The Best Homemade Dog Repellent For Your Garden In 11 Ways

Playing puppies | The Best Homemade Dog Repellent For Your Garden | essential oil | Featured

Find out how you can easily turn ordinary household stuff and plants into a homemade dog repellent that will help keep dogs out of your garden.

RELATED: Garden Season Tips: Get Rid of Garden Pests Without Using Chemicals

How to Make Homemade Dog Repellent for Your Garden

Natural Repellent for Dogs

There are times when dog problems get the best of your time, like dog flea issues and dogs digging through the garbage (or worse, digging up your precious garden). You need to find a quick solution to remedy these issues.

If you prefer natural ways to keep dogs out of your garden, then homemade dog repellent is for you. Nothing could be more natural than using plants you may even already have in your garden right now.

Because it's easier to pick up ready-made pest repellents from stores, you may not notice that your home has the common ingredients needed to make insect and pest repellents. Dogs have a sense of smell that's way stronger than humans, like a thousand times stronger.

Find out how to make a dog deterrent solution from common household stuff and plants in your garden. These solutions all have one thing in common: They will smell bad enough for your dog to leave your lawn and garden alone.

1. Citronella Oil Dog Repellent

Brown glass with label | The Best Homemade Dog Repellent For Your Garden | repellent for dogs

It's no secret that citronella is commonly used as an insect repeller. But did you know that dogs don't like its smell too?

You'll find this type of essential oil quite useful as well when it comes to deterring dogs from messing up your beautiful garden. Keep this oil handy when you need it for you this very purpose.

How to make it:

  • Mix half a cup of citronella oil with 4 cups of water.
  • Pour into a spray bottle.

How to use it: Spray the mix in places you don't want your dog to go to consistently for about week until the dog understands that it's not allowed in that particular spot.

2. Apple Cider Vinegar Dog Repellent

Apple cider vinegar | The Best Homemade Dog Repellent For Your Garden | chili powder

Why spend so much on a ready-made dog repellent when most of these products use apple cider vinegar, which you can find at home? Make your own apple cider vinegar dog repellent at just a fraction of the price of store-bought repellents.

How to make it: For a stronger solution, just mix a cup of white vinegar with two cups of apple cider vinegar in a spray bottle.

Tip: You can even use this to keep dogs off areas inside your home.

3. Citrus Fruits Dog Repellent

Citrus fruits | The Best Homemade Dog Repellent For Your Garden | citrus fruits

While we love the citrus scent, dogs surprisingly dislike it.

How to make it: Mix citrus juice and the zest or scrapings from the fruit's outer layer in a spray bottle to make dog repellent.

Option: You can also use citrus fruit peelings, cut them up into little pieces, and spread over areas in your garden you want the dogs to keep away from.

As an added bonus, aphids and ants will also stay away from the soil and your plants, with citrus peelings blocking them out.

4. Garlic and Chili Pepper Dog Repellent

Chili and garlic on wooden background | The Best Homemade Dog Repellent For Your Garden | essential oil

The combination scent of chili powder and garlic will definitely drive out not just dogs but literally anyone away from that certain area. If you think garlic is just for vampires, then think again because now you'll learn that it's got a lot of uses, along with chili!

How to make it:

  • Mix a quart of warm water, a teaspoon of dishwashing liquid soap, chopped onions, garlic, and chili pepper.
  • Leave it as is for 24 hours, then strain afterward.
  • Pour the resulting mixture into a spray bottle.

Tip: You can also use the pieces from the strainer for the same purpose by spreading them in areas you want dogs out.

5. Mustard Oil Dog Repellent

Mustard seed and oil | The Best Homemade Dog Repellent For Your Garden | repellent for dogs

The delicious flavor of mustard oil makes it widely used for cooking. It's also a natural remedy for ailments.

On the other hand, dogs dislike the smell and taste of mustard oil and it just drives canines away from it.

How to use it: You can use it as it is by spraying in areas you wouldn't want dogs around.

RELATED: 5 Ways To Keep Your Veggies Rabbit-Proof

6. Chili Powder and Black Pepper Dog Repellent

Black pepper | The Best Homemade Dog Repellent For Your Garden | citrus fruits

For a stronger and more potent scent, why not mix chili powder and black pepper and come up with a dog repellant oil? Even humans will have their eyes water when exposed to too much of either of these substances.

How to make it: For a more effective solution, mix chili pepper powder or black pepper in oil instead of water. Oil can help release the active ingredient in peppers called capsaicin.

This substance makes peppers spicy hot and is the very thing that dogs are averse to.

7. Coffee Grounds Dog Repellent

White spoon on coffee | The Best Homemade Dog Repellent For Your Garden | chili powder

You might be wondering how to recycle those coffee grounds before throwing them into the garbage. Don't throw coffee grounds or leavings right away.

They can actually be reused as an effective dog repellent.

How to use it: You just have to spread them over areas you don't want the dogs to disturb.

8. Essential Oil Dog Repellent

Eucalyptus oil | The Best Homemade Dog Repellent For Your Garden | essential oils

It can be a lot of work for you when your dog messes up the garbage. What can you do to stop them on their tracks?

How to use it: Prevent that from happening by mixing a few drops of essential oils in a spray bottle, then spray on garbage bins or places you want your dogs to stay away from.

Here are essential oils that repel canines naturally:

  • Cinnamon
  • Orange
  • Eucalyptus
  • Lemon

9. Rubbing Alcohol Dog Repellent


The strong scent of rubbing alcohol makes it an excellent repellent for dogs. It's hard to imagine a household without rubbing alcohol, which makes it one of the most readily available for the task.

How to use it: All you need to do is soak cotton balls in rubbing alcohol and place them in areas where you don't want pups to be in. Just don't spray them like the other repellents on this list.

10. Cayenne Pepper Dog Repellent

Pile of red chili | The Best Homemade Dog Repellent For Your Garden | essential oils

Take extra care when using cayenne pepper solution as dog repellents. Cayenne naturally irritates a dog's sense of smell and sight.

Be careful not to overdo it so as not to hurt your dog's snout.

How to make it: To make cayenne pepper solution, mix ten parts of crushed cayenne to 10 parts of water, then place it in a spray bottle.

How to use it: Spray it in problem areas and see how effective this repellent in keeping dogs out.

11. Ammonia Dog Repellent


Ammonia is a substance with a strong odor. In fact, it's the most effective dog repellent among all the items in this list.

How to use it: Just like rubbing alcohol, simply soak cotton balls in ammonia and leave them in problem areas.

You should also know that ammonia is also useful in cleaning floors. So you get the idea if you want your pets to stay away from the furniture. However, do exercise caution when storing and using ammonia around the house. Keep it away from children.

Watch this How to… Science, Craft Plus Other DIY Fixes video for dog repellent ideas:

Your homemade recipe will be more effective with frequent application, especially after heavy rains. One type of homemade dog repellent may not always work, but you can always switch to another one until you've got the right repellent that will indeed keep off your cute critters out of your garden.

Want to share your own natural dog repellent methods? Tell us about them in the comments section below!

Find out more ways to protect your garden here.


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23 thoughts on “The Best Homemade Dog Repellent For Your Garden In 11 Ways”

    1. It is proven that people that use vulgar language are 30% more likely to have an extremely low IQ. That much I do know.

  1. ^ Says the guy who will believe anything someone says so long as they have news anchor or scientist attached to their name, even though both have been proven wrong many times and lie about their claims too. Why don’t you do your own research. Test to see if what the person in the article is saying is true, instead of blindly listening or dismissing.

    1. Totally agree! Why bother looking for a natural, environmentally safe way to safe-guard your plants from pests and PETS if you’d rather buy something toxic. I’ve tried a couple of these and they do work but ARE biodegradable so need regular re-application, especially if you’ve had a lot of rain.

  2. Pingback: 10 Homemade Natural Insect Repellents for Your Plants – The Garden Boss

  3. Cinnamon

    These are all harmful oils that can get your dog very sick. Do not use these. Ammonia is also very harmful if your pet consumes it. Do not leave cotton balls of ammonia lying around.

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  6. Pingback: 5 tips to stop your dog from digging up the yard - Bingxo

  7. The recommended oils are toxic if they’re ingested or used incorrectly in lotions or sprays applied to the pet’s body. They’re not toxic, however, if sprayed on things to impart a scent your dog will get a whiff of and move away from. And they do work for some dogs, but only to an extent, and they have to be alternated or pets get acclimated to them.

  8. Amanda’s article took me on a nostalgic trip to my grandmother’s garden where she’d use similar homemade remedies to deter neighborhood dogs. Her combination of apple cider vinegar and citrus always left the garden smelling refreshing. The power of natural solutions never ceases to amaze me!

  9. Some of these recommendations are absolutely horrible. Not only will they deter your dog they might be the death of your dog. Coffee grounds and ammonia are not safe. I know this is an older post but it should seriously be amended or removed as it is promoting dangerous information. Shame on the authors.

  10. Amanda, your post on homemade dog repellents is a game-changer! I once tried commercial repellents to keep my dog, Daisy, from tearing up my rose bushes, but they were expensive and not very effective. Your citronella oil recipe was easy to make and actually worked to keep Daisy away, plus it smells so much better than the store-bought stuff!

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