Why Do Groomers Spray Dogs With Vinegar? [Surprising Benefits]

Zack Keithy, our author, is a certified veterinarian technician (UC Blue Ash) for over 6 years (contact him here). The articles written here are based on his expertise and experience, combined with a review by our expert vet reviewers including Dr M. Tarantino. Learn more about us here.

Have you ever taken your furry friend to the groomer and noticed the groomer spraying them with vinegar? It can be a bit puzzling, but don’t worry!

So why do groomers spray dogs with vinegar?

They do so as vinegar is a great alternative to chemicals for soothing your dog’s skin, removing odors, and even repelling ticks and mites. It’s a great tool to use during grooming to make the process more comfortable and pleasant for your dog.

In this post, I will share go deeper into the reasons and help you understand how this can be beneficial to your pet!

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Reasons Why Some Groomers Spray Dogs With Vinegar

Reasons Why Some Groomers Spray Dogs With Vinegar

If you’ve seen your dog being sprayed with vinegar by your groomer, don’t worry as no harm is meant by that.

Vinegar has a ton of great benefits for your dog, especially when it comes to its skin health.

Take note though: in most cases, and for the rest of this article, apple cider vinegar is the type being used.

If you’re worried that this is just all hocus pocus, it’s not!

In fact, there are many vets who acknowledge vinegar’s role in a dog’s health.

They say that it is useful when it comes to maintaining dogs’ fur thanks to the acidic content it contains.

It’s also common where some groomers use apple cider vinegar (ACV) not just to shoo fleas away from doggies but it’s also great for removing the strong odor of pee. 

Did I get you curious now? Perhaps you’d like to know the simple formula for such vinegar magic?

It’s fairly easy to make at home! You just gotta mix 1/2 water with 1/2 vinegar in a bottle, then you’re all set!

Vets will use the term “diluted vinegar” spray for such a mixture.

The acidity won’t be too high or low, just enough to do its job on your dog’s skin and fur.

Now, you gotta make sure your dog’s groomer is using diluted vinegar to avoid skin irritation because too much acid is never a good thing!

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Thank you. The rest of the article continues below.

1. Vinegar is a natural alternative to chemicals

Both your groomer and you can feel safe using this pantry-staple vinegar solution as a natural alternative to grooming chemicals.

Some groomers opt out of chemical-infused deodorizers by substituting them with vinegar spray, an all-natural choice!

Vinegar helps in neutralizing the smell of your doggy especially when it smells like a combination of poop, pee, and dog food.

The acid of the vinegar cleanses him of those unpleasant smells just like store-bought deodorizers do, but without chemicals! 

Your groomer may also spray the tangled fur of your pooch with vinegar instead of slathering him with tons of shampoo and conditioner.

Vinegar’s acid softens the knots of your dog’s fur, so it’s no surprise that groomers are using it as a natural alternative to chemically rich grooming products from time to time.

2. Using vinegar for coat maintenance

Diluted vinegar is perfect for keeping your doggy’s coat smooth and shiny.

It balances the pH level of your dog’s skin which helps keep the skin healthy and away from dryness.

As your dog’s skin becomes healthier, so will his fur until it grows into a soft and silky coat!

A groomer may also spray your dog with vinegar sometimes to remove grooming products they’ve used that weren’t rinsed properly from the fur.

When you leave the groomer’s place, your dog will already have a shiny coat.


3. Using vinegar for skin care

Many times, our dogs become itchy after grooming, and that’s down to many reasons.

The good thing is that vinegar helps in treating skin irritations in your dog as its acidity helps soothe the itching, thus getting rid of any irritations eventually.

You can easily add vinegar to your dog’s skincare routine, especially if he has mild allergies to chemicals in shampoos and other grooming products.

Vinegar is known for its antibacterial properties too, so I’m not even surprised when I found out it helps in washing germs off from dogs’ skin.

As I’ve mentioned a while ago, vinegar balances the pH level of your dog’s skin.

But what happens if your dog’s pH level rises?

A high pH level will make your dog more susceptible to skin infections, which will ruin your dog’s skin health.

So here comes vinegar to save the day and keep the balance of your doggy’s pH level!

4. Using vinegar for flea and tick prevention

With the acid that vinegar contains, it’ll be impossible for fleas to live in your dog. 

If your doggy is infested with these itchy and annoying parasites, you have to consider using vinegar as a spray.

Of course, they won’t be gone immediately, but vinegar will surely help with plucking and removing those tinie-tiny parasites.

If your dog has no fleas and ticks, that’s great! But prevention is better than cure, right?

Vinegar is perfect for keeping your doggy’s skin healthy, and healthy skin has no room for fleas and ticks to dwell on.

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Is Vinegar Spray Safe for Dogs?

Vinegar is a natural liquid that’s generally safe for your doggies. However, vets still recommend that vinegar should be diluted before applying it to your dog.

Would it surprise you if I tell you vinegar isn’t just safe for external uses?

Dogs can safely digest vinegar too!

When it comes to grain-based diets and your doggy is having a hard time pooping, adding drops of vinegar to the food will help him digest better.

Just remember, some dogs might have more sensitive skin and might not do well with vinegar, so you should always start with a very small amount first.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can vinegar harm dogs?

Vinegar can harm dogs if it’s being sprayed too often and undiluted on their skin. Once to twice a week is the recommended time you can spray vinegar on dogs. More than that and dogs will already suffer from dry and irritated skin.

How do I know if my dog is allergic to vinegar?

If your dog keeps scratching and itching with reddish skin after you’ve sprayed vinegar on him, chances are high that he is allergic. When this happens, take him to the nearest vet, and don’t use vinegar on him again. 

Can vinegar be used on all dog breeds?

Vinegar can be used on all dog breeds but with limitations. Dog breeds with shorter and thinner fur shouldn’t be too exposed to vinegar, diluted or not, since they’ll be more prone to negative skin reactions.

Can I use vinegar instead of shampoo?

You can use vinegar instead of shampoo as it provides anti-bacterial and deodorizer properties that keep your dog clean and fresh-smelling. However, be sure that you rinse your dog properly so his skin won’t dry out from the residual acid of the vinegar. 

How long does vinegar take to repel fleas and ticks?

Vinegar doesn’t work instantly. It’ll take some days before it can repel fleas and ticks. It’s also recommended that proper grooming is still observed and you don’t rely on vinegar alone to remove these parasites.

Why does vinegar help your dog to smell good?

The acid in the vinegar helps in destroying the bacteria in your dog’s skin that encourages bad odor. Vinegar acts as a deodorizer that removes any remnant smell from pee, poop, and other unpleasant things.

In Conclusion: Why Do Groomers Spray Dogs With Vinegar?

As you can see, the use of vinegar spray during grooming can provide several benefits for our furry friends.

So, the next time you take your pup to the groomer and notice them using vinegar, you can rest assured that it’s a simple and effective way to help keep your dog looking and feeling their best.

Like this post? Check out other grooming related articles here too:

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Zack Keithy
Zack Keithy

Hey, I'm Zack, the Chief Editor here. I was formerly a Certified Veterinary Technician (CVT) for a good 6 years before moving on to greener pastures. Right now, I am still heavily involved in dog parenting duties, and it is my desire to share all our knowledge with fellow dog owners out there! Connect with me on LinkedIn, or read more about Daily Dog Drama!

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