TrainingYard & Boundary TrainingWhat Scents Will Deter a Dog From Peeing?

What Scents Will Deter a Dog From Peeing?

The best scents to deter a dog from peeing include citrus, vinegar, fresh herbs (such as mint and rosemary), household cleaners, mothballs, and rubbing alcohol. Not all scents work on every dog, so it’s important to experiment and determine which scent works best for your situation.

There are few things on this earth more rewarding than owning a dog. Dogs are known as “man’s best friend” because of their compassion, unconditional love, playfulness, and loyalty.

But, when your canine friend continually pees in the house, you might start questioning your friendship.

If your dog is potty trained, it may come as a surprise when you realize your dog is going potty in the house or in an area they aren’t supposed to.

There are, however, ways to stop your dog from peeing in the house. You can use their powerful sense of smell to your advantage.

Scents that Stop Dogs From Peeing

Dogs have a sense of smell that is between 10,000 to 100,000 times stronger than ours. If your dog is peeing where you don’t want him to, you could use his superpower to your advantage by strategically placing the following scents.


One of dogs’ least favorite scents — and even flavors — is anything citrus. Lemons, limes, oranges, grapefruits, and other citrus fruits. We have no idea why dogs hate this scent, but to them, it smells like what trash smells like to us.

However, as all dogs are different, some dogs may actually like citrus (albeit rarely). To make sure your dog isn’t one of the latter, hold out a rind of one of these fruits or even a whole fruit to your dog to see how he reacts to the smell.


Even though many people enjoy the taste of vinegar, no one can deny its harsh and pungent smell. Well, neither can dogs. They simply hate the stuff and will stay far, far away from it if they can!

For maximum repellent, you could mix citrus and vinegar in a spray bottle and spray the area you want to deter your dog from peeing on.

As long as she isn’t a part of the minority of dogs that likes the smell of citrus, you’ll likely never see your dog in that area again!

Because it’s a powerful scent, it may also bother you. If it does, stick to using this option outdoors instead of indoors.

Fresh Herbs

Although we may love the smell of fresh herbs, dogs typically dislike them. Specifically, dogs dislike mint and rosemary. These give off a strong scent that dogs cannot get away from fast enough.

A great advantage of using fresh herbs to deter your pup from peeing is that you then have a plentiful supply of fresh herbs for yourself. And, if your pup happens to eat some, it will not make him dangerously ill. It’s a safe and affordable option.

Once again, it is unfair to assume that all dogs are the same. Some dogs actually enjoy the taste of mint, so your dog might just do the exact opposite of what you wanted and dive into your mint plant headfirst.

To make sure your dog dislikes the smell, give him a piece of mint and see what he does with it.

Household Cleaners

How about an option that both cleans your dog’s urine and keeps him from urinating in that same spot again? Using a household cleaner is an excellent option that really “kills two birds with one stone.”

Dogs hate the smell of our cleaners because of the ingredients inside them. They simply cannot stand the scent, so they will stay as far away from these as they can!

However, be careful while using these cleaners such as ammonia. Direct inhalation can be dangerous for not only you, but for your pup as well.

You can clean an area as usual, but wait until the fumes have faded away to allow your dog to be near them.


Mothballs are a deterrent for many people, so it should come as no surprise that these also repel dogs. Mothballs were originally used to keep moths away, but they can also keep dogs away.

Nonetheless, you should exercise extreme caution when using this option. The chemical composition of the product makes it unsafe for humans and dogs. If you choose this repellent option, make sure the mothballs are kept in a place far away from your dog’s reach.

Rubbing Alcohol

Rubbing alcohol has a distinct and strong scent…a scent that most dogs can’t stand. Try soaking some cotton balls in rubbing alcohol and place them around the area your dog is going potty.

Just like other cleaners, be very wary of where you place these and that they are out of reach for your dog. It can be very dangerous for your dog to ingest rubbing alcohol.

Why is Your Dog Peeing Where They Shouldn’t?

Your dog may be urinating where they shouldn’t for a variety of reasons. Assuming that your dog has been properly potty trained, here are a few reasons behind this behavior.

Medical Reasons

Some common medical issues that could lead your dog to urinate unexpectedly and seemingly without control are urinary tract infections, kidney disease, bladder stones, or even arthritis.

If your dog is older, this could be a sign of incontinence with aging. This is a natural occurrence in elderly dogs. However, it could still be helpful to visit a vet to clarify that this is the issue and nothing more serious.

Anxiety and Stress

Just like people, dogs can experience stress in their daily lives as well. Several factors can cause your dog to be stressed. Some of these include:

  • Separation anxiety
  • Fear because of a change in either environment, loud noises, new people, and new animals
  • Memory loss in elderly dogs
  • An addition of a more dominant figure (dog, person, or something else)

If you believe stress is causing this issue, keep an eye out for the following symptoms:, wrecking items in your house, excessive panting, sudden and/or unprovoked aggression, restlessness.

Setback in House Training

Dogs can sometimes slip up in their house training, even if they have been trained for years without a slip-up.

Several reasons can cause a setback: change in the weather, environment, or even a change in schedule.

If your dog has a setback, attempt to retrain or even just “review” house training with your dog. Set up a reward system for them so they’ll be more inclined to pee where and when they should.

Marking Their Territory

When many of us envision dogs, one of the classic pictures in our minds is of a dog peeing on a fire hydrant.

Dogs often pee because they feel their territory is being trifled with, so they need to clarify that it is theirs.

This may be because of a new dog at home or nearby. Another reason is that you have a male dog, and he is unneutered. One of the best ways to stop this behavior (and potentially others) is to have your dog neutered.

Use Scents to your Advantage

We love our dogs, but we certainly do not love it when they urinate in places they shouldn’t.

There are ways to repel your dog from urinating where they shouldn’t, like using specific scents you know will deter them. Just be careful what you use and let’s hope Fido gets the hint!

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