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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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!)
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:
- Some dog owners have had good luck with wooden trash can holders that you put your existing trash can inside (even better if it has a small latch to secure it closed). However, some dogs can open the kind that tilt forward to open.
- Personally, I think the SimpleHuman slim trash can is the best option. It has a step-on lever to open it, and the lid locks securely closed with a sliding lever — and it fits in tight spaces since it’s thinner than normal.
- The SimpleHuman semi-round trash can also has a step lever to open it and a sliding lock to keep dogs out. (Here’s a detailed review from a dog owner.)
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:
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.
- 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.
#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:
- How To Add A Locking Latch Onto Any Trash Can
- Make Any Plastic Trash Can With A Dome Lid Dog Proof
- How To Make Any Trash Can Pet Proof …Even Bear Proof!
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:
- Have You Tried Bungee Cords? What About The Bathtub For Bathroom Trash?
- Try Hot & Spicy Deterrents Like Cayenne Pepper, Hot Sauce, Or Jalapenos
- Other Booby Traps & Tips For Catching Your Dog In The Act
- Random Ideas About DIY Dog Proof Trash Cans
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I like to help Dog Parents find unique ways to do things that will save time & money — so I write about "outside the box" Dog Tips and Dog Hacks that most wouldn't think of. I’m a lifelong dog owner — currently have 2 mixed breed Golden Aussies that we found abandoned on the side of the road as puppies. I've always trained my own dogs and help friends train theirs, as well. Professionally, I worked at a vet and have several friends who are veterinarians — whom I consult with regularly. (And just because I love animals so much, I also worked at a Zoo for awhile!) I've been sharing my best ideas with others by blogging full-time since 1998 (the same year that Google started… and before the days of Facebook and YouTube). My daily motivation is to help first-time dog owners be better prepared from the first day your new puppy enters your home. I like to help dog owners understand what's 'normal' and what you can expect in terms of living with and training your dog — how to get through the ups & downs of potty training, chewing, teaching commands, getting your dog to listen, and everything else that takes place during that hectic first year! When I'm not training, walking, grooming, or making homemade treats for my dogs, you will find me at the corner of Good News & Fun Times as publisher of The Fun Times Guide (32 fun & helpful websites). To date, I've written over 500 articles for dog owners on this site!