Skip to Content

Will Vinegar Stop a Dog From Repeatedly Peeing in One Spot? (Answered 2024)

This site is supported by our readers. We may earn a commission, at no cost to you, if you purchase through links.

Will vinegar stop dog peeing in same spotYou’ve likely smelled it—that unmistakable stench wafting from the corners of your home.

Your furry friend has claimed another spot as their own personal bathroom, repeatedly drenching one area with urine.

Before you panic, understand that this habit can be curbed.

Strategic use of vinegar may deter your dog from re-marking treated zones.

We’ll explore pros, cons, proper applications, and more urine-busting solutions, so you can reclaim control and keep your home smelling fresh.

Key Takeaways

  • Vinegar’s strong scent may deter some dogs from repeatedly urinating in an area, but it may not be effective for all dogs
  • Vinegar is eco-friendly, non-toxic, inexpensive, and readily available, making it a convenient option to try
  • Using vinegar properly (diluted and routinely reapplied) can eliminate urine odors, but overexposure can negatively impact gardens, pets, and surfaces
  • Consistency with positive reinforcement training is key to teaching dogs to pee only in designated areas

Can Vinegar Deter Dog Urine?

Can Vinegar Deter Dog Urine
Vinegar is often recommended as an eco-friendly solution to stop dogs from repeatedly urinating in the same area.

While some find it effectively deters dogs from peeing due to its strong scent, others find it ineffective if not used properly or the dog isn’t deterred by acidic smells.

Let’s take a closer look at the pros and cons of using vinegar to prevent dogs from urinating in undesirable spots:


  • Eco-friendly and non-toxic
  • Inexpensive and readily available
  • Strong scent may deter some dogs from urinating in the area


  • May not be effective for all dogs
  • Strong scent may be unpleasant for some people
  • May damage some surfaces if not diluted properly

Pros of Vinegar

Vinegar can be an effective, natural deterrent for stopping your dog from repeatedly peeing in one spot.

As an eco-friendly substance, vinegar neutralizes odors, is non-toxic, and dogs dislike its acidic scent.

Apply it directly to soiled areas or make a vinegar-water solution spray.

Compared to enzymatic cleaners, vinegar is cheaper yet similarly effective at eliminating urine odors when used properly.

However, vinegar’s acidity requires caution around plants and carpets.

Ultimately, positive reinforcement training is essential for teaching dogs where to relieve themselves.

Cons of Vinegar

While vinegar can be an effective dog repellent, you’re running some risks using it extensively outdoors.

Vinegar’s strong odor can negatively impact gardens and irritate pets.

Consider behavioral alternatives like positive reinforcement training instead.

Though initially more challenging, teaching designated potty areas avoids health issues from overexposure and prevents environmental impact.

With patience and consistency, you can curb repeat peeing without resorting to strong smells that have cons like harming plants or pets.

Why Do Dogs Dislike Vinegar?

Why Do Dogs Dislike Vinegar
As we’ve seen, vinegar can be an effective deterrent for stopping dogs from repeatedly urinating in one spot.

But why does vinegar elicit this behavioral reaction in canines?

The answer lies in dogs’ heightened sense of smell and chemical sensitivities.

Vinegar’s acidic odor triggers an aversion response in many dogs.

They instinctively avoid areas that have been doused with vinegar due to the intense smell.

Vinegar overrides urine odors that would normally attract repeat urination.

While not all dogs react the same way, vinegar’s potency makes it one of the most commonly used home remedies.

Other pungent smells like citrus and chili pepper can produce similar odor aversion and deter repeat dog pee behavior.

But vinegar’s availability and eco-friendly properties give it an advantage over other alternative repellents.

What Else Can Deter Dogs From Peeing?

What Else Can Deter Dogs From Peeing
You can also use citrus smells, chili pepper, alcohol, and coffee grounds to deter your dog from peeing in the same area.

These are natural, humane options that dogs strongly dislike, causing them to avoid those areas when the scents are present.

Employ these extra smells along with vinegar to teach your dog not to repeatedly urinate in undesirable locations.

Citrus Smells

When setting out orange or lemon peels near a dog, you’ll find the citrus smell deters them from peeing.

The strong citrus scent repels most dogs, though some may show interest or ignore it.

Reactions vary based on breed, nose sensitivity, and personal preferences.

While vinegar works for many dogs, citrus provides a natural, non-toxic urine deterrent.

Experiment to see if citrus peelings curb your dog’s peeing in combination with vinegar.

Chili Pepper

You can sprinkle chili powder in areas where your dog repeatedly pees to deter him, as dogs tend to avoid areas with the burning scent of chili.

A natural alternative is using 4 items:

  1. Cayenne pepper flakes
  2. Crushed red pepper
  3. Chili paste
  4. Hot sauce

Dogs will avoid areas where these spicy ingredients have been sprinkled.

However, be careful not to overuse chili, as ingesting it can irritate your dog’s stomach.

Consider positive reinforcement training instead.


You’ve found dogs hate the pungent smell of alcohol, causing them to immediately leave spots after catching a whiff.

Alcohol can get stuck in dog fur, causing discomfort. Consider behavioral training or natural repellents first before using alcohol.

Coffee Grounds

After using citrus smells, chili pepper, and alcohol, you’ll want to sprinkle coffee grounds, which some dogs also dislike.

Here is a list of 3 key points about using coffee grounds:

  • Not all dogs are deterred by the strong smell of coffee grounds. Learn which scents your dog specifically dislikes.
  • Used coffee grounds can be an eco-friendly, natural dog repellent in gardens.
  • The caffeine and acidic smells of coffee may deter dogs from peeing or digging in certain areas.

How to Apply Vinegar as Dog Repellent

How to Apply Vinegar as Dog Repellent
Vinegar makes an effective, natural dog repellent you can apply yourself. Follow these DIY steps to curb Fido’s urge to repeatedly pee in one spot:

  • Mix undiluted white vinegar with a small amount of water in a spray bottle. Shake well before each use.
  • Liberally spray problem areas inside or outside where your dog tends to urinate. Focus on vertical surfaces like walls, furniture legs, and trees.
  • Reapply the vinegar solution weekly or after rain to reinforce the scent barrier.
  • Couple vinegar with positive reinforcement training to teach your dog approved potty locations.

The vinegar smell repels dogs without harming the environment or your pet. With concerted effort, you can break the pee pattern.

Vinegar Vs. Enzyme Cleaners for Dog Urine

Vinegar Vs. Enzyme Cleaners for Dog Urine
When comparing vinegar and enzyme cleaners for eliminating dog urine odors and stains:

  • Enzyme cleaners are more effective at breaking down urine proteins and removing the smell.
  • Enzyme cleaners contain bacteria that specifically targets urine odors and stains.
  • The enzymes break down the urine into smaller particles that can be more easily cleaned up or dissipated into the air.
  • Vinegar can help mask urine odors, but doesn’t eliminate the urine itself.

For the best results in eliminating dog urine stains and smells:

  • Choose a high-quality enzyme cleaner made specifically for pet messes.
  • Follow the product instructions closely to allow the enzymes time to work.
  • Using an enzyme cleaner is the most effective way to fully remove dog urine odors.
Vinegar Enzyme Cleaners
Effective at eliminating odor Can mask but not eliminate Excellent at eliminating odor
Effective at eliminating stains Not effective at eliminating stains Breaks down urine particles for easier cleaning and removal
Pet-safe Yes Yes
Cost Very inexpensive to purchase More expensive than vinegar

Commercial Products to Stop Dog Peeing

Commercial Products to Stop Dog Peeing
You’ve tried vinegar and enzyme cleaners, now explore commercially available products specifically designed to tackle repeated dog peeing.

These specialized formulas attack urine stains and odors at the molecular level to discourage Fido from re-marking territory.

Consider Rocco & Roxie Supply Professional Strength Stain and Odor Eliminator.

It contains natural bacteria that eliminate odors and stains from urine and other organic spills.

The formula is chlorine-free, color-safe, and safe for pets and children.

It can be used on various surfaces.

Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for proper use.

Compared to DIY solutions like vinegar or cayenne pepper, commercial enzymatic products often prove more effective at eliminating stubborn urine stains and discouraging repeat incidents.

However, some pet owners still prefer natural alternatives due to environmental impact or cost.

Training Dogs to Pee in Designated Areas

Training Dogs to Pee in Designated Areas
One can train their dog to pee in a specific spot by rewarding the dog when it urinates in the right area and gently correcting it when going elsewhere.

Here are 3 potty training tips:

  1. Use treats and praise as positive reinforcement when the dog pees in the right spot.
  2. Establish a consistent potty routine by taking the dog to the designated area at regular intervals.
  3. Interrupt and redirect the dog if you catch it peeing elsewhere. Gently guide it to the correct spot.

Being patient and rewarding good behavior with treats, petting, and happy praise can effectively potty train dogs over time. Setting up a designated potty area makes it easier for them to learn where to relieve themselves.

With consistent positive reinforcement, most dogs will quickly understand where they should and shouldn’t pee.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is vinegar safe to use around my children and pets?

Yes, vinegar is generally safe to use around children and pets when cleaning up pet accidents.

However, avoid spraying vinegar directly on animals and immediately wipe up any excess vinegar from floors.

As with any cleaning product, supervise kids and pets closely and store vinegar out of reach when not in use.

How often do I need to reapply the vinegar to keep deterring my dog from peeing in the same spot?

Reapply the vinegar weekly to keep deterring your dog from repetitively urinating in the same area.

The potent scent reminds them to seek an alternative spot.

What percentage/concentration of vinegar works best to deter dogs from peeing?

Undiluted white vinegar is most effective for deterring dogs from repeatedly urinating in the same area.

Apply it liberally to saturate the spot, allowing it to fully air dry.

The strong acidic scent repels dogs so they avoid peeing there again.

Reapply weekly until the behavior is curbed.

Will vinegar damage my floors, carpets, grass, or garden plants if applied over time?

Vinegar can damage some surfaces if used repeatedly over time.

Test on an inconspicuous area first.

For carpets, blot and thoroughly rinse vinegar after use.

On plants, avoid contact with leaves and roots.

With care, vinegar can be an effective, eco-friendly urine cleaner without causing lasting damage.

Are there any health risks to my dog if he/she ingests vinegar repeatedly over time?

Small amounts of vinegar shouldn’t pose health risks to dogs.

However, repeated ingestion over time may cause vomiting or digestive issues due to the acidity.

Monitor your dog’s health, and call a veterinarian if symptoms persist or worsen.

Consider switching to an alternative deterrent method if concerned about vinegar intake.


The pungency of vinegar can deter repeat marking, but it’s no overnight fix.

Consistency and positive reinforcement are key for teaching appropriate elimination habits.

While vinegar and cleaners attack urine chemically, addressing underlying causes through training gets to the root.

Stay patient, try proven approaches, reward progress, and you’ll sniff victory over accidents soon enough.

Ultimately, prevention via designated potty areas wins out.

Avatar for Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim is an author and software engineer from the United States, I and a group of experts made this blog with the aim of answering all the unanswered questions to help as many people as possible.