Plan the perfect garden with our interactive tool →

Pepper Spices That Repel Dogs

Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images

The family dog is often regarded as a much loved member of the family, but even he may be capable of wearing out his welcome if he chooses to dig in your yard or flowerbeds. Luckily, there are several home remedies that are safe for pets that will deter him from wanting to take a mudbath in your garden or dig up your pristine flowerbeds. You may need to try several different spices, before finding the one that works well for you and your pet.

Cayenne Pepper

A few pepper-based spices will repel your dog and keep him from ruining your garden, yard or flowerbed. Cayenne pepper works well to keep your dog from digging or chewing plants. The dried version of the spicy pepper can be sprinkled in your garden and will not harm your flowers or grass. Most dogs are deterred simply by the smell of cayenne pepper, but if the dog still chooses to dig or chew, he will be greeted by a rather unpleasant sensation on his paws or taste in his mouth.


Another pepper-type spice that dogs dislike is paprika. Try sprinkling a bit on your flowerbed. The dust of the spice is likely to make your dog sneeze. This will deter him from entering your flowerbed to avoid the sensation of paprika dust in his nose. Remember that if it rains or the morning dew dilutes your dusting of paprika, you may have to reapply this spice. You may need to repeat this action several times before dogs begin to understand that digging or playing in the flowerbeds will not be a fun adventure.

Other Spices and Scents

Several other spices and scents repel dogs and are safe to sprinkle around your garden or flowerbed. One scent is citrus. Try placing a few orange, lemon or lime peels in your flowerbeds. You can try burying the peels about an inch underground so that the scent of citrus permeates the earth and keeps dogs from digging or rolling. Or, squeeze a fresh orange into about a quarter of a cup of water. Place this solution in a squirt bottle and spray it around the perimeter of your garden. Other scents that dogs dislike that can safely be sprinkled in your garden include cloves, lavender, garlic and vanilla.

Other Dog Repellents

If you have found that none of these spicy solutions work for your animal problem, you may need to take other measures. You can try to build a low fence around your flowerbeds. Many dogs will see a low fence as a boundary and will not attempt to cross it. Or, you can place a layer of lava rock in your flowerbeds. Most pets will not walk on the sharp stones, let alone roll or dig in a lava rock flowerbed.

Garden Guides