One of the biggest problems for dog owners that have dogs in the house, or even cats for that matter, is how to keep them from getting into the trash. First time dog owners might not even consider they have a dumpster diving dog or that they might need a dog proof trash can until after the fact.
As for long time pet owners we all know there aren’t too many things that can ruin your day faster than finding that your dog has redecorated your house with the contents of the garbage can. And if you have ever noticed it’s always when it’s full of the nastiest, grossest and smelliest leftovers ever.
Not only is it gross but your dog getting in the trash is also potentially dangerous. Aggravation can quickly become sadness and fear when you realize your pup has eaten something that can make them sick, or worse!
So if you have walked into a trash scattered scene one too many times and are bound and determined that it will never happen again you’ve come to the right place. Outlined below is just about every way possible of having a dog proof trash can.
We have created a list below for those that just want a quick recommendation for a dog proof trash can. But for those that want a little more information see our table of contents in the next paragraph.
Contents at a Glance
Health Risks Of Letting Your Dog Get in the Trash
Before we get into how to keep your dog out of the trash let’s discuss why this is such a serious problem for your pet. Besides the fact that you have to clean up a nasty mess, letting your dog in the kitchen trash can have serious health risks. Just think of all the things that we throw away that if swallowed could hurt your dog or even worse.
- Poisons and Harmful Chemicals – There could be poisons like cleaners, medicine bottles and even certain foods that are all potential dangers to your four legged friend.
- Choking and Obstruction Hazard – Any number of things could be choked on.
- Cuts and Puncture Wounds or Perforated Intestine – Any number of items could in the garbage could cut or cause a puncture wound on there face and mouth.
- Perforated Intestine or Obstructed Bowel – And if swallowed these items could even perforate an intestine or cause an obstructed bowel.
- Surgery Or Worse – All of which could result in death or at the very least an expensive emergency surgery, in either case not a very good situation for Rover.
What To Do If Your Dog Ate Something It Shouldn’t
For the reasons listed above you should always keep a list of emergency numbers handy for the unexpected pet problem. In your list of emergency numbers include:
- Your veterinarian
- The closest 24 hour emergency clinic
- The ASPCA animal control center (888) 426-4435.
Why Dogs Get In The Trash
There are several possible reasons a dog will get in the trash and every dog seems to be a little different. Because of this it takes a little observation of your dog’s behavior to figure out what their particular reason is for dumpster diving.
Most times it’s for one of the following:
- Your pup is simply hungry – Make sure you are feeding you pooch enough.
- We actually went as far as weighing the amount of food we were feeding so we knew how many calories our Labrador was getting each day. Most dogs need 25-30 calories per pound to maintain proper weight.
- Your dog hasn’t had enough exercise – When your dog hasn’t had en ough exercise they become bored, restless and frustrated. Everyone gets busy and actively playing with the dog can get forgotten. Try to make time for your best friend every day!
- To get attention – Dogs will even act out on purpose like a small child. Doing things they know they will get in trouble for just for the attention. Usually this one is fixed with the exercise as long as you are actually playing with the dog.
Training Your Dog to Stay Out Of Trash Cans
Look around the internet very long and you can find all kinds of ways people try to train their dogs and other pets to stay out of the trash cans. Some of them are a little strange and not really practical like using hot sauce, vinegar, Bengay or some other smelly revolting concoction in an attempt to keep their dog out of the trash can. Others try to set booby traps using mouse traps and other crazy things. But not everything is crazy and there are some very effective ways of actually training your dog to stay out of trash cans.
- First thing to keep in mind is you can’t get onto them after the fact, you must catch them in the act or they just don’t understand.
- Yelling only makes them lose respect and fear you so next time they get in the garbage bin when you’re not there try ignoring them for a while. Sounds strange but works.
- Now if you catch them in the act first try no, no, bad boy/girl.
- If that doesn’t work try slapping your hands together or other discouraging tactics you can think of.
- Some people even use shock collars with good results. Simply put on the collar then pretend to leave the house. Watch through a window when the dog starts to get in the garbage bin give them a little shock. It shouldn’t take too many times to cure the curiosity. You might also consider the PetSafe’s Indoor Radio Fence. Now it’s completely understandable if this isn’t something you are willing to do but it can be effective.
If you have tried the options above and still aren’t having any luck keeping them out of the garbage bin you can try some of the strategic places from the list below that are sure to dog proof any garbage can.
Strategic Places and Ways to Keep Your Trash Can Out of Reach
Keeping the trash in a location that the dog can’t get to might be the most obvious and inexpensive way to solve the problem.
- Places like a closet, pantry or in an attached garage. Doing this can be inconvenient though and ineffective if someone doesn’t get a door shut tight.
- An alternative is using a baby gate in the doorway which can fix the situation as well.
- As far as the inconvenience issues some people will keep a small lockable trash can around, when it gets full dump it into the bigger can stored in one of the previously mentioned locations.
- Another option is to put the trash can inside a kitchen cabinet. You can even buy kits like the one pictured that allows the can to slide out for easy access. This usually works very well for most dogs but for the sneaky pooch that figures out how to open the cabinet there’s the next option.
- You can use a good magnetic cabinet lock like the Tot Lock to keep them out. Even then some pets might start scratching at the cabinet and damage the door. Also if you live in an apartment or rent your home you will probably want to ask your landlord before installing the magnets or cabinet trash can slide.
- One last option is to just put your dog in a crate at night and every time you leave the house but many people do no like to do this either.
Finding The Best Dog Proof Trash Can
Despite what some people might say you can find dog proof trash cans that will work. You just have to take a few things into consideration before running out and buying the first trash can you come across. The first consideration being the size of your pet dog, small dogs usually like to knock over the trash can to get into it. And taller dogs simply use their nose to raise the lid. With this in mind here are a few features to look for in your search for the best dog proof trash can.
- Consider bigger and heavier cans, usually metal or stainless steel, they are harder to knock over. Or you can make the trash can too heavy for the pup to knock over by putting some heavy bricks or other items in the bottom of the can.
- Buy a trashcan with an attached lid, a butterfly lid is a good example.
- And preferably trashcan that locks shut.
- Also consider one you can attach to the wall or the side of a cabinet using a strap and a few screws or screw a hook and eye bolt to the can and the wall.
DIY Pet-Proof Waste Bin
Another option is to buy and mount a few latches so that the lid will not come off like in this video on making your own DIY dog proof trash can.
Now if you have a bigger dog that is as tall as the trash can then you have a whole other set of problems most of which can be cured with a tight locking or heavy lidded trash can. Once your dog starts getting into the trash you are pretty much fighting a losing battle that is unless you buy or make a dog proof trash can. Now very rarely does one single product make everyone happy so we have picked trash cans that have worked for other people with dog and other pet trash problems.
5 Best Dog-Proof Trash Cans For Indoors
1. Simplehuman Kitchen Step Trash Can
About: The Simplehuman 13.2 Gallon Kitchen Step Trash Can is an attractive stainless steel option for your home. Extremely well made by a popular brand. This kitchen trash can even has several reviews on Amazon specifically commenting on how well this trash can has worked in giving them dog proof trash.
- Comes with a 10 year warranty
- Common 50 liter 13 Gallon capacity
- High Quality Strong steel pedal engineered to last 150,000 steps
- Silent close lid
- Lid locks open for extended use
- Removable inner liner
- Fingerprint proof stainless steel
- Built in wheels for easy moving
- Open lid will not hit the wall
- Hands Free Foot Pedal Operated
PROS: The flush lid makes it hard for even the nosiest dog to pry the lid up. And the size of the can makes it difficult to be knocked over.
CONS: At 16” wide it is a big can so space could be a problem. Do yourself a favor and measure the locations you plan to put the trashcan.
2. Simplehuman Butterfly Kitchen Step Trash Can
About: The Simplehuman Butterfly Step Trash Can has a space saving design and beautiful stainless steel design. Again several reviewers attesting to the ability of the trash can to dog proof trash.
- 10 year warranty
- 45 liter / 11.5 Gallon Capacity
- High Quality Fingerprint Proof Stainless Steel
- Silent Tight Closing Lid that helps with odor control and pet control
- Lid locks open for times of extended use
- Full Trash Bags Remove Easily
- Easy to Clean
- Heavy Enough to Keep Small Dogs/Cats From Tipping Over
- Space Saving Butterfly Lid
- Foot Pedal For Hands Free Operation
- All Steel Pedal
PROS: The tight fitting stainless steel lid is great for keeping out dogs that root their nose under the lid to open it.
CONS: With its narrow design probably not the best trash can for dogs that like to knock the trash over to open the lid before digging in.
3. Simplehuman Semi Round Step Trash Can
About: As you can see Simplehuman makes great garbage cans. And the Simplehuman Semi Round Step Trash Can is not different. I personally own this trash can and it keeps our 100 lb Labrador out as long as we keep the slide lock in the locked position. For my pooch I consider this a great dog proof trash can.
- Tight Locking Lid
- Light Weight
- 13 Gallon Capacity
- Semi Round design
- Foot Pedal Operated
- Fits Regular Tall Trash Bags Perfectly
- Trash Removes Easily
- Looks Great! (Not cheap like some plastic trash cans)
- Silent Closing Lid
- Over 7,000 reviews on Amazon
PROS: Without a doubt the best thing about this trash can is the locking lid.
CONS: The biggest con would be that it is made of plastic. Dogs that are chewers given enough time would probably ruin the lid.
4. Rubbermaid Defenders Square Quiet Step Can
About: Rubbermaid’s Defenders® Square Quiet Step Can Rubbermaid’s Defenders® Square Quiet Step Trash Can is actually designed for commercial application in hospitals and janitorial use. Because of this it is an extremely heavy duty all steel can, it weighs 35 pounds! You will literally never need to buy another trash can again. Here is a quote from one reviewer “Well done, Rubbermaid. You’ve made my dogs sad, but you’ve made me happy.” I personally own this trash can as well, we keep it in the garage.
- Made of Galvanized Steel with a Powder Coated Finish (Comes In Stainless Steel Too But Pricey!)
- Comes with a Plastic Liner (This May Have Changed)
- Heavy Enough to Keep Dogs/Cats From Tipping Over
- Damper Controlled Lid For Quite Closing Lid
- Foot Pedal Operated
- Comes In Four Different Sizes
- Tight Closing Lid For Holding In Smells
PROS: Everything about this trash is heavy duty. You’ll be hard pressed to find a complaint about the product itself.
CONS: One con of this trash can is the cost. It is one of the most expensive on the market but to some well worth the price.
5. Tilt Out Wooden Trash Cabinet
About: The Tilt Out Wooden Trash Cabinet is beautiful, rustic as well as functional. The tilt out design is unique enough to keep the smartest pup from cracking the code for opening this can. One of the better designs for dog proof trash cans.
- Nice Modern Rustic Look
- All Wood
- Fits 13 Gallon Trash Bags
- Hinged Lid
- Heavy Enough to Keep Dogs / Cats From Tipping Over
- Supports Over 100 lbs
- Made In The USA
- Comes In A Variety Of Colors
PROS: Works as a trash can and a table top.
CONS: If you have a dog that likes to scratch at things then the wood design is probably not a good choice for you. It wouldn’t take much to destroy the finish.
1. YYST Bin Strap Bin Holder No Chew
About: With the YYST Bin Strap Bin Holder No Chew there is no need to buy a new trash can just modify the one you have. Inexpensive, chew proof and easy to install!
- Pet Proof and Pest Proof ( Raccoons, Mice, Rats, & Even Flies)
- Easy To Install
- Fits Your City Garbage Can Up To 96 Gallons
- Chew Proof
- Makes Your City Issued Can A Dog Proof Trash Can
PROS: Works as promised and easy to install on your current trash can.
CONS: Has to be installed.
Dog Proof Trash Cans We Don’t Recommend
It may seem like a good idea at the time but motion sensor trash cans don’t really work as dog proof trash cans. The reason being is the motion sensor doesn’t care that the movement comes from a person or a dog. And a smart pup will make short work of figuring out the motion sensor trash can.
I truly hope that this article has helped you keep your dog out of your trash cans , for your sanity and their health. I spent a lot of time researching the products and tips I have shared as well as used my personal experiences with both.
Keep in mind that not every dog is the same and what works for one doesn’t work for all.
Are you a dog owner that has been successful in keeping your dog out of the kitchen trash or have found a dog proof trash can you would like to suggest? If so please leave a comment below and tell us how you did it.