Why Don’t Dogs Like Citronella

Dogs have a specific aversion to particular scents.

But not all dogs are created equal. While the majority of dogs detest these odours, others don’t find them repulsive.

Medical rubbing alcohol

Your dog will experience the burning sensation more strongly because of his considerably more sensitive nose.

So, even though your dog won’t be harmed by the distinctive rubbing alcohol smell, he will get uncomfortable.

Applying a small amount of rubbing alcohol to the furniture legs will stop your dog from chewing on it.

Rubing alcohol is a good approach to keep your dog out of places he isn’t welcome if you don’t like the stench.

Citrus fruits

Citrus fruits are therefore quite good in keeping your dog out of danger. Citrus fragrance irritates dogs’ sensitive nostrils, just like rubbing alcohol does.

Citrus fruits are popular repellents due to their potent scent and all-natural makeup.

The only thing you have to do to prevent your dog from digging, pooping, or urinating in inappropriate places is to simply scatter citrus fruit peels across your garden or yard.

Cleaning supplies with ammonia

Without taking the necessary precautions, it is also dangerous for people to be around ammonia.

The harmful effects of ammonia will also affect your nose-sensitive dog, but their response will be quicker and more pronounced.

Pure ammonia or cleaning products containing ammonia shouldn’t be used to keep your dog away from a particular area.

Although your dog will stay away from the location, the odor will linger throughout the entire house and could make your pet sick.

Ammonia exposure, per Vetco Veterinary Services, can seriously harm your dog’s nose, stomach, and throat.

Spicy peppers

Spicy peppers produce acute burning in your dog’s nostrils, just like citrus and rubbing alcohol do.

Peppers are inexpensive and widely available. This means that peppers can be utilized to keep your dog away organically.

Peppers can be a terrific solution if your dog tends to jump close to the table when meals are being served.

To prevent your dog from swiping food from your plates, cut up a few peppers and scatter them over your counter or table. If he digests spicy peppers, it will irritate him.

Chilli, jalapeño, and cayenne peppers come in a variety of forms, including powdered, oil, and natural varieties.

Peppers that are sweet but not hot can be consumed by dogs. In this piece on our blog, we go into further detail about this.


This inexpensive home item can easily be transformed into a “dog-away spray.” The vinegar can be slightly diluted with water before being added to a spray bottle. You can make the stench less offensive to your nose by adding a little water, but not to your dog’s. This can be sprayed on door frames, doormats, furniture legs, and other areas where your dog is not wanted.

Citronella candles and oils

Citronella candles are meant to keep insects away from people, but they also keep your dog bug-free.

Because citronella smells so similar to citrus, your dog doesn’t like it. Wag states that the main component of citronella candles is lemongrass.

If you’ve ever smelled lemongrass, you are aware of its distinctive citrus aroma. This is why your candle will also keep your dog away from the area where the bugs are. This is a safe method of keeping your dog away.

Burning a citronella candle in the room where your dog likes to jump on the furniture can discourage him from relaxing there.

This candle, which is available on Amazon, is our top selection for a long-burning citronella candle for inside or outside your home.


One of the numerous creatures that detests their stench is your dog. Mothballs are an excellent option for preventing your dog from urinating on fabrics if the smell doesn’t affect your home.

Your dog won’t relieve himself on your clean laundry and bed sheets if you put a mothball nearby. Dogs will be barred from the entire room by the potent fragrance.

Mothballs are a useful tool to keep your dog out of off-limits locations, but you must use them carefully. A mothball can be lethal to your pet and children if they consume one.

Do dogs mind the citronella odor?

Ah, the summertime scent. Citronella candles have been heavily promoted as a seasonal necessity to keep bloodthirsty mosquitoes away from you and your dog. Citronella candles, however, don’t offer much protection, according to research, because of their low citronella content.

According to Matejka, if your dog ingested a citronella candle, the wax may function as a laxative and induce severe diarrhea in addition to the citronella, which may produce GI symptoms (vomiting and diarrhea).

Another issue? Your dog may suffer injury from simply inhaling the fumes from a candle, particularly if your dog has asthma or any other breathing difficulties.

Keep your pet away from citronella candles, advises Matejka. Because they can cause a moderate respiratory irritant, if you burn these candles near your pet, make sure you are not doing so in a small place so your pet can get fresh air.

If you want to burn a citronella candle, do so outside and keep an eye on your pet if they come to the backyard with you. But bear in mind that even though the candle will have a lovely citrus scent, you will probably still need to swat mosquitoes away because they are unaware that the candle is designed to repel them.

Citronella Essential Oils

When it comes to our dogs, essential oils are complicated and deadly. It depends on how diluted and how little of an oil concentration an essential oil has before it may be used anywhere near (or on) our dogs. Whenever possible, keep 100% concentrated oils away from your pet.

According to Matejka, “Citronella essential oils are volatile oils made up of combinations of complex hydrocarbons and other compounds that are distilled from plant material.” “Different formulations can vary greatly depending on the quality of standardization of the producer because of the natural diversity in type and amount of essential oil content of a given plant,” according to the manufacturer.

Due to their many poisonous qualities and the serious risks involved in utilizing them, essential oils may be dangerous to dogs. Matejka clarifies, “Although citronella essential oils have a low acute toxicity, they have the potential to produce vomiting, hypersalivation, heat, fast breathing, convulsions, cyanosis, and/or shock if consumed or applied topically in large doses. Additionally, it might lead to skin rashes or discomfort when administered topically.”

Therefore, it’s better to avoid diffusing citronella essential oil next to your dog, even though it might help get rid of mosquitoes in your backyard or house. Before using essential oils, learn more about them from your veterinarian.

Citronella Sprays

Matejka advises against spraying your dog with citronella-based products because they could have negative side effects.

Citronella sprays are sprayed topically, therefore she warns that high doses may irritate the skin or even result in a rash. “Because our pets groom themselves, if taken in excessive concentrations, there is a risk of ingestion and GI irritation. It can irritate the eyes if it gets there as well.”

Call your veterinarian, a nearby emergency veterinarian, or one of the 24 hour helplines like the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435 or Pet Poison Helpline at (855) 764-7661 if you find that your dog has ingested something potentially toxic, such as a citronella candle or essential oil.

Can citronella deter dogs?

Citronella is an offensive scent to dogs, thus trainers frequently use spray and collar formulations of the oil to curb aggressiveness and chronic barking. In fact, a mere whiff of citronella may be enough to deter your dog from visiting your garden.

Citronella oil is harmful to pets in large quantities, so use it sparingly and always combine it with 10 parts water.

Does citronella cause illness in dogs?

Citronella poisoning in dogs can occur in a variety of ways. They can first consume it. Additionally, you need to be concerned about candles rather than just eating the plant. Some dogs tend to consume everything that smells novel or interesting. And it should be concerning when you discover that your citronella candle has been consumed. According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), feeding dogs citronella oil can upset their stomachs, resulting in vomiting or diarrhea. The side effects of ingesting high doses of citronella, such as muscle weakness, lack of coordination, hypothermia, or death, are more worrisome.

Citronella can also cause skin irritation. Therefore, your dog may develop a rash or skin illness if they come into contact with or are exposed to a citronella plant.

If you have even the slightest suspicion that your dog may have consumed or come into contact with the plant, you should still call your veterinarian, even if your dog doesn’t exhibit any symptoms of citronella poisoning.

Are canine users of citronella spray?

Some people may view this dread as harsh, and wearing either collar may be frowned upon. They will typically be aware of the purpose of the collar, though, and will yell and flee if you approach them with it. The benefit of this fear is that they will quit the desired behavior, so you usually do not even need to use it on them after the first few times.

In spite of this, dogs do bark. They need to be able to continue doing that naturally occurring function. It is frequently in your best interest. If they are barking a lot, you should try to relieve any stress or worry they may be experiencing. But you presumably want them to bark if a stranger approaches your home. They employ it as a means of communication, frequently an essential one.

Citronella collars have the drawback that some dogs will still bark excessively even when the smell is present. Citronella supplies will be depleted rapidly, and if too much is sprayed in your dog’s face, it may have negative health effects. Pay close attention, and if they don’t seem terrified and keep barking, cut your losses. A risky strategy is to try to keep the collar constantly spraying them.

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.

What odors make dogs nervous?

It’s reasonable to say that the majority of dogs adore taking walks, eating chicken, receiving belly rubs, and chasing squirrels. Yes, there are exceptions, but for the most part, this is true of dogs. Similar to what they like, dogs often agree on what they dislike. who is first on the list? Citrus. Oranges, lemons, and grapefruit are typically repulsive to dogs’ senses of taste and smell. Here’s why and how to capitalize on their aversion to citrus.

Are collars with citronella cruel?

Citronella and other collars may have an adverse effect on animals, while the entire extent of this effect is unknown. E-collar shocks “are not only uncomfortable but also painful and terrifying and induce both short-term and long-term stress.”