Apple Cider Vinegar Remedy for Pet's Itchy Skin

| Modified on Jan 28, 2021
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Apple cider vinegar can be a lifesaver for pets with itchy skin. Owners are thrilled to relieve the suffering of their furry friends with this inexpensive and yet effective home remedy for itchy skin.

How Do I Use Apple Cider Vinegar for My Pet's Itchy Skin?

Never use apple cider vinegar straight (without diluting) on a pet's skin!

The easiest way to use apple cider vinegar for your pet's itchy skin is to put 1/2 cup of apple cider vinegar and 1/2 cup of distilled or pure water into a spray bottle. The solution can be sprayed onto the fur as often as desired or needed. Often once or twice a day is enough. Some pets may need this solution every few hours, especially at first.

Your pet will smell like salad until the solution dries, but it will be worth it to see him feeling better.

If the itchy skin is near the face, you will want to dilute the mixture more and apply it with a cotton ball to avoid spraying into they eyes, which would sting. Mix 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar and 3/4 cup pure water into a jar for this purpose.

If your pet has broken or bleeding skin, the above mixtures will still be too strong. Instead, add 2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar to 1 cup of pure water and apply with a cotton ball or spray bottle. After this drys you may want to follow up with some virgin coconut oil to sooth the skin.

It is best to use raw and organic apple cider vinegar when using it for medicinal purposes for pets and people. However, if all you have available is grocery store apple cider vinegar, try that. It seems to work well for some people and pets.

How Does Apple Cider Vinegar Help Itchy Skin?

Apple cider vinegar helps to balance pH of the the skin. It is an anti-inflammatory. It is effective against many types of infections that could be affecting your pet. It also helps deter fleas.

Will Apple Cider Vinegar Cure Itchy Skin?

It is possible that the apple cider vinegar spray will be enough to solve your pet's itchy skin problem. But, depending upon the cause of the itchy skin, it may be only a temporary help. For example, if you dog has a food allergy causing itchy skin, you will need to consider dietary changes.

Continue reading and find many success stories of pet owners who have helped their pet's itchy skin with apple cider vinegar. Have you tried apple cider vinegar for your pet? Be sure to send us some feedback!

25 User Reviews

5 star (21) 
4 star (2) 
3 star (1) 
1 star (1) 

Posted by Bob (Md) on 09/29/2018
5 out of 5 stars

So glad I found this site. Our poor little silky couldn't stop biting and scratching around her tail and back legs. She has no fleas. We tried a couple of off the shelf sprays but it only worked for a short time after spraying. Tried the apple cider vinegar earlier today and so far no itching! Thanks for the tip.

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Janet (Greeneville, Tenn) on 02/22/2018
5 out of 5 stars

Itchy skin relieved for my cat. My little almost nine year kitty has been horribly itching all over so the other day I diluted 1/2 of organic apple cider vinegar with filtered water.

I used a cotton ball and it was pretty much immediate relief for her.

I also use the mixture on my other cats and they stopped digging and biting.

On Earthclinic I watched a great presentation for this and I'm very very pleased.

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Puppy_parent (Ohio) on 10/18/2017
5 out of 5 stars

1:1 ratio for apple cider vinegar with water. My dog used to itch, but after spraying each morning with this mixture, he has stopped itching and makes my glad. The dog does not like it but now he is used to it. I also bathe him with apple cide vinegar mixed with water, I will pour this mixture on him just before he gets out of the tub.

I have seen a lot of improvement on him. I use 1:1 mixture and spray my furniture, room and the bed, I sometime mix Eucalyptus or cedar oil in this mixture just to overcome the apple cider smell.

No Bayer seresto flea collar, no Bravecto or no Vectra 3D worked as effective as apple cider vinegar.

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Jeannie (Illinois) on 03/18/2016
4 out of 5 stars

Re: Apple Cider Vinegar

It did help with his itching - slowed down a lot.

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Jennell (Louisiana) on 11/27/2015
5 out of 5 stars

My dog has been itching & scratching for a couple of weeks. Tuesday, I came in from work and brought her out to potty, noticed the missing hair (bald spot) on her left upper thigh. She was scratchping & gnawing profusely. It was so frustrating to see her constantly scratching. We woke this morning and she had scratched so much during the nigh until she had irritat under her right arm. I googled to find home remedies that may help & I came across this site. Love love love it!!! I did the 50/50 apple cider vinegar/water. I drenched her tail and sprayed the rest of her body generously. In less than 10-mins she scratching & gnawing at her tail & legs. She is laying her usual spot on the love seat. I'm so relieved as I know my little "Diamond" is too. Thanks for sharing.

Replied by Daniel
(Pulaski, Virginia)

Does this solution of 50% Apple Cider Vinegar and 50% Water burn if your Cat has places on him from scratching? Please let me know.

Thank you, Daniel.

Replied by Theresa
(Mpls., Mn)

Hello Daniel,

Yes, this solution will sting if your cat has raw spots from scratching. You might consider Ted's Mange Remedy which will help with itching and fleas, and I know from first hand experience with open cuts on my own skin that it does not sting.

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Jennifer (Monzon) on 10/20/2015
5 out of 5 stars

My schnauzer mix has been itchy and bitting herself for a few months now. Took her to the vet got her on meds and even changed her food as recommended but it worked only while on meds. It made me so anxious because I coudn't find any way to soothe her at night or mornings that's when the itchiness was the worst. This morning I tried organic apple cider vinegar with distilled water in a spray can. I sprayed on her and brushed it through to spread it around her body. Right now she is sound asleep and the itchiness seemed to disappear within a few minutes after applying. I'm still observing her but so far so good! Watching her sleep peacefully brings me so much joy! My baby is finally resting!!! Thank you so much for the advice!!!

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Jackie (Tenerife, Canary Island) on 08/10/2015
5 out of 5 stars

We are fostering a little pup and he was going mad biting and scratching his back, I came across your site and started him on the 50/50 Apple Cider Vinegar and water and it worked a treat so it's now part of our twice daily system, which he is now getting used to, however because we are on a small Island we could only get organic so am using that. I have just started to add a tsp to his drinking water... Let's see how we get on with that. I have tied this in with 1/4 tsp of coconut oil in his meals and that goes down a treat as well.

Replied by Susan
(Rockland, Ontario)
5 out of 5 stars

My 15 year old schnoodle has been scratching himself raw, he already has follicle cysts, so I've been really careful not to interfere with those. I just sprayed him with the ACV/Water combo... I am weeping, it's working!!!! He has always been on a 100% holistic organic diet, I'm wondering if the cheap treats he lives for may be the problem....have been giving him the same ones for years with no problems, but maybe the ingredients changed. But thankyouthankyouthankyou It's working :)

Replied by Susan
(Rockland, Ontario)

Hmmmmm, ACV/Water definitely works, but it's kinda short-term, how often are you supposed to spray? He's had almost 3 itch free hours, but is starting to scratch again.....I'm a little deflated. I did apply generously, his fur was very wet, does it accumulate and become longer term? Please and thank you.

Replied by Wendy
(Columbus, Oh)

Get him completely soaked with the ACV solution each and every day for maybe a week or so. Let him air-dry. No, there is no "cumulative" effect on the skin, but there may be a cumulative effect if you add it to his food (a tablespoon mixed into the food each time you feed him). You may also need to change his food to something that is grain-free, no corn, no wheat. Remember, when going grain-free, this includes treats!

Replied by Marnie
(L'ange-gardien, Qc)

How is the problem now Susan? Myself, a friend in Buckingham and a sister-in-law in Thurso also have itchy dogs. What is going on around here?!

Replied by June
(Mt. Morris, Mi)

Does the vinegar burn them or sting?

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Cheryl (Maryville, Tn) on 08/02/2015
5 out of 5 stars

My Jack Russell has been itching for yrs. Pulling his hair out & making himself bleed. He was miserable. Went online & found your site. I immediately fixed up a bottle 50% Acv 50% water. Sprayed him & worked it into his skin. He is a new. Resting comfortably with NO itching. Thank you for the advice from both of us.

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Yvette (Tx) on 07/14/2015

My poor baby has been rubbing bald spots on himself from biting and scratching. I took him to vet a month ago and he gave him a steroid shot, which worked great, but I don't want to keep giving him shots. I want to try the ACV and water mix. Is it okay to put in spray bottle and just spray it on him and leave it? Or do I need to bathe and rinse it off? I did try the spray bottle technique just a little while ago after reading some of the posts, and he seems to not be itching as much, but wasn't sure if I can just leave it on him like that. Also, how often should I spray him each day? His fur is so pretty and he is destroying it.

Replied by Wendy

Mix up a solution in a spray bottle of 1/2 organic Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV), the one that begins with a "Br", with 1/2 distilled water. Spray all over the dog; get him completely soaked with the spray. Let him air-dry. You do not need to dry him with towels. He'll smell like a salad for a couple of hours or so, but the scent will go away. No need to be alarmed.

You should also make sure he's eating a high-quality food, one with NO grains, NO corn, NO fillers, NO rice. You can also mix a tablespoon of ACV into either his food or into his water. He'll probably won't notice it in his food, so put it there if he won't drink his water with the ACV in it.

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Nanci (Tallapoosa, Ga) on 07/06/2015
5 out of 5 stars

My Baby has been wearing a Seresto collar for a few months, and while it works well for fleas and ticks, something has been causing her to itch terribly for the last couple of weeks. She's been biting and clawing, and it's horrible to see her so miserable. I use ACV daily for it's health benefits, and last night I Googled it to find out if it might help her, and thank goodness that I did! I mixed it with water in a spray bottle, and although she hates being sprayed with it, I saw almost instant results. She had stopped most of her scratching a few minutes after application, and she didn't wake me up doing it in the night, as she has in the last few days. She was scratching this some this morning, so I sprayed her again, and she's now hid out under the couch sulking, but she's not scratching! I truly think that ACV is one of nature's true miracles.

Replied by Theresa
(Mpls., Mn)

Hey Nanci!

I am glad the ACV is bringing your dog some relief! But please 'google' this collar and read the 1 star reviews on amazon and others. This collar has been linked to nervous system disorders in dogs as well as skin irritation, and a host of other health issues. My advice to you to prevent further discomfort and irritation to your dog would be to immediately remove this collar and discontinue its use, and consider organ cleansers such a milk thistle, bentonite clay and activated charcoal.

Replied by Catherine

ACV is great for keeping fleas at bay due to it making the skin acidic, so you should not have to use other alternatives too. Due to how my pets reacted to modern vetinary treatments for fleas and worms, I now use ACV only. Worms will not attach to the intestinal wall if ACV is in the diet and mixing 50/50 and spraying on the coat will deter fleas and ticks.

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Tonya (Dallas, Tx) on 06/18/2015
5 out of 5 stars

My sister's Shi Tzu has been itching very badly for about two week. His hair was all over the floor thru out the house. He'not scheduled to go to the Vet till next week. I found your site a couple hours ago and were so happy I did. The ACV was a miracle for him. No more scratching. What a relief. I couldn't stand seeing him suffer till next week. Thank you so much for your site.

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Cynthia (Lindstrom, Minnesota) on 04/06/2015

My 11-year old, 63 pound, female Golden Retriever has been suffering with constant itching, biting, licking, black "freckles" all over her belly and armpits, hot spots, ear infections, and now has been off her food for two days. She wakes me at night with constant itching and biting. Yes, I have tried EVERYTHING...allergy diagnoses and shots, prednisone, literally thousands of dollars worth of "vet" directed remedies. My poor girl just got worse. I do have an anti fungal ear wash, but there is no odor or red gunk in her ears now.

Today, I bought her Orijen adult, grain and as low carb kibble I could find. I used some raw food in her night meal (which she ate with gusto), I used filtered water in her dish and added a capful of Braggs Apple Cider Vinegar to her water dish. I will bathe her tomorrow, and rinse her with some 1/2 water - 1/2 ACV - and leave it on.

Big changes for her. I hope for the best and will post as this new procedure for her progresses. I am HOPING it gives her some relief.

Replied by Cyn
(Lindstrom, Minnesota)

Just a note to clarify...GRAIN free and low carb kibble along with raw food.

Replied by Angie
(Orange City, Fl)

Did it work? I'm having a similar problem with my German shepherd.

Replied by Cath

Please note you should never feed raw food along with kibble as the stomach digests these foods at a different rate. Apple cider vinegar and coconut oil are both good for itching skin. Coconut oil will kill anything viral or fungal if applied directly to the skin or added to food. Also flax seed oil in the diet is very beneficial. Its fine to treat the itch externally, but the problems starts with what is being put into the dog, including medications. Both my dogs are on a completely raw diet after non stop health problems and course after course of antibiotics. I haven't had any health concerns since switching my dogs to a raw, natural diet.

Replied by Jeanette
4 out of 5 stars

I want to put my dog on a raw diet but not sure where to get the meat besides a grocery store. I only want to by grass feed or/and cage free food for him. Can I get more info from you about this or a web site that might give me some ideas?

Replied by Jerry
(Atlanta, Ga)

Check out All Provide dog food. Atlanta, GA

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Steve (Bend, Or) on 07/16/2014

How often do I apply (with cotton balls) a mixture of water and ACV to my puppys dry itchy belly

Replied by Theresa
(Mpls., Mn)

Hey Steve!

There is no set way to do this - it is something you will need to play by ear based on the results you get. You might find using a plant misting bottle to be the most effective way to apply it. Start out applying it am and pm; if no results try applying 4 times a day - or if stellar results once every other day.

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Elyask (Sydney Australia ) on 01/25/2014
5 out of 5 stars

Thanks a million to the bloggers on this site and of course to the site itself. My 2 year old beagle, Ruby, suddenly started scratching herself 2 days ago. At first I didn't think anything of it, but on the same night she was scratching and biting herself so much that her skin became red and inflamed and little sores with blood were appearing. I was beside myself and was ready to rush her to a vet but she fell asleep after a little while. She woke two or three times and started violently scratching herself. I left my mum to watch her until the afternoon of day 2 when I finished work. Upon returning home I found my dear Ruby still scratching and there were more sores appearing. I was welling up and felt so bad because in the few seconds that she would pause the scratching she would look up at me with the saddest eyes... begging me to help her. I decided against going to a vet because I have used the internet for holistic remedies before and after about an hour of reading and noting things, I applied apple cider vinegar 1 part to three parts water ....dabbled a gauze unit and applied it gently on her. To my horror the scratching and biting became worse. I then fed her a fish oil tablet in a treat and gave her a antihistamine tablet in (had no benedryl but essentially the same thing). Within half an hour the antihistamine obviously took effect and put her to sleep. I didn't sleep much as I was too upset. When I did wake I went to see how Ruby was. My little dog was wagging her tail... the redness had settled and even the sores weren't really obvious. I couldn't believe it and to see her not so stressed was fantastic. Today is day three and she is scratching every now and then but another application of acv and the same routine should see her back to normal soon hopefully. Oh, and I am putting her on a raw meat and some regimes diet.

Replied by Lulu
(San Pedro Ca.)

We had two dogs who are having redness and inching all the time and boldness. It seems it gets better but it's not. So I just rubbed ACV on their bodies, so far no itching. Will how the rest of the day and night goes.

Replied by Colleen

Thanks for that advice. Our Irish Setter suddenly started biting at his back and scratching. Now there are several hotspots and some blood. :-( My husband keeps insisting it's not allergies but maybe it is! I'll try the ACV and/or Benadryl(which our vet did recommend).

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Steve (Labelle, Florida) on 03/11/2013
5 out of 5 stars

Apple Cider Vinegar works for me! My Chow mix has had "flea allergy" ??? for years. Two vets, same thing, try benedril, etc. etc. I've tried everything you could think of, nothing worked. Constant scratching, sore on leg that won't heal. Bald spots by tail that come and go. Couldn't find the organic ACV at w-dixie, but got a bottle of "natural" ACV. Everything they have on the shelf is "filtered". But mixed some up 1/2 and 1/2. Poured it on her, and I could tell a difference RIGHT AWAY! Dabbed some more on her leg sore, and her belly this morning, and what a difference! Thank you all for this information.

Replied by Diane Peace
(Hudson Oaks, Yexas)

How often do I have to spray my dog?