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Can Dogs Drink Vinegar? Is Vinegar Safe for Dogs?

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By Nicole Cosgrove

white vinegar on the wooden table top

At a certain point, you’ll stop being surprised at the types of things your dog is willing to eat — but still, vinegar? Really?

Yes, some dogs have been known to consume vinegar, so it’s understandable that you’d be worried about whether it’s safe for your pup to eat or not. The answer is…it depends, although it is not considered toxic to dogs many dogs may not react well to vinegar.

We’ll go into more detail below, but before we do, you should probably take a moment to talk to your dog about their strange dietary choices.

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Is Vinegar Safe for Dogs?

Vinegar isn’t entirely safe for dogs, but it’s not likely to be lethal, either. At worst, your dog is likely to get an upset stomach from the ordeal.

A lot of the effect will depend on how diluted the vinegar is. Undiluted vinegar can be very bad for your dog, especially if they have kidney problems, as it can cause severe diarrhea or vomiting. This can lead to dehydration if not treated.

Of course, dogs aren’t likely to ingest undiluted vinegar, so you shouldn’t worry too much about it. Heavily diluted vinegar, on the other hand, is unlikely to have any effect at all.

If you’re worried about vinegar flavoring, such as the kind found on salt and vinegar chips, then there’s little reason to be concerned. There’s nothing toxic in them, although it’s not good for your dog to eat all that grease and salt.

Great Dane Husky mix
Image Credit: Mary Swift, Shutterstock

Can Vinegar Be Healthy for Dogs?

Some people swear by adding a little diluted apple cider vinegar to their dog’s diet. The belief is that the stuff will aid digestion, boost appetite, and promote the growth of healthy gut bacteria.

Not only that, but it supposedly balances their pH levels and detoxifies their internal organs, flushing them of free radicals and other toxins. Many people also use it externally to help treat skin allergies.

Is any of that actually true? Well, we don’t know for sure. To date, there haven’t been any large-scale studies examining the effect of apple cider vinegar on a dog’s health, so you’ll have to decide for yourself whether you find those claims credible or not.

If you decide to try it, don’t give your dog more than a teaspoon of diluted apple cider vinegar at one time. One thing we do know is that it can have a laxative effect, so if you give your pup too much, you’ll have a mess (or three) to clean up.

How Can I Get My Dog to Eat Vinegar?

If you’ve decided that you believe the various health claims about apple cider vinegar, you’ll be confronted with the issue of getting your dog to actually consume it.

The easiest way to do so is to dump a little diluted vinegar into their water. You may also try sprinkling some over their food, but this is likely to be much more powerful, and your dog is more likely to turn up their nose at it.

However, if your dog refuses to eat or drink it, you should probably just let it go. They’re unlikely to change their mind, and it’s not worth the trouble to cram it down their gullet.

If you’re using it to treat skin conditions, you can dilute some of it in a spray bottle and apply it directly to the skin.

Image Credit: NatureFriend, Pixabay

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So, What’s the Verdict? Is Vinegar Safe for Dogs?

Vinegar isn’t likely to be deadly for your dog, but that doesn’t mean you should let them consume it. Too much vinegar can cause an upset stomach, including vomiting and diarrhea, and that can lead to further health issues (like dehydration). Also, dogs with kidney conditions shouldn’t be allowed to have it.

Some people believe that apple cider vinegar has a variety of health benefits for dogs. There’s little evidence to support that belief at present, but it’s unlikely to harm them as long as you dilute it and use it sparingly.

Whatever you decide, there’s one thing that your dog and we can say for certain: you definitely need to buy some more salt and vinegar chips.

Featured Image Credit: focal point, Shutterstock

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