Spray for Puppy Chewing [3 Best Plus DIY Recipe]

Chewing on things is normal behavior for dogs, especially for puppies. It helps exercise their jaw muscles and even keeps their teeth clean. It’s also a stress-reliever for them!

spray for puppy chewing
Choosing the best spray for puppy chewing (5 DIY options also)

But if your furry friend is sinking its teeth into anything it can find and is constantly leaving your furniture or shoes in a mess, then it’s cause for concern. In such cases, anti-chew sprays can be very helpful training tools. Let’s understand how a spray for puppy chewing cessation works.

What is an Anti-Chew Puppy Spray?

Anti-chew sprays are sprays formulated to have bitter or foul-tasting properties that will help prevent your puppies from chewing on whatever item you spray it on. These sprays typically have ingredients that will taste disgusting to your dog, such as spices, so that it deters them from chewing on items. 

There are many anti-chew sprays available in the market, quite a few organic as well.

When to Use a Spray for Chewing?

a Rottweiler with a dog hair brush
A Rottweiler with a brush. Not the best brush, but a favourite chew toy.

It is perfectly normal for puppies to chew, and there are many reasons why puppies chew on things. Puppies are curious and chew on things to understand their environment. They may also chew to relieve teething pain or when they are anxious. 

Some chew to rid their boredom, and a few others do it because they have got into the habit of doing so. One must also keep in mind that dogs also chew when they have separation anxiety. 

However, even though chewing is natural, this behavior can be destructive. You might often find tears in your shoes or upholstery. It thus becomes necessary to try and identify the reason for chewing before you try to use any ani-chewing tools, including sprays. 

Homemade Sprays for Puppy Chewing

You can choose to buy puppy chewing sprays online and in pet stores, or you can make them yourself at home. Buying these sprays from stores can be a bit expensive. So if you decide to prepare them at home, you’re likely to find all the ingredients in your kitchen. Here are ways you can make anti-chewing puppy sprays for your furry canine.

#1. Use Citrus

Citrus is one of the most popular deterrents to prevent your puppy from chewing on household stuff. Although we may love citrus foods, dogs are not a big fan. You can use oranges or lemons, and lemon juice and apple cider work like a charm. These sprays will also go easy on your nose. 

You can also try adding a few drops of citrus oil to alcohol. If your dog has been destroying your plants, spray a few drops of this mixture onto your plants to keep your puppy away.

#2. Apply Vinegar-Based Sprays

To make a vinegar-based anti-chew spray for your puppy, you will need to use one part of white vinegar and two parts of apple cider. Add these into a spray bottle and shake well. 

You can use this spray on your household things that your puppy tends to chew on. You can also mix white vinegar with plain water if apple cider gives off too much of a strong smell for you.

#3. Spray Listerine

An easy alternative to citrus and apple cider vinegar is Listerine. If you intend to use Listerine, be sure to get the original and not orange or mint-flavored ones as the latter may actually taste good to your pup. 

Listerine contains a high amount of alcohol, so you do not want your puppy consuming it. It can also contain fake sugars that are toxic to dogs when consumed. (The reason that sweet pretzels and jelly beans are not good for dogs). So spray small amounts of Listerine onto plants and shoes so that your puppy stays away due to its smell. 

Best Dog Bones for Aggressive Chewers
Aggressive chewing dogs need strong chew toys (and hopefully not furniture)

#4. Try Using Tabasco Sauce

Tabasco sauce is yet another natural deterrent. It will not harm your puppy in any way. However, it is the preferred choice for outdoors as Tabasco sauce can stain your carpets, walls, and furniture. If your dog tends to chew on his poop, you can pour a bit of Tabasco sauce over it and the strong smell of the sauce will prevent him from doing that. 

You can also consider diluting the sauce with water to reduce the intensity of its scent and the possibility of staining. Be sure to not over-dilute it as it can lose its potency and effectiveness.

#5. Sprinkle Cayenne Pepper

Cayenne pepper irritates dogs and prevents them from chewing on various items. Sprinkle cayenne pepper onto things you don’t want your puppy to chew on. Cayenne pepper does, however, wash away easily. So you will have to regularly reapply it.

Bitter Apple Spray Review

One of the best anti-chew tools that has been used successfully for decades is Bitter apple spray. 

Grannick's Bitter Apple Liquid 1, 8 oz Chewing Deterrent Spray, Anti Chew Behavior Training Aid for Dogs and Cats; Stops Destructive Chewing Licking of Bandages, Paws, Shoes, Fur, Doors and Furni...

Bitter apple sprays are formulated to discourage puppies from biting, chewing, and licking furniture and other household stuff. They can also be sprayed on your dog’s skin when it is injured to prevent any wounds from worsening. 

Bitter apple sprays available in pharmacies contain bitter extracts, water, and 20% isopropanol. These sprays are harmless and will only drive your puppy away with their scent and flavor. 

One of the most popular brands of bitter apple spray is Grannick’s Bitter Apple Spray. It is one of the most preferred brands that pet owners use. However, many customers have complained that this spray was only effective when applied fresh. Some even say that it is not as long-lasting as they expected it to be. 

A couple of other popular brands are Chewfix Extra Strength Bitter Spray and Bodhi Dog Bitter Lemon Spray. Both these sprays do not contain alcohol and are made of naturally available ingredients. Every brand of bitter apple spray available at the stores has its pros and cons. So you will have to do some research to figure out which will work best on your dog.

What if the Puppy Likes the Spray?

Different dogs have different taste preferences. You first need to understand what your puppy likes and what it does not. One dog might run away at just the scent of an anti-chew spray, and another might find it to be the tastiest thing it had ever tasted. 

To determine what your puppy likes and what it does not, you will have to try out a few anti-chew sprays. Trial and error is the only way you can understand your dog’s taste buds. Try out different sprays one after the other and observe your dog’s reaction to each one. If your dog hates it, it might walk away, bear its teeth, or stick out its tongue in sheer disgust. It may also bark or run. 

Rarely, a few dogs are immune to every bitter spray available. This happens when the dog has a sensory decline. They are immune to all tastes and smells. If this is the case with your dog, you will have to resort to other methods to prevent your dog from chewing.

Puppy Chewing Spray FAQs

labradoodle puppy eyes
Labradoodle puppy eyes are remarkable. (Ever wonder why your dog stares at you?)

Is Anti-Chew Spray Safe for Dogs?

Usually, anti-chew puppy sprays use organic, natural ingredients that do not harm your dog in any way. However, you will have to check if the spray is water or oil-based so you have an idea about where to spray what. 

What to Spray on Things to Keep My Dog from Chewing Them?

Homemade and branded anti-chew sprays are effective in preventing your dogs from chewing and destroying your household things. All these sprays have citrus or other natural bitter extracts that keep your dogs away.

How Do You Use the Anti-Chew Spray?

Spray the anti-chew sprays onto things you do not want your dogs to chew on. Do not use the spray directly into your dog’s faces or mouths as it can harm them. In case your dog is wounded, you can spray the liquid onto your dog’s skin to prevent it from biting itself. But make sure that you’re not using sprays with spices or overly citrusy elements on your dog’s open wounds. 

Can Bitter Apple Spray Hurt My Puppy?

No. Bitter apple sprays are made using apple cider, vinegar, lemon juice, and water. These sprays are non-toxic and can safely be applied to fabrics and furniture.

What Are the Best Anti-Chew Sprays?

Different anti-chew sprays work differently on each dog. You will initially have to figure out which brand is best suited for your puppy. Apart from Grannick’s Bitter Apple Spray, Chewfix Extra Strength Bitter Spray, and Bodhi Dog Bitter Lemon Spray, here are a few more anti-chew sprays that are known to work effectively. 

Rocco and Roxie Extreme Bitter Spray

Rocco & Roxie No Chew Extreme Bitter Spray for Dogs – Stop Dog Chewing Deterrent – Best Alcohol Free Anti Chew Puppy Repellent Formula for Puppies and Cats - More Bitter Than Apple (8oz)

Rocco and Roxie Extreme Bitter spray works on most dogs. It has a pleasant scent and is non-staining. It also contains no alcohol and does not sting your puppy when you spray it directly over its skin.

Emmy’s Best

Emmy's Best Pet Products Stop the Chew 3X Strength Anti Chew Bitter Spray Deterrent for Dogs and Puppies - Alcohol-Free - Most Powerful Bitter Deterrent - 8 Ounce

Emmy’s Best stands out from most of the brands with their full refund policy. They also have a training program that guarantees to rid your dog of chewing in just 14 days. If the spray does not work on your dog, you can return the bottle even if it is empty. Note that this spray has isopropanol and it will sting your puppy if it is sprayed directly on an open wound.

Fooey! Ultra-Bitter Training Spray

SynergyLabs Fooey! Ultra Bitter Spray; 8 fl. oz.

Fooey! Ultra-Bitter Training Spray comes in different sizes, including a travel size. You can carry these small bottles inside a bag without any worry of leakage. This will allow you to easily use this spray if your puppy decides to go on a chewing spree outside.

I thought it was interesting that this brand markets itself as helping to stop other animals chew. Even horses and… ferrets!

Pets Are Kids Too Bitter Spray

Anti Chew Dog Training Spray: No Chew Bitter Spray and Pet Deterrent for Dogs and Cats - Behavior Correction to Stop Chewing and Licking - Safe for Furniture, Paws and Bandages - 8 Oz (1 Bottle)

This is yet another bitter spray that is non-staining and works well. Although effective, customers have complained about its packaging as the wrapping of these bottles tends to slip as you spray. Apart from the packaging issues, this brand performs as efficiently as others.

Fur Goodness No Chew Spray for Dogs

Fur Goodness Sake Bitter Apple Spray for Dogs to Stop Chewing - Anti Chew Spray for Dogs - No Chew Spray for Dogs Natural Lemongrass Formula - Best Results Seen After 3 Weeks

This bitter apple spray is produced and marketed by OmegaPet. It’s non-toxic, non-staining, and you can safely apply it over fabrics and household items. It also has tea tree oil that promotes wound healing if your dog has been chewing on itself.

Vet’s Best Bitter Cherry Dog Spray

Vet's Best Bitter Cherry Spray No Chew Dog Deterrent, 7.5 oz

This clear solution is non-staining and does not contain alcohol. It has a pleasing cherry scent but tastes bitter, thus keeping dogs away. Although it is not exactly the first choice for many customers, it still does the job well.

This is a great option if your pup does develop a liking to apple flavor (which unfortunately happens) the cherry taste of Vet’s best can be a good way to shake things up.

Particular Paws Anti-Chew Spray

Particular Paws Anti-Chew spray has tea tree oil combined with bitter apple. As it is an organic solvent, you can safely spray it directly over your dog’s skin. It is one of the best choices when training your dog.

Other Strategies to Minimize Chewing

Apart from using anti-chew sprays, you can implement other methods to prevent your puppy from chewing excessively.

a puppy sitting on a deck with a tug toy
This puppy LOVES his tug toy!

#1. Make Your Home Puppy Safe

Make sure your puppy is always in your sight. Put up baby gates and tie your dog up if needed. Be sure to not leash your dog for too long as that can be dangerous. You can also put up playpens to block off an area that it must not enter. 

#2. Provide Your Puppy With Chew Toys

Your dog needs to have enough chew toys to chew on so that it does not end up chewing on fabrics, shoes, or furniture. Try keeping 6-9 chew toys and give your dog only 2 or 3 a week. Then, replace them with other chew toys the following week. This way, your dog won’t get bored as there will be a sense of newness with the toys.

#3. Keep Your Puppy Entertained

Your dog needs adequate exercise and should be playing often to not feel bored. It is advisable to play tug of war and fetch with it. These games get your dog into a habit of not only retrieving things but also dropping them. When your dog picks up a thing it must not chew; you simply have to pretend to play one of these games. Your dog will automatically drop the thing it has been holding and pick another appropriate chew toy.

#4. Apply Positive Reinforcement

Young dogs cannot differentiate between right and wrong. It is important that you train them and teach them this difference. When your puppy chews and destroys things, make a firm yet gentle verbal point that you do not approve of the behavior. Avoid raising your voice or yelling. And whenever your puppy does not bite anything it used to chew on before, reward it with treats. This helps in establishing a positive association with not chewing.

Dog Spray Takeaways

Puppies will chew on anything when they’re young. But as your canine grows older, this habit can become a menace that leaves your personal items in a mess. However, without understanding the underlying cause, it is impossible to entirely solve the problem. 

We need to be patient and gentle with our dogs when teaching them how not to chew on everything they find. Once you have rectified the situation, you and your puppy can have lots of fun playing around in your home.