Behavioral problems

Natural Dog Repellents

Ameera Mills
By Ameera Mills. Updated: July 28, 2022
Natural Dog Repellents

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While we want to ensure all of our interactions with dogs are healthy, there are circumstances when we might want them to stay away from certain places. This can be for both the benefit of the dog and ourselves. Whether we want to stop them peeing in our yard, keep them away from dangerous objects or simply protect our vases from overzealous tail wagging, you may be looking for some effective natural dog repellents for your home.

Keep reading here at AnimalWised to discover 6 effective, safe and natural homemade dog repellents which you can make from the comfort of your own home. These will keep your dog from places they shouldn't be, but won't cause them any harm in the process.

You may also be interested in: How to Keep a Dog From Pooping in Your Yard


  1. Homemade dog repellent
  2. Best natural dog repellents
  3. Lemon
  4. Oranges, tangerines and other citrus fruits
  5. White vinegar
  6. Antiseptic alcohol
  7. How to keep a dog off the couch
  8. Why you should not use aggressive dog repellents
  9. How to stop dogs peeing inside

Homemade dog repellent

Before applying any dog repellent to your home or yard, we should clean any areas which have been urinated or defecated on. This should be done using gloves and a mask. Additionally, we suggest that you avoid the use of bleach or ammonia. These products can encourage an animal to urinate in that same area again. Instead, opt for enzymatic products which are also much more sustainable for the environment.

Once you’ve cleaned the area well, you should dry this area with absorbent towels until all liquid is removed. Avoid scrubbing in the case of rugs, curtains or carpets, as this can cause the urine to become more absorbed. Once the urine has dried up, disinfect the area with enzymatic products or with a towel soaked in water and neutral soap.

If your dog has pooped inside, remove the waste using absorbent paper or towels and dispose of them in a closed bag. Then clean the area well with towels soaked in water and soap or an enzymatic product.

Once these affected areas have been cleaned correctly, you can apply a natural repellent. Discover our natural homemade anti dog repellents below.

For more, you may also be interested in our article where we discuss why is my dog pooping in the house suddenly?

Best natural dog repellents

Whether you want to use dog repellent for your yard or inside, it is important to take into account which ingredients and odors are unpleasant for dogs. It is these odors which can deter a dog from going to a specific area of a house.

It is not only natural dog repellents which can stop a doing going into your yard or home. There are many aggressive dog repellents which use chemicals and compounds which are very unpleasant for your dog. They are also unpleasant for other animals, children, neighbors and even plant life.

For this reason, aggressive dog repellents should never be used. The potential harm they can cause is not worth it. There are many household products that can kill your dog, so we cannot use them as a deterrent. Fortunately, we provide our safe homemade natural dog repellents for yards, as well as explain what smells repel dogs.

1. Lemon

Did you know that dogs are not big citrus fans? A dog's nose has roughly 300 million olfactory cells, meaning they can perceive odors 40 times stronger than we humans can. Although lemon can be zesty and appealing to us, they are overpowering for a dog's sensitive nose.

If your dog is urinating or pooping inside the house, squeeze roughly 100 milliliters of lemon juice mixed with 50 ml water and a tablespoon of baking soda. Apply this dog repellent spray over the area and let it act for 30 minutes. Remove the baking soda for a completely natural repellent. Repeat the process as many times as is necessary.

For more, read about the top 10 smells dogs hate.

Natural Dog Repellents - 1. Lemon

2. Oranges, tangerines and other citrus fruits

If you don't have a lemon at home, you can opt for other types of citrus fruits, such as oranges, tangerines, limes or grapefruit. Follow the same dog repellent spray process as above. First squeeze the fruit to extract 100 milliliters of juice, then mix with 50 milliliters of water and a spoonful of baking soda. Spray onto the already cleaned area and let it act.

For more, read our article on how to get rid of dog urine smell.

3. White vinegar

If you are wondering how to keep a dog to from pooping in your yard or home, white vinegar might be your answer. This ingredient has disinfectant properties which are accompanied by a strong smell, so it is commonly used as a household cleaner and natural dog repellent.

To stop dog peeing in house, mix one part hot water with one part white vinegar in a sprayer. Spray the area with the repellent and leave for 30 minutes. Repeat the process if necessary. This can provide a vinegar smell in your home, so it is not ideal for upholstery or other fabrics with which you may be in close contact.

For more, read how to keep a dog from pooping in your yard.

Natural Dog Repellents - 3. White vinegar

4. Antiseptic alcohol

Antiseptic alcohol is commonly used to disinfect wounds and is incredibly effective thanks to its powerful antibacterial properties. In addition, it has a strong smell that is unpleasant for both people and dogs. Although it is homemade, if you choose this option, you should know that it is not a natural dog repellent. Your dog will not likely want to lick it, but do not let them have access to any significant amount.

To keep your dog from peeing inside the house, spray alcohol mixed with water onto the specific area. If your dog is peeing on plants, do not spray this repellent directly onto the plants, but rather onto the pot. However, the smell of alcohol is not necessarily good for indoor use. It may be more effective as a dog repellent for the yard.

How to keep a dog off the couch

When a dog accidentally pees or poops on a hard floor, it’s not that difficult to clean. When it occurs on textiles such as upholstery, cleaning it can prove more difficult. Are you looking for a DIY couch defender? Keep reading here to discover how to keep dog off couch when not home.

These dog repellents are recommend specifically when trying to stop a dog from urinating or defecating on your sofa or bed:

Non-natural option: Hydrogen peroxide

Although hydrogen peroxide doesn’t have an unpleasant smell for humans, dogs find it incredibly uncomfortable and irritating. Mix one part hydrogen peroxide with one part water into a spray container. Spray the homemade dog repellent solution onto your bed or sofa and wipe with water after 30 minutes. When it comes to darker fabrics, we recommend doing a patch test beforehand to avoid discoloration.

Natural option: citrus

Citrus repellent spray for dogs is another common natural dog repellent.

Citrus is strong enough to irritate a dog's nasal mucus membranes. You can apply this dog repellent in one of two ways. You can either rub the citrus on the specific area or mix as detailed above and spray the solution onto the furniture or bed. At AnimalWised we recommend using the second option as it is less aggressive.

For more, read how to stop my dog from climbing on the sofa.

Natural Dog Repellents - How to keep a dog off the couch

Why you should not use aggressive dog repellents

Regardless of whether you are looking for repellents to stop urinating and defecating in the home or to scare away dogs from your property, it is essential to avoid mixtures and methods that are harmful to dogs. For this reason, you should never use the following as anti dog repellents:

  • Naphthalene
  • Hot pepper or chili
  • Products with ammonia
  • Chlorine

Naphthalene is toxic to dogs and its consumption can be fatal. Hot pepper or chili can be highly irritating to a dog’s mucus membranes because it contains capsaicinoids, compounds that give it its particular spicy flavor. By using chili, you are creating an incredibly hostile environment and experience for your dog.

Products with ammonia and chlorine are toxic for dogs. Instead of driving away a dog, ammonia (which is already present in dog urine) can make your dog believe that there is another dog in its territory. This will actually cause a dog to mark more often.

Find out everything you need to know about dog poisoning here.

Natural Dog Repellents - Why you should not use aggressive dog repellents

How to stop dogs peeing inside

Before you start using dog repellents, it is important that you investigate the reason why your dog is pooping or urinating inside. The most common causes for a dog peeing inside include:

  • Stress
  • Urinary tract diseases
  • Tumors
  • Dominance problems, among other.

If your dog is suddenly peeing inside or pooping inside the house, we recommend consulting your veterinarian to rule out possibility of a pathology. If your dog has not been properly educated and has always urinated or defecated in the home, this will require training and positive reinforcement. Additionally, it’s important to know that sterilization usually reduces this type of behavior in about 40% of male dogs.

Find out more with our article on stopping a dog from peeing inside the home.

If you want to read similar articles to Natural Dog Repellents, we recommend you visit our Behavioral problems category.

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  • Connelly, N., Damhus, T., Hartshorn, R., & Hutton, A. (2005). Nomenclature of inorganic chemistry. International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry, UK.
  • The Balance. (n.d.). How to get ride of dog pee and car urine odors. Retrieved from:
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Natural Dog Repellents