What smell do dogs hate to pee on? 10 smells that dogs hate

Smells dogs hate

Dogs have been gifted with a dazzling sense of smell, they are in the top 10 most powerful sniffers in the animal kingdom.

The dog’s sensitive nose is a powerful and effective crime-fighting tool used daily in aeroports and on the roads to detect drugs and also used to help track missing people or fugitives and plenty of other missions.

Having such a sensitive nose does come with a vulnerability to some strong smells that we might consider normal.

Some of these smells that dogs hate can be everyday items found in our homes, and some can even be used to potty train dogs if used carefully of course.

What scent will keep dogs away?

There are 10 smells that dogs hate, some are natural products that are just too strong for them to handle, while some can be chemical products that could be really harmful to dogs.

The list below is for information only to be aware of any potentially dangerous products that could harm your dog.

Some of these scents can be used as natural do repellents, to stop dogs from pooping or peeing in particular spots.


There are many videos online of dogs given citrus as a funny prank and the funny dog reactions are hilarious, but, unlike us, dogs don’t react to the taste of the citrus but rather to the smell itself.

Just peeling an orange or a lemon next to your dog will make him leave the area on the spot.

To most dogs, the smell of citrus is repellent but not all dogs hate it, so you want to check if your dog is among the vast majority of citrus smell haters.

The test is easy to perform just peel an orange or a lemon close to your dog if he runs away then you’ve just found a natural repellent that you can use for training.

We don’t really know why dogs hate the smell of citrus but the most logical explanation is that the acidic fruit burns their sensitive noses.

Apparently what smells refreshing to us is definitely not for dogs.


Vinegar is an item found in most kitchens, great for cooking and cleaning but for dogs, the smell is too acidic to handle.

Dogs are more vulnerable to vinegar than they are to citrus, and most dogs will not stay in a spot where they can smell the vinegar.

The dog’s powerful and extremely sensitive sense of smell can’t tolerate the smell of vinegar, no wonder why it is part of every homemade dog repellent.

Using vinegar as a dog repellent is one thing but spraying a dog directly with it is just cruel, the strong nose of dogs can’t handle most acrid smells that don’t particularly seem strong to us.


Hot chili is quite an obvious dog repellent, while cutting a chili if we inhale some, it irritates us, you can only imagine what it does to dogs.

The powerful smell of the chili irritates dogs and causes them to sneeze and itches their noses, using it directly on a dog Is considered animal abuse.

Chilli is one of the items that can be found in any household and could hurt your dog so be careful when cooking not to harm your partner.

Some people do use chilis ass dog repellent but we advise against it since the dogs not only hate the smell of chili but it irritates them.

Rubbing alcohol

Rubbing alcohol sure stands on top of the scents dogs hate, they just can’t stand its smell.

Whenever they smell alcohol they leave the area on the spot, not only rubbing alcohol but most products with alcohol in them, even beverage is considered toxic for dogs, and most dogs but not all would avoid it.

Using rubbing alcohol on places you don’t want your dog to be in is not a good idea, they can get the smell on their coats and it’s going to last for a while and it will make them uncomfortable.

Perfume or cologne

Perfume or cologne may smell great to us but for dogs, it is mostly just too strong, when around dogs it is better to avoid strong perfumes as it irritates them.

You can notice a few changes in your dog’s behavior if you put on a strong perfume.

Dogs sure hate perfume, but it’s also not a good dog repellent, the smell lasts for too long and can be unpleasant.

Cleaning products

Cleaning products mostly smell nice for us but our sense of smell does not detect the chemicals that those cleaning products are made of.

Not all cleaning products have smells dogs hate, but they generally don’t hang around when we use them to clean.

You also have to be careful when cleaning the dog’s house or crate not to use something that would repel the dog.

Using the wrong product to clean the dog’s crate can cause crate training regression.

We recommend using this stain and odor remover from only natural pets, I trust their products and it is effective for most stains.

Beauty products

Some beauty products have odors dogs hate, some are obvious like nail polish which is strong even for us but other products may seem fine to us but are too strong for dogs.

Beauty products aren’t really good as repellents for dogs since they just hate the smell but not to the point that they won’t play around you if you had some put on.

However, ladies be careful when playing with your dog if you have any strong smells of beauty products on don’t touch the dog’s nose or facial area with it.

Also, be careful where you put your beauty stuff ladies some dogs are curious and may get in contact with something that would irritate their nose.


Mothballs don’t really smell good for us so you can only imagine how it smells to dogs, they are also poisonous for both dogs and people, so it would be a bad idea to use them as dog repellents.

Be careful where you place mothballs and make sure they are out of reach for both kids and dogs.

Mothballs are used to kill moths and other kinds of insects and they contain Naphthalene that slowly releases fumes that are repellent to most pets and not only dogs.

Mothballs are toxic to dogs especially when ingested but still, long-term exposure could have the same results.

Ground spices

Most ground spices have strong flavors and smell that makes most of us sneeze if inhaled, so they sure are stronger than a dog’s sensitive smell sense.

However, none of the ground spices other than chili that we already talked about is harmful to dogs, they just hate the smell like most strong smells.

Inhaling it directly or touching it with their nose will cause them to sneeze a lot and feel uncomfortable for a few moments but nothing more.

Ground spices are no good as dog repellents and their smell does not last long unless you get in contact with it directly.

Neem oil

Neem oil is used for plenty of things like gardening as a pesticide or sometimes for the skin, it has one of the smells dogs hate and they won’t get near a spot where they smell it.

Ironically neem oil is used sometimes as a natural alternative to repel fleas and ticks, it is usually how much neem oil you use that will determine if the dog can or can’t tolerate the smell.

What smell do dogs hate to pee on?

Dogs would not pee in spots where they can sense a repellent smell, and this can be a good way to prevent them from peeing where they should not.

Dogs hate to pee on any strong smell they hate and would look for a more comfortable spot, vinegar and citrus are safe to use to repel dogs but you can get better results, with a professionally made repellent.

When used to repel dogs vinegar is not used concentrated but with water as a spray often 1/5 vinegar.

The odor eliminator we recommend is Angry orange(click here to check the current price on Amazon) it takes about 10 minutes but it’s like a lemon bomb landed on the spots you spray it on.

What smell do dogs hate to poop on?

Poop spots are a much bigger problem than pee spots are, luckily you can use the same smells as suggested before.

It is always hard to make a dog change his pooping spot once he’s marked it as a potty spot.

Repellent smells are a great solution for this problem also but you need something professional as we mentioned for pee stains, just use the same product we recommended before.

Why are smells dogs hate good for training

Training dogs is essentially based on associating good and bad emotions with things you want your dog to do or not to do.

Dogs are emotional pets they will do and love things and places associated with good memories smells or food, and will avoid and hate places or things or behavior associated with bad memories smells…

So when training a dog you have to use motivational tools like treats praise and toys, but you also have to be smart and use things dogs hate to correct their behavior.

This is why using smells dogs hate is such a great tool to correct behavior and help training.

Essential oils dogs hate

Essential oils dogs hate

According to the American Kennel Club, some essential oils can be toxic to dogs in case of long exposure, and here is the list

  • Oil of Citrus
  • Oil of Peppermint 
  • Oil of Sweetbirch 
  • Oil of Tea Tree (melaleuca)
  • Oil of Cinnamon 
  • Oil of Pennyroyal
  • Oil of Lemongrass
  • Oil of Wintergreen 
  • Oil of Ylang Ylang

These oils are toxic whether ingested by mouth or spread on the skin.

Using repellent smells for crate training

Crate training is such an important step in housebreaking a new dog and providing him with a safe den.

If you are thinking about crate training your puppy, we have a definitive guide you can check out it has a detailed step-by-step guide.

One of the main problems when crate training a dog especially an adult dog is to make him change his den.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with crate training dogs are den animals and will make a den within the house anyway, the idea is to make that safe den a crate that provides an environment we can control.

The difficult part for an older dog that has been living in the house for some time is that he sure has a safe place already that he is not ready to change, and this is where repellents come in handy.

A den for dogs is a place where they can relax and feel safe, if there is an irritating smell in it every time the dog goes there it’s just not doing the job he chose it for and therefore not worth it.

This is when you present the better alternative which is the crate and you make a big effort into making the crate great.

We personally use the same product we suggested earlier the odor eliminator Angry orange it works for this also and dogs won’t spend too much time in the spots you spray it with.

Using repellent smells for potty training

Unlike crate training, potty training is not optional and if you don’t want to live in a house that stinks with dog pee you want to consider potty training your dog from day one.

Of course, accidents do happen and dogs can pee somewhere they’re not supposed to, but the main problem with potty training is that dogs tend to pee in the same spot again and again.

That’s why you want to use a repellent made of smells dogs hate to spray any area the dog claims as his potty space.

You can use the product I suggested or use homemade repellent using citrus or vinegar.

These sprays and repellents make potty training faster and easier.

How to make a dog repellent at home

Many of the products I shared on the top ten list of smells dogs hate are poisonous or very irritating to dogs, I would only recommend using citrus and in some cases vinegar, and nothing else.

Some pet parents use chili powder but I wouldn’t since it can cause problems if not used properly or if it gets in the dog’s sensitive nose.

Most dogs will avoid citrus and if they can tolerate it there is always vinegar so no need to go wild and aggressive on your dog.

The whole idea is to stop your dog from chewing on something or going somewhere not punishing him.

Fresh citrus peel is effective enough and lasts for a while, so you can brush it on the spots you don’t want your dog in. you can also put the peels in a spray with hot water in it and spray the area.

And in cases of strong smell or recurrent behavior, you may use vinegar with warm water 1/5 vinegar and spray it on the spots you want.

What can I spray to keep dogs away?

You can use homemade vinegar repellent to keep dogs away, when mixed with water it can be very effective and safe at the same time.

Vinegar water spray can be used for different training purposes and it does not irritate the dog’s nose.

However, no dog repellent, homemade or bought should be directly sprayed to the dog, it might not be harmful but the scent can stick to their coats and last for hours making them uncomfortable.

Final thoughts

  • Dogs have a powerful and sensitive sense of smell, strong smells may harm them with long term exposure.
  • Some products that seem and smell fine to us are actually very irritating for dogs so be mindful where you put those products.
  • using smells dogs hate as a punishment tool is cruel, harmful, and dog abuse.
  • Using smells dogs hate for training purposes is smart if done the right.