Can Dogs Have Vinegar?

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Introduction

We include vinegar in a lot of the things we eat, right? Think about it, salt and vinegar chips, custom salad dressings, and, not to mention, the latest apple cider vinegar craze that's sweeping the nation. Some people think that beyond vinegar making food taste good, there are actual benefits to adding it into your diet. 

So, does that ring true for your dog? Can you share your vinegar treats with your dog, or will it harm them? People use vinegar to clean with, eat, or as a curative aid - it seems useful, right? But is it safe for your dog? Will it help, hurt, or benefit them? 

Vinegar, in incredibly small amounts, might be beneficial to your dog, however, it's always possible that you can feed your dog too much of anything and make them sick. We suggest clearing vinegar with your dog-tor before you include it in your pooch's diet. 

Check out our vinegar guide below to get the scoop on how you can implement it in your pup's daily diet, how much is too much, and how vinegar might benefit your dog. 

Signs Your Dog Might Benefit from Vinegar

When it comes to feeding your dog vinegar, it's crucial that you're getting it cleared with their vet first. As with anything, your dog could be allergic to a specific substance, react poorly to it, and cause a lot of damage. 

That being said, vinegar could be helpful in balancing our your dog's pH levels. This is important, as it affects plenty of facets in your dog's biology, such as their blood sugar levels, their urine pH, and their ability to fight infections. 

Vinegar is also helpful because it's detoxifying and can aid in cleaning out your dog's internal organs like their bladder, liver, and kidneys. Cleaning them out is the perfect way to help them function better, and it can help them combat harmful toxins in their environment. 

Additionally, it's important you're considering the kind of vinegar your dog is ingesting. For example, apple cider vinegar is often lauded as a great addition to your dog's diet as it can help your pup absorb nutrients better due to the acetic acid that helps to extract more of the valuable minerals out of the food. Other vinegar, like white or clear vinegar, might not be as valuable to your dog.

Body Language

Too much of a good thing is possible though, so you'll want to watch how much vinegar you're giving your dog. Here are a few signs they might give you if they've had too much vinegar:
  • Scratching
  • Twitching whiskers
  • Drooling
  • Lack of focus
  • Tail tucking
  • Ears back

Other Signs

There are other signs to watch out for, too. If you think your dog has had too much vinegar, check for signs like:
  • Gastrointestinal upset
  • Itchiness
  • Excessive thirst
  • Excessive drooling
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting

The History of Vinegar

Vinegar has very humble, very early beginnings that date back to about 5,000 BC when the Babylonians were using the fruit of the date palm to make wine and vinegar to preserve and pickle their foods. Vinegar residues were even found in urns from ancient Egypt (surely for preserving purposes) in 3,000 BC. 

The making of rice vinegar goes back about 3,000 years in China, and in fact, the first written history of vinegar in general dates back to China in 1200 BC. Throughout history, vinegar has been used as an energizing tonic, a medical tool, as food, as a source to quench thirst, as a preservative, and much, much more. 

In the 1920s, apple cider vinegar began being processed and created on a commercial level, and eventually, in the 1990s, apple cider vinegar began being lauded as the ultimate health system to keep your body happy and healthy. From the 90s on, apple cider self-help books were written, people began implementing apple cider vinegar into their diets, and vinegar continued to be credited with helping people live longer and healthier lives.

The Science of Vinegar

People have been using vinegar in their diets for thousands of years and for many different reasons. Most recently, apple cider vinegar has been the latest healthy-body craze. But, how does vinegar actually help you and your dog's body? 

First of all, it can help your hair shine and help your dog's coat shine, too. Include a bit in your dog's shampoo and watch them glow! Vinegar can also help regulate the pH of your dog's skin, remove stains from their teeth, help your dog absorb nutrients from their food, and help to revitalize and clean out their internal organs to help them function better!

Training Your Dog to Eat Vinegar

Training your dog to not only include vinegar in their daily diet but also how to avoid eating too much vinegar can be tricky. It requires patience, sternness, and most importantly, a bit of training on your part. 

First, we suggest getting vinegar dog-tor-approved before adding it to your pet's diet. Once that's in place, discuss how to include it in your dog's diet. Will you implement pills? Will you pour an approved-amount of vinegar on your dog's food? 

If your dog is a bit picky and won't eat his or her food with the vinegar poured on top, it might be necessary to take a tough-love approach. We never recommend starving your dog, but we do recommend letting them know that mealtime is mealtime, whether they eat or not. 

Lay out their food (with vinegar) at a particular time and for a set amount of time. If your dog doesn't eat his or her food at this time, pick the food up and try again at their next designated mealtime. Dogs are animals, and no matter how picky they are, they'll certainly eat if they're hungry. 

We recommend that if you're going to include vinegar in your dog's diet and keep it in the house, that you train your pooch to leave it be unless it's included in their food. That means training your pup to leave the area where you keep the vinegar alone, not allowing them to lap it up if you spill it, and not letting them swipe a container of it off the counter. 

We suggest ensuring your dog is up-to-speed on basic obedience commands, is trained to stay out of the kitchen (or wherever you keep your vinegar), and stays in his or her crate while you're away to avoid any vinegar mishaps. 

Safety Tips When Keeping Vinegar Around Dogs:

  • Store your vinegar in a place your dog cannot access it.
  • Train your dog to stay away from the area you store your vinegar.
  • Only add a measured, dog-tor-approved amount of vinegar to your dog's diet.
  • Never free-feed your dog vinegar.
  • Have a plan in place with your vet on how to react if your dog ingests too much vinegar.

We Want to Hear About Your Dog Eating Vinegar!