Why Dogs Don't Like Vinegar



It is not uncommon for dogs to get very curious and start scavenging for dead animals; playing with things in the house, running away, and sometimes refusing to be left alone. When your dog starts getting into chewing on furniture, there are particular smells that can be used to help keep them out of trouble. When your beloved pooches get into super pestering moods and start ruining your valuable belongings and digging up in the yard, some smells can deter them. It is natural for dogs to chew and dig but their sensitive smell can keep them away from places or things which you don’t want them getting into.

The Root of the Behavior

A dog’s sense of smell is very different from a human’s. So, it is not a surprise that we have different tastes when it comes to deciding what smells qualify as pleasant and what smells are just plain nasty. For humans, the smell of urine and feces are repelling, but for dogs they are very interesting, to say the least. Smell is a dog’s most developed sense, and this is because they have around 300 million olfactory cells, a number so great compared to the 5 million olfactory cells which we humans possess. This is why they can easily identify particles found in the air or objects and determine the exact location of these smells. For this same reason, dogs are used to detect narcotic substances, search for missing people, and even diagnose certain diseases.

Many of the smells dogs hate are often found just inside the house and we even bring some of it with us, which produce so much discomfort in your pooch’s nose and one of them is vinegar. Dogs have a very incredible sense of smell and because of their superior sense of smell, they can easily sniff vinegar. It is a good thing to use for cooking or cleaning, but it means another thing to dogs. Vinegar is one of the things that just seem to drive dogs away. It has an acrid smell that is not particularly appealing to humans, but it is a natural smell which your dogs definitely won’t like.

Vinegar can be used straight from the bottle to spray or sprinkle. It can also be placed on small, open containers or soaked into a rag. However, it should not be directly sprayed on plants because it can possibly damage them. If you must put it on plants, you should just spray it nearby or put it on bits on cotton balls or bits of fabric. Although it is perfectly safe to use vinegar around dogs, you would not want your home to end up smelling really bad, so it is more suited for outdoor use. 

Encouraging the Behavior

One of the most common reasons why people use vinegar is to keep dogs off their furniture. Vinegar works better compared to other methods because, for one, it does not require anyone to be present in the room. Repellants sold in stores can also be expensive and may also contain harmful chemicals which are not good for children and pets. Homemade repellents are easier to prepare and are often made of ingredients which can be easily found around the house. Discouraging a few destructive behaviors such as chewing on furniture can be easily prevented by using vinegar.

Put vinegar in a spray bottle and spray on and around furniture which you would like to become off-limits to your pooch. However, do not reuse an old bottle because the residue of the previous content will remain and can dilute the smell of vinegar, rendering it useless. A highly concentrated combination of vinegar and water – 1 part vinegar to 5 parts water – is effective enough to discourage dogs. Vinegar’s sour taste can also prevent your pooch from chewing. Always use clear vinegar such as white vinegar. Apple cider vinegar that is mildly colored is also a good option. You should always use caution when spraying materials. 

Other Solutions and Considerations

One type of vinegar, apple cider vinegar to be exact, is a highly effective product in preventing your dog from smelling bad. However, because it is one of your canine’s most hated smells, it is advisable to mix it with great smelling dog shampoo to reduce its fragrance. Remember though that it cannot be applied directly to your dog’s head area and ensure that you rinse your dog well. You must avoid applying apple cider vinegar to severe cuts or burns and other injuries because this can be incredibly painful for the dog. Never feed undiluted apple cider vinegar to dogs because aside from the bitter taste, it can also burn their esophagus and stomach. Undiluted apple cider vinegar is also harmful to your dog’s tooth enamel, as it is to humans. 


Dogs have a superior sense of smell and this gives them highly sensitive noses and one of the smells they abhor is that of vinegar. Because of this it can be highly useful deterrent that will keep your dogs away from furniture and other things which you want to keep safe. However, it is important to be cautious when using vinegar as it can irritate or harm your dog.