Can You Give Your Dog a Bath With Vinegar?

If this guy gets to your pooch, vinegar may be an asset.
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In the world of bathing canines, some occasional doggie shampoo and lukewarm water generally should be A-OK. However, every now and then, your dog may get into a messy situation that calls for a little something more. If your poor pooch was sprayed by a skunk, vinegar may be helpful.

Vinegar Preparation

The infamous smell of skunk spray can be rather difficult to get out of a dog's coat. Standard dog shampoo used alone just may not cut it. Before you put your smelly pet in the bathtub, you may wish to weaken the odor using vinegar, notes the Humane Society of the United States. Blend equal amounts of water and vinegar thoroughly together, and then carefully rub your pet down. Just make sure your hands are sporting a trusty pair of rubber gloves, of course. Once you exhaustively rinse the vinegar and water blend off your dog, you can bathe him as normally, using a dog shampoo.

Tomato Juice

If your kitchen cupboards lack any kind of white vinegar, but you still want to eliminate the overpowering skunk funk, the Inland Valley Humane Society recommends another substance that may produce similar results as vinegar -- good, old fashioned tomato juice. Although the red juice may indeed counteract a little bit of the skunk smell on your dog, remember that the only real answer to the problem is the passing of time.


Icky skunk spraying situations are not the only time a dog may require a vinegar bath. If allergies are an issue with members of your household, occasional thorough bathing of your dog may keep the presence of pesky allergens to a minimum. Get a grip on your doggie's dander by bathing him with a blend of white vinegar, mild dish detergent and glycerin. Use 2 cups of dish soap and vinegar each and 4 ounces of glycerin. Never bathe your dog too much, however, as it could actually trigger the opposite result of what you want -- and that's even more dander shedding! Opt for bathing around once a week or once a month. If you bathe your pet too much, you also may notice irksome skin dryness, so be very careful.

Dog Shampoo

Although in special cases you may wish to bathe your dog using vinegar, whether because of skunk spray or reducing frustrating allergens, the most suitable choice is usually dog shampoo, plain and simple. Dog shampoo is specifically formulated to meet the grooming needs of a dog's skin and coat, and is also pH balanced for canines, unlike "people" products, which may be too powerful and harsh on a dog's skin.