What Smells Do Dogs Hate?

If you have a dog as a pet or if you are planning to bring a dog then it is very important for you to know what smells do dogs hate.

As we know they have an amazing sense of smell, they will smell everything from the trash can to their own butt and they also know the source of those smells. Because of this dogs are used in crime investigations, drug detection, missing persons, and more recently in the diagnosis of diseases such as diabetes, tuberculosis, and cancer.


There are many scents that most dogs may find unpleasant or repulsive, which is why they hate them. So what scent do dogs hate that our dogs find unpleasant?

So, here in this guide, we have detailed discussed what smells do dogs hate. With its help, you can keep away your dog from certain parts of the house, and furniture, or deter digging outside in the garden. But use it only as is necessary.

Before moving on to what smells do dogs hate? Let’s first understand dogs and their little sense of smell.

Dogs and Their Sense of Smell

A dog’s nose is a very powerful specialized organ that plays a vital role in the dog’s ability to smell something and interpret scents. Once they are properly trained they can also help in criminal investigations, finding missing persons, and detecting explosives.

Dogs have a stronger sense of smell something than humans. If we look deeply dog’s noses operate differently from humans. Dogs use their sense of smell not only to detect things but also to communicate with other dogs.

What Smells Do Dogs Hate?

Here we have given some of the smells your dog hates.

Citrus Scents

Citrus scents top our list of what smells do dogs hate. Nearly all dogs hate strong citrus scents such as oranges, lemons, grapefruit, and limes. Because of this reason, you can use citrus scents as dog repellent to drive dogs away from certain areas of the home and yard. The strong and overpowering smell of citrus irritates dog’s noses and hence they avoid being in that area.


Just like citrus scents, most dogs dislike the strong acidic smell of vinegar. It is a safe and non-toxic household substance that you can use to deter dogs from digging or chewing in certain areas of the house and yard. You can dilute vinegar in water and use it as a spray to keep your dog away from furniture, and certain important things of the house, or yard.


What smell do dogs hate the most? Mothballs are those little white balls designed to keep pests and insects away from clothing and cabinets. You can place mothballs in a room to deter your dog from entering a room, but make sure that your dog can’t reach to mothballs and they are secure. If your dog accidentally ingests even one mothball, it can be dangerous to them.

Fresh Herbs

What herbs do dogs hate to smell? You may have noticed that your dog may find the scent of fresh herbs like basil, rosemary, and mint to be overpowering and repulsive.

You can place fresh herb plants in your backyard garden to keep your dog away from digging up your other plants or you can soak some herb leaves in boiled water and use this as a spray bottle with water to keep your dog away from certain places. This solution may not be very effective for all dogs.

Cleaning Products

You must have noticed that whenever you are doing some household cleaning, your dog never comes around it. Because cleaning products contain various ingredients such as chlorine, ammonia, bleach, or other citrus scents that cause the smell of cleaning products which keep them away.

The smell of these household cleaning products is intense and overpowering for your dog. It is very important to remember that cleaning products are toxic. Please avoid using cleaning products to keep your dog away from certain areas of the house. Also, make sure your dog is out of the room when you are cleaning a room and the smell after you clean should be enough to keep him from coming back. so you can keep your pet safe around cleaning products.

Ground Spices

Some people like to eat spicy hot peppers but this is not something that will match equally well with your dog. While it’s not a surprise that dogs don’t like the smell of chili peppers, jalapenos, and poblano peppers. The smell of ground spices irritates the dog’s noses that’s why they hate the smell of spices. Spices can irritate the eyes, nose, and throat if ingested or inhaled directly.

Rubbing Alcohol

Rubbing alcohol can be often used as a mild dissecting in the house. You need to be very careful with its use because it can cause possible irritation. Instead of spraying, you can soak a cotton ball in rubbing alcohol and place it in areas where you don’t want your dog to stay.

This method helps to retain the smell for a long time. This smell of rubbing alcohol will irritate your dog’s nose and cause them to leave the area.

You must be very careful when using alcohol around your dog because alcohol is flammable. Also, never spray alcohol directly on your dog’s skin. You must know which dog-repellent spray to use for a dog before direct spraying. So that the dogs do not suffer any harm from this spray.


As we humans love perfume but it is not so in the case of dogs. Dogs do not like the smell of perfume. You may find that your dog doesn’t like you as much when you wear perfume. There are many strong perfumes that can have a similar effect on some people, the smell can tickle their noses. This is because perfumes contain many different scents such as alcohol, essential oils, camphor, and other chemical compounds.

Bottom Lines

Dogs’ ability to smell something is very much stronger than human’s. It is essential for their survival. If you use any scent to keep your dog away from certain areas of the house or backyard, be sure it will not harm your dog, and use it as strongly as is necessary.

Not every dog may react the same way to a specific smell. You can see a lot of dissimilarities in them as it depends on the behavior of each dog.

Now we hope that you have got help from this guide on what smells do dogs hate. You can try these different scents by taking precautions according to them until you find one that works best for your situation.

If you still have any queries please feel free to let us know in the comment section, Will definitely help you.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q. What harmless smells do dogs hate?

Citrus Scent is a harmless smell by using you can keep your dog away from areas of the house where they don’t have to allow it. You can also use it as by mixing concentrated citrus with some water in a spray bottle.

Q. What is the best homemade dog repellent?

Vinegar is the best homemade ingredient dog repellent that you can use to keep your dog away from certain areas of the house. It is the safest and nontoxic homemade substance. You can also dilute vinegar in water and use it with spray to deter your dog from furniture, and certain areas of the house, or yard.

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