Making a homemade dog repellent is a simple act of finding something dogs don't like and then putting it anywhere you don't want the dog. While simple enough on the surface, this sometimes means going through a process of trial and error. Although some repellents generally annoy most dogs, there are always a few exceptions to the rule. The trick is to keep trying different repellent formulas until you find the one that will work safely and effectively on your dog.
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Many websites recommend ammonia to repel dogs. It does, but it also attracts cats. It smells like cat urine, and cats want to spray in an area that smells like ammonia to mark their territory.
Make a cayenne pepper solution
Mix together cayenne pepper and water in a spray bottle, using a 1:10 ration of cayenne pepper to water. Do not make the mixture stronger, as doing so could hurt the dog. Spray your vegetable or flower gardens with this mixture to keep dogs away. Most dogs who catch a whiff of the pepper will find that it irritates their noses and eyes, deterring them from coming back in the future.
Try a white vinegar dog repellant
Combine 1 cup of white vinegar and 2 cups of apple cider vinegar to make a potent dog repellent. Spray on your shoes or any other item in the house that you do not want your dog to chew on. The vinegar in this mixture can serve double duty, repelling your dog while eliminating the odor from shoes, trash cans, and other potentially smelly items.
Note that while vinegar is safe to use almost anywhere, it's important to exercise furniture or fabrics. Test your solution in an inconspicuous area first just to make sure nothing becomes stained or discolored.
Create repellent coffee filters
Soak some coffee filters with rubbing alcohol and then set them out in the sun to dry. Cut them up and sprinkle them in the bottom of your trash can and around the outdoor area where you keep your trash. This will repel dogs from getting into the trash and making a huge mess. When using this particular deterrent for dogs, make sure you buy paper coffee filters that will decompose in the garden.
Treat with essential oils
Place 20 drops of eucalyptus oil in 8 oz. of water in an empty spray bottle. Spray anywhere else in your house, or outdoors, where you want to repel dogs. Eucalyptus has a strong scent that a dog's sensitive nose doesn't like. You can also use any citrus oil, such as lemon or orange. Be aware, however, that some essential oils pose a danger to dogs. Check with your vet to make sure the oil is safe to use around your dog before you begin.
Plant flowers that will repel dogs
If dogs are getting into your garden, try planting some flowers that naturally repel them. These plants can enhance the look of your outdoor space while helping to keep dogs at bay. Lavender (Lavandula spp.) and citronella (Cymbopogon nardus) are both plants with scents that humans find pleasant but dogs do not. Citronella also repels mosquitoes, making it a win-win planting.
Consider planting Canina (Plectranthus caninus), as well. This plant has a rather unpleasant scent but it's so mild that humans can't smell it unless they crush the leaves or rub up against the plant. Dogs can always smell it, however, and they don't like it.