Read this blog post to find out:
The fact from the fiction about the benefits of apple cider vinegar
Five proven benefits of apple cider vinegar
How you can use apple cider vinegar to benefit your pet's health
Apple Cider Vinegar ("ACV") is often touted as having a multitude of amazing health benefits but is it all just hyped up nonsense or is there some truth to these claims? And is ACV beneficial for our cats and dogs?
Fact or fiction
One of the claims made about ACV is that it contains an abundance of nutrients. As much as I would like this to be so, this claim doesn't appear to stand up. According to nutritional testing, ACV does not contain the necessary quantity of nutrients to provide any medicinal benefit.
Another common claim is that ACV helps to alkalize your body.The belief is that whilst ACV is acidic (with a pH of between 4.25 and 5), it has an alkalising effect within the body. But others believe the opposite is true, that ACV makes the body's pH more acidic. How do we find out the truth? Monitor your own pH - grab some pH strips from your local health food store, record a baseline pH and then after consuming ACV measure your pH again. The results will tell you whether ACV raises or decreases your pH.
Despite these two contested claims, there is some truth to the claim that ACV can benefit your, and your pet's, health. Based on the research I conducted, I'm going to stick with the following five benefits.
1. Improved digestion
Consuming ACV increases stomach acid levels which results in improved digestion of foods. It also helps to promote the growth of beneficial bacteria in your and your pet's digestive tract. Because of it's digestive benefits, it's also believed to reduce gastrointestinal upsets like flatulence and constipation.
2. Increased mineral absorption
ACV is high in acetic acid. Acetic acid can increase the body's ability to absorb essential minerals from the foods we and our pets eat.
3. Normalise blood sugar levels
Studies show that ACV can help normalise blood sugar levels and therefore may help people and pets with diabetes.
4. Reduce bacteria
ACV is one of the best natural ways to reduce pesticides and bacteria. Not only can you use it to rinse your conventionally grown produce and reduce pesticide exposure and clean your home, ACV can also be used to remove bacteria from food and from your and your pet's body.
5. Parasite prevention
The acid content of ACV can help to repel fleas. Whilst ACV doesn't kill fleas, it does create a hostile environment that can help in keeping them off your dog and cat. To use ACV as a flea preventative, apply as a rinse (diluted with water) or add to your pet's food (see below).
Benefiting your pet's health with ACV
If you want your pet to benefit from these five benefits of ACV, the best way is to add organic, unfiltered ACV to their food (such as Bragg's ACV). As with any medicinal product, I believe that it's always better to start small and slowly. This is particularly important with cats because ACV contains salicylates and cats are salicylate intolerant. Each cat will have a different tolerance level so again, start small and slowly.
Also, if your pet is sensitive or allergic to yeast, avoid using ACV as it is believed that the ACV can feed or aggravate the problem.
Make sure that the ACV is diluted with water.
If using externally to treat ear infections or skin infections, at a minimum you should dilute using a 50/50 solution of water and ACV.
For ear infections, combine equal parts of water and ACV and gently drop 10 drops of the ACV mix into your dog or cat's ear once to twice a day. Alternatively and for maintenance, dip a cotton ball or pad into the ACV mix and use to wipe your pet's ears.
For skin infections, I recommend a green tea and ACV rinse - after bathing, apply the rinse made by combining 1/2 cup ACV, 1/2 cup of brewed and cooled green tea and 1 cup of filtered water. Following application, massage in, rinse and pat dry. Be careful not to use if your dog has any open wounds as the ACV will sting your poor pup.
If using internally, dilute the ACV with more water - the more the better. For cats and small dogs, add 5-10 drops of ACV to food mixed with 1 tbsp of water. For medium dogs, add 1/2 teaspoon of a 50/50 solution. For large dogs, add 1 tsp of a 50/50 solution.
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