How to Make Homemade Dog Repellent

By: Contributors  | 

scary dog
Afraid of dogs? You can make a safe and effective dog repellent with citrus or vinegar that won't hurt that not-so-friendly Fido. ARTPUPPY/Getty Images

Man's best friend may be great for companionship, but it wreaks havoc on gardens and upholstery. Whatever the reasons you want to keep a dog away, there are many dog repellants that are easy and cheap to make at home. All of the repellents listed below are 100 percent safe for dogs and the environment.

  • Citrus Dogs find the smell of citrus horrendous. You can protect your garden by placing slices of oranges or lemons throughout the flowerbed. To keep your dog off of your furniture, place a glass of lemon water on a nearby table or spray your furniture with the mixture [source: Moore].
  • Cayenne Peppers Though cayenne peppers will not harm your dog, it will irritate its eyes, nose and throat. To keep your dog out of your flowerbed, grind a mixture of black pepper and cayenne pepper, and sprinkle it throughout your garden [source: Farley]. A good trick for getting your dog to avoid the upholstery is to sprinkle cayenne pepper in your potpourri or leave a bowl of ornamental chilies next to the sofa.
  • Vinegar Dogs strongly dislike the odor of vinegar. Vinegar can be potentially dangerous for plants, so don't spray vinegar in your garden. Instead, douse biodegradable coffee filters in white vinegar and allow them to dry in the sun. Once completely dried, cut the filters into thin strips about the length of a toothpick. Spreading the strips throughout your garden will repel your dog and allow your flowers to thrive [source: Moore].
  • Ammonia Ammonia is the most effective dog repellent. To keep dogs off your furniture, clean your floors with an ammonia-based solution. For the garden, you can use the same method mentioned above for vinegar, replacing the vinegar with ammonia. Never pour or spray ammonia onto your lawn or flowers, because it could kill them.


Originally Published: Apr 15, 2011

Dog Repellent FAQ

What can you use to keep dogs away?
A solution of vinegar and ammonia is often used as an effective repellent against dogs. Since dogs have highly sensitive noses, pouring this solution around your property creates an invisible barrier that should smell foul enough to keep dogs away.
What scents keep dogs away?
Dogs dislike the smell of citrus fruits. These include grapefruit, lemons and even oranges. This is one of the reasons why citrus odors are used in sprays to keep dogs from chewing on items.
Do ultrasonic sounds hurt dogs?
Any sound over 20,000 Hz will negatively affect a dog both mentally and physically. These sounds can cause dogs to become distressed and nervous and they will often run away and hide if exposed to these frequencies for too long.
How do you make homemade dog repellent?
In a clean spray bottle, mix two tablespoons of distilled white vinegar and 20 drops of any citrus scented essential oil into one and a half cups of cold water. Mix well and spray in the places around your home that you want the dog to stay away from.
Do dog repellent apps work?
Some apps produce ultrasonic sounds that are supposed to keep dogs away. These apps can also be used to stop an attacking or barking dog. There are options available for both Android and iOS; just search in your phone’s app store.