Essential Oils to Stop Dog Peeing and Marking

This post may contain affiliate links. It doesn't cost you anything extra and it keeps our lights on, our families fed, and our dogs spoiled. For all the juicy fine print, see our affiliate disclosure

Potty training a young dog can feel like it lasts forever.

Some dogs take to it quickly, but most will need time to learn that they can’t go to the bathroom in your home.

As they grow, they’ll get much better about respecting the potty training rules, but sometimes dogs can’t help themselves.

They’re naturally prone to mark their territory, especially if they live with another dog.

I’ve seen dogs as old as six and seven still mark their territory in the home.

It’s frustrating to clean up, but there’s an easy way to make it stop.

Check out how essential oils could be exactly what you need to make a DIY dog pee repellant marking solution.

They’ll deter your dog from peeing in the house while also providing a fresh scent.

Why People Want Alternative Sprays

Bodhi Dog bitter lemon spray chew pee marking deterrent natural extract
You can buy a spray. Or, you can make your own from ingredients you may already have!

If you’ve walked through the aisles at your local pet store or perused through dog supplies online, you’ve probably seen the mass-produced dog sprays that are available for purchase.

Plenty of people buy these every year, hoping they’ll work for their dog.

The problems arise when people look at the ingredients list, before ever actually trying the spray out.

While the sprays are on the market because they’re technically safe to use, they contain plenty of chemicals that soak into the carpet or fabric where they’re sprayed.

It’s natural for people to prefer not leaving these chemicals around their home, even if they deter their dog from peeing.

It’s safer to use a homemade anti-pee spray, since you’ll know exactly what it’s made out of.

You might not even need a spray! Check out these tips on how to teach your pup not to pee inside the house.

Homemade Sprays Gone Wrong

On the other end of the spectrum, sometimes homemade sprays can be made incorrectly.

Is Your Dog Driving You Nuts During the Day?

Indoor Activities for Dogs

Get Our List of 11 Awesome Indoor Activities to Keep Your Dog Busy and Out of Trouble!

One way to do this is to use ingredients that won’t actually deter your dog.

Sour apple spray is a popular deterrent that many dog owners rely on. It may initially be something your dog stays away from, but many dogs will eventually grow to enjoy the smell or taste.

Grannicks Bitter Apple taste deter spray for dogs and cats non toxic safe to use
Mmm… apples!

This happened with Maggie when she was a puppy.

She enjoyed gnawing on the power cords attached to my floor lamps, which were difficult to hide from her.

I sprayed them with bitter apple spray, then found her licking them like candy just a few minutes later.

It was so frustrating to have spent ten dollars on a spray bottle I threw out immediately after using, especially since I was on such a tight budget.

Another common spray uses cayenne pepper[1].

While it’s safe for a dog to consume as a diluted spray, it will irritate their eyes if they get it on their paws and then touch their faces.

Cayenne pepper is also an irritant for sensitive stomachs, making this an unusable option for many dog owners.

Instead, you can try out essential oil sprays.

They’ll be safe for your dog to sniff and lick and have been proven to be effective for many dogs who enjoy marking their territory.

Essential Oils to Stop Dog Marking

Most dogs will be naturally deterred from peeing on anything with a citrus smell.

It’s a sharp scent on their noses, which will make them prefer another spot to pee.

There are a few citrus essential oils you can choose from, depending on what scent you want around your home.

The best essential oils to stop dog marking are:

  • Lemon Oil
  • Grapefruit Oil
  • Orange Oil
  • Lime Oil

Lemon Oil

Lemon essential oils may have a sweeter citrus smell to them.

It’s used as a freshener and a household cleaner, so it’s safe to leave on carpets and furniture after you’ve sprayed to deter your dog from lifting his leg on your sofa.

Grapefruit Oil

Grapefruit may appear as a yellow oil even though the fruit is pink.

It can be found at most places that sell essential oil, since it’s also used as a surface cleaner.

It’s made of 95 percent limonene[2], which is the deterrent component found in most citrus oils.

Orange Oil

Orange essential oil is the sweetest citrus oil you can spray, if you want your home to have a sweeter scent.

It works wonderfully for deterring dogs from peeing in the house, and it’s also used as an air freshener in many bathrooms because of its strong effect on harsh odors.

Lime Oil

If you want a stronger citrus scent for a more determined dog, try spraying their favorite marking spots with lime essential oil.

It has a more tart scent and may be packaged as a clear liquid in bottles that don’t add a green dye.

Want to see if your dog will respond to a specific odor before mixing up a big batch of spray? Dilute several drops in little water, soak a tissue in the liquid, then place the tissue in your dog’s mouth. You’ll learn real quick if they like or dislike that flavor!

How to Make Your Spray

Once you’ve chosen the essential oil you prefer, it’s time to make your spray.

Follow these instructions for an easy spray that will be ready to use in minutes.

Step 1: Use a Clean Spray Bottle

You may need to go to the store and buy a new spray bottle.

Used spray bottles that have held cleaning solutions may have traces of chemicals in them even after being washed, so starting with a new spray bottle is the best way to make a safe deterrent.

Look for a bottle that holds at least 12 ounces of liquid for the following spray formula.

Step 2: Combine Water and Vinegar

Measure out one and a half cups of water and two tablespoons of distilled white vinegar.

The water will help dilute the spray and the vinegar will enhance the strong deterrent scent[3] to prevent your dog from peeing in the house or on your furniture.

Pour both into a bowl and mix well.

Step 3: Add the Essential Oil

After you’ve mixed the water and vinegar, add at least 20 drops of the citrus essential oil you’ve picked out.

How to make essential oil spray deter dog peeing marking citrus essence water vinegar
Now you’re armed and ready to combat your pup’s peeing habits!

Twenty drops of oil in 12 ounces of liquid is enough to deter them without overpowering their senses.

Step 4: Pour Into the Spray Bottle

Pour all of the liquid from your bowl into the spray bottle, positioning it over your kitchen sink in case of spillage.

Shake the bottle before each use and spray it onto problem areas!

Avoid spraying onto easily-discolored furniture. We don’t want to stain that new leather couch, do we?

This solution can be stored indefinitely.

What about pooping inside the house? We have tips to help stop that, too!

Switch Things Up

If your dog doesn’t mind the first spray solution you create, don’t get discouraged.

There are tons of citrus essential oils out there you can try to stop them from marking their territory.

Try out different sprays until you find the one your dog doesn’t like.

You can always rinse out your spray bottle and use it with a different essential oil!



Eliminate Bad Dog Breath Without Brushing

Fresh Breathies