ACV. You can use one of these or one of these

    9. Hi Karen. I was wondering how the sediment in the Bragg ACV will clear my dog's ear canal since it is L (?) shaped. You mentioned, I believe, that the Mother is the therapeutic part of the ACV, which I assume means I need to shake the bottle and include it in the ACV/water mixture to treat my dog's yeast infection in her ears. Terrific website, the they way. Thank you, Susan

      1. The sediment does not cause blockage as the:
        - ACV is not administered by filling the ear canal
        - you will be using DROPS of ACV
        - ACV does not contain enough particulate to create blockage unless you are pouring the sediment from the bottom of a barrel into an ear

    10. Thanks for all the great info. My Belgian Shepherd mix is 13 yrs old. In fantastic shape for his age. He had a kidney infection last year, went tru antibiotics, which I do not agree with. Can I use the ACV, every day? he'll need 1 tsp. Can I divide it in half and put it in he food? (I cook for him) Thanks again, Big Hugs ;)

      1. Yes you can give him the organic unpasturized unfiltered ACV daily, and you can divide the daily dosage between two meals added to the food.

    11. I believe my 2 yr old goldendoodle has a yeast infection. Her ears are irritated and she chews and licks one front paw. She currently is eating Orijen Six Fish and receives no grains in her diet. I have started giving her yogurt and dipping her paw in acv mixture. She now has developed sores around her mouth. Any suggestions on what I should do?

      1. Treatment and remedy for this requires a full review of existing diet and wellness regimen to removal identify and eliminate triggers and then build an appropriate Diet Nutrition Wellness Plan - this requires several hours of my time - you can read about this service here

    12. Will ingesting acv and honey help an ear infection in my dog. He is ten pounds. I have tried antibiotics but he continues to shake his head.

      1. The truth is nothing will work unless the root cause is addressed - because that has not been done the infection is chronic. This is required

      2. Hello Karen,

        Can apple cider vinegar and rooibos tea be give to a puppy. If so, what is the appropriate amount?

        Thank you

      3. Yes. Follow the dosage per weight.

    13. My miniature schnauzer, Winston, has been suffering from acid reflux for the past week or so. At the recommendation of my vet, I changed his food (he was on Orijen Six Fish and is now on Acana Duck Limited Ingredients). I've spread out his meals (3-4 daily instead of 2) and I've added organic kefir (1 tsp/day), ACV (1 tsp/day) and manuka honey (1/4 tsp/day) to his food for the past 24hrs, but his symptoms aren't improving. Could the ACV be making the acid reflux worse? It seems counter intuitive to be giving him acid...

      Thanks for all the amazing information you share—it's been an amazing resource for so many.

      1. If you want to properly address Winston's acid reflux you are welcome to engage my consultation service. Acana Duck is NOT an appropriate food for a dog with acid reflux. Your veterinarian is going to make Winston's condition worse. Typical.


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