As we become more and more informed as consumers, we’re turning away from harsh chemicals and turning back, instead, to more natural products for our own care. And because we love our pets as much as any other member of the family, there’s now a growing interest in natural ways to provide care for them too. Organic, unpasteurized and naturally-fermented apple cider vinegar as pet care is quickly becoming the holistic product of choice. Not only is it versatile and effective, it’s also relatively inexpensive and eco-friendly to use. Do note, however, that the typical apple cider vinegar widely available at your local grocer is a distilled and pasteurized product and won’t have the same level of benefits, if any.
Uses of Apple Cider Vinegar for Your Pet:
• As a nutritional supplement.
ACV contains key minerals, vitamins and other nutrients such as pro-vitamin Beta-Carotene, Vitamin E, bioflavonoids, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamins B1 and B2, potassium, pectin and potash. It can be added to your pet’s drinking water or food daily to help support their nutrition requirements.
• To promote good digestion.
ACV stimulates the production of stomach acid which provides more effective digestion of fats and proteins in your pet’s diet. It can also be used to help overweight pets trim down.
• As ear care.
You can use ACV to both clean your pet’s ears and also to treat those annoying yeast-based infections of the ears. By combining equal parts of ACV and distilled water, place 5 to 10 drops into your pet’s ear and massage it gently. If you’re using it as a treatment for infection, apply daily for not more than 5 days.
• For skin and fur care.
Using ACV on your pet’s coat has several uses. If your pet suffers from dry skin, skin infections or hot spots, the vinegar can be used as a rinse at a ratio of 1 part ACV to 3 parts water. It also nourishes the coat and leaves it soft and shiny.
If your pet has burns, acne or skin infection, undiluted ACV can be applied directly with a cotton ball.
• As an insecticide for controlling fleas and ticks.
ACV can be combined with a tablespoon of aloe vera and 5 to 10 drops of tea tree oil in your dog’s shampoo and the soapy mixture left in the dog’s coat for about 10 minutes before rinsing. After rinsing out the soap you can add a finishing leave-in spray of 1 tablespoon of vinegar in about 1 pint of water. Fleas and ticks don’t like the acidic residue on the skin. Fresh lemon juice can also be added to deter mosquitoes. Please note, however, that the tea tree oil is not safe for use on cats and lemon essential oil should not be used in place of fresh lemon.
• To deodorize.
ACV helps restore a natural pH balance to the skin and coat of your pet and help with neutralizing strong odors. It can be applied as a leave-in spray just as with the flea and tick control. It’s also effective if your pet has come into contact with a skunk. Apply undiluted to your pet’s coat, avoiding the eyes, and then shampoo.
Some pets experience allergic reactions to yeasts, so it’s best to observe your pet initially for any adverse signs due to the yeast present in ACV. Vinegar shouldn’t be used if you know your pet is already allergic and pets who are diabetic or using diuretics shouldn’t be given ACV orally.
Not only can these treatments be applied to your pet, you can use them too with slight variations. The natural properties in ACV are powerful and effective and are in no way harmful like harsh chemicals. So if you want to get your pet on the natural care band-wagon, then apple cider vinegar as pet care is the way to go.