What Smells Do Dogs Hate?

What Smells Do Dogs Hate?

Dog Smelling Carpet

When it comes to the sense of smell, dogs have us humans beat by a longshot. As we mentioned in our article, “Why Does My Dog Dig,” your pup has upwards of 300 million olfactory cells that help them navigate the world around them, in comparison to only five million of these cells in humans. To put it simply; dogs have very sensitive noses!

While it’s natural for a dog to chew and dig, if your pesky pup keeps getting into your shoe closet or digging at your couch, you can harness her powerful sense of smell to try and stop this. 

Or, perhaps your dog is peeing where he shouldn’t be? Well, you can use the fact that dogs hate to pee near strong smells they dislike to train him out of this behavior. 

Whatever the reason, people often ask what scent do dogs hate? Let’s take a look at five of the most common ones… 

1. Peppers

Chili peppers get their kick from capsaicin, the chemical that gives them their smell and zing. While dogs don't have the ability to taste the spicy zing of chili peppers, the capsaicin can certainly be felt. Remember to only use the chili as a deterrent and not to let your dog gobble it up: A mildly spicy chili can lead to a severe reaction. Just like with humans, your dog can feel the spiciness in her nose, throat and mouth.

2. Citrus

Not all dogs are created equal, and not all dogs will be as averse to citrus as they are to other smells, however, the strong smell of lemons and oranges may be a natural, safe way to keep pesky dogs away from unwanted areas.

Try cutting up citrus fruits, filling a spray bottle with the juice, or using the oils from citrus peel to help protect your belongings. For humans, the smell of citrus is fresh and bright and can mask other odors we deem unpleasant, but as citrus is so strong, it can irritate a dog’s respiratory tract — so be careful with how you use it! 

3. Vinegar

Vinegar is another household item that dogs stay away from due to its strong smell.

You can use vinegar straight from the bottle to sprinkle or spray. If you’re using it in your garden, don’t use it directly on plants as it can damage them. Spray it nearby or put it on bits of fabric or cotton balls. Although the acrid smell of vinegar may not be appealing to humans either, it is a natural scent that your dog is likely to hate. If you can tolerate the smell, it can help your dog understand she is breaking the rules!

4. Essential Oils

Before using an essential oils diffuser in your home, consider your dog’s powerful sense of smell. According to the American Kennel Club, essential oils used improperly can lead to changes in behavior, adverse central nervous system effects, and respiratory problems. Not to mention the fact that some essential oils are toxic to dogs, whether they lick them or just get them on their skin. The list of harmful oils includes oil of cinnamon, citrus, pennyroyal, peppermint, pine, sweet birch, tea tree (melaleuca), wintergreen and ylang-ylang.


5. Fresh Herbs

You’ll find that lots of dogs aren’t fans of fresh herbs like mint or rosemary, as they have a very pungent aroma that's not appetizing to them. You can use this fact to your advantage and plant fresh herbs in your garden where your dog may like to dig. Not only will it keep your dog away from other plants, but you'll always have a fresh supply on hand to add some flavor to your cooking!

Bad Smells to Steer Clear From 

Your pooch will hate the smell of mothballs, alcohol, cleaning products and nail polish! However, we do not recommend the use of these as a deterrent, as they are toxic and harmful for your pet. Steer clear of these stinky products when your dog is around!

Remember, a dog’s nose is much more sensitive to smells than our human noses are. If it’s potent to you, chances are it’s much worse for your dog. Some dogs avoid the smell, react vocally, or run to another area to get away from bad smells. 

If you’re using a smell to deter or train your pet, never spray it directly on your dog. This can burn their eyes, nose or throat. The mere scent and closeness of the smells your dog does not like, placed strategically wherever you need them, should be enough to repel the dog

Your Dog Will LOVE the Smell of Canidae Pure Real Salmon & Sweet Potato Dog Food!

CANIDAE® PURE Grain Free Dry Dog Food With Salmon and Sweet Potato features premium proteins and clean recipes using a limited number of wholesome ingredients. These limited ingredient formulas offer your dog a well-rounded meal that's been crafted with their health and well-being in mind. This grain-free dog food is great for pups with a sensitive stomach and offers nothing but pure goodness for your best friend. Canidae pet foods are ultra nutritionally dense, giving your pet the goodness they deserve.