Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) is an amazing food medicine that you can use with your dog. It helps provide relief from itchy skin and allergies, as well as giving digestion and immunity a boost.
The best bit is it’s so easy to use!
Traditionally ACV has been used for thousands of years. The father of medicine Hippocrates (400BC) was a big advocate, as was Julius Cesar and the Samurai Warriors in Japan. ACV really has been used by cultures across the world!
So what is it?
Apple Cider Vinegar is made by slowly fermenting apples to create apple cider. A colony of bacteria called a “mother” is added, which helps to turn it into vinegar. This process creates an abundance of enzymes that are beneficial for digestion, so it’s important to keep them! The presence of the mother shows that the best part hasn’t been removed. Always choose raw unpasteurised ACV, that way it still has the enzymes intact.
Traditional uses of ACV with dogs
To use ACV for skin related problems, mix 1/2 cup of ACV with 1/2 cup of filtered water, and put into a spray bottle. Spray on affected areas daily, and let it soak in. Make sure there are no open wounds from scratching first, as the ACV will sting otherwise!
Also keep in mind that many allergies are the result of diet rather than the external environment. To fix the problem you need to find the source of the allergy, often requiring a single protein elimination diet. But ACV can provide temporary relief while you get to the bottom of it.
Feeding for Digestion
Contrary to popular belief, it’s not really the nutrients in ACV that help with digestion. It's actually the enzymes that help the body to better absorb the nutrition in the diet. It also helps to balance the gut's pH, which improves overall digestive function.
Try feeding 1/4 tablespoon for every 5kg of body weight. So for example, a 10kg dog would get 1/2 a tablespoon. And while your at it, have some yourself! ACV has lots of proven health benefits for people too. We like to use it with olive oil as a salad dressing, or in stews and casseroles to give a bit of bite.
Good nutrition is always delicious!