Bitter Apple (Taste Deterrent for Dogs)
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Thread: Bitter Apple (Taste Deterrent for Dogs)

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    Top Of The Hill is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultBitter Apple (Taste Deterrent for Dogs)

    I wondered if anyone had tried it for their dog? Dee has always had a habit of nipping the hair in the area I guess you would call her wrists/lower forearms. It's never been a huge problem as she hadn't (until recently) ever gone as far as to injure the skin. Well a few weeks ago for whatever reason she started chewing at one leg and very quickly developed a callous on that spot. (it's right on the joint) The vet has had a look at it twice when I've gone in recently for other things and he has mentioned the option of putting her on meds. She has allergies, but they have never been severe and I really don't think it's allergy causing this. It may have been initially, but now I just think that licking and chewing it has become a habit. Her skin is great except for this patch she's chewed. The vet also suggested trying "bitter apple," so we've been giving it a try with moderate results. It's called Grannicks bitter apple..... taste deterrent for dogs and contains water, isopropanol, bitter principles and extractives. It says it was invented by a pharmacist in 1960 and discourages fur biting, hair chewing and hot spots. Between spraying the bitter apple on and using a cone collar the rough patch is getting better, but it's very slow. I'm not sure how often I should be spraying this stuff on. The bottle says as often as needed, but the deterring effects don't seem to last long. Has anyone used it and did it work for you/your dog? I'm just about at my wits end trying to keep her from making this worse. I have to put her in the kennels for a few days shortly, so I'm also worried about that.

    TIA
    Last edited by Top Of The Hill; 06-14-2012 at 03:12 PM.

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    Sophiesmama's Avatar
    Sophiesmama is offline Senior Member
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    It does kind of sound like it might be allergy related. Dogs will lick or chew paws or wrists or sometimes legs in reaction to an allergen. We bought bitter apple for our last dog once. She freaked out so bad when we put it on her that we had to wash it off. We never knew if it burned or what, but we never used it again. Have you got her on a grain free diet?
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    Belles mom is offline Senior Member
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    How old is she? Does she have her dew claws?


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    Labradorable is offline Senior Member
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    Bitter Apple is great stuff as long as your dog doesn't like the taste of it. Believe it or not I have several customers who dogs like to lick it. Ooops! LOL

    I hope your pup gets better soon.
    ~Samantha
    Dozer (04/01/09) & Moose (01/02/13)
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    Bitter Apple is a good deterent for some dogs. HK loves it. She loves sour apples. So it is not much use in deterring her. Unless I want to use it to have her lick what I put it on instead of something I don't want her to lick.
    Hershey Kisses, In charge of getting Ed out to the dog park so that he gets some exercise.

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    blackandyellow is offline Senior Member
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    back when I lived in Texas I used it in my hands to keep my GF´s ferret from biting me. If you think Labs are bitey, go play with a Ferret, this little bugs are piranhas. It was funny because he would bite me, then I would touch his tongue with my bitter apple sprayed fingers and she would let go immediately, shake her head and rub against the carpet. All this with the funnies yucky face. It was sooo funny.

    I´ve never used bitter apple on my dogs, but I guess Misha and Homer probably would like it.

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    Top Of The Hill is offline Senior Member
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    Thanks for the replies so far. She definitely doesn't like the taste of it and it does (at least for awhile after I spray it on) cause her to leave her legs alone. Actually my Vet told me the same thing about some dogs liking the taste.....or at least it doesn't bother them enough to stop them from licking/chewing at it. Fortunately that's not the case with Dee, but at the same time it seems to lose it's deterrent value after a couple of hours. She will then go back to licking/chewing.....although touch wood I think maybe using the bitter apple is breaking the habit. I guess I'm going to have to leave a bottle of the bitter apple with the kennel and hopefully she'll leave her leg alone while she's there. The bottle says apply as needed, so I guess it's okay to use it fairly often. I just don't want it to dry the skin out and not sure if it could upset their stomachs if they did lick it off. So far (and it's been a couple of weeks) no problem......though I've been using a cone collar at times as well to avoid having to use too much of the bitter apple. It's pretty much healed now and I just don't want her to start up with it again. I'm sure the kennels where I leave her are quite capable of spraying on a bit of bitter apple.....I'd just rather she didn't have to go in when she has any issue.

    Belles mom - She is almost 8 and no she doesn't have her dewclaws. The only real skin issue she has ever had is that occasionally she will lick or chew at her feet. They look great right now. This is the first time she has got down to the skin with her wrist/lower forearm and it's just the one side. Under her chin also seems to get itchy, but nothing major. We started to rinse her lower legs after she gets back from her walks and that seemed to really help her paws. I'm pretty sure her allergies are enviromental and not food related. She has been on the same food for years and it seems to suit her. I tried to switch her once to a grain free diet and she didn't do well on it....anal glands issues etc., so I switched back.

    Thanks again.

    Updated to add.....I guess she's maybe getting used to it and I spoke too soon. I put some on about half an hour ago and thought I was safe leaving her alone in the other room for a few minutes. Maybe I didn't spray enough on, but she's been licking at it already.
    Last edited by Top Of The Hill; 06-14-2012 at 03:13 PM.

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    dweck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Labradorable View Post
    Bitter Apple is great stuff as long as your dog doesn't like the taste of it. Believe it or not I have several customers who dogs like to lick it. Ooops! LOL

    I hope your pup gets better soon.
    Wes LOVED the taste of bitter apple. =(

    And Tabasco!

    It wasn't until we trained and used LEAVE IT that we had any success in getting him not to chew things he wasn't allowed. Before that it was: "MMM Fanks, Dad. You just made this chair leg taste even BETTER!!!!"

    Kelrobin Cleveland Street Denizen, CGC, RN [Parker]

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    Top Of The Hill is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by dweck View Post
    Wes LOVED the taste of bitter apple. =(

    And Tabasco!

    It wasn't until we trained and used LEAVE IT that we had any success in getting him not to chew things he wasn't allowed. Before that it was: "MMM Fanks, Dad. You just made this chair leg taste even BETTER!!!!"
    LOL. Wes was sure a character. Well she definitely doesn't care for the taste of it, but the urge to chew at the rough spot on her leg is almost enough to suffer through the taste. I think once it's totally healed (i.e. the calloused area goes back to normal) she'll stop chewing at it. We have to watch her like a hawk unless she has her cone collar on or I've just "bitter appled." We'll just suddenly realized that she's quietly slipped away for a chew. I'm not sure why she does it, but once she starts I think it just becomes a habit.....like biting one's nails. Frustrating.

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    Labradorable's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dweck View Post
    Wes LOVED the taste of bitter apple. =(

    And Tabasco!

    It wasn't until we trained and used LEAVE IT that we had any success in getting him not to chew things he wasn't allowed. Before that it was: "MMM Fanks, Dad. You just made this chair leg taste even BETTER!!!!"
    Tobasco, Bitter Apple, ALL kinds of alcohol and things that are spicy make Dozer curl his lips and scrunch up his nose if he even gets a whiff of them. Its HILARIOUS. No worries about him knocking over a beer to steal it (like Cybil used to do).
    ~Samantha
    Dozer (04/01/09) & Moose (01/02/13)
    Cybil (02/02/00 - 02/20/09)



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