Is Citronella Spray Safe for Dogs: What You Need to Know?

Is Citronella Spray Safe for Dogs: What You Need to Know?

Posted by Deepak Rawat on

Is Citronella Spray Safe for Dogs

Most pet parents, especially, dog owners, look for solutions that guarantee the most effective results when training their dogs in positive behavior. Mostly, they use dog training collars with various forms, such as tone, vibrate, shock, and spray training modes.

Some Pet owners may prefer to use, the citronella spray dog collar as a more “humane” approach for training their dogs to stop barking because it comes with advanced bark detection. Fortunately, Citronella dog collars are an effective, safe, and cost-effective way of helping with unwanted barking.

Using the citronella collar for dogs, in this case, can curb unwanted behavior in canines, primarily excessive barking, by spraying a non-toxic yet unpleasant citronella scent. Note that there are other flavors in the market, however, citronella is the most effective choice.

So, we will look at whether Citronella spray is safe for dogs, explore the effectiveness of the citronella spray collar for dogs, looking at the safety concerns, benefits, and risks associated with this training approach.

At My Pet Command, we sell 2 Spary Training products:

  1. The My Pet Command's 0.5 Mile (2600 FT) Range No Shock Dog Training Collar and the
  2. 2 in 1 Auto or Manual Citronella Spray Anti bark dog collar with remote

Our first product is a 4-1 Manual Training collar only that comes with 4-1 functionality including Remote, Spray, Vibrate, and tone training functions for your dog. This product comes with a high-velocity spray nozzle that can be adjusted up to 3 times with 42 sprays before refilling it. You can also pair up to 3 dogs with 1 remote control. Finally, there is no Auto Function and you must manually use the collar for dog training.

Our second product is a 2-1 model. It only uses Tone and Spary Training (no shock) and comes with a remote for Manual training. You can put the collar in Auto Anti Bark Mode which has a built-in Microphone to detect dog barking and sprays the dog automatically when it Barks to help correct excessive dog barking. The remote works up to 500 feet (about 152 meters) in open areas.

Note That: We sell our Citronella bark collars without Spray. So, you must purchase the spray cans separately from reliable online stores.

Uses of Citronella Plant

Citronella plants are a common sight in outdoor areas, serving a dual purpose of garden decor. The plants are widely known for their strong scent commonly used to repel insects. Nonetheless, it has other effective uses at home.

The essential oil extracted from the citronella plant, for instance, can be used to flavor food, make candles and perfumes, and as a natural cleaning product.

Lastly, the oil can be used to make the citronella spray for a dog collar.

Here are two products of how the citronella spray can be used in dog collars.

How Citronella Spray is made

Process of making spray

Citronella spray is manufactured by extracting the essential oil from the leaves of citronella grass, also known as Cymbopogon Nardus.

Here are the steps involved:

  • Harvesting: Fresh leaves are harvested from citronella grass at their peak maturity to ensure the highest concentration of essential oil in the leaves. This is usually between 6 and 8 months old.
  • Drying: After harvesting, the leaves are dried for about a week to remove excess moisture from the leaves and preserve their natural properties.
  • Distillation: Afterwards, the leaves are steamed in a still or steam distillation apparatus to extract the essential oil.
  • Filtration: The extracted oil is then filtered to remove any impurities or plant matter.
  • Dilution: After filtration, the essential oil is diluted with a carrier oil such as almond or coconut oil to make it safe for human and pet use.
  • Bottling: The final step in making citronella spray is bottling and packaging, ready to be used as citronella dog spray.

Products made with Citronella plant

Give some products that can be made with this plant (you can give some direct links to those products as well). Also, don’t forget to mention citronella spray used in dog training collars

The Citronella plant is widely known for its distinctive fragrance and its natural insect-repellent properties. One of the most popular products derived from this plant is the Citronella Essential Oil, used in aromatherapy and as a natural pest deterrent.

Another popular item is Citronella Candles, which are an outdoor staple for warding off mosquitoes during gatherings (Shop Citronella Candles). For personal care, Citronella Body Sprays provide a refreshing scent and help keep bugs at bay during outdoor activities (Shop Citronella Body Spray).

Moreover, the Citronella plant is instrumental in the pet industry. The dog Citronella Spray Collar is used as a deterrent for excessive barking or training unwanted behavior by releasing a harmless mist that captures the dog's attention (Purchase Citronella Dog Collar Spray and dual anti-bark training collar).

Is eating Citronella Plant Toxic/poisonous for Dogs/pets?

Yes. The citronella plant is toxic to dogs and other pets. Eating the plants could cause gastrointestinal upset such as vomiting, muscle weakness, hypersalivation, muscle incoordination, depression, or even hypothermia if ingested in large quantities.

While dogs are not likely to nibble on these plants as an innate preference, caution is warranted, especially for smaller breeds and puppies.

Is Citronella Oil Toxic for Dogs/pets?

Although not scientifically proven 100%, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) and other pet care organizations, citronella oil products can be toxic for dogs if ingested in large quantities.

The citronella oil and other essential oils can cause adverse reactions like stomach upset, vomiting, diarrhea, and even neurological symptoms such as seizures in pets with specific allergies.

While citronella oil is generally safe in small amounts, use caution and keep it out of reach of pets.

Is Citronella Candle Toxic for Dogs/pets?

While some pet parents claim that the scent can be harmful, others argue that it is safe for pets when used correctly.

According to this research, some dogs may have an allergic reaction to the scent of citronella candles, which could cause skin and stomach irritation or respiratory distress.

Note: not all animals have the same sensitivities and reactions, so it is best to be on the side of caution by following the correct guidelines.

Is Citronella Spray Toxic for Dogs/pets?

Citronella spray is not toxic to dogs, according to Dr. Simon. But then, it depends on the concentration of citronella in the spray and how it is used.

Generally, citronella can be toxic if ingested in large quantities or if it comes into contact with sensitive areas such as the dog’s eyes or mouth. Nonetheless, most citronella sprays for dogs, including our products, contain a low concentration of citronella that is generally considered safe for dogs.

However, always use the citronella spray with caution and follow the instructions on the label for proper use of the product.

Do dogs hate the citronella spray smell or odor?


Dogs find the strong smell of citronella spray unpleasant. According to experts, citronella spray can cause discomfort and signs of muscle weakness in dogs. No wonder using this type of spray guarantees a humane way during aversion training or discouraging unwanted behaviors in dogs.

Remember: Even diluted amounts can leave an impression.

Does Citronella collar work and make the dog stop barking?


Some studies suggest that a citronella spray collar for dogs can be an effective technique for reducing excessive barking behavior without using other alternatives like shock collars. Nonetheless, it is always important to consider the needs of your dog and seek professional advice before using this particular method as your dog’s training tool.

Citronella spray collar working Mechanism

The working mechanism is straightforward for a citronella spray collar for dogs.

Ideally, the collar is fitted with a small canister filled with enough citronella oil. When the dog barks excessively, the collar, fitted with a microcircuit, detects the dog’s vocal cord’s vibration via a sound or vibration sensor which triggers a miniature valve that releases a burst of mild and harmless citronella mist towards the dog's snout. Dogs usually find this mist unpleasant, and they will associate it with their barking, thus, learning to reduce excessive barking behavior.

Note that when using citronella spray, it is also advisable to use other natural training methods like giving your dog positive remarks and treats to reinforce positive behavior throughout the training process.

Is Citronella spray collar legal in the USA?

Yes. citronella spray collars are legal in the USA.

Dog owners can use it as a humane way to train their dogs to have positive morals. But then, it's always essential to use a citronella dog collar spray responsibly, following the local regulations. In addition, pet care professionals advocate for open communication regarding the training method you will use on your dog.

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