Ask the Veterinarian/repellent


QUESTION: Hello, First I like animals please don't misunderstand.  I love cats I love dogs, I love my bird feeder and I even think the squirrels I get and chipmunks i get are adorable.  Being a Veternarian, I didn't want you to get the wrong idea. that I'm an animal hater.I'm not.... Is it true that citrus, ammonia and white vinegar are good dog repellents.  As much as I love animals I don't like the mess in my yard.  or near a garden.
I understand if you douse coffee filters with white vinegar or ammonia, and dry them then cut them into strips place them around it will help repel dogs thank you.

ANSWER: Well I don't know if any of that is true and I don't see a question in here at that.

The only thing I know that will repel dogs is a fence. Plain and simple. There are millions spent each year on repellents and for the most part they don't work, but they sure get people to buy them. If fencing your yard isn't an alternative then try to just fence off your garden. Most places have leash laws and if dogs are running loose and eliminating on your lawn then call your local animal control.

You can try all the vinegar, ammonia and coffee filters you want to, however. If they work, let us know!

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: I'm writing back because I gave you the full rating, but it didn't seem to go through. And wanted you to know that I did rate the answer.I notice you said I don't see a question in here, I thought when I asked if it was true re; the repellents I heard about.  that was the question,Sorry I may have not worded it correctly, thank you for your reply.

Thank you Jan, it did go through. I know that dogs and cats both can be a problem with messing on your lawn. It's just so hard to keep them off without fencing.

I think it's sad that there are so many products out there and people buy them but they don't work! Marketing geniuses, however, can get people to buy anything.

Don't waste your money! Even small fencing around the perimeter of a garden or the lawn will keep out most dogs- but not cats.

I do hope you can find a useful way of keeping them out.  

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Jana Connell RVT, CVT


PLEASE READ BEFORE SUBMITTING TO ME: I am NOT a vet and do NOT diagnose diseases. That is only for a licensed Veterinarian to do. I will give you suggestions and steer you toward calling your vet for help. You can call the vet's office and talk to the technician there or the vet at times. Don't be afraid to call them! If you have a serious issue with your pet please post it to one of the veterinarians in here- I will tell you the same thing in my answer. IF your pet is injured or in an emergency situation, CALL YOUR VET- Do not wait and post in here. Just call the vet's office and get them in to see the vet right away. Critical treatment time is lost if you seek answers here when you should have your precious pet at the vets!! Don't sit at home waiting for an answer when your pet is critically ill or injured!! I can answer most questions about small animal and wildlife care as well as small animal nutrition. I can also answer questions about all phases of dental care for small animals. I DO NOT answer questions about birds (unless it is wildlife or songbirds) or HAMSTERS/GERBILS/CHINS/GUINEA PIGS/REPTILES/FROGS/RABBITS/PET BIRDS OF ANY KIND so please submit these questions to the appropriate sections. I, as well as other experts in here, do NOT do homework questions- that is for YOU to do! Please respect these rules for all of us. Thanks!


I have over 42 years experience in the field of veterinary medicine. I specialized in small animals and did wildlife rehab for over 25 years, mostly raptors, squirrels and opossums. I am a Small Animal Nutritional Consultant with 6 certificates from Hills Pet Foods, CNM and Purina. I also specialized in Small Animal Dentistry which is a field I truly love. I also Teach Veterinary Technology to working technicians who are studying to take their California Tests to become Licensed Technicians. They have to take both the VTNE (Veterinary Technician National Exam) and the California boards.

Audubon,World Wildlife Federation, American Society of Veterinary Dental Technicians.


Licensed with California and Oregon, RVT and CVT. Certified Veterinary Dental Technician Have over 1500 logged hours of Continuing Education Credits(that means I keep up to date!).

Awards and Honors
Nominated for Expert of the Month for the last 5 years.

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