Does Bear Spray Work on Wolves? (Yes, But…)

Yes, bear spray will work on wolves, as it uses capsaicin, which is an active component found in chili peppers, and it can disable any animal that has sinuses and eyes.

It is powerful enough for wolves provided you are able to deploy it fast enough. However, there are circumstances where wolves still attacked even after being effectively sprayed.

Capsaicin is an active ingredient that is found in hot chili peppers and some fruits. It is an irritant that makes the food spicy but it can also disturb your eyesight and your sinuses, which is why it is often used for self-defense products like bear spray.

But even though bear spray can be highly effective in case of a wolf attack, there might be better alternatives for preventing and dealing with wolf attacks. The best way to deal with this is to prevent them in the first place.

Does Bear Spray Work on Wolves

Does Bear Spray Work on Wolves?

Yes, bear spray should be strong enough to deter wolves, too.

Bear sprays contain around 1-2% of capsaicin and capsaicinoids, which makes the spray effective against aggressive bears, wolves, and other wild animals.

The purpose of bear spray is to irritate the attacking animal’s eyesight and upset the upper respiratory system of the animal, which would render the animal powerless.

After the spray is used, the attacking bear or wolf will slowly back away and stop the attack, which is why many hunters opt to carry the bear spray with them.

However, it might take more than just bear spray to deter a wolf attack.

According to this story of a cyclist that encountered a wolf in the wild and used bear spray against a wolf, the wolf continued to chase even after using the spray on the wolf.

Luckily for the cyclist, he was on a bike and was fast enough to keep the attacking wolf at bay. It appears as though the bear spray was very effective at slowing the wolf down.

So even though bear spray can be used against wolves, it’s still better to proceed with caution in nature and try to avoid wolf encounters at all costs.

It seems as though the best way to prevent a wolf attack is still to avoid it – but carrying bear spray with you and using it on wolves can still be a great option in case you cannot avoid a wolf attack.

How Does Bear Spray Work Against Wolves?

The purpose of the bear spray is to irritate the animal’s respiratory system and its eyesight enough so that it backs down and stops the attack.

When a wolf attacks, the most effective way to protect yourself with bear spray is to use it from 25 feet away or closer, which would be effective enough to spray the contents of the bottle into a wolf’s eyes and affect its respiratory system.

After you have used the bear spray on the wolf, the spray’s contents – especially the capsaicin inside – will start affecting the wolf. It will irritate the wolf’s eyesight, making its eyes sore and wet, while also affecting the wolf’s respiratory system.

Note that these changes are temporary and will not have permanent effect on wolves.

When these changes are made to the wolf’s body, it will naturally back away and stop the attack altogether. After that, it might flee, or it might continue to pursue you. If that happens, you will gain a significant advantage after using the spray already, although you can re-use the spray if it doesn’t completely stop the wolf from attacking you.

In short, the bear spray will disable the wolf when it attacks you, giving you an opportunity to escape the attack.

You should also know that the bear spray will not work as a repellent.

So if you try to spray some of the wolf spray onto yourself before you head into the woods, it will not stop the wolf attack. The bear spray will only work if you use it directly against the wolf in case it attacks you.

However, as effective as bear spray is, there might be other, more effective solutions for stopping and preventing wolf attacks in the first place.

Other Measures to Stop a Wolf

These are some of the things you can do to stop wolves from attacking you or your dog.

1. Prevention Strategies

The best way to fight a wolf attack is to prevent the attack from happening in the first place.

Wolves are not particularly friendly so it’s important to give them their space. These are the things that you can do to prevent the attack when entering wolf territory:

  • Make yourself heard. The most important thing is that you don’t surprise the wolf. You can do that by talking loudly, and making as much noise as possible when heading out into the woods. Wolves have strong senses and will probably detect you anyway without your help, but being extra careful can help here.
  • If you spot a wolf, back away slowly. The most important thing if you spot a wolf or a wolf pack is to not run away, because that will trigger the wolf’s aggressive nature. Instead, back away slowly and let the wolf know that you’re not there to attack it. Wolves are naturally shy of humans and will not attack unless you come too close.
  • Have a fire while camping if allowed. Wolves are afraid of fire so they will usually try not to come near your campsite. This is because they’ve learned to fear humans and over the years they associate fire with their human enemies.

Read More: What Else are Wolves Afraid Of?

2. Defense Strategies

Usually, wolves will only attack if they feel threatened and feel the need to protect themselves.

If a wolf attacks, you can try to make yourself as big as possible and shout loudly if the wolf is really close and you don’t have the time to use bear spray. This will make the wolf back away and be scared of you as they’re very sensitive to body language that shows fear or strength.

But if you have ample time, you can take your bear spray out of your pocket and use it against the wolf. You can combine the two strategies to successfully repel a wolf attack.


To conclude, bear spray can be highly effective against wolves if used correctly and quickly enough. You must use it before the wolf attacks if you want to repel the wolf attack successfully, and it’s better to carry it with you because it can help you in case any wild animal attacks.

However, prevention is still key here, and being loud enough will help you most of the time.

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