Apple Cider Vinegar for Dogs: Skin Problems

| Modified on Oct 21, 2023
Dog Itchy Skin Remedies
You may be able to relieve your dog's itchy skin with apple cider vinegar, a home remedy straight from the kitchen! Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) has been a trusted natural remedy for pets, animals, and people alike throughout the centuries. Its mildly acidic character and the nutrients it contains are great for the skin, naturally antibacterial and mildly antibiotic, and can improve a dog's overall health when added to its food or water.

Dog skin allergies and skin problems can be improved by this weak acid, since the skin itself prefers a slightly acid pH and since most pathogens do poorly under similar conditions. Red, itchy, and irritated skin are often quickly soothed by a topical ACV treatment, and dietary use of apple cider vinegar can provide long-term improvements for your dog's skin health.

Holistic Treatment for Dogs Using Apple Cider Vinegar

Be careful in your use of apple cider vinegar when your dog's skin is extra raw and inflamed. In fact, in most cases you should dilute apple cider vinegar with equal amounts of water for skin treatment. You can apply apple cider vinegar directly by rubbing it into your dog's fur, or mix it in a sprayer and spray effected patches of skin whenever necessary (watch out for their eyes). Adding up to a tablespoon or so of unpasteurized apple cider vinegar to your dog's water or food each day can also be a great way to treat dog skin allergies and ailments from the inside. The dosage will vary depending on the size and breed of your dog, but if you start with a low dose and gradually increase to what seems to be an effective dosage for your particular dog, you and your pet will be happy and healthier for it!

Apple Cider Vinegar

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Marianne (Fayetteville, Arkansas) on 12/08/2009

My old dog has been plagued with some sort of skin problem for years.The constant biting, scratching, licking have nearly driven me out of my mind. I was doing everything the Vet said, plus gentle baths, brushing, washing her bed lenin in special soaps. Then on Sunday I tried Apple Cider Vinegar. I used about 1/2 cup to a large glass of water. I poured it on her hips, tail area, upper and lower back. I noticed that she calmed down almost immediately. I have done the same thing on Monday and today, Tuesday. The dog is calm, sleeping and "thanking" me. I know she is saying, "Thanks, you finally got something to kill those mites on me."


Please note that if a dog has any hot spots or raw areas, this concentration of apple cider vinegar to water will be VERY painful and burn them. Please dilute the apple cider vinegar enough so that it does not cause any discomfort to your dog. Rinse the solution off immediately with cool water if your dog is in pain after application.

Replied by Queen Betty Boop

Trying it tomorrow . If he doesn't settle down tonight. I will give him fish oil. I tried benadryl last year and he went crazy, he was jacked up on it.

Replied by Krista

Do you pour the apple cider vinegar on the dog, and the dry the dog? Or do you pour the apple cider vinegar over the dog and then rinse with water?

Please advise. Thank you!

Replied by Lisa

Leave the ACV on, do not rinse it. Let your dog dry with it on.

Replied by Hector
(Columbia, Pa)

Do you think it would be OK to use the apple cider vinegar on my chihuahua?

Replied by Mama To Many

Yes, I think you could use apple cider vinegar on your small dog. Always dilute. Use 1/2 water and 1/2 vinegar. If skin is broken, use even less vinegar. Maybe 2 Tablespoons in a cup of water.

Replied by Monika
(Mcloud, Oklahoma)

Hi, so did you bathe the dog first, rinse and then apply ACV, also how many pours on her one application, did u just slowly pour and did u towel dry briskley? Thank you!

Replied by Judie

if your dog is very itchy and has black pigmented skin on the underbelly as well as armpits and paws etc he/she probably likely has a fungus infection INSIDE the gut which is manifesting on the outside. A fungus smell is also apparent. Most likely caused by over use of antibiotics and a combination of that and allergies….impaired immune system. Find an Integrative Vet and go see them, they are much more educated than the regular vet in figuring out these problems. Ours was a godsend when we were at the end of our rope.

Good luck!

Replied by Cindy
(Mesa, Az)

I was wondering who you went to in Arizona. I am going crazy with skin issues on my shih pigmentation on belly and in arm pits. We have been to the vet numerous times and it is antibiotics for 3 weeks then bathing everyday... heals for a bit and by that I mean 2 or 3 days and comes back. Driving him nuts and me too. Going to start with the vinegar in food tomorrow.

Replied by Colleen
(Sunshine Coast Australia)

Dogs with skin conditions should never let the dog get wet and just cleanse their skin and fur with apple cider vinegar in a spray bottle and wipe fur with a shammy that has Apple Cider Vinegar sprayed on it. If you do bathe the dog use completely natural dog shampoo and rinse with Apple Cider Vinegar and then thoroughly dry the dogs fur, not letting it try naturally in the sun or wind.

The skin conditions love dampness!! Marianne put too much Apple Cider Vinegar in the drinking water! Half a cup to I glsd water is way too much and while it did not do anything negative the first time it would definitely take its toll.

A couple of tablespoons to a large bowl of water is right but build up to this dose slowly. Internally/externally is the best treatment and will deter fleas from other dogs jumping on.

Replied by Sam Heckman
(Apache Junction Az)

Hey Cindy did you ever get your dogs skin problem's fixed? I'm dealing with a pretty bad mange problem with 6 rather large dogs. Long story short about 7 months ago one of my females escaped and got into something. A few months later they all are losing fur. Itching like crazy. Biting, scratching, it's sad. We have tried most of the internet supposed cures with no luck. Recently started using apple cider vinegar. Now I am reading that one needs to mix borax with the vinegar. We had tried borax and peroxide it worked for a bit then I think the mites built up a resistance to it because it quit working. Don't ever let your dogs get mange here in AZ it's terrible to cure.Then having big dogs, weights from 70 pounds to 145 pounds its really hard for my wife and I to give them all baths at the same time along with washing bedding and bleaching the yard. Then having to do this 3,4 times a week for the first month. Anybody have any secrets on how to kill this stuff and not have to use poisons on my dogs? Thanks have a great day


Hi. I know your post is old but I'm responding for any new readers.

I believe cedar oil kills mites. It also kills bedbugs, fleas and ticks. It is safe for pets and kids. Google it to find protocols. Don't apply full strength.

Replied by Lyndsey

Holy Moly, you just described the exact thing that is happening on the underside of my Dalmatians belly and inner thighs. She has an awful rash that has turned into dark patches. She has been on many different antibiotics for it. When we go a long time without antibiotics, it gets so bad that a yeasty smell comes from her belly. Will the ACV application help with this? She just had a 3 weeks of antibiotics and came off of them 2 days ago. I'm so worried she is going to get this awful rash back again. Thanks for any help!

Replied by Lyndsey

Hi, I have the same thing happening to my Dalmatian. Have you found anything to work yet?

Thank you!

CBD and Coconut Oil

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by ruth (41) on 05/28/2021

Dog With Skin Allergies

CBD oil and coconut oil together did it for me.

Replied by Angela
(Ny, NY)

How did you use the coconut and cbd oils? How much of each. Did u put it in the food or water or directly on skin? I have 1000mg cbd oil and organic coconut oil and would love to try that on my bichon.

Replied by June

What type of CBD oil do you use on dogs with Coconut oil?


Posted by Tippibevbev (London) on 05/29/2015

I have a little Jack Russell, and she is on medication for her allergies already from the vet, but they do not work! She is still biting and licking her paws until they bleed and has recently bitten off 3 of her claws! Her skin is also quite red, although a steroid injection that she had at the vet recently has temporarily stopped it, but it will come bad - it always does. How much should I put in her food? And how often? Thank you.

P.S if anybody is interested - My vet friend told me that dogs can be allergic to dust mites and it can make them act this way!

Replied by Erin

Just as a side note, my dog was receiving steroid injections for his allergies and ended up with what they refer to as "Vet Induced Cushing's Disease". Be careful about how often your dog gets those injections.

As for dosing, they say 2 tsp of ACV for a 50 pound dog, so for a Jack Russell, it should be appx 1 tsp, and then work your way up to an effective dose. I would give the lowest dose for at least a week (2 weeks is recommended) before increasing to 1 1/2 tsp, then to 2 tsp, etc... Hope this helps!

Replied by Michelle

I had a Jack that had terrible allergies for years. Huge sores on her back that bled. I started making her food with a meat and veggies in the crock pot. Her skin started clearing up, her coat was shiny and her eyes clearer. Her sores completely healed and never came back. She lived to be 16. I also put ACV in her bath in a pitcher with water as her final rinse.


Would love to know your food recipe. I have a 12 lb chihuahua mix that has bad allergies. She developed diarrhea due to being on Apoquel. I am taking her off it and looking for natural remedies. We feed her Royal Canin mixed with Purina Beyond. Would love your recipe. Also do you have to slowly phase out the old food? Thank you very much.

Replied by Vicki
(Norwalk, Ohio)

What types of meat and vegetables did you seem to use that worked best? How did you prepare it?

Replied by Mid

Biting off claws - any chance they were starting to come off on their own? Our dog had SLO - an autoimmune problem. In his case, it seemed to resolve itself after a year or two. I'm not sure if whatever triggered it was removed from our environment or...?

Posted by Shannon (Lake Dallas, Tx) on 03/01/2015

I've read all the benefits of giving my dogs ACV. How much ACV would I add to the 2. 5 gallon water dispenser?

Replied by Charleston
(La., US)

My toy poodle has a terrible skin problem, bacterial and fungal infection...after much distress, the vet dermatologist told me to shampoo 3 times a week with Duoxo, and rinse/spray 2-3 times a day wth 1 tsp BLEACH in 8 oz water. That helped .

Replied by Lesley

Hi, I have a blue staffi and he has skin allergys, I feed him raw food only, so do I give him the apple cider vinegar that you buy n the supermarkets or does it have to be a special one, also how much and how do I give to him, also do I spray it on his feet to stop him licking them?

Replied by Theresa
(Mpls., Mn)

Hey Lesley!

The ACV has to be a special one, that can be found in many supermarkets. The key is to find a brand that is 1)raw, 2) organic, 3) unfiltered, 4) contains 'The mother' [active and live enzyme culture].

You can give your guy the ACV in his water or his food; try 2-3 teaspoons into 1 liter of drinking water or just put it in some wet food. Most do this ongoing, or 3 weeks on/3 weeks off.

One thing to consider with you guy since he is a blue/dilute is CDA - color dilution alopecia - google this and do some research to make sure you are not dealing with this genetic condition.

You feed a RAW diet - kudos! Also consider supplementing with Quercetin or yucca for inflamation, and also colostrum to help build the immune system.

lastly, do consider Ted's Mange Remedy or Anti-fungal/Anti-staph dip for the itching - dip as frequently as needed to keep the skin calm and itching at bay.


Can you put the Apple Cider Vinegar on dry food?

Replied by Carolina
(Austin, Tx.)

I want to know, how much apple cider vinegar to put in the water to bath my Little ROCCO. ( doggy ) How much water also. And can I leave it on him? What I did today, I bath him with oatmeal shampoo, then I rinsed him, and put about 1/2 a cup of ACV and about the same amount of water. I just put it on his neck to his back. I left it on, without rinsing him. Was that ok?

Replied by Theresa
(Mpls., Mn)

Hey Carolina!

I would change the ratio of the vinegar to 1 part vinegar to 10 parts water for the after bath rinse. You can also put a couple of tablespoons of the raw, organic, unpasturised ACV in his food; I hide it in wet food for my dogs when I need to dose it. You might also consider alkalizing your dogs water as that often can help with an itchy skin outbreak.

Replied by Mary

Carolina, do not bath your furbaby in oatmeal yeast will feed on that and cut out all sugars including honey sweet potatoes and potatoes and bread these will strengthen the yeast to spread more. I also took away all his treats and replaced them with Chicken and he is not complaining at all. I actually started spraying my dog with ACV and water. I used a cup to 16 oz of water for a week now every time he goes outside when he comes in I spray his paws off really well then pat them dry. I also place a towel over his eyes and spray his ears and pat dry. If he starts biting his body I spray him in those areas and it calms him and he now sleeps.

Replied by Jane

Great advice re quercetin and colostrum, thank you.

Flea Allergies

Posted by Elaine (Perth, Australia) on 01/13/2017

Thanks for the advice using ACV for flea allergies.

My little Toby is so uncomfortable/itchy all along from the back of his neck to tail. I have mixed 1/2 cup of ACV and 1/2 cup warm water and poured it over the areas after giving him a bath. I've only just done it and was wondering how often this can be done. Should I repeat this again tomorrow and the next few days or only weekly?

Thanks again :)

Hot Spots

4 User Reviews
5 star (4) 

Posted by Suzi (North Carolina, US) on 03/30/2015

I have a pit bull who jumped in my car while I was cleaning it a couple of years ago, and she is the daintiest little flower I've ever seen. I finally got her digestive issues under control with Probiotic 4, and I recently changed to a higher quality, grain-free food, and now she has spots on her head and ears that are just skin that has dried out and crusted over. I tried coconut oil, but it didn't help.

She also has nearly constant ear infections. I took her to the vet in December, and he gave her a shot of something that helped for a couple of days and some ear drops that haven't done anything.

I can't afford the very best name brand foods for her - I have other pets and house issues that are taking my money right now. I have tried several sensitive skin or sensitive stomach brands, and nothing has changed, but if anyone has a suggestion of one that isn't too highly priced, I'll give it a try.

I'm going to try the ACV in the water and as a bath rinse. Any advice on her skin and ears would be most welcome.

Replied by Theresa
(Mpls., Mn)

Hey Suzi!

Are the crusty spots on your girl's head due to scratching because of the ear infections? Most often those are behind the ears but they can scratch the top of the head also. If the head wounds are self inflicted due to scratching from ear infections, you can try a number of things for the ears. OTC and ordered online is Zymox Enzymatic solution for ears - I love this stuff. If you can't afford to spend any money, consider garlic infused olive oil to help with heal sore skin in the ears and loosen up the gunk. After a few days on the garlic oil and the ears are not raw, you can do a isopropyl alcohol/white vinegar/water solution - equal parts of each. Use this solution to flush the gunk out of the ears and keep infections at bay.

Diet is critical; as long as you are feeding grain free I think you are on the right path. Consider switching protiens from chicken to beef to fish, etc. - this each time you need a new bag; this frequent switching has helped some dogs with troubled skin.

You might find Ted's Borax Protocol for dogs very helpful for your girl, along with /or alternating with alkalizing with baking soda.

Replied by Amy

Hi Suzie, Try Zymox Otic from Bella's pain relief in the states. My staff has had many hematomas in her ears from yeast infections. But since I tried Otic, she still has the yeast build up from time to time but never need surgery again.

I will be trying the vingar as soon as possible for her feet. Thanks

Replied by Connie
(San Juan Bautista, Ca)

I was paying big bucks for Royal Canin got my Chihuahuas, $17.99,3.5lbs. Found out through several dog food tests online it's averaging only a 2.5 star rating. I now buy Pure Balance at Walmart, $9.69 for 10 lbs and a 4 star rating! :-) Once or twice a week I put a spoonful, not much, in their dog food and mix it up. Keeps the coat shiny.

Unfilted Raw Honey is a great healer too. It's a natural antiseptic and much more. You might have to shop around a bit. I lived in San Jose then, the big city. I had trouble finding it. You can apply to hot spot, with a cone, if they're really raw.. Or add to their water. I just add till I can detect a slight coloring from the honey. I had one with serious pneumonia once. After two rounds of antibiotics I was desperate to save my boy and low on funds. Scouted for natural remedies online. SAVED my dog's life. Read up on it. Good luck.

Replied by John

For skin it is 50/50 distilled water and Apple Cider Vinegar, you can squeeze a lemon and add it too, works great, for Ears you should use Zymox 1% hydrocortizone the very best ear medication. My Vet gave up on My dogs ears, suggested I let him go??

He lost his balance almost dead and I used Zymox... it brought him out within 48 hours, His is still just fine with with Zymox 2 times a week, as maintainence, it is just natural probiotics... new technology, super stuff...

Replied by Lisette

You can also apply neem to these sore spots; it kills fungus, pests etc, and is an oil, so gentle. consider cooking for your pet; save money and know what is in the food :)

Replied by Sammy

Try colloidial silver. Make sure it is a good quality product. It will kill bacteria, fungus and viruses .You can use it for eye and ear infections. Make sure you educate yourself on how to use it. Be careful that you give the proper dosage.

The colloidal silver will kill the bad and good bacteria in the gut so give the dog yogurt or pro biotics while on CS. It will help with skin problems and mites. Coconut oil is also good for skin .

Hot Spots
Posted by Ellen (Charles Town, WV)

About a 2 months ago, I began using apple cider vinegar in Lady's water; 3T. to a gallon of water and also spraying it diluted on the areas that she had licked and chewed until they bled. I added brewers yeast and olive oil to her daily meal and used a cone on her head when I wasn't with her to stop the licking. I used a plain aloe and olive oil balm on the skin after the vinegar dried. She doesn't need the cone any more as her skin is great and her hair is growing back in.

Replied by Virginia
(Florida, US)

I use apple cider vinegar in my dog's food every day and her itchy skin has stopped completely. I swear by it. It does work.

Replied by Tasha
(Charlotte, Nc)

I have been doing this for my pitbull with horrible skin allergies. Just curious if it would be okay to apply topically twice a day or should I stick to the once per day that I have been doing?

Replied by Theresa
(Mpls., Mn)

Hey Tasha!

Pit bull lover here!

You can certainly try applying the ACV twice a day. Also a few more thoughts for you!

You might also consider changing the diet; read the ingredients on the kibble you feed and if you find grain then a change is in order. You might also consider Ted's Borax protocol for pets to combat the yeast from the inside out. And also consider a full body dip in Ted's Anti-fungal/Anti-staph solution.

Replied by D Ammons
(Fletcher Nc Usa)

Hi Suzi and others. Some one said no Apple cider in the UK. I am a Chihuahua breeder and ex shower of 30 years I have seen it all in medical issues especially when dogs get older. Many have flea allegery and scratch raw if a flea. Espacally dogs that or light cream or lots of white and long coat. Braggs (only has the mother) Apple Cidar Vinigar has saved my dogs I use a dip of 1/4 ACV in filtered water. and a good swisch in a gallon of drinking water all summer for all dogs. Should measure but to lazy 2 tablesspoons in a gallon is roughly what I use.

I take 2 cap fulls in a 18 oz glass for chronic Candidia. chubby diabeties means yeast. This stops it had from armpits to lower under belly and even in mouth. Google in ears for fungus for dogs also.

PS: Here is a huge flea help. Buy your flea meds for neck. But get giant dog size. And figure out cc per bottle and how big a dog it will do. if 150 lbs max that means 25 lbs (small dog or cat if same ingredents in there meds. Look at cat bottle and see what there bottle says 1/2 or ??? 1cc/ml. If giant dog is 4 cc/ml you do the math split into smaller doses save a lot of money.Google it might find dosing I am not a vet But I use cattle Ivomec for heartworms. I and 5 others split a $40 bottle - does 100s of dogs for a year.

Again, I will not tell dosage. Google it and hope

I do not use propoline Gyclo and friends do not. Use a liquid food for dogs called Dyne they love taste and very thick does not separate fast, Will after awhile so shake well before treatments. Also google Revival animal supply my go to place

Replied by Lisette

Hi Virginia. Ho do you add the ACV? do dogs mind? when I ate chips with vinegar admittedly probably much more concentrated than you would use, they weren't keen on the few I shared with them. any tips? and do you add it to their water? at what rate?

Replied by Wendy
(Columbus, Oh)

To Lisette: do NOT give dogs chips!!! MUCH too salty for them. "Your dog may even vomit, have diarrhea or seizures. These are all symptoms of sodium ion poisoning." There are numerous posts here on EarthClinic about how to add organic Apple Cider Vinegar to a dog's diet. Look under the Pets/Remedies section. Here is just one of many links:

Itching, Scratching, Hot Spots

7 User Reviews
5 star (7) 

Posted by Geoffrey (New Jersey) on 06/24/2017

Apple Cider Vinegar for shoulder skin irritation

Our dog responds well to the use of half Apple Cider Vinegar and half water on her skin when itching.

Replied by Parkypuss
(Burson, Ca)

My corgi mix has what looks like black dandruff. Her skin is dark so that's why I'm assuming it's dry skin. I make her food with ground turkey, veggies, vitamins, special garlic granules, fish oil caps, olive oil & brewers yeast. Think it would help to give her the vinegar in her water & also spray on skin?

Replied by Theresa
(Mpls., Mn)

Hey Parkypuss,

Dark skin/blackened skin has been associated with yeast/fungal infections. You might try Ted's Mange Remedy as an occasional dip to bring your dog relief. You might also consider alkalizing your dog's drinking water and also Ted's Borax Protocol for dogs to combat the yeast from the inside out. Finally, you might consider removing the brewer's yeast supplement and use kelp or another non-yeast source for the nutrients you are seeking to provide by adding the yeast.

Itching, Scratching, Hot Spots
Posted by Lauren (Crawfordville, Fl) on 11/04/2014

One of my German Shepherds tends to get hot spots during the summer months. We live in FL, she's constantly swimming in a pool and the Gulf and she has a thick double layered coat that takes forever to dry. Vetericyn spray always helped in summer's past and I've got her on Earthborn Holistic Grain Free Dry Food, which she's always done well with. This summer was hardly manageable, not so much with the hot spots but itchy/flaky and black skin appeared and did not go away when the cooler weather came in.

Out of the blue she also started having bad breath, gray gook in her eyes every morning and she started to smell bad - even a day after bathing her. She got some aid from the Vetericyn and Oatmeal baths but only temporarily so I spent time researching online and putting together a plan of attack.

For quick relief (as suggested by so many people here) I began spraying 50/50 organic ACV (Walmart) & warm water all over her under belly and armpits and let it air dry. I could not believe it - she felt better immediately. I bought plain yogurt, which she loves (Publix), Probiotic Miracle and Enzyme Miracle (Amazon), I add all 3 and some water to her dry food and mix it well. She eats it up like crazy. When she's done I give her 1 Probiotic Acidophilus, 2 billion active cultures, human vitamin a day (Walmart). I also add 1 tsp. of organic ACV to all the water bowls.

UNBELIEVABLE - as of today, 4 days later, there's no itching or licking whatsoever and the flaking is 95% gone. There's very little gook in her eyes and absolutely no sign of a bad odor, she actually smells nice for the first time in months. My babygirl is doing GREAT, she's got more energy, she's eating well and is so obviously feeling much better all the way around. Also, I bought her all organic/grain free treats - have you read the labels lately on the treats you are giving your dogs? I was shocked!! I will continue to give her the products listed above, possibly for the rest of her life. Even though the black skin and bad breath aren't a nuisance to her, I'm hoping they too will go away soon with this new regimen.

Either way, she went from being miserable to the happiest girl on the planet in just a few days and the worst is way behind us, incredible. Awesome only regret is that I didn't find earth clinic a few months sooner. Next time I have any health concerns for myself, my family or my dogs, this website will be my first stop, for sure.

Replied by Debbie
(Portslade, Uk)

I would change to raw feeding. raw meat. raw bones. NO treats. NO biscuits.

Bath in a anti fungal shampoo. Once a week. Rinse well. And then soak her everywhere with a solution of Distilled WHITE vinegar/half warm water. Allow to dry.

Put the same solution in a spray bottle, for daily use on bad arrears and dunk paws in at bed time.

Use bottled or filtered water. Not tap water. Add 1 teaspoonful of white vinegar.

Stay away from the ACV. Apples=sugar.

Replied by Kathy

It's wonderful that you've gone holistic with your pet... I hope you've done so with yourself also... The issues/symptoms that your dog is having are 99% likely to your dog being in the Gulf of Mexico (GOM) and your pool (if it's chlorine)... These issues affect humans as well as animals... Her skin, itching, breath and the "gook" coming out of her eyes are all related health issues... She is sick and detoxing... Wonderful as I said that you've researched online and, incidentally if you weren't aware, specifically your holistic approach is part of the treatment for those affected by the toxins... The VOC's are plentiful in the water and are also airborne... The chemicals used to "treat" the GOM also bind with chlorine in pools... Good luck and stay safe yourself...

Replied by Kay

I am trying 50/50 Apple Cider Vinegar and water on my dogs itchy paws ...but she is diabetic and wnder if sugar in this vinegar is a good idea? Might try plain white instead the website .. thankyou

Replied by Kathy
(Houston. Tx)

Thanks for the "plan of attack" on the hotspots. I have 2 beagles suffering with it. I'm a groomer, so I have tried every expensive product out there, to no avail. I wondered if Apple Cider Vinegar would help and I'm so happy to hear how this has worked for your dog. We're starting on it today. Thanks again.

Replied by Debbie Landa
(North Woodstock , Nh)

My 11 year old German shepherd mix has been suffering from skin problems every summer. Her belly is pretty much black but areas mixed in that look pink. Her coat has many areas of flaky type of packes all over wspecially under the black saddle part! She scratches and I was told to get her Benadryal to help relieve it. I have shampoos oatmeal and aloe and sprays. But I feel so bad for her. I rinse her off every time she goes into the river! She loves it . Please do you think your remedy will help my girl . Thank you deb

Replied by Wendy

To Debbie Landa in NH:

Follow the recommendations of Lauren (Crawfordville, Fl) who posted above. Most importantly, change her food to one without grain, without corn and without rice. And, get some organic Apple Cider Vinegar (the brand that begins with "Br"). Mix a solution in a spray bottle of 1/2 ACV and 1/2 distilled water. Spray all over the dog, getting her completely soaked, and let her air-dry. You can also add a tablespoon of the ACV into her water or her food. Do the ACV (both spraying and in her food) for at least a couple of months to see the benefits.

Replied by Maria

I tried your remedy tonight and my puppy seems to be doing better tonite. not scratching at all but still licking some. How often should I spray my dog w/ the acv/water solution? Thanks,

Replied by Joy
(Oakland, Michigan)

The ACV brand is "Bragg" possibly?

my 4 yo, Max, suffers from hot spots as well. Vet gave an expensive script spray of Relifor ...4 oz bottle cost $25+ and didn't seem to work. A border collie mix at about 55 lbs...grain free food doesn't agree with him. A sensitive stomach & skin. The previous owner and foster mom had him on Purina dog chow healthy morsels..first ingredient is corn (ugh) I've only had him about 2 months.

I can't afford the expensive prescription food..not at $75 a 20 lb I've switched him over to Purina's Pro plan for sensitive skin and stomach. First ingredient is salmon. He's eating better but his skin still has the 55 lbs I'm going to try the Apple Cider Vinegar In food and as a spray. Hope it works.

Replied by Sharon
(Rockaway Beach, Oregon)

Have tried this solution and I didn't have the measurements of each of the ingredients correct but it still worked a little bit anyway!! LOL I can almost see it in my mind the proper measures will make all the difference.

EC: Usually for hot spots a solution of one half water and one half apple cider vinegar is used. If the skin is broken, less apple cider vinegar is used to avoid irritating the skin. 

Itching, Scratching, Hot Spots
Posted by Josephyne (Singapore) on 07/16/2011

I found this website today while researching for home remedies for my puppy which had been scratching her skin and ears for a while now. I took no time to try the suggested remedy - acv. I applied Apple Cider Vinegar on her body and drip a couple of drops into each of her ears and massaged the base of her ears, straight from the bottle without diluting. I also mixed a tsp of Apple Cider Vinegar with her plain yoghurt and she lapped it all up, like she usually does when it comes to yoghurt. I'm very pleased to see that for the past two hours she has not scratched one bit and seemed calmer and even fell asleep, which is quite unusual at this time of night :) ACV works for my precious dog :)

Itching, Scratching, Hot Spots
Posted by Yoyoly18 (Buringame, CA) on 06/23/2009

I have a mixed papillon/Pomeranian dog who has been suffering from flea bites, constant itching and bald hot spots. No matter what kind of flea shampoo treatments, or house treatments, getting rid of her beds, toys, etc was helping at all. My neighbor has a cat that roams around freely and believe is the culprit to this problem. I researched high and low on the internet for remedies for two years now and finally landed on this website. I read all the testimonials from dog lovers with similar problem and the positive results they were having. I quickly went to my local grocery store and bought a bottle of AVC; mixed it according to the instructions and I could not believe how quickly within minutes of spraying her she relaxed and stopped itching. I am amazed at this and will share this great remedy to all dog and cat lovers. Thank you all so much.

EC: Apple Cider Vinegar should be diluted 1:1 with water when used topically.

Replied by Littlerowboat
(Roswell, Ga)

I would like to say, in regards to fleas and pregnant dogs, if you give your dog a bath it will kill the fleas. I know there are many flea treatments under the sun and none are safe for pregnant pups. Soak her, lather her up with a gentle soap [I use earthbath oatmeal and aloe because it helps soothe the itching or if I'm out I just use my soap which is Dr. Bronners] leave the soap on for 10 minutes and then rinse. You will see all the dead fleas washing away. Make sure you are diligent about washing all their bedding, too.

Replied by Helen
(Thousand Oaks, Ca)

Soap reduces the water surface tension (Chemistry 101), that's why it drowns the fleas. This is a simple flea killer. No need for pesticides on our dogs.

Replied by Theresa
(Mpls., Mn)

Hey Helen!

DITTO! A simple flea bath followed by a flea combing and your pet is instantly flea free :)

Replied by Linda
(Indiana, US)

what the heck is ACV. PLEASE USE WORDS.

Replied by Joyce
(Valley Falls, Ks)

What is avc

EC: ACV = Apple Cider Vinegar, organic and unfiltered with the 'mother'.

Replied by Betsy

What is ABC that you purchased at grocery store?

Replied by Jodi

So, my dog had been scratching, itching, and licking, and chewing for several months. Even the flea med. weren't working. So yesterday I decided to give her a flea bath with ACV. I used warm water, dish soap (blue) and mixed that with the ACV. (Leave on for 10 min) And OMG she has only scratched like 2 times since then. She used to scratch like 50 times a day. I couldn't believe how awesome it worked & really fast too. I am amazed!!! Love it!!!

Replied by Pamela
(Texas City, Texas)

I tried a 50-50 mix of regular vinegar and water applied with a washcloth to my itchy smelly dog. Will regular vinegar work? He is now running around like crazy - similar to fresh out of the bath. I am getting him off of grain food and bathing once per week with sulfur soap and dawn which does lessen itching for a day or so. He has lost hair on his back half of his body. And he has a distinct odor that is in carpet now. Also have sprinkled carpet with baking soda-salt mixture. I wonder if anyone has any other suggestions? Thanks, Pam

Replied by Theresa
(Mpls., Mn)

Hey Pam,

For an after bath rinse I would dilute the vinegar 1 part vinegar to 10 parts water; the goal is to change the PH of the skin and that small amount will do it. The dawn -dish washing detergent? - will strip all the oil out of your dog's skin and screw up the PH; consider a doggy shampoo, or Dr. Bronner's Pure Castille soaps, or even Murphy's wood oil soap - original forumla. These soaps are oil based and will not strip the skin of oils. Anytime you bathe with these soaps follow up with a PH balancing vinegar rinse.

It sounds like you may be dealing with yeast; consider Ted's Mange remedy - one to three dips in that, followed up with his anti-fungal/anti-staph dip. Also consider Ted's Borax Protocol for dogs to combat the yeast from the inside out. Also consider alkalizing your dog's drinking water with baking soda. I rotate the borax water with the baking soda water for my crew and get good results.

Replied by Barbara
(Kyle, Tx)

Use the apple cider vinegar! I use 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar, 1/2 cup brewed green tea, 1 cup distilled water. I mix it together and put it in a spray bottle. I spray it on my dog daily. His itching and scratching has gone down. His skin looks better. His fur has grown back in places where he had chewed it away.

In addition I am adding 1 TBSPN per day to his food. I have to disguise it in some sort of wet food. I switched to a much better dog food.

As a result of all of this my 10 year old Wolfe dog looks better and feels better... he doesn't stink when I do this also.. If I don't do it he gets that awful yeast or whatever smelll.

IN addition to this, I was having acid reflux.. looked up natural remedies.. well now I take a tablespoon of the applecider vinegar in a full glass of half water/half lemonaide... my acid reflux is now unnoticeable to me. In addition, I realized my nasal allergies are gone. I am now not taking allegra D that I have taken every day for the last 5 years or so. I have found if I don't take the apple cider vinegar for about 2 days.. all of my allergies come back... this stuff is amazing.

Replied by Jane
(Adelaide, Australia)

Thanks for the ACV approach - I'll start today. I have 4 month old toy poodle pup. He's scratches lots - It has improved since I found a powder called Diatomacious Earth. It's brilliant as you put it on all surfaces (I use an old talc container) including bedding, carpets, crates and all over their coats. It's the human food grade one and people take it themselves in food so we know it's fine for our dogs. It stops creepy crawlies, including fleas, mites, etc in their tracks as they can't walk on it - it cuts them - however it doesn't hurt us or our pets. I even powder our own beds when changing sheets as bed bugs (that you can't even see) can't live with it. So with the diatomaceous earth and ACV all things should be good - the earth has made a big difference already and hopefully the ACV will do the rest. By the way I bought the earth online - make sure you get the food grade quality - I put it on Harry every three days or so and put a teaspoon in his food every kills worms too. Yes, it just keeps getting better! My family all use a teaspoon a day in a glass of water too. Thanks for this site - great one!

Replied by Nyla
(Lexington, Oklahoma)

My dog is allergic to everything.

Replied by Brenda
(South Carolina)

Please tell me how to relieve itching for my Shaunzer? Is Apple Cider Vinegar good for their skin?

Replied by Theresa
(Mpls., Mn)

Hey Brenda,

You might consider bathing your dog in an oatmeal type shampoo, rinsing him off and then doing a final rinse with water and 10% vinegar. Do not rinse the vinegar out. You might also look at adding Apple cider vinegar - just a bit - to his drinking water or food so he takes it internally.


1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Trudy (USA) on 02/12/2006

I have had absolute success using Apple Cider Vinegar mixed with water and Borax power. My dog was suffering with mange or terrible flea allergies last October. Well I used this combination regularly for several months and now he has all his fur back, and no itching. I sent in my testimonial back in mid January 2006, it is under the Cure for Demodetic Mange / Remedy #2 Reader Modification by Trudy Barton, in Cynthiana, Ky. I do believe this treatment I gave my Max would not have had nearly the great results if I had not used the organic Apple Cider Vinegar. Please post this cure under the Apple Cider Vinegar cures for dogs. P.s. If my cat were to have a similar problem, I sure would use it on the cat too! You can post my e-mail address.

Replied by Marissa

CAUTION: I have read on multiple sites that Borax is toxic for dogs, with an accumulating effect (it builds up in their body over time). It can be absorbed inside the body through the dogs skin. I would exercise extreme caution in following this advice without researching from multiple sources.

Replied by Theresa
(Mpls., Mn)

Hey Marissa!

Borax is toxic to dogs - and humans - in ***very*** high doses, much in the same way water or salt is toxic to humans. Ever read about people drinking so much water it killed them? Same deal.

Also, you are incorrect about absorption via the skin:

  • Borax is classified as non-carcinogenic and a mild skin irritant. The high alkalinity of borax is likely what causes skin irritation (just as excessive use of baking soda would cause irritation). There are also several studies in the ToxNet database that show its only a very mild lung irritant and causes no lasting damage. In addition, it does not penetrate the skin well, and is not considered to be bio-accumulative. (Meaning, repetitive use over time does not mean it builds up in your system.)

Source - although there are *many* with this same info:

I can say that I have personally taken borax in water with no ill effects, and given my dogs multiple baths in borax using my bare hands and no ill effects for human or dog - but must admit the demodex mites did not fare so well! ;-)

Replied by Chelsea

What are the portions? My baby has some spots and I would love to try it.


1 User Review

Posted by Melinda (Federal Way, Washington) on 01/23/2010

My five year old mixed breed dog had a bad rash on her belly and back. I read about acv from this web site I gave her 1/2 tsp in her food. The next day she had horrible diarrhea and she vomited soome blood. I took her to the emergancy vet and they did all sorts of tests and found nothing. The vet said it could have been the acv. That was the only thing different in her diet. I DO NOT recomend acv for dogs!

Replied by Raphael
(Boston, Ma)

First start: apply to skin, 1 part ACV + 1 part water. If you feel like feeding ACV, 1 tsp diluted to the water bowl. Do not mix with food undiluted. The next day incident may be just a co-incidence.

Raw Organic or Processed ACV

Posted by T T (Tulsa, Oklahoma) on 01/06/2015

Does anybody know if its the Apple Cider Vinager with the Mother or just regular Apple Cider Vinager to use when treating my dog for allergies? Thanks

Replied by Wendy
(Columbus, Oh)

It must be organic Apple Cider Vinegar, with "the mother".

Replied by Jodi

Hi, where do you get the organic kind? And specifically what does the label say? Thank you much.

(Sewell, Nj)

You can find organic ACV in any supermarket that has an organic section or a health food store.

Replied by Violet
(Cerrillos, NM)

You can add ACV with the mother to cheaper ACV and let it sit for a few weeks. The mother will grow in the cheap ACV as it is a culture.

Skin Ailments

15 User Reviews
5 star (12) 
1 star (2) 

Posted by Julie (Texas) on 04/04/2017

I had a bad response to an apple cider vinegar rinse with my Westie. He has a black yeasty skin issue that many of his breed have as well as flea bite allergies. I diluted the apple cider vinegar more than 50% as a precaution and used this very dilute solution after his bath as a rinse.

Immediately he began to cry, shake, and almost convulse due to the intense discomfort. I rinsed him thoroughly with water for several minutes and dried him off all the while he trembled and whimpered.

It took minutes for him (and me) to calm down and he was extra itchy for hours afterwards. Luckily there seemed to be no lasting harm.

There was no evidence of open wounds, broken skin, or even red color on his skin or I would not have tried this. I believe that since his skin was irritated it had lost its natural protection to the acid solution, even though it was very dilute. I had researched using apple cider vinegar before trying this and never found someone with a negative reaction.

We get some relief for him using a Tea tree oil shampoo and conditioner baths every other day and follow with a rinse of chlorohexidine to prevent infections from developing. (you can easily find this as a concentrate and mix it yourself) We also make our dog's food in order to control exactly what goes in there.

Good luck everyone with your little loves. I am posting my negative experience on every website/blog I can to try and save someone else the horrible response we endured with apple cider vinegar. Not saying it can't help some, or that my dog's response is typical, but those who have dogs with sensitive skin should not use this topically.

Replied by Theresa
(Mpls., Mn)

Hey Julie,

A 1:10 ratio is sufficient - it does sound as if your dilution was too strong. Another remedy to consider is Milk of Magnesia - dilute 1:3 [one part MOM to 3 parts water] for yeasty skin. Please continue to share your westie's journey with us.

Replied by KNN
(Dallas, TX)

Around 50% Apple Cider Vinegar & water is a bit high. Should probably be in the 10%/90% with acv/water ratio or maybe less pending the issue and the patient human or dog.

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