What Smells Do Dogs Hate? Scents That Put Dogs Off

Dogs have an acute sense of smell that allows them to see the world in a different way than we do. Dogs are sensitive to all sorts of odors around them and even use this keen sense to recognize places and memories.

However, this sensitivity to odor means that distasteful odors are exceptionally discomforting to dogs. Hence you should know which smells dogs hate to spare your dog the discomfort. Dogs typically dislike the smell of citrus fruits, cleaning detergents, chili peppers, and, surprisingly, perfume.

Among the above-mentioned smells, dogs dislike several other smells that may come as a surprise to you.

12. Chili Pepper

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The odor of chili pepper can be toxic to your dog. Capsaicin is a chemical found in chili pepper and is responsible for causing irritation and burning sensation within the dog’s nose.

The longer your dog takes a whiff of chili pepper, the more hazardous it becomes and burns the nose. Sometimes it can even cause violent sneezing that can lead to bleeding.

If your dog inhales chili pepper, make sure to thoroughly rinse its nose with water. Dog owners can use a very small amount of chili pepper as a deterrent away from plants or hazardous objects.

11. Citrus

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The smell of citrus can be pleasing to many humans; However, it is a different story for dogs. Dogs hate the smell of citrus products like oranges, lemons, limes, .etc because it causes an annoying irritation within their respiratory tract.

They hate the smell of citrus-scented products and oils even more than the actual fruits. The scent emitted from these products is much stronger, making them even more unbearable. Many owners use citrus as a deterrent to prevent their dogs from urinating in a specific spot.

10. Vinegar

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Because of their sensitive noses, many canines hate the strong scent of vinegar. This makes it great to use in areas you want to repel your dog from. This substance contains many ingredients that irritate the nostrils and prevent them from breathing properly.

If your dog keeps urinating in a specific area or chews on furniture, spraying a bit of vinegar in the area will aid in repelling them.

9. Alcohol

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The vapors emitted by alcohol are hated by dogs. Alcohol, in general, is toxic and hazardous to dogs. That is why you should keep it away from them.

Alcohol can cause death if ingested in high amounts. If your dog has ingested alcohol, take them to the nearest veterinarian to get checked up.

Be mindful to keep products that contain alcohol, such as gels and sanitizers, far from reach because dogs hate the smell of those too.

8. Ammonia

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Ammonia is a highly concentrated chemical that emits an unpleasant smell that dogs hate. Ammonia causes your dog to get stressed because it contains a similar smell to that of urine, so they think that there is another animal in the home.

This usually causes them to bark aggressively or avoid certain areas or spots where the smell is the strongest. Overexposure to ammonia is toxic to both humans and dogs. Thus it should be hidden as far away as you can put it.

7. Mothballs

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Mothballs are little chemical balls that can be used to repel dogs. These balls contain high levels of insect pesticides which emit an odor that your dog can not bear to smell.

If you want to keep your dog away from a room or specific spot, throw some mothballs, and they will not go there. Make sure that your dog does not attempt to eat it because they are highly poisonous to both dogs and humans.

6. Cosmetic Products

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Cosmetic products like nail polish and its remover have a strong potent odor that repels dogs.

Acetone is the chemical that is responsible for the strong smell, and your dog finds it uncomfortably unbearable due to their sensitive noses.

This is why many dog owners apply these products in areas they want to prevent their pooch from going to or chewing. Be careful not to apply too much as this may irritate your dog’s nose and throat.

5. Mint

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Many dogs are not a fan of herbs such as mint, which makes it a great repellent. Mint has a strong, pungent odor that is not very appetizing for your dog’s sensitive nose. So even though it may smell pleasant to us, your dog does not like it and may avoid you if they smell the scent.

If your dog is always messing up your garden or chewing the plants, try making a homemade mint spray that you can apply to the affected area. This is great for protecting your flowers from being damaged.

4. Strong Spices

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Dogs hate the smell of strong spices, which is why it is a great repellent. Spices such as chili peppers or jalapenos contain strong odors that may irritate your dog’s sensitive nose. In some severe cases, your dog’s nostrils and throat may be burned if over ingested.

Always mix strong spices with water and spray it on areas where you do not want your dog to urinate or on furniture to prevent it from being chewed.

3. Cleaning Products

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Many cleaning products contain strong chemicals that repel dogsAmmonia is present in many cleaning products and other compound chemicals, which can cause burns to your dog’s throat if ingested in large amounts.

Never use cleaning products as a direct repellent; Always dilute it with water. Also, ensure that you thoroughly clean your dog’s resting area, removing any leftover detergent, or else they will avoid that spot.

2. Perfume And Cologne

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Perfumes and colognes have various chemical ingredients that dogs hate. Ingredients such as oils, alcohol, and chemical compounds produce a smell that disturbs your dog’s nose and may at times cause irritations and burns in severe cases.

This is why some dogs will avoid their owners after they have applied a strong-smelling perfume or cologne. Use these products in places you want to deter your dog from going.

1. Fresh Herbs

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Dogs are not fond of the smell of fresh herbs. While playing in your garden and getting plants, your dog would most probably avoid your fresh herbs such as rosemary and basil.

You can use this to your advantage to prevent your dog from damaging the garden that you worked so hard to grow. You can do so by placing fresh herbs in strategic positions that would discourage your dog from going any further.

Another way to utilize the smell of fresh herbs to protect your garden from your dog is by boiling fresh herbs and using boiling water to spray your plants. The smell will repel your dog.



Do Dogs Like The Smell Of Period Blood? No, dogs do not find the smell pleasant. However, they are able to sniff out when you are on your period or if your period is approaching. This is because periods cause you to release a different pheromone.

Do Scented Candles Bother Dogs? Scented candles contain aromatic hydrocarbons such as paraffin wax and oils to enhance their scent. This artificial scent can be so strong that it may bother a dog’s sensitive nose.

What Smells Are Toxic To Dogs? Overexposure to ammonia is very toxic to dogs and can become lethal. Make sure to conceal ammonia in a place that is beyond reach for both your dog and your family.

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Pete Decker