A dog may be a person’s best friend, but that doesn’t mean he always behaves himself. Dog repellent sprays are used as training tools to stop unwanted behavior like urine marking or chewing as well as a protective aid against dog aggression. Some formulas are designed for indoor and outdoor use, while others are meant to be carried while you travel.
We reviewed dozens of dog repellent sprays to find the best formulas available. In our search, we considered different uses for repellent sprays as well as the ingredients used in the formula. We also took into account how long the spray stays effective and the scent that’s left behind. While some dogs respond better to repellent sprays than others, there are plenty of options on the market. Take a good look at the kind of behaviors you’re hoping to promote or avoid, as well as how and when you want to use the spray. The answer to these kinds of questions will narrow down your options until you find a spray that supports your training methods without hurting your dog.
The PetSafe SprayShield Animal Deterrent comes in a handheld spray that reaches up to 10 feet when deployed. It’s a great tool to have with you on walks or if you’re working with animals prone to aggression. A belt clip attaches it to a pocket or belt, so it’s within reach when tension mounts.
In This Article
Top 5 Top-Rated Dog Repellent Sprays
|Best Dog Repellent Spray Overall||PetSafe SprayShield Animal Deterrent||4.1|
|Best Dog Repellent Spray for Chewing||Rocco & Roxie No Chew Extreme Bitter Spray||3.3|
|Best Budget Dog Repellent Spray||OUT! Bitter Cherry Chew Deterrent||3.1|
|Best Dog Repellent Spray for Aggression||Halt! Dog Repellent||4.4|
|Best Dog Repellent for Urine Marking||Pet Organics No Go Housebreaking Aid||3.1|
*Ratings are from Amazon at the time of publication and can change
Best Dog Repellent Spray Overall: PetSafe SprayShield Animal Deterrent
Dog repellents are made with any number of ingredients, some of which can be painful or harmful to the dog. However, PetSafe SprayShield Animal Deterrent skips potentially harmful ingredients for a natural citronella base. Dogs dislike the smell of citronella. It’s used in deterrents that stop digging and urine marking, but in this case, it’s meant as a safety aid. Citronella won’t stop a highly aggressive dog attack, but in the case of an animal that’s anxious or mildly aggressive, SprayShield usually shocks the dog enough to stop the aggression.
This pepper spray alternative doesn’t harm the dog. It’s perfect for taking on walks and detouring aggressive neighborhood or stray dogs that won’t leave you or your dog alone. It sprays up to 10 feet for up to 12 seconds, which is plenty of time to distract the dog while you move along.
The compact can with an attached belt clip makes the spray easy to carry in your pocket, on your belt, or in a purse or backpack. One of our favorite features is the safety lock. The lock prevents accidental spraying while the can is in your pocket. It can also prevent tampering from children or your dog if he accidentally gets ahold of the can.
PetSafe SprayShield Animal Deterrent Key Features:
- Deters mild aggression
- Does not permanently harm the dog
- Safe for humans and pets
- Belt clip
Best Dog Repellent Spray for Chewing: Rocco & Roxie No Chew Extreme Bitter Spray
Couches, shoes, drapes — dogs will chew just about anything. Unfortunately, that can leave your house in shambles. The Rocco & Roxie No Chew Extreme Bitter Spray’s powerful formula protects your valuables, helps you with training, and gives you some respite from puppy destruction. The bitter taste of this spray provides the deterrent factor.
An alcohol-free formula helps each spray last longer, too. Sprays without alcohol don’t evaporate as quickly, so you spray less often, saving you time and money.
The Rocco & Roxie spray is for use furniture and fabrics, but it’s also safe for skin to deter your dog from biting or licking himself or bandages. It can even be implied on top of other topical medicines. Plus, soothing tea tree oil helps relieve burning and itching from hot spots, too. However, before applying to anything delicate, we suggest testing it on a small area before applying liberally.
Rocco & Roxie No Chew Extreme Bitter Spray Key Features:
- Alcohol-free formula
- Safe for furniture, fabrics, and skin
- Soothing tea tree oil
Best Budget Dog Repellent Spray: OUT! Bitter Cherry Chew Deterrent
Chewing, licking, and biting (See Selections of best dog muzzle for biting) may wreak havoc on your house and yard. The OUT! Bitter Cherry Chew Deterrent’s ingredients — grape seed extract, lemon extract, and bitter cherry flavor — make anything that’s been sprayed taste unpalatable to your dog. A dog’s sense of taste is a quick way to put a stop to unwanted behaviors. A few licks of this spray and he’ll be going elsewhere.
While this formula tastes bad, it doesn’t leave your home stinky. If licking, biting, and scratching are irritating his skin, OUT! can safely go on his skin and put a stop to the irritation. It’s safe for puppies and acts as a great training aid. The clear formula won’t stain or discolor most fabrics and furniture. However, we suggest testing it in a small, inconspicuous area first.
OUT! Bitter Cherry Chew Deterrent Key Features:
- Contains grape seed extract, lemon extract, and bitter cherry flavor
- Pleasant scent
Best Dog Repellent Spray for Aggression: Halt! Dog Repellent
You don’t need to worry about an aggressive dog taking you by surprise when you’re carrying Halt! Dog Repellent. Whether you work for the postal service or a neighborhood dog terrorizes you on your daily walk, carrying this repellent provides you protection and a spray the dog won’t be able to ignore. The main effective ingredient found in Halt! comes from the capsaicin found in peppers. Capsaicin irritates the eyes and skin so your dog can’t ignore it, especially when it comes in a pressurized spray that reaches up to 10 feet. While it causes irritation of the skin and eyes and some swelling of the lung tissue, it doesn’t cause any permanent damage.
The pressurized spray stops the dog before he’s within dangerous reach. The container’s belt clip puts it within easy reach for you. A word of caution — be careful of the direction in which you spray it. If it’s windy, it can blow back in your face, and it will be just as irritating to your skin and eyes as it is to a dog’s.
Halt! Dog Repellent Key Features:
- Active ingredient: capsaicin
- Belt clip
- Safe for people and pets
- Can cause irritation until it wears off
Best Dog Repellent Spray for Urine Marking: Pet Organics No Go Housebreaking Aid
If you want a dog repellent that’s natural and safe but prevents your dog from marking his territory, Pet Organics No Go Housebreaking Aid might be exactly what you need. A blend of herbal extracts acts as the deterrent, so you’re not spraying chemicals in your home. The formula has an unpleasant scent and taste that encourages your dog to do his business elsewhere.
After your dog has marked, clean it up and spray on the No Go. Your dog won’t want to mark again when he returns. While your dog may not like the odor, it’s not unpleasant for you. It leaves behind a light herbal fragrance that, along with the deterrent effect, can last up to a week. You may need to spray more often at first as your dog is learning.
Pet Organics No Go Housebreaking Aid Key Features:
- All-natural ingredients
- Deters dogs from marking
- Last up to a week
Who Should Buy a Dog Repellent Sprays
There are a variety of reasons why you might need a dog repellent spray. However, dog repellent sprays are not all made for the same purpose. House training puppies may need a spray designed to repel urine marking, while someone who has trouble with an aggressive neighborhood dog may need a stronger repellent designed specifically for protection. Other sprays focus on taste and smell to put a stop to chewing. Any of these issues may give you a reason to invest in a dog repellent spray.
Dog repellent sprays may be used outside, too. Some formulas can be sprayed on plants, fencing, or soil to discourage your dog from digging and general yard destruction. And, there are sprays designed for multiple animal species, so if you have more than one pet you’re trying to keep out of your garden, you can buy a spray that deters all of them rather than just your dog. Dog repellent sprays won’t do the dog training for you, but they can be used as a tool to make dog training easier.
Important Features to Consider
A dog repellent spray should do several things well. Here’s what to consider when selecting a repellent spray for your dog:
- Ingredients. Look for a repellent spray that’s effective but safe for pets and doesn’t cause permanent damage. Natural ingredients like capsaicin, grape seed extract, lemongrass extract, and citronella are common, and while they act as a deterrent, they won’t permanently hurt the dog. Some formulas are designed to stop the dog from licking or biting his own skin. Make sure any formula you put on your dog’s skin is alcohol-free to prevent further irritation. Alcohol-free formulas typically last longer because they evaporate more slowly than alcohol-based sprays. Some sprays designed to stop aggression may contain powerful ingredients that can stain, burn, and irritate the skin, eyes, and lungs and should be used with caution.
- Delivery. A spray is a spray, right? Yes and no. Repellent sprays designed to stop aggression are usually pressurized so you can use them once the dog gets within 10 to 12 feet of you. Formulas designed to prevent urine marking and chewing typically have a short spray distance since they’re designed to be sprayed on objects and/or directly on the dog.
- Spray purpose. Dog repellent sprays are usually designed for a specific purpose. For example, those designed to put a stop to chewing and licking rely on the bitter flavors of apples and cherries. Those designed to deter urine marking often rely on scents like that of lemon or citronella to encourage your dog to avoid the area. Sprays that act as a protectant from an aggressive animal may contain capsaicin or a more powerful pepper sprays that sting the eyes, skin, and lungs. The purpose for which you want to use the spray will determine what kind you need. From there, use it according to the directions, and keep all sprays out of reach of children and pets.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is dog repellent spray, and how does it work?
Dog repellent sprays contain ingredients that either smell or taste bad or contain ingredients that irritate the dog’s skin, eyes, and lungs. Their purpose is to discourage your dog from unwanted behavior, which can range from urine marking to biting. In some cases, the spray is applied to furniture or fabric, encouraging the dog to go elsewhere. In other cases, the sprays are used directly on the dog to stop the behavior, as in the case of sprays designed to stop aggression.
What scent will keep dogs away?
Dogs have a sensitive nose, so they react strongly to scents. A few they commonly dislike are:
- Citrus (lemons, grapefruit, orange)
- Chili peppers
- Rubbing alcohol
Of this list, citrus, chili peppers, and citronella are the most common found in dog repellent sprays.
Does dog repellent spray work?
Sprays designed to prevent urine marking and chewing work most of the time. However, there are dogs for which they simply don’t have much effect. It depends on the dog, their age, and their motivation for unwanted behavior. Sprays designed to stop aggression tend to work better since they often have stronger ingredients like capsaicin. Dogs may dislike citronella and lemon scents, but those scents won’t hurt their eyes or nose. Sprays with capsaicin, on the other hand, are uncomfortable, so they tend to have a stronger effect.
When should you use dog repellent spray?
Dog repellent sprays are generally used as part of a dog training program. Sprays are a helpful reminder when house training or teaching your dog not to dig in the yard. They help support training along with other training aids, durable toys, and beds your dog won’t destroy. Most dogs learn fairly quickly to avoid areas and objects that have been sprayed with a repellent spray.
Sprays designed to stop aggression are generally only used in situations wherein the dog’s aggression could be harmful to you, your dog, or anyone else in the area. For example, if you’re walking your dog and a stray dog starts charging you, a dog repellent spray could stop the dog in his tracks before he can reach either you or your dog.
Other Dog Repellent Sprays We Reviewed
We reviewed 20 other dog repellent sprays. These formulas didn’t quite make our 5 best dog repellent sprays list, but they’re still some powerful sprays that might work well for your dog. We made sure to include the information you need to compare formulas.
- Dog Repellent Sprays for Aggression
- Dog Repellent Sprays for Chewing
- Dog Repellent Sprays for Urine Marking
Dog Repellent Sprays for Aggression
The palm-held design and adjustable hand strap make this spray easy to take with you on walks. Its powerful formula contains OC pepper and tear gas.
- Sprays up to 15 times
- Contains OC pepper and tear gas
- Safety cap
This isn’t your traditional mace. It’s not designed to directly stop aggression, but to deter dogs from entering your yard.
- Natural ingredients
- Outdoor use only
- Not a direct aggression deterrent
This all-natural pepper spray uses the potency of capsaicin to put a halt on aggressive behavior.
- Sprays up to 15 feet
- Safety lock
- Four (4) year shelf life
Dog Repellent Sprays for Chewing
This formula relies on dogs’ natural dislike of lemon to discourage chewing. It’s non-toxic, but it does have a strong odor, so be sure to use it in a well-ventilated area.
- Non-toxic formula
- For indoor and outdoor use
- Requires adequate ventilation
A bitter taste that dogs dislike helps put a stop to chewing. However, this formula is also designed for direct application to the skin to soothe and put a stop to licking and biting.
- Tea tree oil and eucalyptus soothe the skin
- For indoor and outdoor use
This formula can be used on everything from electrical cords to upholstery and works for a wide range of animals.
- Safe for use on electrical cords
- Works for multiple animal species
- Works along with a training program
A highly concentrated bitter spray deters chewing. It’s powerful but gentle enough for use on the dog’s fur.
- For use on furniture, fabrics, and even fur
- Comes with a training program
When they say ultra-bitter, they mean it. A mix of grapefruit skin and herbal extracts that repel dogs make Fooey a deterrent worth considering.
- For use along with a training program
- Indoor or outdoor use
Dogs and cats hate this formula’s taste, which makes this the perfect deterrent.
- Works for up to 24 hours
- Indoor and outdoor use
- Works for dogs and cats
All-natural ingredients make this a safe option that goes directly on your dog’s skin.
- Works on any water-safe surface
- Soothes irritated skin
- Requires daily use
This gentle formula discourages biting with the taste of bitter apples.
- Bitter taste dogs despise
- No staining
- Requires daily spraying
Five natural ingredients make up a formula that deters chewing but doesn’t stain or have a strong scent.
- Indoor and outdoor use
- Natural and organic ingredients
A water-based formula like Bitter Yuck! can be used on wounds and furniture without causing harm.
- Doesn’t sting or stain
- For use directly on pet
- Most effective with daily use
Bitter flavors keep your dog from chewing and biting. However, the powerful formula requires plenty of ventilation.
- Safe, gentle formula
- Use in well-ventilated area
This alcohol-free formula tastes awful to dogs but doesn’t cause any harm and is safe for use on electrical cords.
- Indoor and outdoor use
- Works on clothing, furniture, and electrical cords
Dog Repellent Sprays for Urine Marking
Not Here! prevents dogs from marking the same place twice. It can be used both indoors and out to put a stop to unwanted urine marking.
- Scent deters further marking
- For use on previously marked areas
- Indoor or outdoor use
This formula works on everything, from furniture and clothing to cords and plants. It trains to avoid chewing and urine marking.
- Contains orange, lemon, and peppermint oils
- Requires multiple applications
- Works best along with training program
Designed as a training aid, this repellent spray keeps dogs away from sensitive areas both indoors and out.
- Indoor/outdoor use
- Not for use on plants that will be consumed
- Not for use directly on the dog
This formula discourages urine marking but also cleans and deodorizes stains in the process.
- Prevents future urine marking
- Removes stains and odors
- Contains lemongrass and cinnamon oils
Whether you’re training indoors or out, this spray helps your dog learn areas to avoid.
- Deters urine marking in the same spot twice
- Relies on repellent scents
- Highly concentrated and long-lasting