5 Smells Dogs Hate The Most

A dog's sense of smell is 40 times more powerful than ours, hence the strong smells that we like as humans can be annoying for our pets. And not only that, but canines can even suffer from nasal irritations due to the smells they hate most.
5 Smells Dogs Hate The Most

Last update: 23 March, 2018

Dogs have many more olfactory cells than we do, so they are able to perceive smells more intensely and from farther away. For them it is easy to recognize when they like a  smell or not. Do you want to know which smells are unpleasant for dogs? We’ll tell you!

In addition to their great olfactory capacity, we must bear in mind that humans and dogs are very different, so the smells that we like also will be different. It is possible that we love a flower’s smell, but a dog hates it. How can you tell?

Unpleasant smells for dogs

Citrus smells

Perhaps you like citrus smells, because they give a feeling a cleanliness, and therefore probably smell like the liquid floor cleaner you use. No wonder they are a favorite and a frequent seller in supermarkets. However, someone forgot something: our dogs hate them.

Yes, if you have a dog at home and do not want to bother him, you will have to change your floor cleaner. Just imagine how intense the citrus smell is for you, and now think of it multiplied by 40. That’s how your dog feels.

The smell is so strong for them that they could even suffer damage to their nostrils and airways.

On the other hand, this smell could be beneficial to you. If you want your dog stop urinating somewhere in your house, just put the peel or an essential oil of some citrus fruit in that area, and problem solved!


If you like to use vinegar to clean your house, we recommend that you change this habit. Your dog can’t stand this smell. However, if you want to use it to prevent him from peeing in a certain corner, this a good way to do so, because vinegar is a natural product and will not hurt him.

On the other hand, apple cider vinegar  brings great benefits to our pets, as we’ve mentioned before.

Spicy peppers

Chili peppers give off one of the most irritating smells for dogs. If there’s any area of the house you don’t want your dog to go in, put some hot chilis there. Just avoid leaving them where he can reach them.

Additionally, chilis can affect their airways, make their noses itch, and cause constant sneezing. Therefore, if you have touched this food while cooking, do not forget to wash your hands well before touching your pet, because any contact with their mucous glands could cause problems.


If a dog could scream, he would scream because of this smell, since it is incredibly irritating for them. Ammonia has a high level of chemicals, which produce strong smells that, no doubt, make dogs want to run away fast.
This product will cause the animal’s nose to itch and he will sneeze constantly. However, some people say that ammonia has a urine-like odor and that it will really cause the opposite effect: it’ll make the dog mark its territory.


Those mothballs that we usually put in our closets are very bothersome to dogs. But not only that– if your dog ingests one of these pellets, he may even die! Mothballs are highly toxic. Although they are small, they will cause a huge amount of damage to the liver and a dog’s nervous system.

If you have dogs and want your cabinets to smell good, do not jeopardize your pet’s life. Instead, fill some small sacks with lavender or dried flowers.
We can also add cleaning products and perfumes to this list of smells that dogs hate. It doesn’t matter what they are; they give off an unbearable smell for your pet. Do the best that you can to prevent the animal from approaching any of these products.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.