Hot Spots
Health Benefits

Apple Cider Vinegar Treatment for Hot Spots in Dogs

31 User Reviews

5 star (29) 
1 star (1) 

Posted by Diane (Uniontown, PA) on 07/16/2009

Three nights ago I noticed a severely inflamed quarter-sized oozing patch on my cat's neck. Within an hour, that thing had tripled in size! Of course I came to Earth Clinic right away, where I read about the symptoms of hotspots and the ACV treatment. I used about a tablespoon of ACV diluted with another tablespoon of water, on the first day, three times a day. Now I'm doing it twice a day, morning and evening. It is no longer swollen, oozing, or bleeding, just very crusty where it is drying up. After reading about some of the treatments people have had for hot spots from vets, I didn't want to go that route. (Are you aware that steroids can cause diabetes in felines?) The only con is that as another person said, she does smell like a salad! hehe! Thanks again, Earth Clinic!

Replied by Marybeth
(Painter, Va, Usa)

to "did you know steroids can cause diabetes in felines?"

just thought you all might want to know that those "safe" and "effective" steroids (medrol dose pack, prednisone, etc) can also cause diabetes in humans!

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Donna (Harrisburg, PA) on 05/26/2009

Hi, I tried your ACV treatment on my golden Jack who suffered from hotspots for many years. After trying all kinds of drugs from the vet and trying to care for them myself I found your website. The ACV remedy worked on Jack just after three days of applying 1/4 Acv and 1/4 water. I would mix a new batch for every cleaning. Cleaned his wounds with antibactrial soap rinsed well then dried the areas and dabbed the mixture every few hours for the first few days. It is day five now his sores are dry he seems much more comfortable. And now only applying twice a day. And also I'm amazed at all the other topics you cover. Thanks So Much, Sincerely, Donna from Harrisburg, Pa

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Posted by Tim1313 (Sarasota, Florida) on 05/09/2009

My rottweiler mix samson recently had a terrible hot spot on his neck. He was tearing himself to pieces and it was terrible watching because I felt so helpless. I tried so many things, nothing worked very well. A friend told me about apple cider vinegar. i thought it sounded like a wives' tale, but figured I can't lose by trying. I applied a diluted mixture of ACV and water and he has completely healed inside of a week. The benefits are truly incredible. I have been mixing a teaspoon in his food everyday, and he has started speaking English. Just yesterday he recited his ABC's flawlessly. Thanks apple cider vinegar!

EC: Ha ha, very funny!

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Tracey (Mechanicsburg, PA) on 04/09/2009

My Aussie mix had a hot spot on his back paw that he had licked open for three monts. I tried steroids, antibiotics, homeopathic bandages supposed to deter licking, and even gave him allegy medicine everyday to stop the activity. All to no avail. I then saw the Apple Cider Vinegar post last Saturday and began applying a diluted amount ot his paw three times a day. I also have a "cone" on him so he doesn't mess with the paw until its completely healed. It is now four days later and I can not believe how quickly the wound has almost completely healed! No more open readness and the fur is even coming back. I am very thankful for everyone's feedback regarding the powerful effects of ACV on hot spots!

Replied by Helene
(Stony Point, Rockland County)

Thank you for reminding me of acv. I have been using it in our pets h2o for years it helps control fleas plus gives them a shiny coat. Just a a bowl of h2o.Today I found a hot spot on our german shep.under his rt.armpit about 3in. I I used 1 tablespoon epsom salts and 1 tablespoon acv in 16 oz, h2o. After 3 treatments 2 hours apart the hot spot no longer is oozing and the angry redness is much less. Nero, our G.S.appears much more comfortable. Thank you Thank you, Helene

Replied by Jean
(Park Ridge, Il)


EC: ACV is an acronym for Apple Cider Vinegar.

Replied by Jacky
(St. George's, Grenada)

My German Shepherd has a huge hot spot on his flank which had healed, but has now broken out again. I am putting real Aloe Vera on it but it's very difficult as he won't let me touch it, so I got a small syringe and filled it with Witch Hazel and have been using that, but I have not tried the tea bag or ACV yet. I will see how it goes. Prednisone does help hugely, but you have to administer it correctly.

Replied by Barbara
(East Sandwich, Massachusetts)

I am encouraged to try ACV on my Golden's hotspot after reading about its success. However, I am afraid to put it on as I think it will really sting. She won't let me touch it with even plain water. What would be a tolerable dilution yet still effective?

Replied by Wendy
(Columbus, Oh/usa)

To Barbara in Massachusetts: If the hotspot looks raw/red/oozing do NOT use the apple cider vinegar (ACV) because it will sting. Heal it first with an antibiotic from your vet. Then, for future hotspots (when they first start and when they are NOT oozing), mix the ACV with filtered water 1/2 and 1/2, and apply it on the hotspot with a clean paper towel.

Also, put a teaspoon of ACV into his food each and every time you feed him. This will help prevent the hotspots in the first place.

REMEMBER to ONLY get the organic Apple Cider Vinegar, the one with "the mother" which is the nutrient-rich sediment at the bottom of the bottle. Just shake the bottle before using.

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Barbara (Brandon, Mississippi) on 03/24/2009

Is the Apple Cider Vinegar the kind you buy off the shelf at any grocery store or do you have to buy the kind at a health store?

My Chihuahua is broke out with "Hot Spots" but I kinda think it might be "Shingles" I'm going thru a case of Shingles on my head & face. I have heard from people that had shingles & had small dogs in the house that have broke out with Shingles. I was told that dogs can not get it but I really think Rudy has shingles.

Can ACV help Shingles on me & Rudy?

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Ken (Gettysburg, PA) on 11/24/2008

After much research on the subject, I was AMAZED at the results i got after using ACV to treat my Goldens' hot spot. A problem 3 times in his 6 years, this last time it would just not clear up. Three trips to my highly respected vet over 2 months, 2 different anti-biotics, cremes, even steriods, still left this one annoying spot about the size of a half-dollar on his face which just wouldn't heal, constantly oozed, and looked like he had ebola or something. I came across this site which recommended the ACV and I have to admit I was skeptical at first but was reluctant to give my best friend another round of medicines that appeared to do nothing to solve this problem while the doctor himself appeared to be stymied suggesting allergy testing, change of food, even suggesting that it was the Goldens' lot in life to suffer this affliction.

WELL, after 2 days of ACV application, the hot spot crusted over, but I had seen this before over the prior 2 months only to have it start bleeding & oozing within 2 days. But this time it stopped bleeding/ozzing and a few days later the spot started to heal & decrease. Now 3 weeks into the treatment , the spot is just a bit smaller than the size of a dime. Sadly though, i wonder if it will ever totally disappear as the hair in this small area has not grown back. I'm now using ACV to clean his ears and i even put a small cap full in his food. After reading of ACVs other benefits, I have started to take some myself. Thanks to all who took the time to research and report back on this treatment.

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Kelly (Brockville, Ontario, Canada) on 11/10/2008


People, People, Please try and remember that if the dog or cat in question has open, bleeding sores from chewing...IT WILL STING LIKE HECK if you spray ACV on your animal. This has been proven by my poor chow cross...

Also...does anyone know what is the best way to sooth freshly bitten ,bloody hind seems as soon as she has healed and all the hair has grown back...take off the cone for a second and forget about her....BAm....chewed to heck again...bleeding...poor thing. I was thinking a poltice?


EC: The best thing we know of (after 8 years of trying everything under the sun) for hot spots on a dog that licks his wounds obsessively is not a home remedy, but an ointment from the vet called Animax. It starts the healing process immediately and soothes the wound. We apply the ointment to the hot spot and then take the dog for a long walk. The few times that we used the ointment this past year, Max immediately stopped licking the wound, and it healed remarkably quickly. However, turmeric powder (1/8 teaspoon 2x a day) was very helpful in healing a burst benign cyst on Max's paw recently. Took about 2 days to see change, then another 2 weeks for full healing.

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Janice (Balto, MD, USA) on 10/01/2008

please help: i just found your site. my dog is suffering with hot spots been using cortizone cream and spray . it helps but have to use alot. used acv today with some water added. could give me the right ratio of water and vinager? buster is acting less itchy. also how many times can you use this or other methods in one week if necessary. thank you janice

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Posted by John (Ten Mile, Tn) on 07/20/2008

ACV for Hot Spots: Our 50 Lb cinnamon retriever/lab mix was itchy & licking herself to death this summer - losing hair in spots and just plain miserable. Already took care of flea concern. This afternoon washed down with ACV and instant relief. Outside dog who swims, but washed down again in 4 hours and yep - just stopped. Will apply regularly as needed - so easy and quick and cheap! Thank you!!

Replied by Karin
(Henderson, NV)

Just wondering if I should dilute the apple cider vineger for hot spots...and what the ratio is. Thanks, Karin

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Art (Newhall, California) on 05/15/2008

Hot Spots in Dogs: my 2 year old wirehaired fox terrier mix, had a hot spot on his right front paw and was going to take him to the vet but i was told to try this site and had to say was very,very sceptical about about what i read (i have been in the medical field for 13 years as a emt) but read about ACV , and wow did it work in under three days!! i bought a organic brand at T----- J---. this stuff really works!!

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Syanne (Ripon, California) on 06/26/2007

I just wanted to thank all of the people giving feedback on what has worked and not worked for healing hot spots on their dogs. I have just started the apple cider vinegar treatment today, so we will see how it goes. Thanks again the all of the helpful information.

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Posted by Christy (Waxahachie, Tx) on 06/25/2007

I have a 12 year old dog named Shelby.She has suffered with hot spots and has lost quite a bit of her hair .I also have a 4 yr old named Madyson. The fleas at my house were taking over. Since trying the Apple Cider Vinegar, our lives have become better. No more fleas on my dogs or in my house. Shelby's hair has started to grow back. It has been fabulous!!! Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful information. I have passed it on with hopes that many pets will live happy lives

Replied by Marie
(Atlanta, Ga)

Can you tell me how to do it. My email is hale7711(at)

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Posted by Holly (Nova Scotia) on 08/26/2006

My Golden Retriever, Lewey,developed what the vet called a "Hot Spot" just seemed to appear out of nowhere. A few days earlier a canine aquainted to Lewey for some reason grabbed him on his left ear where this oozing, inflammed area is. I still question if this could have caused this? I read up on these hot spots and as little as a bug bite can bring it on, so how come a dog nip wouldn't? I had brought Lewey to the vet due to what it looked like. He checked him out and said he'd have to give him a cotizone shot, to relieve the itching, also prescribed an Fuciderm Gel with cotizone in it for a week. I was quite uncomfortable with the cortizone but I accepted it anyway. Well needless to say it did clear up some, but he still has a bit left. A couple of days I caught him itching it, so I immediately put an elizabeth collar on him to prevent him from getting at it. So as you can imagine it did not help it when he scratched it! Then I decided to take matters into my own hands. I have been treating Lewey with a hibitane antiseptic wash, then following that I proceed with the Apple Cider Vinegar. How many times a day should I use the vinegar? I do see some improvement, but my question is how long does it take to heal? Time will tell.

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Posted by Patti (Marietta, GA) on 06/28/2006

My girlfirend Dee told me she was putting AVC on her dog's hot spots. After 1 day the spots turned white and after a week the hair was growing back from where the dog scratched it out. Had she gone to the vet it would have taken 3 + weeks for the spot to turn white and even longer for hair to grow back (not to mention a lot of money) She & I have Rottweilers and go though the hot spot phase every summer with our dogs. When she told me this, I checked the web and found your site. I forwarded the information to her to read and we now are firm believers in ACV's cures.

Replied by Mike
(Houston, TX)

Ask Dee if the spots turning white. Was that a dry healthy white or wet all most infected looking white?

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Erika (Little Rock, Arkansas) on 06/01/2006

I have a chocolate lab that gets nasty hot spots on her butt about twice a year. On previous occasions I have taken her to the vet and they've given her corticosteroid injections that didn't work very well. Three days ago another hot spot began and I tried the ACV. Wonderful results!!! I've soaked the area twice a day and for three days the area is dried up and hair is already growing back. She does smell like a salad but it's definitely better than the alternative. Thanks for the tip!!

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