Everyday Adventures in Havachon Heaven

The Good, Crazy, & Adorable Life of One Havachon Puppy

How Safe Are Dog Repellents?

on December 10, 2010

After writing my blog post about Christmas decorating hazards for dogs, I started thinking that maybe we should do something a little more proactive to keep Daisy away from the Christmas tree. I’d read that creating a boundary with Bitter Apple spray could help to deter her from nibbling at those toxic Fraser Fir needles.

Daisy in her new Christmas jingle collar!

So last night, while stocking up on necessities (and fun stuff!) at the pet store, we looked at some boundary sprays. They didn’t have Bitter Apple, which is supposed to be pure and not harmful to pets or humans, so we checked out some other repellents.

Forget it.

Anything that says a product should not touch an animal’s or human’s skin or eyes without severe toxic consequences is NOT for us. How can anyone guarantee that a curious puppy won’t step on that border or lie on that area before realizing they don’t like the smell? And how can we guarantee that we won’t forget exactly what places on the carpet we sprayed when we all sit around the Christmas tree to open our presents?

I read online that some dogs aren’t deterred by these dangerous chemical sprays and have licked them or laid on them – with negative consequences.

So today I looked for something more natural, since I can’t find the Bitter Apple spray around here. This article discusses several natural repellents you can make at home that will deter dogs and cats, but won’t harm them. Personally, I wouldn’t use any of these inside my home, but some may work outdoors to protect plants and gardens – as long as you keep applying them every day.

A better article at The Daily Puppy explains the risks and benefits of various dog repellents and how some can harm your carpet and furniture if used indoors. It also explains that even those commercial sprays marked “natural” might have toxic ingredients in addition to natural ones. It’s a good article and worth reading if you’re considering using one of these sprays, whether commercial or home made.

Nothing beats good training, so until our puppy is completely reliable around the Christmas tree, we’ll just have to keep a close eye on her and use the baby gate when necessary. We’ll be bringing in the tree and decorating it this weekend – let the games begin! LOL

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4 responses to “How Safe Are Dog Repellents?

  1. tiffy40 says:

    We’re decorating our tree this weekend as well:) It’s good that you did your homework about dog safety around the tree, great information. Have fun decorating and enjoy the weekend..

  2. granny1947 says:

    Hello There RD….training is by far the safest method. No tree or decorations for us this year as we are going to my DIL for Xmas dinner….she will pull out all the stops for the six year old. I will, however, be buying Jasmine something and wrapping it up for her…she LOVES to open her present.

  3. A says:

    Yikes! I didn’t know Frasier Furs are toxic. We’re raising our first puppy, Scout, and this is her first Christmas, too. We have a plastic baby gate (purchased for $40 on eBay!) that we can unfold at the corners and “wrap” around the tree to keep Scout away. She has shown zero interest in it, but I’m nervous about coming years when she’s older. I can say that we’ve used Bitter Apple with great results. I would try to find some online that you could purchase and have shipped to you. It’s been a very good repellent for Scout when she tried to chew things she shouldn’t have (aka the carpet).

  4. Monex says:

    There is a solution available that is completely safe for children and pets and has worked for years for our customers. I don t have a cat but I used to have a dog that wanted to mark his territory on our tree every year.

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