One of the main reasons that we started Cali Raw Dog Food was because we were not satisfied with the lack of reputable natural and holistic dog food options on the market, nor were we satisfied with the lack of knowledge or progressive thought that we received from most veterinarians when we brought the subject up.
Every day we are bombarded with toxic chemical “solutions” to our health problems in the form of products that often mask or dull the root of the problem rather than relieve or even cure it. As more of us seek out more natural alternatives for our own well-being, it only makes sense that we would do the same for our beloved pets.
As is the case with any holistic or even Do-It-Yourself solution, especially ones that concern our health or our dog’s health, it is imperative that we do the research to be sure that we aren’t doing more harm than good.
One of the trendiest all-natural “cure-all” products in recent years has been Apple Cider Vinegar – the same stuff sold for just a couple of bucks a gallon at your local supermarket.
Far less acidic than regular distilled vinegar, Apple Cider Vinegar has been in use by mankind for thousands of years but even today opinions are mixed about the science (or lack of) behind the many claims made by its advocates. It is definitely not a “cure-all” for humans or for dogs, but there appears to be some validity to its use.
Let’s break it down, Cali Raw style!
For dogs that suffer from itchy, bothersome skin infections or irritations, Apple Cider Vinegar has been a proven remedy for centuries according to Psoriasis.org
Apple Cider Vinegar is readily available at most grocery stores for a relatively low price, but this advice gets twice as nice once you realize that the ideal solution is a 50/50 ratio of ACV to water – so a little really will go a long way if used properly.
The most common application methods are to either draw a bath for the dog – but this can require a lot of ACV – or to mix a 50/50 solution into a handheld spray bottle. While grooming your dog, spritz the mixture onto their coat, working it all the way in with your brush or hands. In all but extreme cases, you may see a marked improvement in their skin and in their coat in a matter of days of repeated application.
Keep it out of their eyes and nose and any open wounds, but you can use that same 50/50 mixture and dip cotton swabs into it before cleaning your dog’s ears to leave them looking (and smelling) so much better. It is a cheap and harmless option, so it’s worth a go!
Depending on where you live, there could be all sorts of pests bugging your pets but two common dog adversaries that almost all dog owners need to be wary of are fleas and ticks. If your dog spends any amount of time outside, their odds of bringing these unwanted insects inside your house go through the roof if you do not take preventative care to keep them off of your dog, to begin with.
The problem is, so many of the store-bought repellants come with ingredient lists that you need a chemistry degree to decipher, and for dogs and/or dog owners with sensitive skin or other health issues, that can be a real problem.
For years, many pet owners have sworn by the efficacy of Apple Cider Vinegar as an all-natural alternative to the toxic pesticides sold in stores.
Using the same 50% ACV and 50% water mixture as above, the application remains the same as well. Either bathe the dog in the solution or apply it to them topically with a spritz bottle. Be aware that the solution will sting a bit if it is applied to open flea bites.
If your dog will allow it, you can add 1-2 teaspoons of Apple Cider Vinegar to their food or water for an added layer of defense against these biting pests.
You may notice that after a long walk, hike, or play session on any sort of rough surface, your dog may spend an inordinate amount of time licking his or her paws once you get home. By soaking their paws in the 50/50 ACV/H2O solution, you can help alleviate the itchiness that is causing the incessant licking. Be sure to check for open wounds on or between the pads of the paws prior to soaking in the solution. If there are any present, reduce or eliminate the ACV from the mix. Even clean, warm water alone can help in that situation.
ACV has been used by humans from the beginning of recorded history to aid with digestive issues, but you don’t have to take our word for it, have a look at this decisive endorsement from Natural Dog Health Remedies sating that ACV “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.”
By adding 1 tsp. for small dogs, 1 tbsp. for medium dogs, or 2 tbsps. for large dogs to their water dish or favorite meal, the ACV will naturally balance the acidity in your dog’s gut which can come in VERY handy if you have a pup who is prone to throwing up or having bouts of diarrhea.
Though we aren’t sticking strictly to the 50/50 mix mentioned above, you’ll notice that the Apple Cider Vinegar is always diluted in water or food. You do not want to force them to ingest it undiluted. Not only will they be upset with you, but you could damage their esophagus or stomach.
Substituting natural remedies in favor of store-bought toxins is a noble move! Just be sure to always monitor your dog’s reaction anytime you introduce any new treatment method. If it works for you and for your dog then hopefully some Apple Cider Vinegar each day will keep the pests and the vet away!