If you want to keep your canine companion from chewing on everything in the house, a taste deterrent can be effective.

You can save some money by making your own right at home. This is a completely humane way to correct your dog’s bad behavior for good.

Choosing Your Ingredients

There are lots of different ingredients that you can combine to make a highly effective taste deterrent for dogs. In fact, there is a good chance that you already have some of these ingredients in your home.

Some of the best ingredients to use for this purpose include:

1. Apple cider vinegar

A combination of two parts apple cider vinegar and one part lemon juice can work well as a deterrent for chewing. The very bitter taste of these combined ingredients will be sure to send your dog a strong message the first time.

2. Cayenne pepper

You can also use cayenne pepper or even chili powder as a way of keeping your dog from chewing on everything in your home. A couple teaspoons of cayenne pepper mixed with some water can work very well. 

Make sure that you shake the solution for at 20-30 seconds so it is thoroughly mixed up. The spicy taste of this mixture will keep your dog away from whatever it has been chewing.

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3. Citrus

Any citrus essential oils can act as a powerful and effective taste deterrent for dogs. You don’t need to use very much, as they tend to work very well. Most dogs cannot stand the taste of citrus.

4. Garlic

Mix a few garlic cloves with water in a spray bottle to create a highly effective canine taste deterrent. Most dogs seem to be very put off by the taste of garlic, so this particular ingredient should work well. You can also throw in some ground up chili peppers for an extra oomph.

dog destroyed house

Combine Your Ingredients

Put the abrasive ingredients you have chosen into a spray bottle. This will give you an easy way to apply the liquid to whatever your dog has been chewing.

Test the Mixture

Before you spray your mixture on any surface, you should test it out by taste a tiny bit yourself. Spray a little bit on your finger and lick it off. This will help you determine if the mixture is strong enough (or too strong). You can always dilute the solution or make it stronger if necessary. 

Just keep in mind that dogs only have 1,700 taste buds, while humans have 9,000. This means that you should probably make the mixture at least a bit stronger than what would bother you.

You can also put a little bit of the mixture on a cotton ball or swab and gently rub it against your dog’s tongue. This will help you to gauge how effective it is going to be.

Applying the Deterrent

You should apply the mixture to whatever you want your dog to stop chewing on. Use a liberal amount to ensure the best possible results. You’ll want to keep spraying the objects each week until the behavior stops completely. If you are not consistent, your dog will likely start chewing again.

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Wash out the spray bottle before putting the mixture in it. This will ensure that your dog won’t ingest any bacteria or contaminants.

After your dog tastes the mixture, pay close attention to how they react. You’ll need to determine whether or not it was effective. You should be able to tell whether or not it worked. If their reaction lasts more than a minute, you need to dilute the solution with more water.

It might take a little while to find the perfect combination of water and ingredients, but this trial and error will eventually pay off.

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Reinforce the Message

Whenever you catch your dog chewing on the things you have sprayed, make sure that you verbally scold it. Yell “No!” or “Bad dog!” to reinforce the message that you are trying to send. This will help you get the best results in the least amount of time. Simply yelling at your dog without using the taste deterrent isn’t nearly as effective.

Things to Avoid Doing

A homemade taste deterrent can work well to stop unwanted chewing, but there are some things that you should avoid doing.

1. Don’t use any toxic ingredients

There are certain foods that are essentially toxic for dogs that you don’t want to use in your taste deterrent solution. This includes onions, mustard seeds, and avocado. Even small liquid amounts can harm your pet.

You should never use any ingredients that would be toxic to humans, such as cleaning products or anything you’d keep under your kitchen sink. This could result in serious illness or even death.

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2. Spraying Direct on Your Dog

You also don’t want to spray your solution directly on your dog, as it could get in their eyes. Even spraying it on your dog’s coat could result in irritation. You should only spray the objects that you want them to stop chewing.

3. Not Using Any Water

It is important that you dilute whatever ingredients you use with plenty of water. This will lessen the impact but also prevent unnecessary discomfort. You should use two parts whatever for every part of the ingredients you use.

Final Thoughts

A homemade taste deterrent can work extremely well for getting your dog to stop chewing on furniture and other things. You might have to try out a couple of different combinations of ingredients, but it is well worth the effort. 

Inappropriate chewing can be a sign that something is wrong. Dogs sometimes chew on things because they are bored or stressed. If the chewing continues despite using a deterrent, you should consider alternative methods. It is also a good idea to take your dog to the vet for a checkup just in case.

Most dogs will stop their chewing after a week or two of using an effective deterrent. Keep spraying the solution for at least a week to maximize the chances for long term results.

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Hi! I'm Anna and I´m a certified cynologist (KAU, ACW). Expert, blue cross volunteer, owner of Chinese crested kennel "Salvador Dali" and breedless friend called Fenya. "I can't imagine my life without dogs and I totally support the idea #AdoptDontShop".