It's cute until you have to buy new shoes

It’s cute until you have to buy new shoes

When your dog just won’t stay away from the sneakers, or has been repeatedly caught biting the table leg, one of the best ways to put a stop to the behavior is to apply a taste deterrent.  Dogs don’t always understand when they are being scolded or punished, resulting in nothing more than fear of their owner while the bad habits continue. So instead of wasting your words shouting “bad dog” whenever you find new chew marks on the furniture, apply a taste deterrent spray or gel to the item of choice.

How They Work

Taste deterrents are topic liquids with spicy or sour flavors that repel pets from gnawing or chewing.  Applying the deterrent trains dogs to stay away from anything they have previously been licking or chewing, be it furniture, kid’s toys, shoes, house decorations, rugs, etc. There are spicy options or sour options such as: Bitter Apple Spray, Sour Cherry Gel, No-Chew Spray, etc.  Before spraying every new shoes or couch corner, be sure to try out your dog’s reaction to ascertain how he will respond to the taste.

Apply some of the product to a cotton swab or piece of cloth, and put it on your dog’s tongue. He will very likely recoil, gag and spit it out. Let him go back and smell the cotton swab or cloth, so that he will associate the sour taste with the smell of the spray or gel.  Next time he smells the scent on shoes or furniture, he will remember the yucky taste and stay away.  When using spicy taste deterrents, be sure to remove your dog’s water bowl for 15-20 minutes after he tastes the spray.  Otherwise he might learn that by drinking water, the spicy taste will be alleviated (and you will find the taste deterrent to be less effective in dissuading him from biting things). However, since every dog is different, some actually seem to enjoy some spicy or sour flavors, so it will be best to see which deterrent will work with your specific pup before you go spraying everything in your house.

Make Your Own!

In the age DIY projects, many people prefer to make products from scratch. The good news is there are plenty of recipes out there for pet taste deterrent sprays! One of the best combinations is to mix the following ingredients:

  • 2 cups of apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup of regular white vinegar
  • 1 cup of lemon or lime juice

Mix these liquids in a spray bottle and apply to the areas you want your pet to avoid. If you are worried about using fruit juice, omit the lemon juice in favor of a vinegar-only blend. For a spicy alternative, add a teaspoon of cayenne pepper to the mix, and your puppy will be sure to stay away!