Apple Cider Vinegar for Dogs: Skin Problems

Skin Ailments

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

Posted by Katie (Chicago, Il) on 10/02/2015

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!

Replied by Pink

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?

Replied by Theresa
(Mpls., Mn)

Hey Pink!

The ACV is one place to start - I prefer using it for an after bath rinse, diluted 1 part vinegar into 10 parts water - rinse through to the skin and leave on to drip dry. Stronger concentrations of the vinegar may irritate rather than sooth the skin.

Another place to start is the diet; go grain free if you have not done so already. Alkalizing the drinking water with baking soda or Ted's borax protocol for pets is also another tool in the anti-itchies toolbox.

Replied by Amy
(Newark, Oh)

How much baking soda should I put in the water?

Replied by Theresa
(Mpls., Mn)

Hello Amy,

1 teaspoon of baking soda in one half liter of drinking water can help calm problem skin. Once the skin is under control, for long term maintenance use 1/2 tsp of baking soda per liter of water.

Replied by Cheeks

I was wondering if I could use 100% pure apple cider vinegar on my puppy for mites and manage??? I want to try home remedies for I take him to the vet?


EC: Apple cider vinegar should never be used on pets undiluted.

For your puppy, check out Ted's Mange Cure. It is inexpensive, effective and not hard on a puppy.

Replied by Belinda

Go to NEEM FARM they have natural products for pets. NEEM is a plant, they make shampoos conditioners, oil, etc. for pets and people, located in Brandon Florida.

Skin Ailments
Posted by Mommyof1 (Greensboro, Nc) on 09/07/2015

My 9 week old boxer mix pup was diagnosed with a bacterial and/or fungal infection on the top of his paw and inside his ear. The vet recommended antibiotics and Lotrimin anti-fungal cream. I didn't want to do either but I most definitely did not want to put a cream on his foot that he could potentially ingest.

I found that ACV mixed with water should produce the same result as the cream but without any of the side effects. Immediately there were patches of skin/hair that came off. The skin underneath was pink.

I've been applying the mixture of equal parts ACV and water twice a day for a week and now the skin has gone from a light pink color to a dark almost black color. Also, there are small bumps on the skin. He doesn't show any discomfort when I touch the skin, but I'm wondering if I should be doing something else or if the regimen just needs a chance to run it's course.

Any help would be greatly appreciated!! I really don't want to use drugs on my pup. Thanks!!

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?

Replied by Theresa
(Mpls., Mn)

Hey Rickie!

From EC's page on ACV for dogs:

Dosage and Instructions: Start with a one-teaspoon dose mixed into your dog's food twice a day for a 50 lb dog (adjust accordingly by weight) and if necessary increase up to about 1 tablespoon twice a day for the same size dog. For skin application, you can spray on or rub apple cider in directly, or for sore or open wounds mix the ACV with equal parts water before application to the dog's skin. In the case of pests or parasites, bathe your dog and then apply a 50:50 mix of apple cider vinegar and water. Allow this to air dry on your pet to kill off fleas, ticks, ringworm, etc. and to prevent future infestations and/or infection. You can also spray your dog with apple cider vinegar before going out for a walk, in order to repel fleas and ticks naturally.

Skin Ailments
Posted by Brian (Richmond) on 12/15/2013

Hey. Apple cider vinegar really works. I have been using it on my dog. No more smell and her fur is growing back.Thanks!!!!

Replied by Fee
(Opelika, Alabama)

I just mixed some ACV 50/50 mix and sprayed it on my Blue Pit (King) and I took him outside to use the bathroom and he went nuts trying to get it off him. He was rolling around all over the ground trying to get it off. Is that normal with a first treatment?

Replied by Theresa
(Mpls., Mn)

Hey Fee!

Could be a couple reasons why King reacted as he did. Firstly, if King had open sores or broken skin from scratching, spraying straight AVC on his skin would sting like the dickens, so he might have been reacting in pain.

OR, it could just be he didn't like the smell.

Years ago I had an OFRN who loved running on the open prairie; I didn't like dealing with the ticks she always picked up so I got an all natural tick repellant spray and sprayed her down real good before I took the leash off to let her run. Once the leash was off she immediately flopped onto the ground and rolled and rolled, and then took after some bushes and rubbed and rubbed. She had no sores or broken skin - the spray didn't sting her. She just thought it stunk to high heaven and wanted it OFF in the worst way!

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.

Replied by Francie
(New York, US)

Check your dogs upper back also as well as his ears, sounds like he has a major yeast infection. The apple cider will help as long as u give it to him in his food, however he needs an organic diet with simple foods with no sugars involved. Read the label on your dog food and if there is any sugar or sugar like substances, dump it. Plain chicken, beef, and veggies, plus brown rice. My dog had the very same thing and he is getting better on the plain diet.

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!

Replied by Debbiefudge
(Brighton, Uk)

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.

Replied by Jazz
(Blackpool, Uk)

Hi, diatomaceous earth is just the best

Replied by Blklab10yrold
(Port Charlotte, Florida)

Thanx for the info..... Yeh, seems to me WHITE vinegar would be more pure than apple would. Heres my issue..... Im terrified to give my dog plain yogurt due to someone elses comment saying they gave their dog yogurt & the yogurt bloated their dog & killed it. Wish someone knew some facts on yogurt as to whether it's completely safe or not. I can't seem to go on "safe for some" ..... He's been itchy for a long long time & as many things as I've tried, I'm down to THIS now, trying what some have posted on a message board online. I'm even paranoid about letting him drink the apple cider vinegar now.

I will keep in mind about the white vinegar, just wish somewhere there were some guaranteed facts about what a dog can eat/drink and what they can't eat or drink.

Replied by Vicky
(Ga Us)

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.

Replied by Christine

Thank you!

Replied by Marsha

But What About CATS❓️❓️ My older indoor cat has started itching but absolutely doesn't have fleas or flea evidence? Any suggestions other than taking him2the vet (Useless & ineffective).

Skin Ailments
Posted by Steve (Murray, KY) on 10/09/2008

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 Sharon (Richmond, Virginia) on 09/11/2008

I recently viewed your sit and the Apple Cider Vinegar cured my cocker, Casey, skin enormously. I used this on Casey and after about 3 days I noticed that his skin was healed and his coat was healthy and shiny. This has done wonders for us. I sprayed ACV diluted with equal amounts of water on Caseys coat every morning for 3 consecutive days. Casey is now a healthier dog.

Skin Ailments
Posted by Michele (Roseville , CA) on 09/05/2008

I have a Pitbull 18 mos and he has been very itchy since i got him. He always was licking his feet, and always getting yeast infections in his ear. Someone at the dog park suggested the vinegar thing and I came home and tried it that day and he has not licked his feet in probably a week now! I couldn't be happier with the results :)

Replied by Adam
(Melbourne, Aust)

I have an american bulldog that has had skin and mostly foot allergies for the past 2 years. Spent $$$ on antibiotics and vet bills, that no sooner do I fix one then the next lot crops up. I figured that Apple cider viniger has worked for my gout and cold sores (that I don't get anymore) that I would start feeding it to him. He's a big dog so I give him about 3 tablespoons in his food every night. Been 5 weeks now and his feet are in great condition.

Replied by Misty
(Big Lake, Alaska)

Thank you! I have an Am Bulldog mix that has the same prob and I have spent so much money on vets and doggie derm its insane!!!! I am a single mother and weekly baths are pretty much out of the question and well.... Not sure about spraying him when he is this itchy so I will start with this and go from there. :)

Skin Ailments
Posted by Colleen (Pinetown, South AFrica) on 01/01/2008

ACV CURED MY DOGS OF SCRATCHING THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU for a wonderful site. I'm a Yorkie mom, who dreamed of having a Yorkie with a show coat. My two babies scratch so much that they have severly damaged their coats, and I'd all but given up on ever having long-haired Yorkies. That's till I doscovered this site. Last night, I bathed both my babies and used ACV in the final rinse water, and within 15 minutes I noticed a marked reduction in the scratching. Within the hour, the scratching had diminised by about 80%. Tonight I bathed they again, using ACV in the final rinse water, and the scratching has completely stopped. I was not sure what quantity to use, so I used 2 tot measures in about 2 litres of water. What a miracle find. By the way, the scratching was NOT as a result of fleas, as I spend a small fortune at the vet each month to keep the fleas under control, but if ACV helps with that too, then I'll be saving so much money. I've also read on your site that ACV promotes hair growth, so who knows, I may have a show-coat Yorkie after all. Furthermore, their coats are shining like mirrors!!! This truly is an amazing find, and I'm so grateful for your site and the information contained therrein. Thanks again for a wonderful site, and keep up the good work.

Replied by Joyce
(Brookings, OR)


My yorkie has been suffering with a skin condition since getting fleas about a year ago. She wakes us up almost every night moaning as she rubs her back against whatever she can rub it on until areas are sore or inflamed. I found this site last night while researching her condition and just a bit ago tried the ACV. I used a dilution of 1 part ACV to 3 parts water in a spray bottle and sprayed it on her after her bath ( I bathed her with Relief shampoo and let it sit about 5 minutes) as she has always had sensitive skin and reacts adversely to most shampoos. She had one area on her back in particular that she had rubbed until it was inflamed and had a few small sores, which is also why I used a 1:3 dilution. Anyway, I blotted off the excess water after her bath, but she was still quite wet, and started spraying her. Almost immediately she started trembling and I started to notice that a few of the worst spots in the inflamed area were exuding a white foam - similar to what an open sore looks like when you put hydrogen peroxide on it. I grew immediately concerned with the foaming and her (by this time) almost violent trembling, and quickly rinsed off the ACV mixture, blotted her wet coat with a towel and blew her dry. She did not stop trembling until I she was dry and I applied a Tea Tree and E Antispetic cream that i have been using with some success to treat open sores. itching. She seems fine now, and the reaction doesn't seem to have been allergenic, but the area is still somewhat inflamed. My concern is that the ACV, even with a 1:3 dilution, burned her skin. Before applying the cream, the skin in the inflamed area was clearly worse - course and puffy - so now I'm a little hestitant to use it again. In reading some of the other comments, it sounded like some people just spray it on their dogs when they are dry - and used it when their dogs had sores and inflamations...I really wanted - NEEDED - this to work but...does anyone have any insight to offer? Should I dilute it further next time? Should I have not allowed the shampoo to sit for 5 minutes (your supposed to leave it on for 10)? HELP!

Replied by genla
(Baton Rouge, La)

Pls try for topical use on itchy paws or hot spots Burrows solution wish i could give the brand name.You can buy in the astringent section of your drug store. It is powder u mix with water. You can place paws in solution in bowl long enough to get wet or pour on hot spot or apply solution with saturated cotton ball. It doesn't sting!!! MIRACLE my vet gave me this cure about 14yrs ago (before anibiotics and steroids took over) for my Great Pyrenees that had a huge hot spot - dried it up in a day or so. Also great for people for poison ivy!

EC: More info about Burrow's solution:'s_solution

Replied by Megan
(Warner Robins, Ga)

This message is for Joyce. If ACV will burn your stomach if you have an ulcer, I am sure it would burn an open sore on the skin, though I would not want to find out. Try healing the sores from the inside first by starting out with a very tiny amount either in their water or food, by tiny like 1/4 teaspoon for one or two days. Increase from there to what the recommended dose is. I am not sure but my dogs are 50 & 100lbs so I use 1 tablespoon/day with them. Smaller dogs I am sure do not need so much. Once the sores are healed on the skin then you can do the spray treatment if needed.

Replied by Minpinlover
(Chicago, Il Usa)

ACV is a mild antibiotic/antiseptic/antifungal solution. The foaming from your dogs sores was probably the ACV cleaning out the infection. ACV really helps when you are trying to fight off infection. Even in humans :)

Replied by Linda
(Clearlake, Calif.)

I don't understand so many people having flea problems. I have two dogs, live in a highly infested flea area, but we have no fleas. I use, on a monthly basis, year around, " Revolution", which is a drop you get from your vet, which also keeps the heart worms away, which is caused from mosquitos. you use the drop by putting it on between their shoulder blades. My younger dog does get an itchy problem when the weather turns hot, even though I keep them in out of the heat, his skin still suffers. I have tried the vinegar just today, I hope that works. Thanks for the advice. I know that Apple cider vinegar is good for many things. Linda

Replied by Word-to-the-Wise

Do not, under any circumstances, take Linda from Clearlake's advice and use "Revolution" or "Advantage" or similar flea products on your pet, unless you want to kill both the fleas and your pet. These drops are extremely toxic chemicals, quite literally neurotoxins. Fleas are robust, it takes a strong poison to kill them quickly, and guess what? While that poison usually doesn't kill your pet immediately, it will kill them over time. Luckily for the companies that sell these products, people can't make a connection between using these products and their pet dropping dead or dying from cancer a few years later. Anyone smart enough to be using EarthClinic should be smart enough to know this.

Replied by Lou
(South Africa)

You must never use the ACV on broken or inflamed skin.

Replied by Rhonda
(Cartersville, Ga)

Did u use the natural Apple Cider Vinegar with the mother in it? Don't know if makes a diff. But I use organic and raw brand apple cider vinager only. Hope it helps.

Skin Ailments
Posted by Marsha (Chicago, USA) on 07/17/2007

The Apple Cider Vinegar remedy for a severe skin rash on my 10yr old cocker spaniel worked wonders. For weeks, I had tried everything, from Benadryl cream, to the tablets, to Tea Tree Oil and all methods did nothing, short of making it worse. My dog (who sleeps with me sometimes or at the foot of the bed) would awaken in the middle of the night scratching like a maniac, of course breaking my rest, because I would arise to put more Benadryl or Tea Tree Oil on the sores and she would still find no peace. Today, I said enough and went online to find a cure. A health nut that I am, I noticed there was something about ACV and so I tried it on her, in her bath. I had heard that Dawn dish liquid works wonderfully to ward off fleas and ticks (as I had used it in the past and continued to do so), so I bathed her in the Dawn with ACV in her water; within five minutes after her bath, she was sleeping and snoring, peacefully, and did so for four hours without one scratching episode. Now our home is peaceful again. Because she has scabs from enduring this mess for weeks,which were opened when the scrathing worsened and some wounds are open, I keep the ACv mixed with water in a spray bottle and when necessary, give her a little spray, which is not often. I also add it, now, to her dry food, to keep the acidity out of her urine, too. Thank you to everyone who shared their testimony and for the Earth Clinic for helping us help our children. Will air it on my radio program for other pet owners. Hugs to everyone and thanks a million.

Replied by Lu
(Darrington, Washington)

I have heard of many things over the years, but when I read this I said DAAA! Apple cidar vinegar hyas been in the house for years. I have told my son to use this on his lab-chow. She has had the earmites and I just think of nothing. Thank you for making me remember the old days and the things the old farmers used to use. Rosie will be feeling better in just a few days. I have faith in this one.

Skin Ailments
Posted by Joanna (Glendale, AZ) on 02/19/2007

Jack, my beagle mix, had some bug bites(fur was sticking up) on his head last week and itched them to an open sore. I found this site, read up upon ACV and within 2 days his sores and bites went completely away. Now he has a little scab on it. I was just amazed how this remedy worked. Now I'm trying it on my beagle/dach. mix, Bailey. She's gets these ear rashes/infections often, I'm hoping ACV will work miracles for her too. Thanks again!!

Skin Ailments
Posted by Mae (Maumelle,AR)

My 8 month old dachshund has really bad skin allergies and sores that just wouldn't heal at all. I tried putting flax seed grains in her food and a little acv in her water she was better in 2 days...its a ritual now... I drink it too every morning with honey and lemon and 2 tbs acv.

Skin Ailments
Posted by Angi (Linden, NC)

I tried ACV in my 4.5 lb. Chihuahua's food for itchy feet and skin and have had super success. She doesn't lick or bite at her feet near as much and her scratching is minimal. It's great! I give her 1/4 of a teaspoon, twice a day with her food.

Replied by Winnie
(San Francisco, CA)

So I just read this product and how it can help eliminate licking. My dog has been licking between his toes for about a week now. I just used a 1 tbs acv to 2 tbs of water ratio. I sprayed it on him and it seems like it hurts him? And he's licking at it like crazy at the moment. Do you continue to spray? And if he's licking it off right away, how would it help? Any feedback would be great! Thanks.

Replied by Bonny Parker Love

I'm no expert, just a long time pet owner, so I will just have to guess. If the spray stung your dog when applied, it should be diluted. The fact that your dog is licking it off, means it is ingesting it, which is also supposed to be beneficial. Have you noticed an improvement in your dogs skin? I'm looking for something for my Pitt-bull; Peaches.

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