As many dog owners have come to know, this time of year, for many, is considered “new dog/puppy season.” With many shelters and rescues offering waived adoption fees near the holidays, many families use this opportunity to welcome home a new pack member. And, while this time of year can be exciting, it can also be stressful for both you and your new best friend. It can take days, even weeks, for both you and your dog to get acquainted with each other, learn each other’s routines and body language.

One of the hardest lessons can be potty training. And, depending if you want your dog to go outside, be pee pad trained or use a litter box, accidents in the home will happen. “Marking”, which is simply a dog’s way of making a home his, can be extremely frustrating for dog parents.

In most cases, marking can be solved with consistent training and sometimes, even spay or neutering can assist in addressing the issue. However, in the meantime, you’ll want to help your dog to learn that marking on your carpet and/or furniture is unacceptable.

There are many commercial sprays on the market that you could purchase, however, in many cases, they honestly don’t work well. You may be spraying everyday, up to 4 – 5 times a day and still find your dog occasionally marking on your carpet, under the bed or under a piece of furniture. The location of a dog’s marking can be the most frustrating part, as it can be nearly impossible to move a piece of furniture by yourself to properly clean. While spot cleaning the area helps, many of us want to do something to actually prevent this from continuing to happen.

Homemade DIY Marking Deterrent Spray

While there are many different commercial sprays on the market that you can try, there only a few ingredients that are sure to deter your dog from wanting to mark or chew on anything that has that scent. With that being said, it is extremely easy to make your own dog deterrent once you know what smells dogs do not like.


Clean Spray Bottle – remember to clean it out of any liquids you may have previously used. Many chemicals are dangerous to dogs, therefore, it may be best to just buy a new spray bottle.

1 ½ cups of water – cold or luke warm water.

2 tablespoons of distilled white vinegar – does not need to be organic as shown below.

20 drops of essential oils – Orange or citrus scented. Dogs do not like citrus scents.

To begin, measure 1 1/2 cups of water. You can do all your mixing of ingredients directly in your measuring cup, bowl or even your spray bottle.

Next, add your 2 tablespoons of distilled white vinegar

Finally, add your 20 drops of citrus scented essential oil.

Once you have put all the ingredients into the spray bottle, put the top of your spray bottle on and shake before using.

The combination of vinegar and oranges is very off putting to your dog and will deter him from marking wherever you spray the mixture. If your dog likes to chew on your furniture, you can use the same spray to deter him from chewing on it. However, since furniture is often treated differently, we advise finding a small portion out of eyesight to spray a small amount of the mixture to test before spraying your entire piece of furniture.

We would love to hear your experience with any dog deterrent marking sprays. If you have any DIY recipes that have worked for you, please leave them in the comments below.


  1. What about dogs who try to eat citrus, vinegar, AND chilis? Mine actually took a lick of both vinegar and chipotle powder and tried to go back for more :/

    • Benebone Reply

      Hi Kat, Wow! Sounds like your dog has quite the palette! 😉 I haven’t heard of any other dogs that like vinegar.

      I would suggest checking into an all-natural flea and tick collar. They are gaining in popularity and there are alternatives to the harsh chemical collars that we are sadly all used to. You could even make this mixture and spray it directly onto your dog’s collar.

      There are also foods that you can incorperate into your dog’s food that will help combat fleas and ticks such as garlic. Please consult with your Vet before adding in any ingredients.

      Thank you.

    • Yeah, my pup ate a small piece of orange and seemed to love it, he was attracted to vinegar (apple cider and white) and concentrated lemon, tangerine and grapefruit oils/juices- even had a couple licks and never bothered him at all! And as far as chili peppers I tried a small amount of tabasco sauce and he kept sniffing at it and licking it even though he seemed to dislike the spicy after affect. Just made him sneeze a bit and stick his tongue out and then went right back to licking/chewing.. strange dog haha

    • Benebone Reply

      Hi Susan, thanks for asking. Unfortunately, we do not sell it.

    • Julie Valentine Reply

      Hi, Have you tried using a teens bit of vics vapo rub (just enough to scent the area?)

    • Benebone Reply

      Hi Penny, thanks for your question. We would suggest that if you haven’t used all the spray within 6 months that you make a new bottle. Make sure you shake well before each use. 🙂


      • I’m going to try this but a have two questions: how often should I spray the area, and how far away from the carpet should I spray?

        • Benebone Reply

          Hi Gwen, thanks for your question. We recommend spraying before each walk or outside play. These ingredients are all natural, which shouldn’t damage your carpet. Many dog parents spray out front on their front porch, depending how sensitive you are to smells, the vinegar smell can be off putting to some.

  2. Susanne Hunter Reply

    This does not work on my 12 week old miniature poodle. Any other suggestions would be gratefully received

    • Benebone Reply

      Different dogs will have different success rates, especially depending on the area that you live in. Another natural spray is sold by Wondercide. There are also different whole foods that you can incorporate into your dog’s diet that will help deter biting insects. 🙂

  3. I would like to know if this mixture can be used on hardwood floors?

    • Benebone Reply

      Hi, thanks for reading our post. This spray is designed to help deter fleas and bugs from jumping onto your dog. And, while it is safe for your dog, we do not have direct experience with it on hardwood floors. Thanks!

  4. Stephanie Lopez Reply

    Anyone have a suggestion or know if this is mixed in a larger quantity if it’ll deter DIGGING!! Oh, my gosh! It’s like we have the moon in our backyard.

    • Benebone Reply

      Hi Stephanie, thanks for checking out our post and for your question. We’ve never tried it as a digging deterrent. But, we will keep our eyes and ears out for something that can help your situation.

      • My dog stopped digging after I would bury her poop in the areas she would dig. They don’t like digging up their own poop. Hope that helps ?

        • wesley billac Reply

          Just spank him while his nose is in the pee. Works Everytime

    • Hi Stephanie,

      I don’t know if you’re still having problems with your dog digging, but I have a fix. If you bury your dog’s feces in the hole just below the surface they won’t dig there again. Dogs don’t like to be around their feces so it deters the habit.

      Hope this helps.

  5. Love the idea..we just got our Dobie and she is all about marking her territories as we have other dogs in house…Do we need to spray areas as preventive or do we spray the main area she had accidents in.

    • Benebone Reply

      Hi Joe, thanks for your question. We recommend just starting in the main areas that there have been accidents in. Best of luck and please keep us posted! 🙂

  6. How often should I spray on furniture and areas of my home to deter marking?

    • Benebone Reply

      Hi Marge, thanks for your question. It is difficult to say since every dog is different. Generally speaking, we would suggest starting this once a day with a light spray and gradually decreasing your daily sprays. Paws crossed you have positive results! 🙂

    • Benebone Reply

      Hi Jan, thanks for your question. This spray should be safe to use on carpet. We haven’t had any problems or complaint yet. We would suggest testing a small area to be sure.

  7. Can this be used to deter dogs from jumping on counters and the table?

    • Benebone Reply

      Hi Heather, thanks for your question. You can certainly give this a try. A lot of natural cleaning sprays include vinegar so hopefully you’ll be able to deter your dog from jumping on your counter while also cleaning your countertops! 😉

  8. Hi, thanks for the recipe. Would this also be effective as a punishment to spray at the dog, I have heard of spraying water at dogs to train them. Could this harm the animal at all?

    • Benebone Reply

      Hi Claire, thanks for your question. We would not recommend using this as a punishment/deterrent. The vinegar could cause irritability to their eyes and if you do plan to use the spray for walks/hikes, your dog may start to unwelcome it, as they will begin to associate it with a punishment.

    • Benebone Reply

      Hi Reney, thanks for your question. We would not recommend tea tree oil only due to its potential harmful side effects if not diluted correctly. Tea tree oil can be tricky, so if you do plan to use it, we recommend consulting your local holistic vet before doing so.

  9. wesley billac Reply

    Just spank him while his nose is in the pee. Works Everytime

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