What Smells Do Dogs Hate? 13 Scents Your Dog Will Hate

What Smells Do Dogs Hate

Dogs have an increased level of olfactory cells than humans. Hence, they perceive smells more intensely than us. Hopefully, this article will have you questioning what smells do dogs hate, as it is important you keep this in mind. Approximately, a dog’s sense of smell is at least 40 times more powerful than ours. The strong smells we like through our noses can be irritating for our pets.

What Smells Do Dogs Hate?

As you will notice from below, dogs hate a lot of smells and the below is not all of them. Dogs can specifically suffer from nasal irritations that are caused by smells they hate the most.

For them, it is easier to realize whether a smell is good for them or not. Do you wish to know which smells dogs hate the most? We will explain this in detail below.


Standard rubbing alcohol has an off-putting effect on dogs. The higher the percentage of alcohol, the higher the scent will be. Alcohol can have a very strong smell for humans, mind dogs. You should also note that any type of alcohol is toxic to dogs. This goes for any type of alcohol or ethanol type product.

Ethanol poisoning can occur from ingesting a variety of products. Fermented products such as bread dough and rotten apples, which dogs may find in the garbage, may be one case. Other accidental instances may occur from spilled beverages, commercial products, or medications containing alcohol.

Read the original article – Ethanol Toxicosis in Dogs by PetMD


What smells do dogs hate


Dogs would scream at this smell, that is if they can scream. It is credibly annoying for them. Ammonia contains a high amount of Chemicals that send strong smells. That makes dogs run without even turning back. It keeps dogs at a mile’s distance.

The product makes a dog’s nose itchy. The dog will uncontrollably sneeze constantly. Also, there are claims that ammonia has a urine-like odor that causes the exact opposite effect. By that claim, a dog confuses it with another dog marking its territory.

Beauty Products

From nail polish to hair spray to mustache wax, all commercial beauty products are filled with strong chemical compounds. Adults can identify these products blindfolded if they are familiar with using them.

If the odor is strong for you, it becomes all the more unbearable for the pup. If you chose to use beauty products while carrying your dog, make sure it is a well-ventilated area.

Alternatively, you can use natural beauty products that are free of all the harsh chemicals.

Beauty Product smells

Citrus Fruits

Humans love citrus smells since it gives a fresh feel. It gives a feeling of cleanliness and thereby smells like the floor cleaner you use on tiles. It is no surprise it is a top seller in all supermarkets.

However, they do not factor in our extended family – pets. Dogs hate the citrus smell and avoid it like a plague. If you are a dog owner, you do not want to bother him with citric smelling floor cleaners.

The smell is just too strong for your dog to bear. In the worst case, it can suffer damage to the nostril and airways.

Eucalyptus Smell

The smell of eucalyptus makes dogs very uncomfortable. It can make your puppy and dog go teary-eyed and causes a burning sensation. The dog will run away to avoid the tingling sensation. The more time they spend around it, the more they suffer.

Fresh Herbs

Canines are not huge fans of mint, catnip, or rosemary. The pungent aroma inherent to fresh herbs is not appetizing to dogs.

While most dogs are irritated by herbs, some dogs may have no problem with mint.

There are many mint-flavored treats to treat bad breath. So it does depend on the dog.

Ground Spices

The way your dog will react after encountering ground spices is very much similar to how they react to hot peppers. Nowadays ground pepper spices are used extensively in most commercial dog repellents.

This can cause extreme burning and irritation in your dog’s nose. Be careful to make sure they stay away from ground spices.

What smells do dogs hate

Hot Peppers

Chili peppers account for one of the most annoying smells for dogs. They can affect their airways and cause constant sneezing. It also makes the dog’s nose itch.

Hence, if you have touched peppers or food that contains peppers, make sure to wash your hands before petting your dog. Any contact with the mucous glands will cause serious complexities.

Furthermore, hot peppers including jalapenos, chili, and paprika are not liked by dogs. The main factor that drives them away is the spice. The tingling sensation that gets on the tongue and nose is very annoying for dogs.

In most cases, even holding up a pepper is enough to chase a dog away. While we do not smell spice right away, dog’s olfactory senses catch scents even from meters away.

Scientifically, spiciness from peppers comes from capsaicinoids, the major chemical compound present in them. In the worst case, dogs will suffer from respiratory issues by sniffing hot peppers.


The mothballs we put in our closest kind of drive the dogs away. But this should be taken seriously. If your dog happens to ingest one of the pellets, death is a real prospect. Mothballs are extremely toxic to not just dogs, but also humans.

The smallest of mothballs can cause maximum damage to the dog’s liver and nervous system. If you are a dog owner and also want your cabinet to smell good, you do not have to ruin your pet’s life.

Alternatively, you can just fill in sachets of lavender or dried flowers. The same applies to cleaning products and perfumes as well.

House Cleaning Products

Your dog never stays along when you start cleaning the kitchen floor and counters. It is not the cause of obedience or courtesy. The fact of the matter is dogs hate ingredients present in household cleaning products.

The major product that chases the dog away is chlorine and ammonia. They can also contain citrus scents making them intolerable for dogs. Be careful to not get cleaning products on your dog by accident.

Cleaning Product smells


Naphthalene is not just a smell your dog hates. It is indeed toxic to dogs of all breeds and sizes. If ingested, naphthalene causes vomiting and diarrhea in dogs. It affects a dog’s liver and nervous system. In the worst cases, it causes anemia, lethargy, and even damage to the kidney. It works so much similar to mothballs you place in the dressing cabinet. Make sure to not let dogs come in contact with such toxic items.


Perfume or cologne contains a range of ingredients that dogs will avoid. Your dog will just ignore you the moment the fragrance hits their skin. The perfume contains chemicals, essential oils, and alcohol that deter all breeds of dogs.

The fragrances are that strong they mask our body odor. A lot of times, we may notice our dogs barking and running around when a guest comes home wearing perfume. The bottom line is dogs do not enjoy the smell of perfume and cologne.

Perfume smells


Vinegar is one of the best cleaning products to use in households. However, if you are a dog owner, you do not have the luxury of using vinegar.

Your furry friend just cannot stand that smell.


As you can see from above, there is a lot of smells dogs do not like or just plain hate. Some of the items above really depend on the breed or dog itself. But as mentioned above some are toxic to all breeds and should not be anywhere near them.

Knowing what your dog is toxic to and what they do not like is vital for all dog owners. We hope you have found this article informative and helpful.

You may also like