Natural Products to Stop Dogs From Pooping in the Yard

By Deborah Lundin

No one wants to step in pile of dog poop. If a canine is a member of your family, poop piles are expected. But with the aid of some natural deterrents, you can encourage pooping in certain areas of the yard. If poop in your yard comes from neighborhood dogs, these same deterrents can help. Natural products provide a safe alternative to harsh chemicals and are typically safe around children as well.

All-Natural Commercial Dog Repellent Products

Outdoor commercial deterrents are available at your local pet supply, grocery or hardware stores. These products use natural ingredients that are safe for animals as well as for any vegetation in your yard. They repel dogs through an unpleasant odor, taste or feel. They typically come in granules or sprayable liquids, and they produce an unpleasant scent that helps keep dogs from pooping in the area. The downside to these is that the scent lasts for a only few weeks, so regular application, including after rain, is necessary.

Mix Your Own Homemade Deterrents

If you do not want to purchase commercial products, your kitchen may already have natural deterrents that will keep dogs from pooping in your yard. Chili pepper, sprinkled around the area, irritates the skin and noses of dogs, keeping them at bay. Other natural products that have distinct odors that are very offensive to a dog’s sensitive nose include ammonia and vinegar. Unfortunately, both of these can kill vegetation if poured directly on them. Soak cotton balls with vinegar or ammonia and place the cotton balls throughout your yard. As with commercial deterrents, homemade deterrents need regular application.

Apply Alternative Landscaping

If you are looking for a long-term deterrent, alternative landscaping is an option. Certain plants, such as aloe, holly and berry vines, have sharp edges and thorns that a dog will not want to venture through. Pine cone mulch provides a rough surface that may be too much for a dog’s feet. In terms of scent deterrents, the Coleus canina plant, also known as “Dogs Be Gone" or "Scaredy Cat,” gives off an offensive odor that keeps most animals out. The smell of this plant is described as that of licorice or nicotine, and sometimes like skunk scent.

Water as a Natural Deterrent

Another natural deterrent stops dogs from pooping in your yard and waters your foliage at the same time. Two watering options include changing your watering schedule and sensor sprinklers. If you have a regular stray dog that seems to take regular bathrooms breaks in your yard, consider making that dog's time of day your watering time. The offending dog will not want to venture in and get wet. Motion-detector sprinklers work well. Place them in areas you want to keep poop-free. When an animal approaches, the sensor turns a sprinkler on. This startles the dog, gets him wet, and sends him on his way. Other motion-activated devices emit high-pitched sounds or bursts or air instead of water to deter animals that venture close.