What Odors Repel Dogs

All types of hot peppers, including poblanos, chili peppers, and jalapenos, are effective dog deterrents. The spice is the only thing that makes them effective.

Dogs have no concept of the tingle you get in your nose and on your tongue. As a result, people frequently try to avoid the pepper as much as possible.

In many instances, merely holding a pepper in front of a dog may deter it. While humans sometimes can’t smell the spice straight away, your dog’s keen nose assures that they do.

Capsaicinoids are a class of chemical molecules that give peppers their spicy flavor. By pulverizing the pepper and combining it with some water, you may quickly make a deterring spray.

Having said that, it’s crucial to use caution. Dogs may sneeze because they are extremely sensitive to spice. In extreme circumstances, they may even experience breathing problems. Never give your dog hot peppers or use pepper spray on them. Instead, you can use the spray to keep your dog away from certain garden areas and plants.

You can make the spray without the seeds or white veins if your dog is very sensitive. The majority of the capsaicinoids are present here. Although your deterrence won’t be as strong, it should still work.

#2. Ground Spices

When your dog comes into contact with ground spices, they will react similarly to how spicy peppers cause them to react.

Ground mustard, paprika, cayenne pepper, chili powder, and other spices work well to keep dogs out of gardens. Your plants won’t be harmed by the spices, but they will cling to the soil to stop your dog from ripping out roots.

Due to their efficiency, ground pepper spices are widely utilized in commercial dog repellents. You can just sprinkle some spices over a section of your yard if you wish to give them a try.

Again, never blow it directly into your dog’s face. The small particles can readily enter your dog’s nose, where they will irritate and burn it.

#3. Citrus Fruits

Numerous household goods contain the scent of citrus. Cleaners, room deodorizers, candles, and many more products all include it. Although it could be enjoyable to us, dogs really detest it.

Citrus presents a problem because the skin’s oils can irritate your dog’s respiratory system.

Products used to stop dogs from eliminating in a particular place frequently contain citrus oils. You can easily create the product yourself without spending a fortune.

All you need are some orange, lemon, lime, or grapefruit skins. Your dog will stay away from the area if you simply lay the skins on the ground.

The fruit’s juice can also be used to make a spray. Essential citrus oils are also offered if you’re looking for something a little more potent. Because the oils are so concentrated, you might want to dilute them with a little water before using them to spray your house or yard.

#4. Fresh Herbs

Fresh herbs like rosemary or mint are generally not preferred by dogs. They do not find their offensive odour to be pleasant. This information can be used to your advantage if you decide to plant fresh herbs in your yard.

In addition to keeping your dog away from other plants, it also ensures that you always have a fresh supply available. A simple spray solution can also be made by steeping the herb in water to draw out its oils.

Although most dogs dislike herbs, some will tolerate mint. In fact, there are lots of sweets with mint flavoring that can aid with foul breath. See how your dog responds to the flavor and fragrance of mint before you start spending money on deterrents that contain it.

#5. Vinegar

One component that can be utilized in a wide variety of home cures is vinegar. On the market, there are many different varieties of vinegar.

Some of them, like common white vinegar, can be used to deter your dog from pawing at your furniture or certain areas of your lawn.

It is risk-free, non-toxic, and reasonably priced. Put it in a spray bottle and start working right away.

The drawback of vinegar is that, even to us humans, it doesn’t really have the nicest fragrance. It’s really potent and acidic. As a result, you might want to save vinegar for external uses.

#6. Mothballs

If you have ever used these tiny white balls, you will immediately be able to identify their distinctive scent. They are made to deter obstinate moths from clothing.

Mothballs prevent the musty smell by serving as a deodorant and pesticide. Moth balls are particularly harmful to humans and pets due to their chemical makeup.

Make sure the mothballs are securely fastened if you intend to use them to keep your dog out of a room. Your dog is at urgent danger of dying if they consume even one mothball.

You can use a specifically made holder or keep mothballs out of reach to make sure problems don’t arise. It will function as long as the room can be filled with the potent fragrance of the mothballs.

#7. Alcohol

The scent of regular rubbing alcohol is particularly repulsive to dogs. Put cotton balls all over the area you wish to keep your dog out of after spraying them with alcohol.

Alcohol’s potency is solely dependent on its concentration. The stench will be greater the more alcohol there is in the mixture.

You must exercise caution when using this substance, just like any other. Never mist your dog with it. It’s crucial to avoid any canine contact because many veterinarians don’t even advise applying rubbing alcohol to a dog’s skin after an accident.

Alcohol is also highly flammable. When scattering cotton balls soaked in alcohol over your house, keep that in mind.

#8. Household Cleaners

Has your dog ever left the area while you began mopping the floors or counters in the kitchen? It’s not because they’re being a good neighbor in the house.

They absolutely detest the chemicals in typical household cleaners, which explains why.

Many goods use ammonia or chlorine. Additionally, some have added citrus odors, which your dog will find much more offensive.

Never apply cleaning goods directly to your dog to repel them, especially if they include potent toxins like ammonia. Ammonia can burn and irritate your dog’s throat when inhaled.

Every time you clean a place your dog frequents, it’s advised that you keep him outside. You might simply maintain the room clean rather than risk using home cleaners to scare off your dog.

For instance, a lot of dog owners don’t want their dog to enter the bathroom. So they basically regularly clean it. Your dog won’t be harmed until the potent fumes have subsided. However, the faint scent that lingers will be enough to deter them from entering the space.

#9. Perfume or Cologne

Dogs will steer clear of some components in perfume and cologne. When a scent is applied to the skin, it’s normal for dogs to neglect their owners. This is due to the chemical components, essential oils, and alcohol found in perfume goods.

These ingredients all have overpowering aromas that dogs detest. Additionally, scents cover up your natural body odor. Your distinctive smell is the first thing that dogs use to recognize you. You have a perfume that makes you identifiable even if you don’t think it’s overpowering.

Your dog finds comfort in this scent. Your dog won’t enjoy it if you cover it up with powerful scents. Despite the fact that dogs dislike the smell of perfume and cologne, you should never use them as a repellant.

#10. Beauty Products

Chemicals are found in nail paint, hair sprays, and other beauty products. Consider how familar the smells of these products are.

Most adults can quickly recognize these items without ever looking at them, especially if they are ones they are accustomed to using. If the smell is overpowering to you, your dog will find it to be almost intolerable.

Beauty cosmetics should never be used as a deterrent. Keep your dog in a well-ventilated area where they won’t be harmed by the fumes if you intend to use them yourself. As an alternative, you might choose to purchase all-natural or chemical-free beauty products.

What smell will deter dogs?

Is your dog ruining the garden or yard? You can help curb his shenanigans by creating a simple, secure repellant. PublicDomain Pictures/Linda Greyling

Although dogs are wonderful companions, man’s best friends can wreck havoc on furniture and gardens. There are numerous dog repellents that are simple to produce at home and inexpensive, regardless of the reasons you want to keep a dog away.

These are all completely safe for both pets and the environment.

  • Citrus. The scent of lemon is repulsive to dogs. By scattering pieces of oranges or lemons across the flowerbed, you can defend your garden. Put a glass of lemon water on a nearby table or spray the mixture on your furniture to deter your dog from destroying it.
  • cayenne chiles Your dog won’t be harmed by cayenne peppers, but they will irritate his eyes, nose, and throat. Sprinkle your garden with ground black pepper and cayenne pepper to deter your dog from digging in your flowerbeds. Put some cayenne pepper in your potpourri or place a bowl of decorative chilies next to the couch to train your dog to stay away from the upholstery.
  • Vinegar. Dogs don’t enjoy the smell of vinegar very much. Spraying vinegar on plants could be harmful, so avoid doing it in your yard. As an alternative, soak biodegradable coffee filters in white vinegar and let them air dry. Cut the filters into thin strips that are approximately a toothpick’s length once they have dried completely. By sprinkling the strips across your yard, you can keep your dog away while promoting the growth of your flowers.
  • oil of mustard. Spray some mustard oil around the location you want your dog to avoid since they detest the taste and smell of it, and then watch what happens.
  • dog waste. You can guarantee that your dog won’t dig in the same holes again if you try tossing some of his waste into them. He will become disinterested in coming across his own feces if you strategically place it in holes near his preferred digging locations.
  • espresso grinds. Dogs also dislike the smell of coffee, and coffee grounds are beneficial to the soil in your garden. Your dog won’t go near them if you simply scatter them on top of the ground.

Important information: Never use ammonia to repel dogs. While the smell of ammonia can deter dogs from practically anything since it bothers their nostrils, if they swallow it, it can harm their throats and stomachs. Before utilizing any chemical or material around your pets, always consult your veterinarian.

Dog Repellent FAQ

The scent of citrus fruits repulses dogs. These include oranges, grapefruit, and lemons. Citrus scents are used in sprays to deter dogs from chewing on things for this reason, among others.

A dog will experience unfavorable effects, both physically and mentally, from any sound beyond 20,000 Hz. If exposed to these frequencies for an extended period of time, dogs may get disturbed and anxious and may flee or hide.

Combine 1.5 cups of cold water with 2 tablespoons of distilled white vinegar and 20 drops of any citrus-scented essential oil in a clean spray container. Spray the mixture liberally throughout your house in the areas you wish the dog to avoid.

Some apps emit ultrasonic noises that are meant to deter dogs. These apps can also be used to silence a dog that is growling or attacking. You can find options in the app store on your phone for both Android and iOS.

Chili Peppers

Your dog’s nose will be bothered by any type of spicy pepper, such as jalapenos, Thai chilis, habaneros, or chipotle peppers.

Dogs find the smell of capsaicin, the ingredient in chilis that gives them their spicy flavor, so repulsive that they frequently steer clear of kitchens where chilis are being prepared. Use caution when using chili peppers or powders to ward off your dog because they can trigger intense sneezing fits even in very little doses.

Ground Spices

A dog’s sense of smell may be overwhelmed by any strong ground spice. Cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, ginger, cardamom, mustard, and cayenne pepper are typical home spices that dogs detest the smell of.

Citrus Fruits

Citrus fruits are frequently utilized as a fragrant scent enhancer for household products. Citrus fruits’ bright and lively aroma is due to the high oil content in their skins and pith. Dogs’ noses will become greatly offended by the strong scent of oranges, lemons, limes, and grapefruits, which humans find to be enticing and delightful.


Although vinegar is promoted as a safer alternative to stronger household cleaners, even people find its fragrance to be unsettling. Acetic acid, a benign and non-toxic molecule produced naturally as a byproduct of fermentation, is the source of both this odor and vinegar’s cleaning abilities.

Dogs should not be allowed on patio furniture or certain areas of your yard by using a spray bottle filled with a solution of one part white vinegar to three parts water.

Fresh Herbs

Freshly grown and harvested basil, mint, rosemary, and thyme all have strong aromas that make them perfect additions to gardens you want to keep dogs out of. These herbs have the ability to discourage dogs since they are rich in volatile fragrant oils.


Dogs find the smell of alcohol to be quite overpowering and repulsive, whether it is regular rubbing alcohol, vodka, or grain neutral spirits. Never use any alcohol as a spray to deter dogs from objects because it can quickly cause skin and respiratory irritation.

Household Cleaners

The two most prevalent chemicals in household cleansers that dogs abhor are chlorine and ammonia. You probably already know how uncomfortable the vapors may be if you’ve ever used a household cleaner in a tiny, enclosed area. Dogs should never be let near surfaces that you are cleaning with abrasive substances.

Strong Perfumes or Colognes

Due to the mixture of denatured alcohol and strong aromatics in perfume and cologne, overdoing your morning beauty regimen can cause dogs to avoid you. Even deodorant can cause this reaction in highly sensitive dogs.


Mothballs are used to prevent moths from destroying stored clothing, and their particular odor indicates how effective they are. The little white balls should never be swallowed by either people or canines due to their great hazard.

Nail Polish and Nail Polish Remover

Dogs’ nostrils are extremely bothered by the strong chemical glue in nail polish and the heavy acetone odor in nail polish remover. Always use them in an area of your home that is very well ventilated.

Onions and Garlic

Allium plants all have a strong, distinctive aroma that people love to use in cooking. Dogs’ sensitive noses will be turned off by the smell of raw or cooked alliums, but we might appreciate the aroma of onions and garlic cooking on the stove.