Will Vinegar Stop Dog Peeing In Same Spot?

Dogs are creatures of habit, and once they have an “oopsie” in the house, they’ll tend to mark over their own scent, which is not good news for your rugs and carpets

And try as you might, even when you can’t smell the scent of pee, trust us, it’s there. Dogs have a formidable sense of smell, with over 300 million olfactory receptors in their nostrils compared to about 6 million in humans. 

will vinegar stop dog peeing in same spot
Will vinegar stop dog peeing in same spot?

The portion of their brains that processes odors is 40 times larger than the same region in the human brain.

Because of their highly developed sense of smell, they can detect just one drop of scented liquid in a space the size of 20 Olympic swimming pools.

So no matter how hard you try to remove a smell, your dog is still likely to zero in on an old spot when he needs to go potty. That’s where odor eliminators come in, and specifically, vinegar. 

Acetic acid is vinegar’s major ingredient. Dogs detest this smell, thus you can use vinegar as a deterrent. Your dog will stop peeing in the same place if they detect a scent they don’t like.

How To Use Vinegar Spray As A Pee-Deterrent?

You’ll need white vinegar to prepare a spray that keeps your rugs and furniture pee-free. Fill a spray bottle with vinegar and an equal amount of water.

Spray on your carpet after thoroughly mixing. If your dog constantly urinates in a particular spot in your house, try this strategy and spray liberally around the area.

Following the removal of the urine, we advise liberally misting the damp area with this vinegar solution. If your dog still insists on using that area as his private little potty spot, try using undiluted vinegar and make the area as strong-smelling as possible.

woman spraying
A woman spraying.

Spray The Area With Vinegar

Dogs dislike the smell of vinegar, as well as other citrus scents. You’ll need a strong smell to deter your dog from frequently what he now sees as his potty area. 

Once your dog learns to avoid even the slightest fragrance, you can dilute the vinegar as they start to catch on. Here are some pros and cons of using vinegar as a pee deterrent for dogs.

carpet spray
Dog urine can cause smell and stain on your carpet.

Pros of Using Vinegar 

1. Non-Toxic

Although they detest the pungent smell of vinegar, there are no documented negative consequences of the impact of vinegar on pets or children. They merely will avoid the area. 

2. Price

Pure and natural vinegar is cheap and works just as well as expensive commercial versions that can cost $25 or more for just 500ml and are loaded with additional chemicals and ingredients.

3. Eco-friendly

Vinegar swiftly breaks down into a harmless material if it enters the environment, whether as a vapor or solution in water.

4. Gentle On The Nose 

Although vinegar doesn’t smell the best to the human nose, it goes away and doesn’t have the harsh chemical odor like other commercial repellent treatments have.

white vinegar in bowl
Can white vinegar helps deter dogs?

Cons of Using Vinegar 

1. Can Kill Plants 

Make sure you’re only using the vinegar for synthetic surfaces. Vinegar in high doses in your yard can kill plants and flower beds. 

2. Strong Smell

Well, since the goal of vinegar was to create a smell so strong that your dog is repulsed, you can fully expect your home to smell of vinegar for a while. The overpowering odor takes a while to get used to! 

old man with his dog in the garden
A man plants herbs with his dog.

Why Do Dogs Hate The Smell of Vinegar?

One of the dogs’ most extraordinary abilities, their incredible sense of smell, allows them to detect vinegar swiftly. 

However, that same formidable sense also plays to your advantage. Something that smells even a little to us is overwhelming your dog’s senses with everything it’s got. 

The answer has to do with the way vinegar is made. Vinegar is produced through a process of fermentation, in which bacteria convert carbohydrates into acetic acid. 

This acetic acid is what gives vinegar its distinctive sour smell. Dogs have an acute sense of smell, and they can detect this acetic acid at low concentrations. In fact, studies have shown that dogs can detect acetic acid at concentrations as low as 0.1%.

So imagine that you just doused an area with vinegar. Your dog is probably not going to smell anything else for a while! 

Be sure to keep the smell present. Keep treating the area in your home, and try to bear with the constant smell of vinegar. 

If it rains in your backyard, you can immediately re-spray the area after the rain to prevent it from being diluted or washed out. 

dog nose and whisker
Close-up shot of dog nose and whisker.

What Other Smells Do Dogs Hate? 

Dogs have incredibly sensitive noses and will be repelled by several smells, including: 

  • Vinegar
  • Citrus (such as lemons). Citrus can help dogs who have the unpleasant habit of urinating outside of their potty or at the same spot.
  • Spicy peppers
  • Essential oils
  • Ammonia
  • Mustard oil


As dogs are not fond of a lot of odors so anything citrus-related is one such aroma. Your dog’s sensitive respiratory system is irritated by the oils found in citrus fruit rinds. You may include this by adding a few drops of citrus-scented essential oil to your deterrent spray.

If you decide to try this, the essential oil needs to be sufficiently diluted if you plan to spray the concoction on something your furry pal can lick. This is because large amounts of essential oils may be hazardous to your dog.

As an alternative, you may put some citrus rinds in your home’s high-pee areas. Blending the rinds will provide a stronger alternative, which you can then scatter over your house. Additionally, this is an effective strategy to stop your dog from digging in your yard.

An orange peel can use to repel dogs.


Jalapenos and other chili peppers are particularly repulsive to dogs. They will immediately avoid the spice because of how sensitive their olfactory systems are to it.

Grinding the peppers into a paste and combining it with water in a spray bottle is the safest way to utilize them. This will prevent your dog from urinating in the regions that were sprayed without endangering their respiratory system.

jalapeno for a dog
Can dogs eat jalapeno?


Another fragrance that dogs greatly dislike is ammonia. They find the smell to be highly overpowering and will want to keep it far away. Spray a solution made of equal parts water and ammonia wherever you see your dog urinating. I do not recommend this as it smells poorly and mixed incorrectly is dangerous.

Urine odors can be removed from the carpet by mixing equal parts of isopropyl alcohol and water in a solution. This will facilitate the urine’s ammonia breakdown.

bottle of ammonia solution
Can ammonia help deter dogs?


Dogs don’t like the lemon juice’s acidic fragrance, much like they don’t like vinegar. This means that if homeowners wish to stop their dogs from urinating in particular areas or on particular throw rugs, they only need to use a homemade cleaning solution that has a lemon juice aroma to prevent more incidents.

Your throw or area rug should be protected from additional accidents with a fresh-squeezed lemon solution that has been diluted with water.

squeezing lemons
Do dogs like lemon scents?

Baking Soda

Baking soda isn’t used as a deterrent but is invaluable as a clean-up aid to messes left by your pooch. Baking soda has potent odor-removal properties and will get rid of the smell of any prior carpet accidents your dog may have had, which will make them less likely to happen again.

baking soda
Does baking soda helps remove dog urine odor?

Commercial Odor Eliminators

Odor eliminators are not just for the home but are also great for businesses, such as dog daycares, kennels, and grooming services. Not only do they eliminate odors, but they also help to remove airborne pathogens and bacteria

This is especially important in places where there are large numbers of animals, as they can spread diseases quickly. Commercial odor eliminators come in a variety of formulations, so it is important to choose one that is specifically designed for use with dogs. 

When you are looking for an odor eliminator, it is important to find one that will not only mask the odor, but also remove it. The best way to do this is to find an enzymatic cleaner. Enzymatic cleaners work by breaking down the molecules that cause odors, rather than just masking them. 

This means that they are more effective at eliminating tough odors, such as smoke, pet urine, and sweat. In addition, enzymatic cleaners are safe to use around children and pets, and will not damage carpet or upholstery. 

For the most effective odor removal, look for an enzymatic cleaner that is specifically designed for the type of odor you are trying to eliminate.

air freshener
Use odor eliminator to remove urine odor.

Final Thoughts 

While you can use several ways to deter your dog from going potty in the house, nothing beats good ol’ fashioned house-training.

While it may seem like a lot of work, potty training your dog is an important part of responsible pet ownership. There are a number of reasons why potty training is essential, both for the health and wellbeing of your pet and for your own peace of mind. 

Potty-trained dogs tend to be happier and more relaxed, as they know that they won’t be reprimanded for relieving themselves in appropriate places. Concentrate your training efforts on getting your dog reliably potty-trained. Your rugs and carpets will thank you for it!