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12 Homemade Dog Pee Repellents You Can Make Today

Written by: Chris Dinesen Rogers

Last Updated on May 29, 2024 by Dogster Team

Apple Cider Vinegar as cat repellant

12 Homemade Dog Pee Repellents You Can Make Today

Perhaps your dog is urinating in inappropriate places, or one of the neighborhood canines has taken a liking to your shrubs and landscaping. A dog urine repellent is one solution you can try to get the problem under control once and for all. These mixtures rely on a pup’s sensitivity to specific smells. However, they vary in how offensive they may perceive the scents.

One reason lies in the size of a dog’s olfactory epithelium. That’s the nasal tissue that contains the animal’s scent receptors. It can vary between 18–150 cm2, depending on the breed. Hounds are well-known for their sense of smell and may react differently to specific scents than other breeds. However, if one solution doesn’t work, you have plenty of options to try to find the one that turns away the offending canine.

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The Top 12 Homemade Dog Pee Repellents

1. Citronella Oil

citronella oil
Image by: rawf8, Shutterstick
Ease of Use: Easy
Effectiveness: Moderate
Placement: Outdoors only

Citronella oil does an excellent job of repelling, whether it’s mosquitoes or other insect pests. It also deters dogs. The reason is the intensity of its scent. Canines typically sniff out a spot before they mark it. A whiff of citronella can make them move away, especially for pups with sensitive noses. However, it can have a similar effect on people.

Therefore, we suggest using it outside to avoid offending anyone in the household. The good news is that it’s non-toxic to people and wildlife.

Pros
  • Moderately effective
  • Ready availability
  • Safe for humans
  • Non-toxic
Cons
  • Pungent smell

2. Sour Apple Essential Oil Spray

Essential oil in a bottle
Image by: Karolina Grabowska, Pexels
Ease of Use: Moderate
Effectiveness: Moderate
Placement: Not suitable for plants

You can mix sour apple essential oil in a diluted solution with a neutral oil or water. Just a few drops will do. It’s not an unpleasant smell for people, but it’s not as appealing to dogs. Dilution is imperative, and you must ensure the dog doesn’t lick the undiluted oil. We also recommend not spraying it directly on plants. Instead, you can apply it near them on the ground.

You can find apple essential oil online or at health food stores. It’s one of the more reasonably priced products of its type.

Pros
  • Pleasant scent
  • Affordable and easy to find.
Cons
  • Toxic to ingest
  • Dissipates quickly

3. Hot Chili Powder

Dried chili pepper and chili powder on white table
Image by: gyzx3001996391, Pixabay
Ease of Use: Easy
Effectiveness: Highly effective
Placement: Inconspicuous spots

If you have a bird feeder, you’re probably familiar with using hot chili powder to repel squirrels. It has the same effect on dogs. We suggest using it on inconspicuous spots because it can stain lighter-colored surfaces. You should also use it sparingly as it can irritate sensitive canine noses.

On the positive side, it will probably get the message across quickly and solve the problem with one application.

Pros
  • Effective
  • Readily available
  • Affordable
Cons
  • Irritating for sensitive dogs

4. Cinnamon-Citrus Spray

Orange slices with cinnamon, anise and cloves
Image By: Couleur, Pixabay
Ease of Use: Easy
Effectiveness: Moderate
Placement: Avoid direct use on plants

The cinnamon-citrus combination has two scents that many dogs might not like. Because of the possible irritation it can cause, it’s essential to dilute it before using it. Like other essential oils, this volatile mix can dissipate quickly, especially after precipitation.

While it can be effective, it’s also essential to use as few drops as necessary because citrus has the potential to be toxic to canines and other pets.

Pros
  • Pleasant scent
  • Potent
Cons
  • Potential toxicity of citrus
  • Volatility of the oils

5. Vinegar and Citrus Spray

Variety of vinegar with citrus fruits and chili
Image by: Anelka, Pixabay
Ease of Use: Easy
Effectiveness: Highly effective
Placement: Avoid use on plants

This solution uses vinegar as the carrier agent to create a scent bomb that will deter most dogs. It combines two ingredients with strong smells, especially when using white distilled vinegar. However, you can also use apple cider vinegar to get similar results. The high acidity means that you can’t use it directly on plants.

Vinegar is volatile, too, and will dissipate quickly. Nevertheless, we suggest not spraying it downwind of any open windows.

Pros
  • Effective
  • Affordable
Cons
  • Strong odor
  • Harmful to plants

6. Lemongrass-Peppermint Solution

Lemongrass essential oil
Image by: Ma Minh, Pixabay
Ease of Use: Easy
Effectiveness: Moderate
Placement: Where needed, avoiding direct plant contact

This combination is so pleasing that you won’t think it is a repellent. The peppermint oil is easy to find, and the lemongrass is a bit pricier but still readily available. As with all our recipes, it’s simply a matter of adding a few drops to a spray bottle filled with water or a neutral oil.

Nevertheless, there is a risk of stomach upset. We also suggest not using lemongrass if you have cats. Their self-grooming may increase the chances of a reaction if they ingest too much.

Pros
Cons
  • Can be overpowering
  • Lemongrass is a little costly

7. Vinegar Solution

white vinegar on the wooden table top
Image by: focal point, Shutterstock
Ease of Use: Easy
Effectiveness: Moderate
Placement: Avoid direct plant contact

Using a simple 1:4 solution of vinegar and water cuts to the chase. White distilled varieties are the least expensive, and they will likely cause a dog to look elsewhere once they inhale the strong aroma. Nonetheless, you should avoid direct plant contact because of its acidity. You’ll also have to apply it frequently because of its volatility.

We suggest applying it in different spots for these same reasons, particularly on bricks or patio stones.

Pros
  • Inexpensive
  • Effective repellent
Cons
  • Unsafe for plants
  • Corrosive effects

8. Rubbing Alcohol Mixture

Man spraying rubbing alcohol on hand
Image by: Towfiqu Barbhuiya, Pexels
Ease of Use: Easy
Effectiveness: Moderate
Placement: Out of reach of pets

A diluted rubbing alcohol mixture works similarly to vinegar by creating an intense scent that will keep dogs from your yard. Like many of our solutions, it must not be sprayed directly on pets because of its potential toxicity if ingested. After all, the purpose of these repellents is to keep dogs away from your yard and not to encourage them to return to it.

Since it’s water-based, you’ll have to reapply it after any precipitation.

Pros
  • Inexpensive
  • Strong scent for optimal repellency
Cons
  • Volatile
  • Disagreeable to some people

9. Citrus Water Spray

Lemon essential oil and lemon fruits
Image by: Nikolay Litov, Shutterstock
Ease of Use: Easy
Effectiveness: Fair to moderate
Placement: Out of reach of pets

You can use any kind of citrus essential oil, such as orange, lemon, or lime, and you only need a few drops. Many dogs and cats dislike the scent, making it an effective solution. However, it also depends on the sensitivity of the animal. Remember that citrus can cause stomach issues and skin irritation in pets.

The great thing about this solution is that you’ll likely find it pleasant and refreshing. Essential oils linger longer, too. Nonetheless, the reapplication advice still applies.

Pros
  • Long-lasting
  • Pleasing scent
Cons
  • Potential toxicity

Another good option—if you’re willing to go for a commercial product—is an enzyme spray. These products are specifically designed to deal with dog and cat pee smells and stains. What pet owner doesn’t need that?

If you're looking for an all-in-one enzyme cleaner, we highly recommend the Hepper Advanced Bio-Enzyme Pet Stain & Odor Eliminator Spray.

Hepper Advanced Bio-Enzyme Pet Stain & Odor Eliminator Spray
  • ADVANCED ENZYMATIC CLEANER - Penetrates the most stubborn smells and stains at the deepest molecular...
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It eliminates tough stains and odors easily. Plus, it comes with a 100% satisfaction guarantee! Click here to order now.

At Dogster, we’ve admired Hepper for many years, and decided to take a controlling ownership interest so that we could benefit from the outstanding products of this cool pet company!


10. Black Pepper Oil

Black peppercorns on wooden spoon
Image By: ka_re, Pixabay
Ease of Use: Moderate
Effectiveness: Moderate
Placement: Out of reach of pets

Black pepper will likely cause the same reaction in a dog as it does for you if you get a good whiff of it. This one takes some prep. You’ll have to simmer a tablespoon of crushed black peppercorns in ½ cup of neutral oil for a few minutes and let it cool. Then, strain it. The solution is effective and will deter a curious pup. However, the oil can go rancid quickly unless you keep it in the fridge.

We suggest spraying it someplace inconspicuous where a dog can’t get near it. It can stain some surfaces.

Pros
  • Pungent smell
Cons
  • More prep
  • Short shelf life
  • Staining properties

11. Chili-Black Pepper Oil

Minced chili in a small bowl with peppercorns nearby
Image By: sabyrzhananelya, Pixabay
Ease of Use: Moderate
Effectiveness: Moderate
Placement: Inconspicuous surfaces only

This solution combines two effective ingredients to ramp up the repellency factor. Both work well on their own and together. You can follow the instructions for the black pepper oil and add a tablespoon of crushed red pepper flakes. Be careful not to let the oil boil. It will release irritating fumes that you certainly don’t want in your house.

The chili adds a staining element to the mix, so be careful where you spray it.

Pros
  • Effective for most dogs
Cons
  • Can stain some surfaces
  • Careful prep necessary

12. Citrus Peels

Orange peel on a table
Image By: esudroff, Pixabay
Ease of Use: Easy
Effectiveness: Fair
Placement: As needed, away from the house and out of reach of pets

You can use any kind of citrus peel. We suggest tying the peels in a cheesecloth and hanging them near any trouble spots. The effectiveness depends on the animal’s natural aversion to these scents. It must be out of the reach of any pets because of the toxicity of citrus fruits.

We recommend placing it somewhere away from your home since it can attract other pests, such as ants and rodents.

Pros
  • Simple solution
  • Pleasing scent
Cons
  • Citrus toxicity
  • Possible pest attractant

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How to Correct the Behavior

Dogs will mark their territory as part of becoming sexually mature. If you’re not planning on neutering your pet, it’s a matter of diligent training to ensure your pup knows where they can and cannot urinate. We’re big fans of exercising our pets a lot to wear them down for sleep in the house.

Positive reinforcement is the best teacher, and giving a treat to your pup when they do what they’re supposed to do is a powerful motivator. Crate training is also an effective way for your pet to learn to keep their space clean. It draws on their instincts not to soil the place where they sleep.

If you want to keep your dog from your landscaping, a motion-sensor sprinkler will get the point across in no uncertain terms.

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Conclusion

A dog urine repellent is one way to get control of an unpleasant situation before it becomes a problem. Fortunately, you have several options for making a DIY spray to correct it. However, even commercial products aren’t the best solution for a persistent or extensive issue. Prevention is the most intelligent way to deal with it. If you need a one-off repellent, you’ll find that any of these mixtures will help.


Featured Image Credit: ThamKC, Shutterstock

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