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This Minty Vanilla Dog Spray that I keep on hand for my dogs is something I never want to be without. Like ever. And luckily, since I make this at home, I don’t have to. Yay!

Minty Vanilla Dog Spray | ©

You see, like most dogs, our Golden Retrievers – Ranger and Miss Annabelle – run and play hard outside which causes them to smell less like they’ve been freshly groomed and more like they’ve crossed paths with a foul-smelling friend while on their jaunts on the farm.

Ranger the Golden | ©

Don’t get me wrong, they are just doing their thing, which I love! I just am not the fondest of the smell that comes along with it.

A while back, we moved Annabelle back to being primarily an inside dog. This was in preparation of her being spayed and also to rest a strain she’d gotten while flipping over a huge planter on my back porch one day.

As we brought her in, my husband said, ” I just don’t want to smell her.”

With that, I was on a mission to make it next to impossible for my husband’s very perceptive sniffer to be able to detect that Annabelle was now an inside dog.

And so I bought potion after potion at the pet store to remove that smell that Annabelle just gets after she’s been running around and playing.

I have to say that many of them worked, but they came with other scents that we just didn’t like at all. It became a toss up on whether I’d rather smell dog or the spray. That’s when I knew I just needed to make something for her that I liked.

Miss Annabelle |

So, I created my own and Annabelle now smells like cupcakes.



Minty Vanilla Pet Spray | ©

I start with a small travel size spritzer bottle. I fill it nearly to the top with water and then a mixture of peppermint oilclear vanilla extract, and coconut oil.

Then, I place the top back onto the spritzer bottle and shake it until the coconut oil has completely combined with other ingredients and you don’t see bits of coconut oil in the spritzer. Alternately, I’ve also used Argan Oil,  if you’d rather use that. It does mix easier and there isn’t a need to shake as aggressively as you do with the coconut oil.

I will say to use care when using peppermint oil any other essential oils or extracts on your pets. Make sure you use only pure, non-synthetic essential oils as well as pure, non-synthetic coconut or argan oil. Don’t add a larger amount of the peppermint oil to this spray solution.

I contacted our groomer to discuss this mixture before I used it on my dogs to make certain the spray wouldn’t harm them. Also, I sprayed it on my own arm for a day or so before I used it on my dogs. As you are spritzing your dogs with the spray, be sure to keep it away from their nose, mouth, or eyes as it may cause irritation and well, I wouldn’t want anything to be sprayed in the eyes either.

I also checked for recommendations from well-known veterinarians such as Dr. Karen Becker, DVM for safety in using these oils on dogs. She recommends the book by Dr. Melissa Shelton, DVM titled The Animal Desk Reference: Essential Oils for Animals. 

Minty Vanilla Pet Spray | ©

I hope you enjoy it. I promise, it sure makes things smell a whooooole lot bettah!

Here’s my “recipe” for Minty Vanilla Dog Spray.


1 (2.5-ounce) spray bottle

2 ounces water

2 drops peppermint oil (pure, non-synthetic oil)

1/4 teaspoon clear vanilla extract

¼ teaspoon melted coconut oil or argan oil (use pure, non-synthetic oil)


  1. Remove the spray top from spray bottle and add water, peppermint oil, clear vanilla extract, and coconut oil or argan oil, whichever you prefer.
  2. Return spray top to the spray bottle and shake with vigor until well-combined.
  3. Spray onto your arm or a cloth to make sure you enjoy the fragrance.

Here’s to good smelling puppy dogs everywhere!

Robyn xo

Living Recipes

Robyn Stone

Robyn Stone is a wife, mom, blogger, recipe developer, and cookbook author. Welcome to Add a Pinch where I share thousands of delicious, tested and perfected easy recipes that the whole family will love.

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  1. 5 stars
    I can’t wait to try this spray! I try to not put a lot of fake chemicals on myself or my dog, so thank you for making this so natural and safe for us!

    1. Thanks so much, Leigh Anne. I was pretty amazed at how wonderful this smelled – especially when I compare it to all the stuff I was buying. Hope your puppy loves it as much as we do!!!

      Oh, and I now even use but as a room spray from time to time. 😉

  2. 5 stars
    Where did you buy (find) pepper mint oil. I heard it prevents critters in your pantry when a cotton ball soaked in it is placed in the area. I don’t have a dog right now, but we keep thinking about adopting. The trouble is we’re retired and travel gets in the way! I’ll remember this recipe when we settle down.

    1. Hi Maureen,
      I bought my peppermint oil from Amazon. I’ve included a link in the post and recipe that takes you directly to it!

      Good luck!

    1. Hi Kathy,
      Great question. I’ve always heard, and have had success, using vanilla as a repellent for mosquitos. So, I would believe that at least mosquitos should be deterred with this spray. Not sure about other bugs, such as fleas or ticks. We use a monthly heartworm medicine that does that trick, so I’ve not noticed a difference since using the spray since the medicine keeps them at bay.

    2. Wow I do give my dog his monthly heartworm medicine but I didn’t know that did anything with the fleas or ticks. I have been using the very expensive flea and tick treatments.

  3. Is it ok to try other scented oils? I have a few from bath and body works. I didn’t know if it had to be “food grade” oil or not.

    1. Hi Audrey,
      Yes, I pulled my clear vanilla extract out of my pantry for making this spray. There are a couple of reasons I chose to use the clear, most importantly because my dogs are white and I didn’t want to discolor their coats even slightly by using a dark vanilla in the spray. Also, I knew I would be spraying the dog spray inside my house and I didn’t want it to stain any of the carpets or furniture.

      For baking, I use the clear vanilla extract often when I’m making white cakes, white frostings, or other projects where I want the end result to be as white as possible.

  4. I use a dog perfume for my Brittany pup, but I’m not sure if all its ingredients are natural and non-toxic. I guess they are NOT! So, I’m glad to read that someone has found a more natural way to keep our dogs better smelling 🙂 Thank you, I will definitely try this recipe!

    1. Hi Brenda,
      You can use neem oil in the mixture, but I’ve not used sweet almond oil or skin so soft in my mixture.

  5. So have you extracted the peppermint oil from leaves before? I was thinking about doing this, I have so much peppermint.

  6. Thanks for the recipe! I’m going to try this for sure. Regarding a previous question, you could add neem oil, but I wouldn’t as some dogs are sensitive to it and it can cause major problems. I use neem oil in products for myself, but have read it can be dangerous for dogs so I don’t want to chance it, even just a small amount..

  7. I saw this post on Pinterest, and I am so trying this. I ordered Mint Essential Oil on Amazon, since I have all the other ingredients. I have two dogs, one is a Black-Labradoodle with more brittle hair, and a Goldendoodle, with very soft hair. We give our dogs a weekly shower since they have hair and it gets stinky quicker. But for some reason, our Goldendoodle smells so bad, no matter what shampoo we use. I’m so hoping this makes Babes (the golden doodle) smell better. Thank you!

    1. We just got a goldendoodle and already noticing the smell. Just curious if this worked for you?

  8. You can purchase Watkins clear vanilla at Cracker Barrel Restaurant.

    I did read this on another website

    I make my own vanilla.

    1. Split 3 vanilla beans lengthwise with a sharp knife.

    2. Place in jar with 2 cups vodka.

    3. Be sure beans are completely covered with vodka.

    4. Seal tightly.

    5. Let stand in a cool, dark place for 4 to 6 months.

    6. Shake jar occasionally during the standing time.

    It lasts forever. In fact, the longer it sets, the better it gets. I made mine in a decorative green-tinted glass container and it looks great setting on the counter..

    By the way, the artificial vanilla is made with the same chemical that is used in antifreeze.

  9. Thank-You so much for this wonderful dog recipe.I am really excited to give this a try.
    We also have a little smelly one.I was wondering why the coconut oil does not harden?

  10. Just wanted to say one more thing~Walmart sells clear vanilla(Watkins)
    and neem oil is good for fleas,which there is a recipe for it.

  11. As someone else asked, what is the point of the coconut oil?
    And should you shake it before each spray? Or only when you mix it?

    1. Hi Jackie,
      Great question. The coconut oil serves as a carrier for the vanilla and mint so that they are not too strong for the dogs skin. I hope you enjoy it! (and your animals do, too!)

  12. My pomeranian loved it, but he also got an intense energy burst. I didn’t include the vanilla since I didn’t have any clear on hand. Does that produce a calming effect? I used more water to make sure it was diluted.

    1. Hi Laura,
      I would recommend placing in a cup of warm water until it softens if it has hardened and not spraying well.

    2. 5 stars
      Hi Robyn! I have a question…How many times should I spray this on my dog? Every day? Every other day? Once a week? I just don’t want to overwhelm her.

    3. Hi Sydney,
      I don’t have any certain schedule that I spray on my dogs, I just use it every now and then when my pups need to smell a little fresher. 😉

  13. 5 stars
    I just made this and it smells SO good! The store-bought kinds were making my puppy itch, but she doesn’t seem to mind this at all. Have you ever used this as a room freshening spray? I just want to smell it everywhere!! Thanks for the recipe…we’ll use it often!

    1. I’m so glad you are loving it! I definitely spritz it around to make the room smell great, too! 🙂

  14. 5 stars
    Thank you for sharing this! I really want to try it but I do not have peppermint oil. I do have lavender oil though. Do you think that will be okay to use? Thank you so much!

  15. Hello and thanks for this recipe!
    Is it safe to spray on my dog’s paws? That’s where he tends to be the smelliest after roaming around outside.

  16. 5 stars
    Is this recipe effective in helping a small dog come to you who is hesitant? Also is lavender ok in place of vanilla, or combination lavender/vanilla?

    1. Hi Lillian,
      I haven’t tried it for making dogs come to you – if it works for that, let me know and I’ll make double batches! 😉
      I make it for the fresh smell for my dogs that love to roll around in the grass – a lot!
      I’ve not tried it with lavender. Thanks!

  17. 5 stars
    I just made this and my pups already smell better! I decided not to make a spray and instead created wipes. My dogs are not a fan on the spray bottle. Hopefully the wipes will hold up!

  18. 5 stars
    Short story… Took my Newfoundland to the groomer about a month ago. He came home smelling like vanilla and I was obsessed! I came across this recipe and it is SO AMAZING! Buying the one my groomers use would cost 20$ and I was able to make this with stuff I have around the house. I love the vanilla so I doubled the amount of vanilla.

    1. Cristi, I don’t have cats and just made this up for my dogs. I don’t think you can use peppermint oil on cats. I would check for ingredients that are safe with cats.

    1. Sue, the coconut oil serves as a carrier for the vanilla and mint so that they are not too strong for the dogs skin. I hope you enjoy it!