Dog Care 101

Best Dog Proof Trash Cans + DIY Ideas For Keeping Your Dog Out Of The Garbage

Dog trash — it’s the trash you have to clean up after you find that your dog has raided the garbage can!

Dog proof trash can — it’s the best way to keep your dog out of your household garbage!

Dog trash all over the house!

Have you had to deal with any dog trash lately?

Maybe your dog simply loves to eat items from the trash.

Or maybe your dog makes a game of secretly stealing things from the garbage can in your house when you’re not looking.

This is definitely risky behavior, as your pup could unknowingly swallow something dangerous — like  chicken bones, broken glass, raw spoiled meat, and other poisonous items often found in trash cans.

Sometimes, it’s difficult to outwit a smart dog that is determined to get into the garbage one way or another.

I used to have a garbage can invader — but I have since learned how to train my dogs to stay out of the trash. It takes patience and constant repetition, but it worked for me.

You may be able to train your dog to stay out of the trash by teaching her that the trash can is off limits. If you see your dog nudge the trash can or cabinet, clap your hands and say “off” in a loud and strong voice. You can also move your dog away from the trash by using your body to claim the space around it, exactly like one dog would move another.

~Cesar’s Way

Below, I’ve got some helpful tips for keeping your dog out of the trash can once and for all… PLUS a list of the best dog proof trash cans that will also help.

Where You Keep Your Trash Can Matters

Your #1 priority should be to keep the trash can securely out of the reach of your dog.

A dog’s desire to get to food and other items that they can smell is instinctual — so it’s up to us as dog owners to prevent their access to the garbage.

They’re not getting into the trash as a way to get back at you for leaving them home alone. It’s an innate behavior that all dogs have, and they will continue to seek out whatever smell has intrigued their curiosity — unless you keep smelly items completely out of your dog’s reach.

Best Places To Keep The Trash Can:

  • In a closet or pantry that has a full-size door
  • In the garage — where the dog doesn’t have access
  • Behind a cabinet (with childproof locks on it!)

This first video shows Frank, a dog that can easily get into the kitchen cabinets:

This next video shows Caleb, a dog that is used to getting into the trash can stored in the cabinet under the kitchen sink. (You can tell, because he keeps licking his lips.) The $2.99 cabinet child locks kept him out!

Dog Proofing Isn’t Convenient, But It Works!

One thing’s for sure…

When you have a bound and determined dog who is likely to try everything in their power to get into the trash, you have to take extra measures to protect your dog (from ingesting something dangerous) and your house (from all the mess).

Usually, this inconveniences the dog owner and and family members at the same time.

But you want your dog to be safe, right? You don’t come home to find garbage strewn all over the house, right?

TIP: If you don’t have a convenient place to store the trash can that you currently own, then consider buying a smaller garbage can that would fit into a smaller space — where it would be out of the reach of your dog. Yes, you’ll have to empty it more often, but your dog will be safe, and your house won’t be a mess anymore! Like I said, dog proofing isn’t convenient, but it works.

The kitchen garbage can has been raided... again!

If none of the above options works for you, then it’s time to purchase a pet proof trash can — or make your own.

The Best Dog Proof Trash Cans

These are the ones that I’ve personally seen work well… or I actually own myself.

Pedal Step Dog Proof Trash Cans

A basic metal trash can that you have to step on a pedal to open works well for many dog owners — because dogs simply can’t maneuver the pedal with their paws.

A couple of SimpleHuman dog proof trash cans.

Just make sure you get one that’s large and heavy enough — so your dog can’t tip it over. Then again, if you happen to have a very large and very determined dog, then the size of the trash can matters very little.

Two downsides to the basic pedal-style trash cans:

  • If the trash can is overly full, the dog could get access to whatever is near the top, since the lid won’t properly close.
  • If the lid just rests loosely atop the can, then a simple push of the can itself could cause the lid to become ajar and/or fall off the can altogether.

One step pedal trash can that comes with a few extra security measures is the SimpleHuman trash can with butterfly doors.

Butterfly doors are more cumbersome for dogs to maneuver than a single-panel lid. And this one can also be bolted to the wall!

In addition to the reviews that you can see listed below the product description, here’s a detailed review from a dog owner.

Dog Proof Trash Cans With Motion Sensor Lids

These are my personal favorites.

This is the Ninestars Motion Sensor trash can that I own

Since I’ve trained my dogs to keep their noses out of the trash, we have this 13-gallon stainless steel motion sensor trash can that sits in the corner of our kitchen — we absolutely LOVE it. (It came with a second small motion-sensor trash can that I use as a place to keep receipts and warranties until I find the time to shred or file them.)

It works for us, but I don’t know how well it would work for most dog owners because even the simple motion of a dog’s nose passing near it could trigger the lid to open. There is a button that allows you to use the trash can manually instead (simply push the Open/Close button each time) – but that sort of takes away from the “automatic” features built-into this type of garbage can.

In our case, the first time our large 90 lb dog started nosing around it, he actually became scared of this new “trash can with a mind of its own.” Now, he won’t walk within 5 feet of it. And our 2-year old pups have never been allowed near anything that smells like human food — so they steer clear of it as well.

This is the iTouchless Pet Proof Sensor Trash Can with PetGuard that many pet owners love.

That said, most dogs would likely see a motion-sensor trash can lid more as a challenge than as something to be feared. So this Pet Proof Sensor Trash Can With PetGuard would be a better option. It’s 100% touchless and it has a unique pet lock feature. The reviews are off the chart positive!

My other favorite motion sensor trash can is the Stainless Steel Touchless Trash Can With 2 Compartments — but it doesn’t have a pet lock. (It’s great for recycling though!)

For our household, I like this one even better… because it’s got 2 bins!

The 2 separate buckets could be used for:

  • Sorting 2 types of recyclables (paper vs plastic), or
  • Using one side as a standard garbage can and the other side for recycling.
A stainless steel touchless garbage can with 2 bins -- perfect for recycling!

I particularly like:

  • the size (two 8-gallon buckets)
  • the motion-sensor capabilities (no touch!)
  • the fact that you can make it a manual-opening lid if you so choose (if your dog likes to get into the trash can)

I think this stainless steel touchless trash can ranks pretty high in terms of hip and cool gadgets. It’s great especially if you already have stainless steel appliances — definitely on my list!


Other Dog Proof Trash Cans

Most durable metal trash cans that are pet proof are going to be in the $100 price range.

This is a reasonable price for a large metal trash can — but there are cheaper garbage cans you can find that are pet proof, as well:

Animal Proof Trash Cans

For repeat offenders who can’t keep their noses out of the garbage, a trash can that’s been specially designed to be animal proof may be in order.

If you have an outdoor dog or you occasionally find that neighborhood dogs or wild animals have been in your trash, consider these large animal proof garbage cans for outside:

Toter bear tough locking garbage can.

If you want something that would look a little nicer inside your home, consider this slightly smaller indoor/outdoor trash animal proof trash can:

DIY Pet Proof Trash Cans

Finally, here are several DIY options to make the trash less appealing to your dog:

#1 – Make the entire area around your trash can off limits to your dog.

Here are a couple of ways to do that:

  • You can use a Scat Mat. It’s a floor mat made by PetSafe (a company that makes several high-quality dog-safety products). It automatically delivers a small shock whenever your dog’s steps on it. Pet owners use this to keep their dog off furniture, away from stairs, out of a baby’s room, and more. It would be a relatively simple way to keep your dog away from the trash can.
    A Scat Mat will keep your dog away from the trash can!
  • PetSafe also makes a motion-activated device called SSSCAT pet deterrent. It automatically blows compressed air whenever your dog (or cat) gets within a certain range of it. In this case, any time your dog gets close to the trash can, they will be greeted by a short blast of compressed air — which most pets hate.
    SSSCAT is a can of compressed air that is motion-activated to spray whenever your pet gets within 3 feet of it.

#2 – Add a locking strap mechanism to the lid of your trash can.

These are straps that you add to your existing trash can. They work best with larger, outdoor garbage cans:

  • The most well-known is the Doggy Dare Trash Can Lock.

    There are 2 versions — one fits 45-gallon garbage cans and the other fits 33-gallon garbage cans. It’s good because it locks easily and can be opened with one hand. Yet it’s made of durable materials: the 4-point engineered security system includes over 10 feet of durable shock cord and 1 heavy-duty buckle.
  • Another one that’s similar is called the Bin Strap by YYST.

    There is a nylon strap option with plastic buckles and a more durable no-chew stainless steel wire option.
  • The only other super durable one is called the Strong Strap. What makes this one different is the fact that no tools are required — so instead of drilling the brackets onto the side of your garbage can, the self-drilling screws do all the work for you.

#3 – Make your own dog proof trash can strap.

Here are several DIY examples:

Extreme Measures & Unusual Deterrents

If your dog is a repeat offender, continuing to raid the trash can despite everything you’ve tried, then you might want to try some of these dog-friendly deterrents to keep your dog out of the garbage.

I have not personally tried any of these — and some of the solutions that you’ll find mixed in here should be done with caution.

One thing’s for sure… all of these won’t work for all dogs. You’ll need to experiment until you find what works best for your dog:

Like this post? Save it to read again later… or share with others on Pinterest!

The best dog proof trash cans