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Being a dog owner, you have probably noticed that your dog sometimes doesn’t like certain smells, and is trying to avoid some things, places in your house, etc. You have probably wondered if smells that dogs hate even exist.

We all know that our sense of smell and a dog’s sense of smell are very different.

A dog’s nose possesses more smell receptors, and their olfactory sense is 10,000 to 100,000 times stronger than ours. So, it is not strange that our preferences differentiate concerning fragrances. While you may adore your perfumes, it is highly possible that some of them are repellent smells to dogs.

We may find that some of them smell wonderful, while to our furry friends, they may appear like the most awful smell ever. On the other hand, while the smells of urine and feces are our most repellent smells, dogs find them somewhat pleasant because those smells provide them with things they are interested in.

Those smells dogs hate are most likely the things you have in your house and kitchen cabinet. So, let’s not waste time – keep reading to find out what smells repel dogs and cause them great discomfort.

12 Smells Dogs Hate

We are focused on finding smells that the majority of dog breeds don’t quite prefer or are toxic and harmful to them, so you could understand why your dog is running away from some scents.

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Now, to the point – let’s answer the question: What smells do dogs hate?

1. Cleaning Products

Jack Russell Terrier on a background of cleaning productsJack Russell Terrier on a background of cleaning products

First on the list of smells that dogs hate are cleaning products. To be honest, we may understand why dogs don’t like household cleaners – I mean, not that we like them due to their unpleasant strong scent.

Household cleaners are full of ammonia and chlorine, besides the awful smell, which can be dangerous, and dogs can inhale it causing irritation in their respiratory tract.

My advice is to use these products when your dog is not around, and after cleaning, make sure to open the windows in order to clear the air. A good option would be to buy pet-friendly cleaning products in order to save your dog from harmful chemicals.

2. Mothballs

Although you want to keep moths away from your clothes, you should also keep your dog away from them. Mothballs are some form of pesticide, and not only do dogs hate them, but they are also very dangerous for your dog, especially if he eats one. They are poisonous even for us.

3. Alcohol

Multitude of pure alcohol bottles not labeledMultitude of pure alcohol bottles not labeled

Did you ever ask yourself why your dog isn’t keen on cuddling with you when you come home after a few drinks? Well, the reason for that is that dogs find the smell of alcohol highly unlikable. They don’t like being near areas where there is even a small amount of the smell of alcoholic beverages or rubbing alcohol.

If you want to keep your dog away from something, don’t spray alcohol as it can irritate the skin, but use soaked cotton balls and put them in areas where you don’t want your dog to be.

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4. Nail Polish Remover And Nail Polish

Some of your favorite and essential products have smells that dogs hate. Your nail polish and nail polish remover consists of chemical compounds such as acetone, acetate, formaldehyde, isopropyl alcohol, and nitrocellulose.

All of these smells find a way to bother your dog’s sensitive nose. These products shouldn’t be used as dog repellent solutions as they can cause your dog to sneeze and itch.

5. Ground Spices

different kind of spices in bowles on the tabledifferent kind of spices in bowles on the table

Ground spices like nutmeg, cayenne pepper, chili powder, cinnamon, mustard, allspice, ginger, paprika, and cardamom are all smells that dogs hate, but they are not harmful to them.

So, if you don’t know what to use in order to keep your dog away from your garden, this could be the solution. Ground spices bother a dog’s sense of smell, but they won’t do a dog any harm if they are used outdoors.

6. Fresh Herbs

While you are cooking, you may notice that your dog is not around you. Why is that so? Well, dogs also don’t like fresh herbs. The aroma found in rosemary, thyme, basil, and mint is a great dog repellent smell. If you haven’t planted those herbs in your garden, now you have a reason to do so.

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7. Citrus Scents

Plate with citrus fresh fruitsPlate with citrus fresh fruits

I think that we all would agree that the smell of citrus fruits resonates with something clean and fresh. However, dogs find the strong smells of limes, grapefruit, lemons, and oranges irritating.

Citrus fruits, however, are great natural repellent smells that you can use to keep your dog away from specific areas. You can use a spray bottle and fill it with oil from citrus peelings, or cut up citrus fruits and use the juice from it to spray the area you want to protect from the “intruder”. That way, the strong scent of citrus will keep your dog at a distance.

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8. Garlic And Onions

Well, dogs aren’t fans of the smell of onions and garlic, and to be honest, neither am I, but many dog owners love to sense these smells while cooking.

However, the smell of onions and garlic is neither dangerous nor harmful, and dogs will simply have to get used to their owner cooking with garlic and onions from time to time.

9. Chili Peppers

vintage bowl with red pepers over dried chili in background on tablevintage bowl with red pepers over dried chili in background on table

Your dog’s sensitive nose is not a fan of any kind of hot pepper, chili pepper, jalapenos, chipotle pepper, habaneros, or Thai chili, and it will irritate your dog’s nose 100%. We all know that these scents are very strong and spicy – now, imagine what it’s like for a dog to sense it 40 times more than us.

The chemical compound, capsaicin, is very responsible for the peppers’ smell, hot flavor, and burning sensation that dogs find so repelling. It can cause intense sneezing, and if you use it as a repellent, make sure not to exaggerate it because too much capsaicin can cause a serious reaction.

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10. Perfumes Or Colognes

You are getting ready to go out, and you put on a little bit of your favorite perfume, but then you wonder why your dog won’t say goodbye to you?

The thing is, although we adore the smell of perfumes, and we use them quite often, your dog is not a fan of them because even a little drop of fragrance can mask your odor that your dog is used to sensing everyday. Along with that, there are aromas and alcohol in perfumes and colognes that we have already mentioned as not being their kick.

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11. Essential Oils

essential oils and medical flowers herbsessential oils and medical flowers herbs

I’m sure we all love using essential oils for making our home smell fresh and beautiful. Guess who doesn’t like them? Our furry companions, of course.

When using essential oils, you should know that it can lead to changes in your dog’s behavior, and some essential oils can be harmful to dogs.

According to the American Kennel Club, harmful oils for dogs that can affect their nervous system and respiratory tract are oils of:

• citrus

• peppermint

• cinnamon

• tea tree

• pennyroyal

• sweet birch

• pine

• ylang-ylang

• wintergreen

For example, eucalyptus oil can irritate your dog’s eyes and cause a burning sensation. Surely, you don’t want your dog to suffer, so make sure to avoid such oils. As for your essential oil, try lavender and see if your dog likes it.

12. Vinegar

With the smell of vinegar, I think that both dogs and humans could agree that this smell is very off-putting. Even though vinegar is used in many home remedies, we can’t quite get used to the smell, and neither can dogs.

Any type of vinegar like white vinegar, balsamic vinegar, apple cider vinegar, and so on has a smell that your dog hates. But, on the other side, as vinegar consists of acetic acid that is non-toxic and safe, you can use it as a repellent.

You can put a little bit of white vinegar and more water in a spray bottle to spray areas that you want to keep your dog from, or you can soak cotton balls with it. Don’t use too much of it indoors because it can leave malodour.

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golden retriever puppy smelling a flowergolden retriever puppy smelling a flower

What Smell Do Dogs Hate To Pee On?

Dogs find citrus scents very irritating, so a great option to prevent your dog from peeing in inappropriate places is to use citrus fruits and water, combine them, put it in a spray bottle, and spray the areas that you want to keep your dog away from.

What Smells Do Dogs Like?

First and foremost, they like your smell – you are their favorite human, so that isn’t strange. You may think that you don’t have a smell, but to them, your natural smell comes like a strong odor that they smell because of the larger number of receptors in their nose.

Of course, they love the smell of their food, along with meat, especially if it’s barbeque meat. I can also understand their love for the smell of fallen leaves since they often roll on the leaves and associate it with play and fun.

Strangely, dogs share a love for garbage. Funny, isn’t it, considering that they are disgusted by our wonderful perfumes?

All In All

Bear in mind that their nose is very sensitive, and even though you don’t smell some scents as much, they can smell them because their sense of smell is much more enhanced.

With this list of smells that dogs hate, I hope we have helped you to start making your friendship with your furry friend even better by keeping them away from the smells they strongly disagree with.

When choosing dog repellents to keep your dog away from a specific area, use spray solutions with ingredients that are natural and non-toxic to your companion.

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By Andy Marcus

Hello, my name is Andy Marcus, and I am a passionate dog lover and enthusiast. For me, there is nothing quite like the joy and love that a furry friend can bring into our lives. I have spent years studying and learning about dogs, and have made it my mission to share my knowledge and expertise with others through my website. Through my website, I aim to provide comprehensive information and resources for dog owners and enthusiasts. Whether it's training tips, health and nutrition advice, or insights into dog behavior, I strive to create a platform that is accessible and useful to everyone who loves dogs.

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