Homemade Bitter Liquid to Help Dogs Stop Chewing

Chair legs are a favorite of dogs who like to chew on furniture.
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Maybe your puppy is teething and just needs some relief, so she chews on your kitchen chair legs. Maybe she's stressed or just bored. Either way, her chewing can be destructive, not to mention harmful if she swallows broken pieces of furniture. Bitter liquids you can make at home and apply to the furniture can help break her of the habit.


Dogs are not fond of the sharp smell of citrus, and an easy homemade solution to chewing could be sitting in your fruit bowl. A simple squirt of lemon, orange or lime juice can go a long way toward keeping your dog away from items you don't want chewed. You can make a citrus spray by steeping 2 cups of citrus peels in 4 cups of boiled water until cool. Spray this anywhere chewing is a problem.

Bitter Spray: Apple Cider Vinegar

If it's one flavor dogs hate it's bitter apple. Commercial bitter apple sprays are available, but they are easy -- and a lot cheaper -- to make at home with some apple cider vinegar. Combine two parts apple cider vinegar with one part regular white vinegar in a spray bottle and shake well. This makes a highly effective, yet completely safe dog deterrent.

Bitter Spray: Lemon Juice

A similar, but just as effective, alternative to bitter apple spray also uses vinegar, which dogs generally hate the taste of. This version replaces the two parts apple cider vinegar with two parts lemon juice. As with the other version, combine the lemon juice with one part white vinegar, shake and spray. This version has the added bonus of leaving your house smelling lemony fresh in addition to discouraging chewing.

Cayenne Pepper Spray

If citrus and vinegar sprays aren't working, try cayenne pepper spray. Cayenne peppers aren’t harmful to dogs, but pepper spray liquids can irritate their eyes and nose, so you might not want to try it as a first option. Add 1/2 cup of fresh cayenne peppers to a quart of boiled water and steep until cool. Alternatively, simply add 1 or 2 teaspoons ground cayenne pepper to a quart of room temperature water, shake and spray where you want to discourage chewing.