Apple cider is a common beverage in the United States and Canada. Also known as soft cider or sweet cider, it is an unsweetened, alcohol-free beverage made from apples. Depending on the type of apple used in making apple cider, the liquid can appear semi-transparent, sometimes opaque, because of the apple pulp and particles suspended in the liquid. Its taste is usually more sour, sharper, and tangier than apple juice. Apple cider is best drunk when it is freshly made because it will turn into vinegar soon enough.
As time passes, apple cider begins to ferment. Bacteria and yeast are to blame for the fermentation. What do they do? The bacteria and yeast convert the sugar in the liquid into alcohol, then into acetic acid, lactic acid, citric acid, and malic acid. These acids are responsible for the sour taste of apple cider vinegar.
Apple cider vinegar has many uses. Unlike other vinegars (e.g., white, balsamic, red wine, and rice wine vinegar), apple cider vinegar is not commonly used for cooking. Instead, most people use it for therapy and remedy of health problems. Some historians say that Hippocrates used apple cider vinegar for health improvement. Some American soldiers were also documented to have used apple cider vinegar for scurvy, indigestion, and pneumonia—common ailments while in the battlefield.
You can also use apple cider vinegar on your pets. Dogs that keep on scratching themselves can actually find some relief through apple cider vinegar treatment. Dogs usually itch and scratch themselves because of allergies. Many of the allergies in dogs are frequently caused by allergens in the air. Such allergens (e.g., tree and flower pollen, spores, etc.) are abundant in warm climates and during the warm seasons.
When your dog comes in contact with allergens, the dog’s skin reacts. The dog experiences itching, and the most natural form of relief is, of course, to scratch the itch. The affected area can easily shed the surrounding fur or hair, not just as an effect of the allergy but also because of the scratching.
You can try using apple cider vinegar to create a home-based remedy for your dog’s itchiness. The solution is very easy to make. Just follow these steps:
- Obtain apple cider vinegar. It is widely available. Almost all supermarkets and groceries sell apple cider vinegar. It’s also not expensive.
- Mix some apple cider vinegar into your dog’s food. Don’t drown the food in vinegar, of course. Mix just a little. Take note that apple cider vinegar is just like any other vinegar. It smells sharp and pungent, and it tastes sour and tangy. Some dogs will not like their food mixed with apple cider vinegar. Just experiment a bit here for the acceptable amount of vinegar that your dog can take with its food.
- Mix water and apple cider vinegar. Add one part vinegar to one part water. Mix the solution thoroughly and pour it into a spray bottle. Spray the solution on your dog’s body, making sure that you spray the solution all over it. Avoid spraying it into your dog’s eyes. The apple cider vinegar will bring the pH level on your dog’s skin to a more neutral level, thus reducing the itchiness on your dog’s skin.
If these home remedies fail for you, the next best thing to do is to bring your dog to a vet. In most cases, however, these remedies are effective enough for many people and their dogs.