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Eco Friendly ways to stop your dog peeing or pooping on a spot!

August 18, 2016 5 min read

How to stop your dog pooping somewhere

Shit happens –

how to stop it happening where it’s not wanted.

If you want to stop your dog peeing or pooping where it's not wanted read on for our top eco friendly DIY tips on Poop & Pee prevention outdoors. 

We have to admit we’ve been very lucky with our dog Willie. He was easily housed trained and has never had an embarrassing moment in the house.

City dwellers, we have a small back yard mostly paved with little garden bed. We hoped that like the two cats he lives with Willie would choose the garden bed to fertilize with his doggy doo and pee…….   We were wrong!

This is not such an issue except that the one favored spot he has chosen on our paved yard (especially in rainy winter months) is the covered area right outside the door to our outdoor laundry and storage shed….. Ever stepped in dog doo in your ugg boots?...... Not happy.

 After some epic fails we’ve found a few winning solutions that fit with our preferred eco friendly ethos. Of course no two dogs are the same so you might want to experiment to see what works for you. Here are our fav’s and the pro’s and con’s.


1 – Vinegar!!! That’s right $1.20 for 100mls of poop stopping genius!

How to stop your dog peeing on a spot

Just spray or pour vinegar over the poop zone. Dogs are highly sensitive to smell and hate the scent of vinegar. Willie now refuses to go anywhere we’ve sprayed it.

If your area is under cover you’ll need to re treat the area around once a week until pooch has gotten the message. If your yard gets rained on you’ll need to repeat the treatment immediately post shower. You can dilute the vinegar with water as you repeat the treatments your dog will remember the vague smell and just not go there.


  • Dog friendly! Most importantly, while your dog might hate the smell it won’t hurt him / her. Vinegar is a strong odor they hate but it isn’t known to side effects. They just stay away. (Also non toxic to cats and humans)
  • Price! This shiz is cheap as chips, it works just as well as commercial formulas which can cost $20 or more for only 500ml and are full of stinky nasty chemicals.
  • Eco friendly, if vinegargets into the environment, either as a vapour our as a solution in water, it degrades quickly into a harmless substances. 
  • Low scent for humans. While not the most pleasant smell to the human nose vinegar dissipates quickly and doesn’t have a harsh chemical vapour like commercial repellent products


  • Can only be used on non organic surfaces!! Do not use this on your garden bed or grass as it will kill it.
  • The smell, you’ll have to get used to part of your yard having a slight vinegar scent for a while. Honestly though if you gave me a choice between vinegar and dog toilet!!!
  • You need to keep treating the area to get your dog out of the habit of going there.
 2 - Citronella oil

At $5.75 for 100ml’s it’s not quite as cheap as Vinegar but still a damn sight less expensive than store bought chemical concoctions !  Your dog, hates this smell, trust us…. Tried tested… snubbed by Willie for hours as punishment.

How to stop your dog pooping on a spot


  • A++ on the environment you can even use citronella oil on your plants or lawn (water it down) All natural this stuff is actually made from citronella grass. It will also keep the flys and mozzies at bay. 
  • The smell, while strong, it is actually kind of pleasant and dissipates for the human nose after a short time.
  • Staying power! Being an oil it coats surfaces and plants and lingers for a while after rain. This means less re applying.


  • You still have to reapply after rain and time to keep pup at bay until they break the habit. At $5.75 for 100mls, even with watering down it’s not as cost effective as vinegar.
  • Be careful, citronella in small doses of vapour is non toxic but if a small dog were to ingest a few mls from a puddle it would make them feel quite ill.
3 – Cayenne Pepper / Chilli powder

Like a flame thrower! Sprinkle cayenne pepper or chilli powder over the affected area. If the area is non organic ie, concrete, brick etc then wash first with vinegar or ammonia to get rid of the attractive pee scent. You can also mix the pepper / chilli with a little water and liquid soap to give it more sticking power. 

Chilli pepper to stop dog peeing


  • Your dog will literally regret sniffing before they pee / poop there and most likely never try again.
  •  Inexpensive a couple of treatments should get the message across. Unless your dealing with a large area you should be looking at just a few 10g containers costing around $2.50 each.
  • Eco friendly this stuff is harmless to plants.


  • OUCH!! – Be warned if your dog sniffs too much it can really burn their nasal passage, worse if ingested. Although not fully toxic, if your small dog ate or licked a large clump it would cause stomach upsets and some grief.
3 – Ammonia

This stuff is hardcore! Rinse the affected area with bleach to cover any tempting pee / poo odors. You can use straight or (recommended) water down a little.

Ammonia to stop dog peeing


  • It works – they will give that smell a wide berth
  • Cheap, at $1.60 a litre for no brand ammonia it’s a bargain. 


  • Not so eco friendly, toxic to plants and critters ammonia will nuke all in its path. Be very careful
  • Smell, this shiz reeks and it reeks for a while, caustic even to human noses and eyes.
  • You’ll still have to repeat the treatment a few times to deter the behaviour and train pooch to a new spot.

Now,  what to do with all that poo!  Check out our earlier blog post on how to make your own DIY Pet Poo Composter! Here. 


With all this in mind, our top tip is still positive training. Teach your pooch from an early age to go in one spot of your garden / patio or balcony depending on your circumstances.

This takes patience but is the most effective method to keep you both happy.

Training is as simple as following a young pup to the toilet and rewarding the correct behaviour / spot with treats and praise while guiding them away from the spots that are out of bounds. .

If you’ve got more great environmentally friendly DIY tips for deterring dogs, please leave them below in the comments.

Also if you try any of these methods, we want to hear how you go! Drop us a line.

Alternatively.... When all else fails... pick it up with a sense of humour. 

SHIT HAPPENS - (DEAL WITH IT)  Bio degradable poo bags $8.95 with free laughs.  Here


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