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.

    • Benebone Reply

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

    • 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. 🙂


  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. 🙂

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