I had recommended hot pepper as a non-toxic dog deterrent. Recent reports indicate that it can actually be harmful to dogs. There may be ways to use it safely, but until I learn more about the problems that have been reported, I'm recommending against doing this, and leaving this instructable up only to help spread the word about the problems.

Hot peppers are a well known approach to deterring dogs from relieving themselves where you don't want to step in it. It's effective, and I thought it was no more toxic to dogs than it is to people. But that may not be true.

The idea of this instructable was to help keep the pepper in place--if you just sprinkle Tabasco sauce or cayenne powder, it's likely to wash away (if it's rainy) or blow away (if it's not). My solution was to mix cayenne powder with oil, and dribble that on the ground around the area you want to protect. The oil not only helps prevent the rain from washing it away (and the wind from blowing it away), but it also helps bring out the capsaicin, the active chemical in hot peppers, which is soluble in oil but not in water.

It worked for us to solve a regular problem, and lasted through at least several days of very heavy rain.

We never had any indication that it was harming dogs or wildlife. My assumption was that the dogs were using their noses to avoid it, and were not eating it. And that even if they did, it would be unpleasant and not harmful. As a regular consumer of a lot hot peppers myself, I didn't think there was potential for real harm. Unlike a chemical burn, the "burn" of hot pepper is a perceptual trick, not a result of physical harm. But this seems to have been wrong...I'll add more information here as I learn more.

Step 1: Ingredients

There are just two ingredients: cayenne powder and vegetable oil. If you have cayenne that has been sitting around for a long time, it might have lost strength. It can't hurt to go ahead and try it, but you might need some fresh stuff.

If you buy cayenne in fancy bottles, it can be pretty expensive, as much as $75 per pound , including shipping. But if you buy it from the bulk section of a grocery store, or in bulk packs with free shipping from Amazon, it can be less than 1/10 the price. Avoid getting too large a package, because its strength will decay with time after the package is opened. Two 1-lb. packages from Amazon for $14.24 seems like a great deal, if you are serious about this. Each pound is good for dozens of applications. Or you could opt for the organic variety .

For oil, you could use any vegetable oil you have handy. I used mustard oil , because I had a bottle of it around, and I thought it might help deter dogs. (I bought it for cooking, but haven't used for cooking after reading about occasional problems with it being mixed with Argemone mexicana oil , which is toxic, and because the bottles you can buy in the US are labeled for external use only, it's hard to be confident that it has been carefully prepared to food-grade standards. But I digress--any vegetable oil will work.

The wildflowers aren't needed for anything, but why not? Anything's better with wildflowers.

<br>Dog owners irate after finding cayenne pepper dumped on neighbourhood lawns<p>02/17/2013 POSTED BY <a href="http://www.lifewithdogs.tv/author/sue/" rel="nofollow">ADMIN</a> <a href="http://www.lifewithdogs.tv/2013/02/dog-owners-irate-after-finding-cayenne-pepper-dumped-on-neighbourhood-lawns/#comments" rel="nofollow">145 COMMENTS</a></p><p>Pet owners in Seattle are furious over the actions a property manager has taken to keep dogs off her lawn. Cayenne pepper was intentionally dumped all over the lawn to send a message to pet owners that failure to pick up after their dogs would not be tolerated. The problem is that the pepper , in such quantities, is quite dangerous for dogs and has resulted in at least one dog sustaining burns to the pads of her feet that required veterinary attention.</p><p>Fredda Starr is the property manager of the &ldquo;Greenwood Court Manor&rdquo; apartments, and she says she did not mean to hurt any animals. &ldquo;I do love dogs, but I don&rsquo;t like all the poo that they leave over the ground,&rdquo; said Starr, who did agree to stop and to dilute the pepper avoid harming the dogs. In addition to spreading the pepper, Starr left the empty containers scattered around the area rather than putting them in the trash.</p><p><a href="http://www.lifewithdogs.tv/2013/02/dog-owners-irate-after-finding-cayenne-pepper-dumped-on-neighbourhood-lawns/screen-shot-2013-02-16-at-6-48-36-pm/" rel="nofollow"></a>Pepper is not a toxic substance but can cause problems for animals who ingest or walk on it. &ldquo;It upsets the stomach, burns the inside and may cause a little diarrhea,&rdquo; said Dr. Zile Singh, a veterinarian at Greenwood Animal Hospital.</p><p>Gujral Wallace, the owner of the dog that was harmed was outraged, saying &ldquo;It&rsquo;s absolutely despicable, their intentions is what scares me,&rdquo; and asking &ldquo;How does that even get into your head? Are you that evil?&rdquo; Her dog, who is named Buddha, suffered burns on her legs and incurred several hundred dollars in vet bills. If this had happened to a smaller dog, it could have been much more serious. Wallace says she is going to rally local residents to do a better job of keeping the area clean of pet waste.</p>
<p>Also everyone read this linkk </p><p><a href="http://forcechange.com/58945/demand-that-woman-who-injured-dog-with-cayenne-pepper-be-charged-with-animal-abuse/" rel="nofollow">http://forcechange.com/58945/demand-that-woman-who...</a></p>
<p>You are a sorry fucking asshole I tried your so called method and thanks so much my poor dog got so sick and threw up for hours and had had runny poop that made her cry every time she attempted to go. Not only that but I had to bathe her because she had it all on her nose and paws. And bathing her I got it on my skin and eyes and it burned me. This is animal abuse and I can't believe that I thought this idea was helpful which makes me a stupid fuck too I guess but still if you are not a vet maybe you shouldn't give people advice with their animals. I feel sorry for your pets because that is a sick and horrible thing to do to a poor innocent animal I would rather step in poop the rest of my life than ever hurt my beloved dog like that again. </p>
Can you use it on your patio??
<p>Sure, I don't see any problem with using it on a patio ... might even last longer there without re-applying it.</p>
This is the best solution to resolve such an issue?<br>Seems way outdated really.<br>So much for logic or reason...<br>Hilarious for a read no doubt!!
<p>YAY! Thankyou! Going to try this today! I wonder if it would damage carpet? I'm in a wheelchair so I'm desperate to get on top of this!</p>
Anything is better with wildflowers. I like your style.
I used a similar concoction when my dogs were pups and chewing EVERYTHING. I used a red water &quot;hot&quot;sauce and some (lite) cooking oil and rubbed a little onto every surface imaginable, chair legs, window sills, electrical cords, the drain for the hot water heater... they totally avoided the areas treated and were content with the large bones and hide chews I gave them. Now I keep a spray bottle full of the mix and use it to discourage digging around the pool and gardens, it also helps repel cats, squirrels, possums and other unwanted critters. I spray the perimeter of the yard and some areas inside about once a week or after a heavy rain
Awesome! Never thought of this. :P <br><br>I wonder, how does it affect plants? I don't have a rocky yard, I have grass and vines. :P<br><br>I also wonder if it is too thick to be &quot;sprayed&quot; along the edge of sidewalk/grass.
I don't think it would hurt plants, unless you totally coated a leaf to the point that it couldn't breath.<br><br>I went for dribbling, not spraying. It would likely clog a spray bottle.
gross pic to have among all the food...
Sorry about that...at least I didn't show the actual poop!
Oh man. This would have been great when I was a kid responsible for taking care of the canine deposits in the back yard. There were few chores more odious than trying to scoop fresh piles out of the decorative rocks along the side of the house. A little hot sauce pretty much takes care of everything.

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