Apple Cider Vinegar for Dogs: Skin Problems

| Modified on Feb 03, 2023
Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Marianne (Fayetteville, Arkansas) on 12/08/2009
5 out of 5 stars

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.

Skin Application
Posted by Jeanglee (Puyallup, Washington) on 09/10/2011

I was just told about this site!!! I am so thrilled... I am learning about the benefits of ACV and am reading about how it will benefit my 5 year old lab. My question is when I rinse her with the 1.5 cups of ACV I am assuming I leave that on her... ACV does not have the best smell, so I was wondering if the smell stays obvious for long or does it evaporate?

Posted by Trudy (USA) on 02/12/2006
5 out of 5 stars

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.

Posted by Vicki (Norwalk, Ohio) on 10/19/2015

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

Itching, Scratching, Hot Spots
Posted by Lauren (Crawfordville, Fl) on 11/04/2014
5 out of 5 stars

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.

Itching, Scratching, Hot Spots
Posted by Maria (Ma.) on 02/23/2016
5 out of 5 stars

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,

Itching, Scratching, Hot Spots
Posted by Yoyoly18 (Buringame, CA) on 06/23/2009
5 out of 5 stars

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.

Hot Spots
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.

Skin Ailments
Posted by Manchesterterrier (New York, Ny) on 02/19/2011

My Manchester Terrier (miniature) has a fungal infection after taking a course of strong antibiotics. She is itchy with dry skin and hair loss. I've started using ACV on her itchy spots and it seems to help. Should I also give her ACV orally? If so, how much? She weighs 11.5 pounds. Thanks!!

Skin Ailments
Posted by Julia (Portage, In) on 10/25/2010

I have a 14 year old, 6 lb, Pom with black, scaly, & crusty spots on his underbelly & back. He is sleeping alot & can't stop scratching. This is the first time in his life with this type of problem. He has always been very healthy & active. We had a terrible bout of fleas early this year & I believe this is a reaction to them. We have taken care of the flea problem in the house, the yard & he no longer has fleas on him. We have had him to the vet several times & they have treated him with antobiotics but it has just continued to get worse over the summer & now into the fall. I have read many of the posts regarding rinsing/bathing him with the ACV. I also read comments about putting it in food or water, &/or giving it directly to the pet with a medicine dropper. Is it a rinse or a spray or both? Can I give it to him by dropper? Can I use just plain Apple Cider Vinegar & what is the appropriate mixture? He has been a wonderful pet for 14 years & I hate to see him continue to suffer.

Skin Ailments
Posted by Rickie (Va, US) on 07/19/2014

My dog has been scratching, biting and licking on her legs and paws and sides. How much ACV do I need to use? Is it 1/2 cup of ACV and 1/2 cup of water?

Skin Ailments
Posted by Debbiefudge (Brighton, Uk) on 11/09/2010

Hi. Regarding yeast in dogs. You really need to do loads of research. I have a Shihtzu with severe yeast and I have now found the solution that works for me. The problem is that yeast will feed on so many things. Starch, grain, vegetables even have natural sugars in. As much as I love ACV for many things, don't use it for a dog with yeast allergies. Apple=sugar. Instead, use white vinegar. You have to completely change your dogs diet. The rice, feeds the yeast. Use a good anti fungal shampoo. Make a solution of half water and half white vinegar and use as a final rinse and allow to dry. Make up the same solution and put in a spray bottle and spray your dog, twice a day. Also, put some in a small bowl and put the whole of your dogs paw in, squeeze off the ecess and allow to try. They often get yeast between the toes, then scratch their ears. Make a solution of half white vinegar, hals witch hazel, (as this is drying). Use as an ear wash twice a day. Syringe it down the ear and massage for 1 minute, allow the dog to shake and use a little of the solution to wipe any muck away with a cotton wool ball. Diet is the main thing though. Raw meat and raw bone is best. But my Teddy, will just not eat it. So, I use minced meat. Any kind. Very lightly cook. This is what I give my dog, every day, added to a portion of meat. Half a clove of chopped, fresh garlic. 1 tablespoon of Olive oil. 1 teaspoonful of FOOD GRADE Diatomaceous Earth. Few sprigs of fresh parsley. Half a hard boiled egg. Mix well. Once a week I give canned sardines in oil and add the other ingredients, minus the meat and olive oil. Nothing else. No food scraps. No treats. I also only ever give bottled water to drink. You can add a teaspoon of white vinegar to the water if your pet will drink it.

All the vet did was prescribe antibiotics and steroids. Which of course, make the yeast worse. I don't have to use any chemicals for fleas or worms either, due to the diet. He is already, 99% better. No more scratching either! I don't believe in re-vaccinations either. More chemicals. I hope someone else can benefit from my experiences. I much prefer to go the 'natural' route with my pets.

Posted by Carolina (Austin, Tx.) on 08/06/2015

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?

Itching, Scratching, Hot Spots
Posted by Josephyne (Singapore) on 07/16/2011
5 out of 5 stars

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 :)

Skin Ailments
Posted by Vicky (Ga Us) on 08/03/2015

You are mistaken in concluding that white vinegar is superior to ACV because of sugar. Firstly, white vinegar is made from corn which is extremely high in sugar. Secondly, 90% of corn grown in the US is GMO. I don't want that on my dog. And Thirdly, sugar converted to vinegar is no longer a sugar; it is an acid.

Itching, Scratching, Hot Spots
Posted by Barbara (Kyle, Tx) on 07/06/2016
5 out of 5 stars

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.

Skin Ailments
Posted by Steve (Murray, KY) on 10/09/2008
5 out of 5 stars

After reading the articles about dogs scratching and chewing their feet, I read over and over about using apple cider vinegar as a spray. I was at the point i had to try something, I tried a 50 50 acv and water and also within the first hour i saw results, i use it now at least one time a day and sometimes two, my dobhie/lab mix has been chewing and scratching for 3 years and this is the best i have seen her, i have made numerous visits to the vet, shots and have been giving all sorts of pills i do believe this has given her more relief than anything. i started also about 3 weeks ago giving her a fish oil capsule 2 times a day. pleae if anyone has a problem try the ACV/water solution for your dogs sake. thanks for all the folks who recomended this. from the bluegrass state

Skin Ailments
Posted by Pink (Ventura) on 10/07/2015

I tried the Apple Cider Vinegar today after reading a lot about it...he went directly (as usual) n rolled in the lawn..or should I say "dead grass" . I is that just re- irritating the problem..or will Apple Cider Vinegar still help?

Skin Ailments
Posted by Amy (Newark, Oh) on 01/04/2016

How much baking soda should I put in the water?

Posted by Michelle (Usa) on 06/13/2015

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.

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Lisa (Georgia) on 09/10/2015

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

Hot Spots
Posted by Ellen (Charles Town, WV)
5 out of 5 stars

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.

CBD and Coconut Oil
Posted by ruth (41) on 05/28/2021
5 out of 5 stars

Dog With Skin Allergies

CBD oil and coconut oil together did it for me.

Skin Ailments
Posted by Katie (Chicago, Il) on 10/02/2015
5 out of 5 stars

My black lab has been itching and scratching constantly. Tonight when I was brushing him is when I noticed the scabs on his skin (they were hidden well). I finally went and bought some ACV that my co-worker recommended and diluted half with water. I sprayed all over his coat and immediately it took effect. Right now he is snoring next to me. This is the first time in a while that this dog has not been scratching constantly. Wish I would have done this as soon as I found out about it but I was thinking allergy pills would solve the issue.

I am a firm believer that ACV is the answer for all skin issues!

Posted by Theresa (Mpls., Mn) on 03/18/2015

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.

Posted by Mary (Florida) on 08/29/2015

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.

Itching, Scratching, Hot Spots
Posted by Debbie (Portslade, Uk) on 11/08/2014

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.

Skin Ailments
Posted by Robin4max (Nashville, Tn / Usa) on 10/25/2010

I have taken my dog to the vet in the past for his skin conditions. After 3 different clinics and multiple mis-diagnosis, I was finally told he had a severe allergy to flea saliva. Long story short, he ends up with a yeast infection on his skin ~ rips fur, creates open lesions from chewing etc. I have changed his food to Natural Choice Lamb & Rice and he gets the same brand oatmeal biscuit as a treat. He stays inside year round. He did really well for about 9/10 months, but now we're back to it again. I did get him some ACV today and spray his lesions. Usually he'll eat anything he can get to; (and I mean anything) when I put the ACV in his food, he turned it down. How do I get him to eat the ACV? I started him on organic plain yogurt about a week ago. Will the ACV have the same affect if I mix it with his yogurt? He ate that, but I don't know if the ACV or yogurt is affective this way. Thank you so much for taking the time to help us out here. He's a great dog!

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Mama To Many (Tennessee) on 09/29/2015

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.

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Cindy (Mesa, Az) on 01/15/2017

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.

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