Apple Cider Vinegar
Everyone keeps asking me which supplements I give to Abby and why. So I thought I would start posting them here. Some of this will be copied/pasted info from other sites, some will be words out of one of her doctors mouths, some will be my own observations. I hope that my trial and error can help someone else's baby get better and stay healthy.
First stop... APPLE CIDER VINEGAR!
This is my favorite go-to bottle in the house. When you buy it, it has to be RAW, UNFILTERED vinegar (not the clear kind for salads). Bragg and Spectrum Natural are the most popular brands.
I give Abby 1 tsp in her water twice a day. A 50 pound dog should get 1 tbs twice a day. It has boosted her immune system, relieved the itching from hotspots and mange, cleared up her ear infections and chin acne and I'm hoping its helping her joints.
There health benefits of ACV for dogs are huge. The big ones are (from the Whole Dog Journal and Natural Dog Health):
I need to add this bit... in a healthy dog ACV can be of huge benefit for your baby.
- ACV is anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and antiseptic. It helps prevent bacterial and viral growth in the digestive tract. In addition, it does not upset the balance of the friendly bacteria inside the GI tract. As a result, apple cider vinegar boosts the immune system. It improves stamina, increases resistance to diseases, prevents common infections, and is therefore helpful for dogs with weakened immune systems.
- ACV normalizes the blood's acid alkaline balance and its potassium-rich ingredients remineralize the body. ACV breaks down calcium deposits in a dog's joints and remineralizes the bones, and as such it is beneficial for dogs with arthritis and joint problems such as hip dysplasia.
- Because ACV is rich in potassium, it is beneficial for dogs with diuretic or heart problems.
- Apple cider vinegar also balances digestive enyzymes in the body, so it is a good remedy for food poisoning and digestive upsets such as gas and constipation. It also reduces fecal odors.
- Other benefits of ACV include the prevention of bladder stones, kidney infections, and urinary tract infections.
- General Detoxifier Use ACV as a general detoxifier and a mild tonic. Long term use of ACV will make your dog more resistant to infections, as well as flea or worm infestations. Start by adding small amounts of ACV to your dog's drinking water and slowly building up to about 1 teaspoon of ACV per 15 pounds of body weight. Some dogs may not like the taste of vinegar in their water. If that's the case for your dog, mix ACV with his food, or mix it with a teaspoonful of raw honey. Within one month or so, you can see whether ACV actually is actually helping your dog. Many dog parents have reported improvements in their dog's health conditions, such as better skin conditions (less scratching and odor), reduced flea population, fewer or total elimination of tear stains on the face, and less painful joints (in older dogs).
- Rinse for Skin Problems Use ACV as an after-shampoo rinse if your dog has skin problems such as allergies, fleas, or ringworm. To make the vinegar rinse: Add 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar to a quart of water. Use it once a week as an after-shampoo rinse. Remember not to rinse off the ACV - just towel your dog dry.
- You can also use ACV as a foot soak for dogs with itchy paws due to seasonal allergies (e.g. pollen). Dilute 1 cup of ACV with 1-2 cups of water and let your dog soak his paws in the mixture. This can greatly reduce the itching.
- If your dog has dandruff, try massaging full-strength ACV into his hair coat before shampooing.
- For minor skin irritations, such as sunburn, calluses, abrasions, you can simply apply full-strength ACV to the affected area(s).
- Flea Repellent Spray You can also prepare a spray by simply using 50% apple cider vinegar and 50% water. Use a spray bottle and spray your dog's coat after his daily walks (avoid the eyes, nose, and mouth), and you can use it to spray his bedding as well.
In a sick dog, the benefits are just as big but there are risks. For Abbyhead the risk is acidosis (which she is at risk for anyway). I minimize this risk by testing her pH level. I buy test strips from Amazon and test her urine every morning using Wendy Voldna's guideline of "If it reads anywhere from 6.2 to 6.5, your dog’s system is exactly where it should be and no ACV is needed" [to the water]. “But if it is 7.5 or higher, the diet you are feeding is too alkaline, and apple cider vinegar will reestablish the correct balance.”