How to Give a Dog an Apple Cider Vinegar Bath

Mar 23, 2018

Apple Cider Vinegar Bath for Dogs

Most dogs benefit from baths once in a while. Some may need more frequent bathing than others, especially in allergy season. Many shampoos can dry out a dog’s skin and coat and make skin problems worse instead of better. An apple cider vinegar bath is a surprising answer for many dog health issues, including fleas, yeast problems, hot spots and itchy skin.

Apple Cider Vinegar Bath Benefits to Dogs

The problems an apple cider vinegar bath may help with include:

  • Flea removal
  • Flea prevention
  • Hot spots
  • Mange
  • Itchy Skin
  • Yeast
  • Dermatitis
  • Allergic reactions

Apple cider vinegar is acidic. That may not sound like a comforting solution for dog health issues, but the skin is naturally acidic and apple cider vinegar helps to restore proper pH balance to the skin.

Apple cider vinegar acts as an anti-inflammatory when dog skin is plagued with bites, welts, or inflammation.

Apple cider vinegar is a natural flea repellant. It also relieves allergy symptoms.

Apple cider vinegar is ALWAYS diluted when used on a dog’s skin and fur!

How to Give Your Dog A Bath In Apple Cider Vinegar

Choose a warm, draft-free place to give your dog a bath. Have clean towels ready for drying off. Depending on the size of the dog, a sink, bathtub or child’s swimming pool can be used to bathe the dog.

1. Add warm water to the tub. If your dog is dirty, bathe him/her first with a good dog shampoo. Rinse well and fill up the tub 4 inches with warm water.

2. Add raw and organic apple cider vinegar to warm bath water.

  • For a sink, add ½ cup of apple cider vinegar.
  • For a bathtub, add 2 cups of apple cider vinegar.
  • For a child’s swimming pool, add 4 cups of apple cider vinegar.

Slowly, making sure to thoroughly saturate down to the skin, rinse and bathe your dog in the apple cider vinegar bath water. We love to use a large plastic measuring cup for this as they are easy to dip into the water.

Be sure to cover all areas of your dog, including around the ears and the tail. Take your time with the bath.  Keep pouring the apple cider vinegar over your dog for at least 15 minutes to give it as much time as possible to penetrate your dog's skin. This is especially helpful for dogs who bite or chew their paws.

Do NOT rinse your dog with plain water after the ACV bath. Allowing the diluted vinegar solution to dry on the dog will help to prevent fleas and continue providing relief from inflammation and irritation.

Dry the dog thoroughly and allow him to completely air dry in a warm place.

Too many baths can dry out a dog’s skin and fur. But regularly scheduled acv baths may be in order depending on the issue at hand.

For acv treatment in between baths, add 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar and 1/2 cup water to a spray bottle. This spray can be used all over to prevent fleas, or on areas of concern once or twice a day. Avoid getting the spray in your dog's eyes. Cover the eyes when spraying near the head or if there is a breeze or wind.

Can I Give My Cat An Apple Cider Vinegar Bath?

Cats can also benefit from an apple cider vinegar bath for fleas and skin issues. However, baths can traumatize a cat so if you choose to give a bath, be extraordinarily gentle and use soft speaking tones during the bath.

Fill your kitchen sink with a few inches of warm water. Fill with enough water to be able to dip a measuring cup into the water. Do not use a bathtub as it will be overwhelming to your cat.

Add ½ cup of apple cider vinegar to the water. Using a measuring cup or another item with a spout, slowly pour the acv solution over your cat, making sure to saturate down to the skin. Do not rinse off the solution.

Towel dry your cat.

Have you tried an apple cider vinegar bath for your dog or cat?
Please send us some feedback!

Other Pages of Interest:

Apple Cider Vinegar for Dogs
Apple Cider Vinegar for Fleas



ACV for Dogs  

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Posted by Vanessa (South Africa) on 03/23/2018

Do we not use any kind of shampoo when the dog is dirty?

EC: Yes, bath the dog first with a good dog shampoo. Rinse well. Fill up tub with more warm water and add 2 cups of apple cider vinegar and pour over dog slowly and thoroughly.


Posted by Joanne E. (Marietta) on 03/17/2018
5 out of 5 stars

My german shepherd has a terrible time with environmental allergies and chews herself raw starting in the spring through til the end of summer. I bathe her at least once a week with hot spot shampoo but find giving her an apple cider vinegar in between is very helpful. I add 2 cups to apple cider vinegar to my bathtub filled with about 4 inches of warm water. Her coat looks amazing after the bath. Smell gone after she dries off completely. Hope this helps.