Apple Cider Vinegar Remedy for Pet's Itchy Skin

27 User Reviews

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Posted by Elyask (Sydney Australia ) on 01/25/2014

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

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?

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Lynn (Elmira, Ny) on 10/05/2012

My poor dog has been going at it for 3months, scratching himself and I got red cider vinegar yesterday and he actually slept last nite. Gizzy is not all cured but looks calmer than he has in weeks. Happy dog lover Lynn

Replied by Wendy
(Columbus, Oh/usa)

To Lynn from Elmira, NY: Please make sure you're using ORGANIC Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV). The organic kind has the nutrient-rich sediment at the bottom of the bottle; you just shake the bottle before using it.

Then, you can put a teaspoon into her food and mix it all up. Do this every time you feed her. It should clear up any rashes she now has, and will help prevent future rashes.

You can get more info about ACV's uses by searching here on earthclinic.

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Trish (Daytona Beach, Florida) on 10/03/2012

Hello, I have an american bulldog, and he loves our salt water pool. I mean it is "his" pool!! He's swimming at the least twice a day. His skin is itchy to the touch, I go to pet his back and he squirms to be itched! I was wondering if apple cider vinegar would help? Thanks, Trish

Replied by Shelley
(Lamar, Missouri, United States)

Most products like head and shoulders has tea tree oil in it which helps with bacteria that causes dandruff.

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Connie (Topeka, Ks) on 08/29/2012

Hi, this has been a particularly dry summer in Kansas. My Keeshond had the most horrible skin rash and was scratching non stop.... read a lot of internet sites about what to do and found this site.

I really did not like the thought of cortisone shots for him so got out the apple cider vinegar to see what results I could get. I put a teaspoon on some bread for him and rubbed him down with a half and half solution of vinegar water mix. He was bright red on his groin and I am sure it burned a bit but he was relived within minutes.... no more scratching.

It has been a week now and his skin is almost completely cleared up.... Thank you so much for your site and the excellent information....

I used organic apple cider vinegar $4.00 dollars and saved hundreds of dollars of vet bills.

Thanks again what a miracle....

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Sara (Lexington, Kentucky) on 05/18/2012

My dog Lila had a very bad rash around her neck and ears. I thought that maybe I would have to take her to the vet! But instead I mixed a spray bottle with apple cider vinegar and water and soaked her with it. A couple of hours later the redness of the rash was gone and she was itch free! Thank you Apple Cider Vinegar!

Replied by Mugsy
(Ny, Usa)

My poor pup literally has a crazed look in his face he's so uncomfortable, scratching non stop! I'm going to try the ACV. I used to work in a high end salon that used a lot of natural and organic products. They sold ACV with a top name on the bottle for $16 a bottle $8 a treatment!! Using it for when a customer had a bad reaction to color and there scalp was burning or itching. I had a bad chemical reaction one time and they poured it over my head and instant relief! So I believe it will work for the pup! Thank you.

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Julia (Melbourne, Victoria Australia) on 02/02/2012

Thank you all so much for the info on ACV. My Schnauzer has been scratching for quite a number of years. However she has been exceptionally bad for the past month. Recently I found a red spot in the groin area, black and red spots on her leg. I bought a bottle of ACV and started using on the night. The following I morning saw a huge improvement in both spots. The itching stopped almost immediately, she has become a much calmer and happier dog, it's like a miracle cure. Thank you all very much for your input.

Replied by Jeff
(Ballstonspa, Ny)

hi my name is jeff and we have the same breed dog and I am nervous that it might burn or bother him he is always licking and biting himself and wears the fur off in spots. Will it sting him or anything like that?

EC: Hi Jeff,

Apple cider vinegar must ALWAYS be well diluted with water: 1 part acv to at least 3 parts water. Never apply straight as it can cause a very painful sting.

Replied by Kelley
(Palm Springs, Ca)

My mini doxie has been furiously licking her rear end and biting her back leg for months. I tried changing her diet to a single novel protein and this did not work. The vet wanted to put her on a steroid which I am against. I started to give her ACV 3 days ago over a little food and applying it with a cotton ball to her back leg and rear area.... BINGO!!! 3rd day straight and no crying and itching at all. Its AMAZING and I recommend!!!

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Cindy (Gasport, Ny/usa) on 11/03/2011

My dog just started itching out of the blue this summer. I took him to the vet twice they told me it was allergies so I gave him benadryl that didn't help him at all. I think I tried every thing under the sun to give him relief. Nothing worked till I found this site about the ACV- to my surprise it worked. He has itched just a little bit since I put it on him today I think we both might get some sleep tonight thank you for the ACV remedy.

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Linda (Belton, Mo) on 06/21/2011

I have 3 male cats. One 3 yrs old I'll speak of because he's 10 times worst than the other 2. He's biting and licking his hair and scratching all the time. At first we thought he became Alger to the food so we changed it. Then we realized it was fleas but there was not that many. Last yr I bathed him in ACV and it helped. Now he's licking his and biting his hair and scratching and sores all over. We did everything to the floors we could. I tried putting ACV in there water, food, no good. So I decided to get a eye dropper and gave him half and half water and ACV led up to 1 tablespoon. Is this to much or not enough, how often sould I give this to them? And what else could I try?

Replied by Clay The Cat
(Tallahassee, Fl)


Its probably WHEAT FLOUR/GLUTEN! Check his cat food, it is in almost everything. It is in the cat treats, even the pill pockets you give them to be able to take the medicine to help with the itchness. Once I cut this out of my cat's diet, the sores and itchyness went away. Iams wet food, salmon/tuna flavors don't have it, also those Appetizers don't have it, there are some brands out there, just read the labels. Good luck!

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Alabama (Andalusia, Alabama) on 03/31/2011


Replied by Diamond
(Salisbury, Ma.usa)

Alabama; You might want to try small amounts at first, try using the Apple Cider Vinegar which is natural, I use _____s with(mother) organic, no one animal or human likes the smell because it's so strong, I use fish oil capsules and put it on top of the dogs food. Then try by putting some vinegar on the back of their neck. Because vinegar is all pure and natural I don't think it to be a problem of over dosing other than an issue with their organs, where that would take years to affect organs. Also it could be their dog food. I use Newmans own at big market basket but the vets also sell good can food;dogs need can for their coat, oils etc. Good luck.

Replied by Jayne
(Astoria, Ny)

WOW WOW and again WOW!! I love my cat soo much and I couldnt bear seeing her licking and biting at her shoulder. When I would scratch it for her she was in heaven.. Anyway if you need a quick remedy for itching... Apple cider vinegar (1/2 water 1/2 apv). Literally, within seconds my cat stopped tearing at her itchy skin. I put the combination in a spray bottle and gently sprayed it on her itchy area then I just gently rubbed it in a bit. wallah!! Many thanks to all you peole who advised of this remedy (well I heard it is a temporary fix, but for now its great) and to the ones who responded after use.

love ninja ** MEOW

Replied by Atomiconion
(Montgomery, Alabama)

on the itching dogs, rub the dog down firmly with diatomaceous earth every few days, put a pinch of cat claw powder in the water put powder at bottom then airrate when you put water in so it mixes and every time you change it they may not like at first but will aquire taste soon enough and most important put a slice of onion on forehead you may need a dog hat but until you can get it to stay on forhead find a way to put in something like a sock with holes in it tied around collar on back of neck I think there is a mycoplasma that feeds on frontal lobe and onion on forhead is only thing that kills mycoplasma all the other things just treat symptoms the mycoplasma allows the mites to live and breed kill the mycoplasma and the mites will go to. This will work and it takes time but the de earth and cat claw will give relief until you can kill mycoplasma. avoid ammonia and acids if you smoke go to organic because the ammonium nitrate in regular cigs makes this worse.

Replied by Rebecca

This is very good information. I am very glad to be informed regarding how well apple cider vinegar helps with itchy skin. Thank you to everyone for posting the helpful comments

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Kanika (Virginia Beach, Virginia) on 01/27/2010


Hi my six month old lhasa apso has been itchy now for over two months. I tried meds from the vet hot spot spray oatmeal shampoo but nothing worked. I then found this site and tried acv. Now I first washed her with the oats shampoo and then used one cup acv in one gallon water for the final rinse. I am also spraying her with one part acv with 2 parts water and also giving half teaspoon orally. I have done all of this in the last 2 days and her itching has gonne down by about 60%. I have however noticed that everytime i spray her with the mixture she gets very depressed and falls asleep. She seems very lethargic and I am wondering if the acv has anything to do with it. Also she has 3 very noticeable bald spots on her hind legs and although the itching has decreased it hasn't disappeared. I asked the vet and she has ruled out a yeast infection. My question is that can acv cause depression or a change in behaviour or in a nutshell can the acv have any side effects on my puppy. Also how long will it take for the itching to desappear completely if I continue to use acv?

I am very worried about my baby. I am glad that she isnt scratching and licking so much but I dont want her to be sad and depressed. Please help me Earthclinic.

Replied by Tracey
(Timberville, Va)

She is not depressed! she is exhausted from itching, and when she doesn't have to itch she is resting peacefully. imagine your whole day itching uncontrollably, and all the sudden you don't have to itch anymore. You would feel like whew! im exhausted! Shes clean just had a nice bath, warm, fed, and thankful. let her sleep.

Replied by Steph
(Marietta, Georgia)

I have a chihuahua that licks, and bits all her hair of her tail where it irritates her. I saw it closely and looks like she has little bumps. I am wondering if its an allergic reaction, because she gets this itch every spring. please help me to figure out what this cause of itch is from and how I can heal it. Please and Thank You!

EC: Did you test the area with a flea comb? If you find black droppings, it may be a reaction to flea bites!

Replied by Diz2ydez
(San Pablo, Ca, Usa)

Hi , I just wanted to let people know that my dog was always itching , after a bath, after I put her drops in. I Never tried Apple Cider Vinegar cause I was afraid of how she might react to it. I bath her with her shampoo and conditioner. After I used her shampoo and rinsed her with warm water more on the colder side, I used my shampoo, I used a small amount of "head and shoulders 2 in 1". I dont know if the Head and Sholders will do any harm but I noticed she hasn't been itching as much. Just thought I should put that out there.

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Christy (Chocowinity, Nc) on 09/21/2009

I recently read that ACV would help my dog with her scratching. I have been battling with this for years and spent several thousand dollars on trying to cure her but nothing worked. We tried RX food, supplements, shampoos etc... I sent my husband to the store to get some ACV and I mixed 50% V and 50% warm water in a spray bottle and applied it to my Shih Tzu. She immediately stopped scratching. It has been such a long time since I have seen her so relaxed and actually resting. I have not noticed any side effects yet. I also put it in her drinking water 4tsps per 2 cups of water to see how it works with repeling fleas. Thank goodness for ACV! Who would have thought that $3.00 would have saved me a lot of money at the vet.

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Anonymous Coward (Boston, Ma) on 09/03/2009

Dog itching and vinegar treatment:

My dog was scratching his lower back furiously for the past few days to the point I knew I had to do something. I've been laid up in bed and only managed to go to the health food store to get unpasteurized apple cider vinegar, per the postings here, because the store had no doggie medicines.

I cut the vinegar with water, half and half, and sponged the mix on his back up to his neck, because the itching had spread upward. He is a small dog with short hair and so I just soaked the area and rubbed it with my fingers. Within minutes he stopped scratching. He did lick himself for a while off and on but then he want to sleep and didn't constantly wake up to scratch furiously like he had been. He didn't have raw or even red areas but there was a a tiny amount of granular material that might have been frass (bug doodoo) on the surface of his fur. The material was too uniformly small to have been some kind of skin or scab shedding.

I've given him four or five applications over the last few days and his itching is markedly reduced, to the point he doesn't scratch at all for hours. There is still a very tiny amount of the frass-like material but I have not seen anybody occupying his fur. And again, he has no redness or raw areas. Another interesting point is he's never had any skin-related conditions ever and he is eight years old. This came out of the blue and in a major way.

Replied by Janet
(Manchester, United Kingdom)

One of my four cats has had a skin problem on and off now for quite some time. It seems to come on every six months and I usually have to take him to the Vet for a steroid injection which does help but I have to do this every six months and as I have four cats it is quite expensive. At the moment Ginger is going mad scratching and pulling his fur out. His back is red raw but at the moment the Vet is not affordable. I have heard about rubbing with ACV but I was a little concerned that it would burn his raw skin so have been afraid to do this. Has anyone out there got the same problem and knows of a natural remedy please?

Replied by Angela
(Sacramento, Ca)

For raw hairless fur rub an anti-fungul cream on your dogs back. hair will grow back. it works on my dog. rub it on entire area where hair is missing and watch how fast it clears the skin.

Replied by Janet
(Manchester, United Kingdom)

In reply to Angela, many thanks. I just wondered what type of anti-fungal cream you use?, as I am in the Uk. Do you use cream for people? I have purchased an 'anti itch' cream but so far it does not seem to have helped much. I feel so sorry for my poor cat... he will be bald before long! Any more suggestions please?

Replied by Stephanie
(Eugene, Or)

I have a 7 month old puppy (a St. Bernard/Black Lab mix, coming in at roughly 95 pounds now), and over the past 2 months or so has been nibbling, furiously, at his backside, around his haunches and the start of his tail. My boyfriend and I noticed it and took a look at his skin, and he started getting small scabs around those areas he was nibbling. The vet attributed it to fleas, but Duke didn't have any fleas; someone suggested changing his food, but that didn't help either; I rubbed plain, unscented moisturizing lotion to the affected areas, and it seemed to help temporarily, but eventually the nibbling started all over again. I feel so bad for him, because it keeps him up at night, and I can tell it irritates the heck out of him. Any suggestions for stopping whatever is itching him, or does anyone know what could be causing it? Thanks!

Replied by Sarahc
(New Canaan, Ct, Usa)

Hi, yes one of my dogs when through this about a year ago. Same small scabs on his rear end, top of tail. I bathed both dogs, worked temporarily, changed the food of the itchy and scratchy one. I also flea combed both dogs every day and never saw one flea dropping! A friend told me her dog was infested with fleas and it was a really big issue for everyone, so I figured possibly he had one flea running on him that I couldn't find. Even though I hate to put chemicals on him, I applied 1/2 a bottle of Advantage to his neck and a small spot on the top of his tail and the obsessively scratching stopped within 12 hours. I put the other half of the bottle on my other dog just in case. It worked. I'd guess you have a flea issue!

Replied by Ambercleveland
(Indianapolis, In)


Specifically in regards to pets that look like they are scratching to the point where they have scabs, if you are feeding and watering them out of plastic bowls, switch to stainless steel. I had a dog that had a similar problem, turns out she had an allergy to something leaching into the water from her plastic dog dishes.

Replied by Danielle S.
(Duvall, Washington, Usa)

My name is Danielle and I have a 11 year old pug and for months now is constantly itching his chest and chewing on his front legs. There are huge hairless spots on his chest and are sometimes bleed and are really raw. They are also forming scabs. Recently I noticed he is getting it behind his ears too! I dont think its flees or ticks cause he is an inside dog. I have tried to regrow his hair and it started to work but he kept itching it and it didnt help much after that. I havent tried much and I need some advice on what to do!!!! Something to stop the itching and regrow the hairless areas. I dont know if its because of his old age or something else but I need some advice to ease the ithcing and scabbing PLEASE.

Replied by Julie
(Coventry, England)

HI, has he recieved any shots in the last 3 months if so that could be the reason give him homeopathic Thuja 30c to detoxify. If not it could be mites, sometimes ear mites are transfered when the dog scratches his ear. Either way I would use Thornit powder. We have it here in England. It is simply wonderful. I advise all my clients to use it. If you can't get any email me and I will try to sent you some.

Replied by Rocky
(Guam (usa))

Daniielle, don't rule out fleas or ticks because you say you have "indoor pets". Even one trip outside can expose your pets to these parisites. Fleas can be hard to spot, more often then not you will see their droppings (looks like little flakes of black sans) before you see them.

I would first try the ACV dip/rince first, and then some antibacterial cream for exposed areas. If this does not help you should seek advise from your vet.

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