Can You Use Pepper Spray On Dogs?(It Depends)

While we all love to have dogs in our house, the aggressive dogs of neighbors or stray dogs roaming in the streets can make you feel scared. So, it’s always better to take preventive measures beforehand to prevent dog bites. In such cases, pepper spray seems like an effective and convenient idea.

But can you use pepper spray on dogs? You can only use pepper spray on dogs if they become aggressive and show signs of an attack. Using pepper spray on calm dogs minding their own business might put you under animal cruelty charges.

Let’s get to know more about pepper spray and dogs. Check out the list of the most effective Dog Repellent Sprays on Amazon now!

Will Pepper Spray Hurt A Dog?

Yes, pepper spray hurts the dog because it directly irritates the skin and eyes. It proves effective in incapacitating the dog and preventing it from attacking you. The effects of pepper spray will keep the dog from attacking or biting you for several hours.

However, when it comes to long-term effects, pepper spray doesn’t have any. Although it will irritate the dog for some hours, pepper spray won’t have any long-term impact on the physical or mental condition of the dog.

It is only a small tool with short-term effects to prevent immediate attacks of stray dogs.

Is It Legal To Use Pepper Spray On A Dog? 

Yes, many states consider it legal to use pepper spray on a dog. But, it comes with certain conditions. According to the rules, you can only use pepper spray on a dog when it’s attacking you.

Dogs will first show aggressiveness and then attack or bite you. In such a case, you can use pepper spray to keep the dog away.

Pepper spray is painful for dogs, and that’s why it’s necessary to use it only when necessary.

Using pepper spray on dogs other than self-defense is considered cruel, and you might be fined for it.

If a dog is passing by and isn’t showing aggressiveness, you don’t need to use pepper spray on it. Instead, let it go where it’s going without provoking it to bite you or hurting it with the pepper spray.

Can You Use Pepper Spray On A Dog Off-Leash?

Yes, in most states, it is legal to use pepper spray on a dog off-leash.

Off-leash dogs are mostly the stray dogs or rabid dogs that are roaming around in the streets. Such dogs also carry certain diseases, and if they bite you, things can become difficult to handle.

Therefore, preventing such dogs at all costs is the ultimate objective of using pepper spray.

If the dog is off-leash but isn’t showing aggression or seems like attacking you, you cannot use pepper spray. Before using it, make sure you’re only using it for your defense because pepper sprays are painful for dogs.

What Happens If You Spray Pepper Spray On A Dog?

In general, the primary purpose of using pepper spray is to keep the dog away from biting or attacking you. Using pepper sprays is considered the most humane way of preventing stray dogs from attacking you.

When you spray pepper spray on the dog, it will feel irritation in the eyes and skin. Pepper is aggravating to a dog’s nose, which will immediately cause it to step back.

The irritation is temporary and will go in a few hours while leaving no long-term side effects on the dog.

However, some dogs may experience other symptoms like:

  • Swelling in the eyes
  • Itching on the skin
  • Swelling in the ears
  • Burning

The effects of different kinds of pepper sprays will differ, depending on the quantity of pepper used in the spray. The dog may get really affected by the spray and doesn’t recover after an hour or so.

In such a condition, you might have to take it to the vet.

If the dog already has an injury or allergy to the skin or eyes, pepper spray can become extremely painful and unbearable for the dog.

Will Pepper Spray Work On An Attacking Dog?

Yes, using pepper spray is the most convenient trick to stop an attacking dog immediately.

Pepper spray has an immediate effect, and it can immediately irritate the eyes of the dog. So, you can use it to keep the dog away if it’s suddenly attacking you and you have no other option left.

It will irritate the eyes of the dog, and it will step back. So, you can easily run away even if the dog is just about to attack you with its open mouth and sharp teeth.

Will Pepper Spray Stop A Pitbull?

According to many experts, pepper spray is the best weapon you can use against a highly aggressive Pitbull.

All dogs get affected by pepper spray the same way, and almost at all times, the spray has proved effective against highly aggressive dog breeds that no one can stop once they get aggressive.

As pepper spray cannot kill the dog or cause long-term damage, you can use it if you suddenly face the attack of a Pitbull.

In such conditions, using pepper spray is legal as you’ll only be defending yourself. Check out the list of the most effective Dog Repellent Sprays on Amazon now!

What Do You Do If Your Dog Gets Pepper-Sprayed?

Although the effects of pepper sprays are temporary, and they’ll last for no longer than 45 minutes, this time is still difficult for the dogs as the burning sensation becomes unbearable.

If your dog got pepper-sprayed because it was trying to attack or bite a stranger, you need to help your dog as soon as you reach the spot. Also, don’t forget to say sorry to the stranger for the inconvenience!

Here’s what you can do to provide relief to your dog if it’s pepper-sprayed.

Wash the eyes with water

The first thing to do is to wash your dog’s eyes with water. The pepper spray is mostly sprayed on the face, and due to it being sensitive, the eyes get the most affected with the itching and burning. So, you can directly flush the eyes and face with some water to provide relief.

Look for spray on other areas

The pepper spray can provoke itching when sprayed on other parts of the dog’s body as well. So, after flushing the eyes, make sure you also look for signs of burning and itching on the rest of the body.

Your dog will continuously rub that area with its leg and show discomfort. So, you can easily determine the exact area and wash it with water too.

Although washing with water will not provide immediate relief, it will suppress the burning sensation to a significant extent.

Take it to the vet

Most dogs get relieved after their eyes are washed with water.

However, sometimes, the itching and burning might not stop even after half an hour or so.

If that’s the case, it’s time for a visit to the vet. Make sure you do it quickly because the irritation and discomfort can become difficult to bear for your dog.

The vet will stain the dog’s eyes with fluorescein to check for any chemical burns. Then, the vet may prescribe a topical ointment to lessen the itching and burning.

Keep checking your dog

Even after you’ve washed your dog’s face and eyes, you need to keep checking it later for any signs of swelling.

Some dogs may not fully recover from the pepper spray, and the effects may cause swelling in the eyes and affected parts.

You can also keep washing the dog’s face and eyes constantly with water to remove as much spray as possible until its effects disappear.

How Long Does It Take To Recover From Being Pepper-Sprayed?

In general, the average time required to recover from being pepper-sprayed is 45 minutes. However, it may be 30 minutes for some dogs and one hour for others.

The amount of time required to recover from the effects of pepper spray will vary. It will depend on the strength of the spray as well as how much spray was sprayed on the dog.

All dogs will take different times to recover from being pepper-sprayed. However, the irritation should not last for more than an hour.

If the irritation lasts for more than that and you also notice signs of swelling and burning, you need to take your dog to the vet as soon as possible. The pain can become difficult to manage for the dog, and it will keep suffering from the pepper spray.

Related Post: Will Bear Spray Hurt A Dog?(Pepper VS. Bear Spray)

Final Words

While using pepper spray on the dog may seem to be a cruel idea, it can often save you from rabid dogs roaming in the street. As soon as the dog attacks you, you have the right to use pepper spray to keep it away.

However, you can never use pepper spray on a dog if it isn’t saying anything to you. If you do so, you can get fined, as pepper spray can be painful for dogs.