Is Vinegar Safe for Dogs?
The quick answer: Vinegar may not be entirely safe for your dog.
- Many dogs do not react well to vinegar because it can cause gastrointestinal upset.
- Small dogs with sensitive stomachs and dogs with kidney disease do not do well with vinegar.
- Small amounts of diluted vinegar should be fine to use around the house without affecting your dog.
- There is very limited research available about the possible benefits of dogs consuming vinegar.
Many pet owners incorporate diluted apple cider or white vinegar into their dog’s diet and bathing regimens because of its claimed ability to heal, clean, and neutralize odors. However, administering vinegar to your pet is not considered an ideal solution to any health ailments or cleaning needs your pet may have.
While some dogs can safely consume diluted vinegar, it’s important to be aware that many dogs do not react well. Vinegar can cause gastrointestinal upset when ingested — especially when undiluted. This is especially true for small dogs, dogs with sensitive stomachs, dogs with kidney disease, and any dog that is otherwise not 100% healthy. Gastrointestinal upset typically presents as diarrhea and vomiting, which not only causes pain and discomfort to your pet but can also lead to dehydration.
For all the above reasons, you’ll find that many veterinarians do not advocate the usage of vinegar.
Can I Still Use it at Home?
Typically, vinegar is greatly diluted when used to clean your home and, as such, shouldn’t negatively affect your pet if they get a little on their paws or fur. That said, if you notice your dog actively licking the floor after mopping with a vinegar solution, though, you may want to switch to a different cleaning agent, or close your dog off in a separate room while you clean. The same is true if you notice a correlation between your dog getting ill after you use a vinegar solution around the home.
As for using vinegar for baking and cooking, you’re good to go. Just make sure your dog doesn’t chow down on that salad with a homemade vinaigrette and be sure to wipe up any drops of vinegar that land on your counter or floor.
Misinformation on Vinegar
There’s not much scientific literature out there that points to vinegar’s benefits when consumed by dogs. There’s also, unfortunately, quite a bit of misinformation being perpetuated online and by non-professionals. Further proof that vinegar is not well-suited for dog consumption is the typical reaction pet owners get from their pooch when trying to feed it to them: they refuse to ingest it.
Curious about what is okay and not okay for your dog to eat? Check out our comprehensive guide on what human foods are safe and not safe for dogs.