What Smells Do Dogs Hate?

What Smells Do Dogs Hate?

Dogs often have a heightened sense of smell compared to humans, but what smells do dogs hate? Knowing which odors dogs dislike can be incredibly beneficial for pet owners. Not only will it allow them to create a safer and more comfortable environment for their furry friends, but it can also help prevent potential accidents and keep them from developing bothersome habits.

What Smells Do Dogs Hate

In this blog post, we’ll explore how different scents affect dogs so that you can make sure yours are living their best life possible!

Have you ever wondered what smells do dogs hate? It turns out, there are a few scents that can make any canine uncomfortable. Whether it’s the strong aroma of citrus or something more unpleasant like skunk spray, understanding what smells dogs hate is important for providing them with their ideal living environment.

Read on to learn all about the odors that will have your pup running for cover!

What Smells Do Dogs Hate?

Dogs have a keen sense of smell and can be repelled by certain odors. Some smells that dogs strongly dislike include vinegar, chili pepper, gasoline, perfume, ammonia and alcohol. Certain essential oils like citrus, lavender and mint may also cause your pup to turn up their nose in displeasure. Any strong aromas are likely to make your pup uncomfortable and should be avoided.

Additionally, odors associated with fear may cause dogs to become anxious or irritable, so use caution when introducing new smells and objects into their environment.

1. Citrus:

Dogs hate the strong smell of citrus fruits like oranges and lemons. If you want to keep your pup away from certain areas, try spraying a citrus-scented air freshener or place some slices of fresh lemon around the area.

2. Vinegar:

Another scent that can make your pup uncomfortable is vinegar. The pungent aroma of this household staple can be overwhelming for canines, so it’s best to avoid using it in areas where your pup spends time.

3. Skunk Spray:

Any animal with a nose will tell you that skunk spray stinks! Dogs have an incredibly sensitive sense of smell, so the noxious odor of skunk spray can be especially unpleasant for them.

4. Ammonia:

Ammonia has a powerful and pungent smell that can easily irritate your pup’s nose. For this reason, it’s important to keep any products containing ammonia out of reach from your pup.

5. Garlic and Onions:

Garlic, onions, and other members of the allium family are toxic to dogs, so it’s important to keep them away from your pet. Not only can these foods make your pup sick if ingested, but their odors can also be very unpleasant for a canine nose.

It’s important to remember that while certain smells may repel a dog, others might actually attract them — such as food-related scents or the smell of another dog. When introducing new smells to your pup, do so gradually in order to ensure that they are comfortable and safe.

What Smell Do Dogs Hate to Pee on and Poop on?

Dogs hate to pee and poop on surfaces with strong odors, such as vinegar and citrus. Many scents, including menthol, eucalyptus, tea tree oil, citronella and lavender, can also discourage dogs from urinating or defecating in certain areas. 

Additionally, many commercial dog repellants contain smells that canines find offensive, such as mustard oil and garlic. Finally, the smell of household ammonia can keep dogs away from a designated area when sprayed on its surface.  

In addition to avoiding certain scents, it is important to clean up any messes left behind by your pet quickly and thoroughly. Urine and feces contain bacteria and pheromones that attract dogs back to the same spot. 

The lingering smell can become a habit, leading your pet to continue returning to the same area despite attempts to deter them with odors they don’t like. Regularly mopping or sweeping the affected area and washing any fabrics with an enzymatic cleaner will help remove odors and encourage your pet to stay away. 

Finding the right smell to keep your pet from soiling a certain area can take some trial and error, but it is worth the effort if it leads to better potty habits for your pup. 

With a bit of patience and experimentation, you may be able to find just the right scent to keep your pet away from areas you want them to avoid. 

How Do I Know If My Dog Hates the Smell?

The best way to determine if a certain smell is working as a deterrent for your pup is to observe their behavior. If you notice that they are staying away from an area where you have applied the odor, then it’s likely working. 

It’s also important to note whether or not your pup seems uncomfortable when exposed to the scent. If they seem distressed, it may be best to try another odor. You can also consult with your vet for advice on finding a scent that is safe and effective for your pup. 

If your pup is acting distressed or uncomfortable when exposed to a particular smell, it is safe to assume that they don’t like it. Signs of discomfort can include cowering, raised hackles, lip licking and excessive panting. It is important to recognize these signs in order to protect your pet from unpleasant odors. 

By understanding which smells dogs hate, you can make sure your pet stays away from areas where they aren’t welcome while also making their environment more comfortable.

Are There Any Risks Associated with Using Smells to Deter My Dog?

Although using smells to deter your dog from certain behaviors may be effective, it is important to understand the potential risks associated with this technique. 

Smell aversion can cause physical discomfort for dogs if the odor is too strong or lasts for an extended period of time. Additionally, aversive smells can create fear and anxiety in some dogs when they associate the smell with a negative experience. 

If the dog has a severe reaction to a particular smell, it can lead to further behavioral issues such as aggression or avoidance of certain areas where the smell is present. 

Finally, if the smells used are unpleasant for humans too, then it may create an uncomfortable environment for both you and your pet. It is important to use smells carefully and sparingly to avoid any of these potential risks. 

If you are unsure about using smells, it is best to consult a professional trainer or behaviorist first. 

How Can I Make My Own Dog Repellent?

If you prefer not to use commercial repellents, there are several natural smells that can be used as deterrents. For example, vinegar, citrus fruits and essential oils such as citronella or eucalyptus have been found to be effective for many pet owners. 

You can also create your own homemade sprays using water, essential oils, and dish soap. Simply mix all the ingredients together in a spray bottle and apply it to the areas where you want to keep your pet away from.

One of the easiest ways to make a homemade repellent is to mix vinegar and water in a spray bottle, then lightly mist the area you want to protect against dogs. 

You can also add essential oils such as citronella, lavender, or eucalyptus to make a more pleasant scent. Another simple recipe is to mix crushed garlic and chili powder in warm water and spray the mixture around the perimeter of your yard or garden. 

Finally, if these natural repellents don’t work for you, you can always try commercial dog repellents, which are available at most pet stores. 

Whichever method you choose, making sure to keep your area clean and free of food and treats will help ensure that dogs stay away.

Commercial Dog Deterrent Spray

If you are looking for a more convenient option, there are many commercial dog deterrent sprays available on the market. These products usually contain scents that dogs find unpleasant and which will help keep them away from certain areas.

They may also contain ingredients like cayenne pepper or essential oils that can irritate or even burn your pup’s nose and eyes. Before using any type of deterrent spray, it is important to read the label carefully and make sure that it is safe for your pet.

It is also a good idea to test the product out in an inconspicuous area before applying it around your yard or garden.

FAQs about What Smells Do Dogs Hate

What should I do if my dog seems to be afraid of a certain smell?

If your dog seems to be afraid of a certain smell, it is important to first identify the source of that smell. This could include things like smoke from a campfire, perfumes or other fragrances, scented candles, cleaning supplies, and more. 

Once you have identified the source of the fear-inducing smell, try to reduce its frequency or intensity, if possible. If that isn’t an option, you may need to desensitize your dog by gradually introducing them to the smell in small doses. 

For example, start with the smell being far away and gradually move closer over time. You can also try offering treats and positive reinforcement when your dog is near the smell to help them associate it with something positive. 

If your dog’s fear of the smell persists, contact a professional animal behaviorist for more assistance.

Do dogs hate lavender?

The answer is not a straightforward one. Some dogs may love the smell of lavender while others might find it too strong or even unpleasant. 

It really depends on the individual dog and their preferences. If you want to find out if your pet loves the scent, try introducing it gradually. Start by using a few drops of lavender oil in an area they can smell it but not directly, and see how they react. 

If your pup seems to enjoy the aroma, you can gradually increase the amount used until you find their comfort level. On the other hand, if your dog appears to be uncomfortable with lavender, then it’s best to avoid using the product in any form around them.

What do dogs hate to walk on?

Dogs may not like to walk on a variety of surfaces, such as slippery surfaces, rough pavement and even hot asphalt. They may also be uncomfortable walking on sand and rocks. 

Additionally, dogs may be scared of shiny or reflective surfaces such as hardwood floors or tiles. In some cases, loud noises (such as those made by construction equipment) can also cause discomfort for some dogs. 

If you have a dog that is scared of any of these surfaces or noises, it’s best to find an alternate route for them to walk.

Do dogs hate peppermint?

The answer to this question is not as simple as you may think. While peppermint can be a pleasant scent for some dogs, it can also be an unpleasant one, particularly when experienced in high concentrations. 

Peppermint is known to have stimulating properties that can agitate more sensitive dogs, resulting in signs of discomfort such as barking or whimpering. Additionally, peppermint can be very strong in some dogs’ noses and may cause discomfort or even trigger an allergic reaction. 

It is best to introduce peppermint slowly and in small doses to make sure your pup is comfortable with it before introducing larger amounts. 

Will coffee grounds keep dogs away?

Coffee grounds are not a reliable way to keep dogs away from an area. Dogs have an incredibly keen sense of smell, so the scent of coffee might initially deter them, but it will not be enough to keep them away for any extended period of time. 

Additionally, if the dog is particularly determined to explore the area, they may even become used to the scent of coffee and no longer be deterred by it. 

If you are looking for ways to keep dogs away from an area, there are more effective methods such as using physical barriers or motion-activated sprays. These methods create a lasting barrier that will effectively prevent unwanted canine visitors.

How can I keep my dog from smelling bad?

The best way to keep your dog from smelling bad is to practice good hygiene habits. Regular brushing and bathing are essential for keeping a healthy coat and removing dirt, debris, and excess oils that can cause odor. 

You should also trim your dog’s nails regularly to help reduce odors caused by bacteria or yeast build-up in their feet. Additionally, be sure to clean your dog’s ears routinely with a cotton ball and ear cleaning solution, as wax build-up can lead to odor. 

Finally, feed your pup a healthy diet full of high-quality protein sources, which will help reduce bad breath. With these tips in mind, you can keep your pet smelling fresh and clean!


In conclusion, there are a variety of smells that dogs hate, from citrus to vinegar to certain perfumes and essential oils. Dogs have an incredibly sensitive sense of smell, so it is important to be mindful when introducing new scents into their environment. 

Additionally, it can be helpful to figure out what particular smells your dog does and doesn’t like as this will help you keep them safe and comfortable. If your dog does not seem to appreciate a certain smell, it is probably best to avoid it or at least limit their exposure to it. 

Ultimately, understanding what smells do dogs hate can help you create a better environment for them and maintain their health and happiness.  

We hope this post has helped you learn more about what smells do dogs hate, so you can keep your pup safe and happy. Thanks for reading!

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To provide you with the expert assistance you need, Vet Ranch with licensed veterinarians can answer your health-related pet issues. For the purpose of sharing knowledge with each other, we have jointly created this website, where you can get useful information from us and also where we expand our knowledge through your comments from you.