Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs) are pretty common infections in humans as well as dogs. There are many remedies proposed by many schools of thought for the treatment of this infection, including apple cider vinegar (ACV). Today, we want to find out how much apple cider vinegar to give a dog for UTI that’s safe and effective.
Before we go on, we’d advise you to consult with your vet before embarking on any form of treatment for a UTI in your dog. Even if apple cider vinegar is touted as an all-natural remedy, remember that your dog’s health is safest in the hands of your vet.
With that said, let’s progress to the next phase of the article.
The Thing About Apple Cider Vinegar For Dogs
Apple cider vinegar is made from the fermentation of apple cider and is a common home remedy used by humans. These days, though, pet owners are beginning to use it for their pets as well, believing that it can treat the same problems in dogs as in humans.
How true is this though?
Simply run a google search for apple cider vinegar and you’re likely to wonder why this fix-all is not better hyped by the medical community. It’s like the wonder drug that can virtually cure anything including cancer.
On the other hand, as well, you’re sure to find the naysayers as well. The US Food and Drug Administration, for instance, claims that apple cider vinegar contains no nutrients.
But somewhere in between these two opinions lies the real truth about apple cider vinegar as you can, probably, tell.
No, apple cider vinegar won’t cure cancer. However, we have seen from some research that it can shrink tumors to an extent. It also won’t cure diabetes, however, it does help to control blood sugar.
By the way, the FDA is absolutely correct. There are only very few minerals and vitamins in apple cider, and those in trace amounts, except for potassium, though. It does contain a considerable level of potassium, about 11 grams in one tablespoon of ACV. But even that is not exactly significant enough to have any measurable impact if ACV is taken within the advised dosage. Except you want your dog to OD on ACV, which is bad for his health.
Nonetheless, even though ACV isn’t nutrient-packed, it has been shown to have certain health benefits for humans and pets.
ACV is a great antioxidant and also contains strong antibacterial qualities as well. It will make a great addition to your dog’s health care regimen. It’s made from apples and water only and is, therefore, completely safe for dogs.
ACV can be administered to dogs both internally and topically as well.
Apple Cider Vinegar For UTI Relief In Dogs — How Much Apple Cider Vinegar For A Dog For UTI
Ordinarily, house-trained dogs are not supposed to have accidents in the house anymore. That’s literally what house-training is about. However, if you notice that your house-trained pet is beginning to drip urine in the house or is beginning to have frequent accidents, then he might be suffering from a urinary tract infection.
Now, there are dog breeds that are more prone to urinary tract infections than others.
In most cases, symptoms are the same. You begin to notice your dog dripping urine, house-training begins to face a regression, urine gets bloody, and urination can also become painful.
If you notice any of these symptoms in your dog, it’s possible to treat these using apple cider vinegar. Here is a dosage for dogs according to their weight. The dosage should last between seven to ten days.
For small dogs, administer one teaspoon of ACV once to twice daily.
For medium dogs, administer one tablespoon of ACV once to twice daily.
Lastly, for large dogs, administer two tablespoons of ACV once to twice daily.
Normally, you should put the ACV into their drinking water. However, there are some dogs that won’t drink their water if there’s ACV in it. If that’s your dog, then you can add the correct dosage of the ACV either to his food or you can also mix it into peanut butter or yogurt and feed your dog with it.
Like we mentioned earlier, ACV has antibacterial properties so it is believed to be effective in the healing and prevention of bacterial infections such as UTIs.
UTIs generally occur as a result of bacterial invasion of the urinary tract usually as a result of an over-alkaline system. Now, because ACV is slightly acidic, it is able to neutralize pH levels in your dog’s systems which helps to cure the infection and prevent the occurrence of a new one.
That said, it’s important to discuss with your vet before administering ACV to your dog either for curative or preventative reasons. There’s no real evidence to back up whether or not ACV actually works for UTIs in dogs. This, however, does not mean that ACV is not an effective remedy for such infections.
Is Apple Cider Vinegar Good For Dogs?
According to Dr. Cailin Heinze (VMD, MS, DACVN), giving your dog a teaspoon or two of ACV is unlikely to harm your dog as long as he’s healthy and the apple cider vinegar is undiluted. Giving more than that amount though, or administering the ACV undiluted might cause some problems in dogs especially if they are not completely healthy.
Dogs with kidney diseases who have a hard time processing acid shouldn’t be given apple cider vinegar for obvious reasons. ACV is slightly acidic and could worsen the condition in such dogs.
In fact, for dogs with kidney diseases, the recommended diet is usually alkaline in nature, and all diet-related decisions must be discussed with your vet first before being made.
Most vets are skeptical about ACV mostly because there isn’t sufficient data to back up the claims many people have made about the “cure-it-all” wonder drug. This, they believe, makes it difficult for pet owners to make an informed decision on whether or not their pets can have ACV.
Although a lot of people claim that apple cider vinegar packs a lot of nutrients in forms of potassium and amino acids. These claims are not quite put in perspective and unsuspecting pet parents can fall into the trap of wanting their pets to reap the “health benefits” of these “nutrients.”
However, according to PetMD, apple cider vinegar does not contain any amino acid. And even if it’s in trace amounts, in the end, that’s not enough to cause any significant health benefits for your dog.
The potassium content which is supposed to assist with heart and muscle contraction is also quite low. Only 11 grams in one tablespoon. For you to see any significant health impact in your dog, he might have to consume up to 10 bottles of ACV which will also cause gastric ulcer in the end due to the acidity of ACV.
Can You Give Your Dog Apple Cider Vinegar?
Many dogs are not really cool with eating food that has been mixed with apple cider vinegar. So, monitor your dog closely. If you put apple cider vinegar into your dog’s food and he doesn’t seem to like it, then don’t force him. Let him be.
If ACV seems to upset his stomach as well, then stop feeding it to him.
Experts warn that ACV must never be consumed by pets undiluted. Mixing a small amount of apple cider vinegar into homemade treats or a large bowl of water, or a meal might not be such a bad idea though if you feel your dog needs it.
Now, keep in mind that vinegars are acids and so is apple cider vinegar. It can burn delicate mucus membranes in the digestive tract. Also, sometimes, it could have a laxative effect in dogs, leading to stomach upsets. So, there are vets who discourage the use of apple cider vinegar in pets altogether.
The Best Kind Of Apple Cider Vinegar For Dogs
When you shop for apple cider vinegar, you will find some that say they have the “mother” in them. Apple cider vinegar with the mother in it refers to the raw or unfiltered apple cider vinegar. This raw, unfiltered apple cider contains the fermentation leftovers which contain all the enzymes and good live bacteria that are beneficial to the health of your dog.
Also, you should go for unpasteurized apple cider vinegar as pasteurization can kill all the necessary good bacteria in the apple cider vinegar.
Again, it’s a great idea to go for organic ACV. Since your dog is going to be consuming the product, it’s best to avoid pesticides and the likes as much as possible.
Finally, it’s important to go for ACV in glass bottles as they pose less risks to the health than plastic bottles. With plastic bottles, there are chances that the harmful chemicals used to make the bottle could leech into the product.
The Big Apple Cider Vinegar Controversy
There are a number of controversies surrounding the use of apple cider vinegar in dogs. Some people do not seem to agree that dogs can have apple cider vinegar. In fact, Pat McKay who happens to be a canine nutritionist and author calls it poison. Not exactly flowery words, right?
In the book Eat Right for Your Type, Peter J. D’Amado explains that each human blood group has an ideal diet. His recommendation for the type O blood group resembles the meaty diet which dogs evolved on. He also warns that for this blood type, apple cider vinegar is very damaging.
McKay agrees with this saying that dogs might have adverse reactions to apple cider vinegar even if given in small quantities as it tends to throw the pH of the dog’s body out of balance.
Another pet nutritionist, Marina Zacharias seems to agree with McKay on the pH thing. In her opinion, dogs should have their urine and blood tested before pet owners decide to include apple cider vinegar to their daily diet.
According to Zacharias, a dog who has a too alkaline system will get some help from ACV even though, by itself, it won’t solve the problem. However, if the dog’s system is too acidic (acidosis), including ACV in his daily diet can cause stress on the pancreas as well as the adrenal organs which play important roles in the regulation of blood pH.
Symptoms of acidosis include constipation, diarrhea, low blood pressure, sensitive teeth and mouth, as well as hard stools.
If acidosis is combined with kidney, liver, or adrenal issues, ACV will only serve to aggravate existing problems in the body.
Side Effects Of Apple Cider Vinegar In Dogs
There might be side effects associated with the use of apple cider vinegar in dogs especially if the dog is allergic to the product. Symptoms might range from vomiting, scratching furiously, to other similar reactions.
While this is still under debate, a number of experts believe that ACV can worsen rather than relieve chronic ear infections.
Also, in dogs that have shown sensitivity to ACV, bone deterioration as well as tooth decay have been observed from long term use. Plus, too much of the product can also lead to an inflammation of a dog’s mouth and esophagus.
Sue Ann Lesser (DVM) advises pet owners to use common sense when administering ACV to their pets. She says that dogs mostly have an over alkaline system and apple cider vinegar, in fact, does help most dogs.
However, for dogs with over-acidic systems, when ACV is consumed, there are always clinical signs which are similar to symptoms of an illness.
Other Ways To Treat A Dog For UTIs Besides Apple Cider Vinegar
1. A Hot Bath
Another way you can help treat urinary tract infections in dogs is to have your dog soak in a hot bath. While we said, “a hot bath,” it’s important not to make the water scalding hot. It should be hot but comfortable. Plus, the level of the water shouldn’t be too deep either.
Let your dog soak in this hot bath for about ten minutes. This will help to relieve his muscles. Then wash your dog with mild soap. While doing this, be sure to focus on your dog’s genital area but don’t allow soap sit there for too long. When you’ve cleaned the area sufficiently, then rinse the area with clean, warm water.
You want to repeat this method every few days until you notice that the infection has cleared up completely.
2. More Water
Encouraging your dog to drink water can also help treat urinary tract infections in dogs. Place more bowls of clean fresh water around your dog so your dog can drink more water. Ensure you change the water once or twice daily to keep the water fresh for your dog.
3. Vitamin C
You can also crush a 500-milligram vitamin C tablet and sprinkle it over your dog’s food. Do this once every day for a week.
4. Citrus Juice
Citrus juice is also known to help with urinary tract infections in dogs. Please note that the citrus juice you use must be all natural and not from concentrate. It also shouldn’t contain added sugar as this will only aggravate the infection the more.
Give your dog about one to three teaspoons of the citrus juice daily until the infection clears.
5. Blueberries and Cranberries
You can chop up blueberries or cranberries and add them to your dog’s food. Make it about two teaspoons. Your dog should have this twice daily for about seven to ten days.
Can You Give Your Dog Cranberry Juice or Cranberry Pills?
Well, cranberry juice is said to work for humans. So will it also work for dogs? After all, apple cider vinegar works for dogs, right? And if cranberry juice works for dogs, then just how much cranberry juice is safe for dogs with a UTI?
Well, in this case (and for the cranberry pills as well), we’re going to have to tell you to speak with your vet first as that’s the safest thing to do right now. Dogs are unique individuals and one remedy might work for one but might be dangerous for the other. So, please consult with your vet.
Other Uses Of Apple Cider Vinegar For Dogs
There are a number of other ways people use ACV to treat various kinds of health issues with their dogs. Some of them are effective, some are not, and yet others are not exactly advisable.
In this section, we discuss some of the major ways ACV is used to treat dogs as we attempt to find out whether or not they are effective.
Fleas are really tiny insects that seem to love an unholy relationship with our beloved pets. They are a huge problem as an infestation of fleas on dogs usually leads to biting and scratching which could lead to the damaging of the skin.
Thankfully, there are all kinds of treatments for flea infestation (Learn how to treat flea infestation on your dog from our article: What Do I Do If My Dog Has Fleas? Click here to read it). If these don’t work and the fleas remain persistent, then it’s time to consult your vet.
Apple cider vinegar is one of the many home remedies for fleas in dogs. Does it actually work? Well, somewhat it does. Anything or anyone doused with vinegar will definitely react. However, here’s the catch.
First, ACV won’t kill fleas. It simply causes them to jump off your dog’s skin. So, when you douse your dog in ACV, the fleas will jump off your dog’s skin and lie in wait for another opportunity to jump back either onto your dog or even onto you.
If you choose to use ACV though, then you’d have to soak your dog with ACV down to the skin. Of course, you must dilute it first. If your dog has a double coat, then that’s more work for you. Pretty sure you know that already.
That said, please note that even diluted vinegar is irritating to the eyes and skin of your dog. And if you’re using homebrew vinegar, then the concentration of acetic acid can be variable. So, please be careful.
People who use this remedy for treating flea infestation, typically mix ACV with water in a ratio of 1:1. Mix this into a spray bottle and squirt it onto your dog’s coat to get rid of the fleas. Remember that your dog should be soaked to the skin.
Alternatively, if you don’t want to use the squirting method, you can also splash some ACV into your dog’s bathwater.
You’d need to do this regularly and you’d likely have to bath your dog more regularly than you would normally bathe your dog.
For other ways to control fleas and ticks in dogs, click here to read our article on Dog Flea and Tick Control.
There are multiple reasons your dog might be itching. It could be the weather, a digestive issue, or an allergy. So, how can acid cider vinegar help your dog?
Apple cider vinegar is a common home remedy for itching in dogs. ACV comes with antimicrobial properties and as such is great at fighting bacteria and fungi. However, ACV will not necessarily all kinds of microorganisms.
To treat itchiness in dogs, dilute apple cider vinegar in a 1:1 ratio. You can either decide to bathe your dog in the solution or you can simply use it to bathe the affected area.
Your dog might be itchy as a result of something in his diet. Click here to read about Hypoallergenic Dog Food to learn how you can adjust his diet and, hopefully, see some results.
For Hot Spots
Hot spots are lesions that occur on dogs’ skin. They are really painful and might be caused by the bite of a mite or a flea. It could also be as a result of a scratch or an allergic reaction. If opportunistic bacteria mistakenly get into these lesions, they would replicate and explode in numbers which could lead to itching and inflammation. And because dogs have a natural scratching reflex, hot spots can quickly get worse in dogs.
In using ACV to treat hot spots, ACV, with its antimicrobial properties, help to treat bacterial infection. However, as you can probably guess, it’s going to sting like a thousand needles — burning needles for that matter. For this reason, we would advise you not to apply ACV on hot spots.
For Ear Infections
Dogs can come down with ear infections for a number of reasons. It could be an illness or it could also be as a result of environmental factors or parasites or even poor hygiene.
It would appear that apple cider vinegar should be able to treat ear infections. However, the ear, as we know it, is a pretty complex structure. So, even if ACV might actually help to fight bacteria in the ear, it’s almost impossible to expect that the vinegar will reach all the infected parts of the ear.
Ear infections can be really painful and usually make the patient feel very miserable. For this reason, most vets advise pet owners not to use ACV for ear infections. Instead, if you notice any odor, discharge, redness, or swelling around your dog’s ears, or if your dog is scratching around his ears more than usual, then you might want to take him to the vet.
For Tear Stains
Tear stains are not actually tear stains, they are actually deposits of porphyrin, a waste product from the digestion of foods containing iron. As this compound accumulates, it causes a discoloration of the fur in the inner corner of a dog’s eyes to rusty red. You’d easily notice this if your dog has a pale-colored coat.
While porphyrin is mostly gotten rid of via the feces and bile, some are excreted in the saliva as well as the tears.
If the tear stain deposits in the corner of your dog’s eyes are rather heavy, then see your vet before attempting any home remedy. Heavy tear stains could also be as a result of ingrown eyelashes, poor diet, structural problems of the tear duct, infection, and a host of other causes.
Now, if tear stains are as a result of a bigger problem, it’s possible that the tear stains clear up on their own once the root cause is taken care of.
How Much Apple Cider Vinegar to Give A Dog For UTI — Final Thoughts
There’s no real scientific evidence that apple cider vinegar is beneficial to dogs. Nevertheless, we can’t deny the testimonies of many dog owners who claim to be reaping the benefits of giving their dogs apple cider.
Does this mean they are lying? Not necessarily. That a thing isn’t backed up by science just yet doesn’t mean that it’s ineffective.
Some scientists, though, are of the opinion that the benefits of ACV which some dog owners claim to be reaping are more of placebo effects than actual benefits.
Whatever the case, the good news is that, for most dogs, taking apple cider will either be somewhat beneficial or, at the very least, benign.
In the end, as we always do, we will implore you to talk it over with your vet first before deciding on an ACV treatment for your dog. Plus, never use it in place of veterinary treatment as prescribed by your vet. This could cause your dog to suffer longer in a condition they could have easily come out of faster if you had to stuck to your vet’s instruction.