Will Cayenne Pepper Kill Grass?


Keeping your lawn well-tended means putting a lot of time and effort into it. This makes your property more appealing.

But if you have a dog and you allow him to go in and out of your house as he pleases, you might wake up to piles of poop in your yard because your furry baby is using your grass as a toilet.

But even if you don’t have a pet dog if your neighbors do, this is a scenario that you might find yourself in.

And mind you, this can happen every single day. It’s not only an eyesore, but also time-consuming. Imagine the amount of time that you have to spend on cleaning the mess.

It could be really annoying and tiring!

If you feel fed up and you just want to stop this, cayenne pepper might be the solution…

Does cayenne pepper keep dogs from pooping in your yard?

You sure don’t want to waste all the hard work that you have put into your garden or lawn just for your pet or dogs in your neighborhood to use it as a pooping area.

Now, if you have been looking for a solution for quite some time, you probably have come across something about cayenne pepper. This may have surprised you as well. Will it really keep dogs from pooping in your yard?

According to Vetinfo, aside from baking soda and vinegar, cayenne pepper can be used to keep dogs off your lawn.

Due to its strong odor, any dog that will come and try to pee or poop on the area where you have spread the cayenne paper will surely think twice.

But take note that this dog repellent has downsides. In fact, it is somewhat controversial as some people look at the use of cayenne pepper to drive dogs away as inhumane.

We will discuss later on why.

Will cayenne pepper kill my grass?

So now you know that cayenne pepper can serve as a dog repellent as well as a natural deterrent to many garden pests, but what about its effects on your grass? Can it kill the grass?

You probably have heard about cayenne pepper before as an excellent dog repellent but you were hesitant to use it because you are afraid that it could kill the grass on your lawn. The thing is, this spice won’t really burn the grass or plants in general. It is non-toxic so it should not harm plants including grass.

Furthermore, cayenne pepper can help protect your lawn from other animals and insects like rabbits, squirrels, deer, lace bugs, spider mites, and many more. This option is eco-friendly.

What will cayenne pepper do to a dog?

Dogs usually sniff when they are getting ready to pee or poop. So if your furry baby or that of your neighbors has been making your yard as their toilet, you can spray or sprinkle cayenne pepper on that area. Once they smell the strong scent of cayenne pepper, they will most likely not do it again.

However, using this spice as a dog repellent also has downsides. If your pet sniffs too much of it, it can burn their nasal passage, which is not good, more so if they ingest the cayenne pepper. It is not fully toxic but it may cause problems like upset tummy, digestive issues, etc. The American Kennel Club also says that cayenne pepper may cause eye irritation, especially on puppies.

What is a cayenne pepper dog repellent recipe?

To make a natural dog repellent, you can mix about 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper with 8 ounces of water in a spray bottle. You can then spray the grass in your lawn with the mixture. If you want to ensure that the solution won’t hurt your dog, you should not add more than 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper with 8 ounces of water. If you go more than the recommended ratio, the mixture could hurt your dog.

How do I sprinkle cayenne pepper in my garden?

You can sprinkle cayenne pepper directly onto plants in your garden, following the dog repellent recipe above. To help ensure that the mixture will adhere to grass or plant leaves, you can add a squirt of dish soap.

Another thing that you can do is to spread cayenne pepper flakes all over your garden, especially if you are also having problems with squirrels. Simply sprinkle the crushed cayenne pepper flakes around the plants or grass. You can sow some of the pepper flakes into the soil as well.

What other animals does cayenne pepper stop?

Aside from dogs, this amazing spice can also repel other animals such as cats, squirrels, rabbits, deer, as well as bugs or insects, most of which are those that can harm the plants in your garden. With the right mixture, you won’t have to worry about pests or animals pestering your lawn or garden ever again.

What are alternative homemade dog repellents?

 Cayenne pepper is one of the most popular and commonly used homemade dog repellents when it comes to protecting your lawn.

It is only one of many.

But the trouble is that you shouldn’t trust everything that you read because some of these homemade dog repellents aren’t safe for our dogs.

Let’s take a look at some of these solutions.

I will start with the repellents that are safe- they won’t cause your dog or anyone else’s any long term harm.        

·         Citrus Fruits

 Some dogs find the odor or citrus fruits like lemons or oranges annoying. If you want a milder but effective solution, this may be the perfect option. 

All you have to do is to cut up some citrus fruits and place them around your lawn.

I don’t know about you but these seem a little bit tame to me- I’m not sure how effective they would be at stopping a dog from messing on a lawn.

·         Vinegar

 Now, this seems like a better bet.

I can imagine the strong odour from vinegar distracting a dog and making a garden a less enticing proposition. 

And the way to do it?

Soak some cotton balls in vinegar and place them in your garden. Again, avoid pouring vinegar directly on the plants or grass as doing so can kill them.

Moving from the safe solutions to the dangerous suggestions- these next two “homemade” deterrents could potentially cause a dog life changing injuries. 

Like vinegar, they rely on a strong sense of smell to repel or even repulse a dog.


In terms of smell, think of this much like the nuclear option.

Ammonia reeks and like humans, most dogs will hate the smell.

Which is what you want, right?

I used to keep chickens and the smell of ammonia was the smell that hit me every morning as I woke the birds up and let them out.

And that is one helluva strong smell.

Like vinegar, cotton wool balls are soaked in ammonia and then placed around your lawn.

Here’s the kicker.

If a dog licks or even tries to eat these balls, the damage that they could do to themselves is serious.

It is a bit like bleach and will potentially burn a dog’s throat or stomach. 

It all depends on how much ammonia the dog ingested. 

Please don’t use it as a dog repellent. 

Rubbing alcohol (isopropyl alcohol)

This stuff is poison to dogs.

If they ingest too much of it, they might even die.

And it gets into their blood very quickly, within about 30 minutes.

And your dog starts acting like a drunk as they stagger around and act all confused.

If this happens, the only solution is to get them to a vet in a hurry.

Once again, avoid using rubbing alcohol as your homemade dog repellent.  

Can cayenne pepper stop dogs from digging?

 Another annoying habit of dogs is digging. How would you feel if you wake up one morning and there are holes all over your lawn? I’m sure you will be furious. But you know what; there are ways to prevent this from happening.

There are several ways in which you can stop your dog from digging, but using cayenne pepper is one of the most effective methods. You just have to sprinkle a small amount to that area where your dour dog loves to dig. As the dog sniffs, you can be sure that he will never do it again. He will avoid that section completely.

 Will cayenne pepper hurt birds?

Birds are adorable creatures and it is quite rewarding feeding them. But, sometimes, dogs and squirrels may attack birdfeeders. If you are looking for something that can deter dogs and bugs but will be kind to birds, cayenne pepper is also a great option. 

This substance contains capsaicin, which is an additive in some birdseed. With that, you can tell that this substance is completely safe for birds. In general, birds react differently to capsaicin, different from how mammals do. 

It does no harm to birds. Birds will eat the seeds without hesitation because they cannot smell the pepper.

People use cayenne pepper in their bird seed feeders all the time to keep pests and rodents away. With this alternative, you won’t have to worry about the birdseed being stolen by dogs and other mammals. 

Will cayenne pepper hurt trees and plants?

Cayenne pepper is not toxic. Therefore, it won’t hurt trees and plants. In fact, this substance is useful because it can help in getting rid of pests, birds, or animals that can damage those greens that you have in your yard. It is also considered, in a way, as pesticide.

Closing Thoughts

Apart from being an excellent spice, cayenne pepper is a very popular animal repellent. You can use it to keep squirrels, dogs, rabbits, and bugs away from your garden. As for your lawn, you can utilize this substance to stop your dog or that of your neighbors from using this area of your property as their toilet. And, NO, cayenne pepper won’t kill your grass. In fact, it can even help protect them.

James Grayston

My name is James and I love dogs. have owned four Golden Retrievers in the past 15 years. Currently I own two "Goldies"- a five year old and a seven month old. The photo shows me with our youngest when she was about 7 weeks old!