Smells That Dogs Don’t Like

What smell do dogs hate and what do they dislike? With the right background knowledge, the four-legged friend is spared bad smells and irritation of the mucous membranes. This article lists everyday fragrances that a dog’s nose shouldn’t be sniffing at.

Smells That Dogs Don’t Like in Brief

  • ammonia;
  • essential oils;
  • chili;
  • vinegar;
  • Mothballs;
  • cinnamon;
  • citrus fruits.

What Smell Do Dogs Hate?

Sniff, sniff: From a human point of view, it is irritating when two dogs sniff each other’s backside. But even some smells that people perceive as pleasant are met with deep aversion in four-legged friends. In some cases, it’s just a dislike and the smell is harmless.

However, there are also pungent smells that irritate the dog’s mucous membranes and, in the worst case, cause inflammation. In this case, a visit to the vet is essential.


  • Smells can trigger different reactions in dogs. Not every fur nose has the same dislikes for some flavors.
  • Usually, your four-legged friend will avoid certain smells on their own and keep their distance. If not, it is important to keep the dog away from intensely-smelling substances.
  • One possible sign that a dog doesn’t like a smell is sneezing. Depending on the intensity, the snorting can turn into a real sneezing fit.


The strong-smelling and poisonous gas are extremely unpleasant even for humans. So it is not surprising that the highly sensitive dog’s nose finds the smell of ammonia repulsive. For example, ammonia is found in fertilizers and in some cosmetic products such as hair dyes.

Essential oils

No boon: What smells good for two-legged friends means a huge odor explosion for four-legged friends – in a negative sense. After all, the dog as a macro smart perceives the concentrates much more intensely. Most dogs will find the strong odor of essential oils unpleasant. In addition, tea tree oil, lavender and the like can, in the worst case, be toxic to dogs.


Would you like a smell test? It is not advisable to do this, because dogs have an aversion to hot spices chili, or cayenne pepper. Direct contact with the olfactory organ should be avoided for health reasons: If the dog touches the spices with his nose, the mucous membrane can be irritated.


Absolutely understandable: people don’t like the pungent smell of vinegar either. It’s the same with the fur nose. If the apartment is cleaned with a natural cleaning agent, the four-legged friend would prefer to run away.


Many mothballs contain naphthalene. It is a substance that is highly toxic and has an intense smell for dogs. Since the repellents are uncomfortable and even life-threatening for dogs, it is best to avoid mothballs entirely.


The Christmas seasoning will not create a cozy atmosphere for dogs. On the contrary: the smell of cinnamon is perceived as unpleasant by the four-legged friends. In addition, cassia cinnamon should be out of the reach of dogs, as it is cancerous for the beloved four-legged friends.

Citrus fruits

Whether in the form of detergents, as an essential oil, or bare fruit: Dogs don’t like the smell of citrus fruits such as oranges, grapefruits, and lemons. The intense odorous substances can also irritate the olfactory organ and the respiratory tract.

Alice White

Written by Alice White

Alice White, a devoted pet lover and writer, has turned her boundless affection for animals into a fulfilling career. Originally dreaming of wildlife, her limited scientific background led her to specialize in animal literature. Now she happily spends her days researching and writing about various creatures, living her dream.

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