What Smells Do Dogs Hate?

What Smells Do Dogs Hate?

It is a well-established fact that dogs have an exceptionally heightened sense of smell. There are various practical examples of that, with dogs in the police department being the most prominent. This intensified sense leads the dogs to feel good and bad about certain smells.

Your dog finds comfort in your lap. Apart from various other reasons, your smell contributes to this love a lot. Besides loving smells in general, there are some scents that dogs tend to hate. This hate is also caused by the increased sensitivity of their olfactory cells.

So in this article, we’ll talk more about smells dogs hate and how these can be used for training your dog.

What Are Dog Deterrent Sprays?

What Are Dog Deterrent Sprays
Image by pixundfertig from Pixabay

Dog deterrent sprays use smells that dogs hate. These sprays are used to keep dogs away from certain places. For example, dog owners use them to have dog-free areas in their houses or prevent their dogs from entering potentially dangerous areas. You can find these sprays in several different variants. They are based on the smells dogs hate.

10 Smells Dogs Hate

10 Smells Dogs Hate
Images from Pixabay

We have compiled a list of smells that dogs can’t stand.

1. Spices

Spices have a strong smell besides their taste. Though we have a little less sensitivity towards smells, we humans still recognize the irritability to some extent. This irritability peaks to a height in the case of dogs as they have a stronger sense of smell. This irritability makes dogs hate the smell of spices, especially the ground ones, as they have more scents.

2. Alcohol

Whether it be standard alcohol or drinking alcohol, dogs hate both of them equally. As a result, they tend to avoid the smell as much as possible.

Dog owners mainly use alcohol to make some areas of their houses to be dog-free. They also use it to prevent their dogs from entering certain areas. However, don’t use too much alcohol as it catches fire quickly. Besides the beneficial use, you need to be a little careful. Don’t use alcohol on your dog in case of any emergency, and never put it in their food.

3. Herbs Like Parsley, Basil, And Mint

Fresh herbs like parsley, basil, and particularly mint have a delightful smell to us humans. But that is not the case for dogs. They hate the scent of most herbs. Mint is one herb that is both effective and readily available.

The significance of fresh herbs as a dog deterrent is that their oil can easily be extracted by mixing it with water. Hence, you can make a dog deterrent spray at home using mint. Also, you can protect your precious garden from your favorite pet by planting mint around it.

4. Cosmetics

All beauty products contain a good deal of chemicals. Some of these chemicals are used in almost every beauty product and hence are responsible for the specific smell of these cosmetics.

Although you won’t find it irritable, your canine partner can be seriously irritated because of this smell. Try keeping him away from such products. Don’t be one of those irresponsible vloggers who put makeup on their dogs.

5. Citrus Fruits

Citrus is another unbearable smell for dogs. In addition, they seem to cause reactions in your dog’s respiratory tract. So, if you are even using them as dog deterrents, don’t overuse them. Always try to dilute the concentrated products for the safety of your dog.

Apart from that, if you plan to use citrus fruits as dog deterrents at home, go for the skin, not the juice. Although the fruit has a robust flavor, the skin has a more pungent scent.

6. Ammonia

10 Smells Dogs Hate

Ammonia has a very irritating smell, even for humans. But for dogs, it is even worse than citrus. In addition, ammonia causes extreme reactions in your dog’s respiratory tract. So try to keep your canine partner safe by avoiding ammonia at any cost.

Don’t even think of using it as a dog deterrent. Also, try to keep your dog safe from products that contain ammonia. Prevalent examples of such products are household cleaners. Although, after a few hours of cleaning, the smell fades to an extent and acts as a dog deterrent, do not use them directly to deter your dog.

7. Essential Oils And Perfumes

Essential oils and perfumes will repel your canine partner. This is because of the chemicals used in perfumes and the ingredients of the essential oils. Though they are excellent repellents, the intensity can be harmful to your dog. Therefore, do not use them as dog deterrents.

8. Hot Peppers

Hot peppers have the most unpleasant smell of all the spices. You can get irritated if a seed gets stuck in your nose. As the dogs have a wonderful sense of smell, they get the same feeling when they are near peppers. Capsaicinoids are the leading group of chemicals that create this irritating burning sensation.

9. Mothballs

Mothballs are primarily manufactured from phenyl. The pungent odor keeps your dog away. But as valuable as the smell of these mothballs is, they can be highly harmful if your pup eats them by mistake. So if you are about to use mothballs for their pungent aroma, make sure to keep them out of the reach of your dog. Spreading them on the floor is not an option.

10. Vinegar

The sour odor of vinegar is also unpleasant for dogs and is, therefore, an excellent deterrent.

The best thing about vinegar is that you can easily make a vinegar dog deterrent at home using a spray bottle and some vinegar. Pour the vinegar into the spray bottle and start using your self-made dog deterrent spray.

Though this guide is handy, the ultimate reaction of your canine partner to some of these smells may vary. So before buying an expensive dog deterrent, check if your chosen scent repels your dog.

How Does Your Dog’s Nose Work?

How Does Your Dog’s Nose Work?
Image by lunasol97 from Pixabay

Dogs have a total of 300 million olfactory cells in comparison to 5 million cells in humans. This provides them with a heightened sense of smell. But all the wonder and miraculousness begins with the presence of a unique organ, Jacobson’s organ.

This organ is located in their nasal cavities near the roof of their mouth. Despite being in the nasal cavity, it doesn’t take the message to the olfactory cells in the brain but to a different part where all the processing is altogether varied. Here, this sense of smell is converted into potential memories, threats, and more.

This is why dogs tend to develop memories through scents, love or hate specific odors, and detect things based on their scent.

What Smells Are Calming To Dogs?

What Smells Are Calming To Dogs?
Image by StockSnap from Pixabay

As described earlier, dogs have a heightened sense of smell. This applies not only to the odors they hate but also to the ones they like. Therefore, some scents that are pleasing to dogs can calm them down.

Scents that dogs tend to love include vanilla, valerian, ginger, and coconut. But the scent that satisfies them best of all is the scent of their owners.

You can use these scents for training purposes too. Apart from that, they work as stress relievers too. So if your dog seems to suffer from stress or anxiety, try using these pleasant scents to help them calm down.

● How Can You Use These Smells For Training?

The dogs’ keen sense of smell is helpful for dog deterrents and plays an integral part in memory formation. Dogs’ favorite scents bring back joyful memories for them, whereas aromas they despise do the reverse.

You may use these odors to keep your dog from barking, moving, or even panting while training. It enables you to program a pattern in the dog’s head and control him in some way.

However, it is very forbidden to use these odors to hurt the dog.

● How To Use These Smells To Stop Them From Peeing And Pooping?

Dogs are very much civilized animals. They don’t pee or poop just anywhere. Instead, they usually make a spot for themselves that they find convenient for doing their business. But sometimes, your dog’s selection might not match yours. For example, he might choose your clean bathroom floor or your fancy pillow as the perfect spot to pee.

To protect your spaces, use the scents that repel your canine partner. The best possible way to do that is to keep these places clean. As the household cleaners contain ammonia, they keep your dog away from the site when it is being cleaned.

But after an hour, you can open the place, and your dog will avoid ruining the cleaned floor on its own. But don’t be too happy. Your canine partner isn’t that civilized. He is just avoiding the smell of ammonia.

Apart from that, you can use dog deterrent sprays on your expensive items to save them from your canine partner’s poop.

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● How To Use These Smells To Keep Your Dog From Digging?

Digging can sometimes be irritating for some dog owners. Especially if you own a garden, their digging habit can cost you a lot. If you want to stop your dog from destroying your beautiful lawn or your green garden, use dog deterrent sprays. Apart from that, planting mint in your garden is a great solution. It won’t cost you much and will provide you with a free source of mint anytime.

Frequently Asked Questions

We did our best to provide a detailed guide to the scents that dogs tend to love and hate. However, if we did miss any of your questions, go through this FAQ to find some additional answers.

1. Do dogs hate the smell of cinnamon?

Cinnamon is one of the spices that dogs usually hate. Though many dogs are indifferent to it, that might not be the case for your pup. The best way to find out is to keep a stick of cinnamon (the powdered form will work even better) near your dog. See how he reacts. If your dog moves away from the cinnamon, he is most probably repelled by it.

2. What ruins a dog’s sense of smell?

Some odors are so overpowering that they might destroy your dog’s olfactory cells, leading to the loss of sense of smell. Bleach is one such ingredient. Therefore, it is always better to protect your dog from them.

3. What sounds do dogs hate?

Although their sense of hearing isn’t heightened, they still have sounds they enjoy and sounds they can’t stand. For example, sirens, crying babies, and gunshots are high-frequency sounds that dogs tend to hate. So be ready for an extreme reaction against these sounds if they go on for too long.

4. Does vinegar stop dogs from peeing?

Yes, it surely does. If you want to protect a particular part of your house from your canine partner’s pee, white vinegar is the best way to do it. All you have to do is mix some white vinegar with water and spray the mixture over the place, and it will work like magic.

5. What is a natural dog repellent?

A natural dog repellent is any scent that dogs hate. You can use any of the objects mentioned above, except ammonia and cosmetics, as a natural dog repellent. You can either make a dog deterrent spray out of it or place the object in the area of your house you wish to keep your dog away from.

6. Does touching a dog’s nose hurt them?

A dog’s nose is a lot more than just sniffing and smelling scents. It performs many different functions for your dog. Therefore, we recommend against touching his nose, as it can offend or even hurt him.


There are different types of scents associated with various activities. For example, some scents are enjoyable to the dog, while others may make them fearful or annoyed. In addition, some scents can be specific to certain individuals regardless of their age or gender.

It isn’t enough to just tell your dog not to do something; you must understand why they are avoiding something. Allow yourself to get the benefit from your dog’s unique sense of smell without creating unnecessary problems for yourself or for your dog (unless you have a particularly strong sense of smell yourself).

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