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My Top Picks for a Dog Proof Trash Can


My large dog like most others love garbage and it would drive me crazy to have trash all over the ground every time I walked in the kitchen. It seemed like our puppy would hit the garbage every time I would turn my back. We ended up putting our trash can in the garage for almost a year before I broke down and figured there had to be a better solution. I was amazed when doing research on dog proof trash cans that there were not as many options as I though there would be. So to save you time, I wanted to list the dog proof trash can that we selected and a list of other top cans out there.

Your Choices


dog proof trash canThe simplehuman 50 liter/13 gallon trash can is the one we picked for our house. To be honest, the reason we picked this one over the rest is because of price. This plastic can comes in three different colors, grey which blends in with stainless steel appliances, a brown mocha and black.

The reason this along with most every dog proof trash can works is that it has a lock on it so you can lock the lid shut. When locked, the lid will not open at all. To open the can, you release the lock by pulling it out (grey part on the lid in the picture). Once unlocked you can either lift the lid all the way by hand. This will make it stay open, stepping on the foot petal it will open and close when you lift your foot off. When the thrash can closes, it does so slowly using a built in shock. This stops it from slamming shut.

I have read two complaints from the over 500 reviews. The first one is that 13 gallon trash bags are not quite big enough for this can. Other said they have no issues with this. I will say that the Glad tall kitchen 13 gallon bags that we have used for years fit perfect. We get them from our local supermarket. The other complaint is that the can is not heavy enough. Not that it is cheaply made, but moves to easy. I don’t know if these people are use to metal cans or what but it is plastic and doesn’t move any more than our last trash can. One person said that he used two bricks at the bottom and it helped but we are fine how it is.

To date, our dog has yet figure out how to get in it even though he has tried. It has been a while now and he has mostly given up on even trying.

To find this can with free shipping and to see a lot of user reviews you can visit Amazon here.

Simplehuman Butterfly Metal Step Trash Can
dog proof garbage can

The simplehuman Butterfly can is almost dog proof, it depends on how smart your dog is. This is one of the best choices for dog owners that want a metal stainless steel can. It is a little smaller at 45 liters/12.5 gallons. It is also laid out a little different giving people with less space a good option.

The way the Butterfly  works is it opens in the middle as seen in the photo. Dogs are not able to push their head down in the trash can or lift the front lid to gain access. If you have a genius on your hands, you puppy might figure out that if they step on the foot pedal (and heavy enough) that they can get the lid open. Also, this one doesn’t have a locking lid, so if your dog is able to knock over this trash can, it will be able to get to the garbage. When talking about stainless steel garbage cans, this is about as much dog proof you are going to get.

Another upside to this can over the plastic one above is that it has an insert for the bag that slides into the main can.

This one has over 80 reviews and 5 stars from reviewers and there is a reason for that.

To see all the reviews on the butterfly style, check them out here.

Simplehuman Slim

Last but not least is the slim style by simplehuman. This is the top two combined in one. Working like our first dog proof trash can, this one has the locking lid to keep dogs out and the slow lowering lid. It is the thin style like the butterfly above that can fit in small spaces.

This can is made out of plastic and comes in grey, black and white. It is also the smallest of the three at only 40 liters.

The upside on this one is again price over stainless steel. It makes a good fit for people that need to save space, doesn’t want to spend a lot of money and requires a locking lid.

Being the same brand, I would bet it is made just as durable as  the 13 gallon above, just shaped differently.

Get free shipping on the can by clicking here

Things you want to stay away from…

No matter what dog proof garbage can you go with there are a couple designs I would stay away from. The first is any motions sensor trash cans. It kind of defeats the purpose of trying to keep your dog out of the garbage. The next is any front opening can without a lock on the front. Dogs are very smart and will figure out how to open it. Our dog figured it out in less than a day. Lastly is any swinging lid, this goes without saying but you really do not want a trash can where your dog can just put his head through the top.

I also suggest using a training collar to help with the behavior of getting into things like trash and on the counter top.

And this is why you want a dog proof trash can

Why Dogs Get Into the Trash?

An age old question; why dogs get into the trash? The answer is simple dogs were domesticated by humans for several thousand years. Speculation is that wolves were first captured as puppies or tamed because of their living in proximity to human villages. Why these wolves living near human community? To scavenge our trash for food, of course! In the wild, the wolves can spend several days without eating. They do not always flourish in hunting big game every day.

We can consider the food we throw away to be garbage, but for some dogs, this is just food-ripe, stinky, aromatic food! Dogs love the smell of all the old food and everything that could expect in a trash bag. This is an interesting and exciting bouquet aroma for them.

Another reason why your dog loves trash is that the first time it was in the trash, there were probably an excellent tasting leftover meat and some other doggy delicacy and may be your dog remembers how good it was. Don’t forget dogs are creatures of habit and any good dog may hope of hitting a jackpot again next time it is in the trash. Some dogs have developed a habit of digging in the trash. Sometimes they find good things to eat or fun things to chew. When they are so busy in sniffing out an interesting scent, they can disperse garbage throughout the house. Trash can be similar to a dog version of a Cracker Jack box. They know there is yummy inside.

Dog owners always go extra lengths to feed their dog’s healthy food. But regardless of a good portion size and a good food choice, a lot of dogs still enjoy digging the garbage for extra pieces. That dogs act out of boredom or are simply scavenging for extra treats, kitchen and bathroom garbage bin seem to have a gravitational pull for our four-legged family members. However, eating from the trash can be more than an unpleasant behavior – it can be very dangerous for dogs in such a way that.

Why it’s dangerous for dogs to get into the trash

If your dog eats paper products – such as towels, napkins and toilet paper, though it will probably not harm your dog, unless the amount consumed is excessive. But dog owners should also consider what kind of substances in the trash paper towel and napkin may contain. If paper towels were used to clean raw or cleaning products, contaminated food, and other chemicals, gastric pain or actual poisoning could occur.

Also, there always seems to be a holiday in the corner and each has its own variety of decorations, sandwiches, and foods that can end up in the trash. While consuming Christmas decoration is most likely as risky as eating a Halloween decoration, certain types of objects are mostly dangerous. Tinsel or anything string-like can cause a condition called “linear foreign body”. Which are particularly dangerous because they can wedge and cut the gastrointestinal tract, resulting in potentially fatal abdominal infections.

The next danger is consumption of potentially spoiled foods from the trash has a great possibility of causing disease in an animal. Spoiled or raw foods are more likely to cause Salmonella or Campylobacter microbes. Symptoms of salmonella include fever, diarrhea, vomiting, shock, lethargy, weight loss and dehydration, and could end up your dogs in a vet’s care.

And lastly of course is bones and things that can poison your dogs like onions. Dogs should never have bones like chicken bones. You can quickly find yourself in an emergency situation.

As we all know that dogs are by nature sniffers, lickers, and scavengers – and use it sense similar to how we use touch. Not only dogs are attracted to things that smell like a human, but they are also attracted by the smell of blood, feces or decay as they frequently lead to food or even things to play. However, ingestion of diapers, tampons, and related items can easily cause an obstruction in your dog’s intestine. So you should do your best to keep your dog safe and away from trash.

How to teach a dog to stay out of the trash

How can we do that? It’s very easy. From a veterinary point of view, there is no good trash for a dog. Avoid your dog access to the trash can. There are several ways you can discourage your dog from going to the trash can. For example, you can keep the kitchen trash in a locked cabinet. However, if your dog has discovered a way to open the cabinets, you may need to put a childproof latch on the handles. In other parts of the house, you can try to put the small wastebasket at a height where your dog could not reach them, like the top of a drawer. You can also restrict your dog access to entire rooms that have garbage cans or wastebaskets by closing the doors or using baby gates. You can also consider using a garbage can with a lid that your dog cannot open.

Make it undesirable

Make the trash can undesirable for your dogs. A common way to correct bad behavior is to make the behavior undesirable. Environmental punishment is a way to discourage bad behavior. There are commercially available restraint devices that can be put in the trash to keep your dog away from it. A device is like a mousetrap that will appear in the air when your dog’s step on the device.

Use available tools

You can as well place a motion-activated device near your trash can that will blow the compressed air when your dog gets closer to the trash can. There is also a type of rug that delivers a small shock when your dog’s steps on it. The environmental punishment is most effective for dogs that have learned to sneak into the trash when their owners are not there. Although the environmental punishment does not cause physical injury, it should not be used with dogs that are naturally nervous or fearful. If your dog is fearful, sudden shock, the explosion of air or bursting out loud noise can make him even more afraid.

Train your dog

Grasp a treat in a closed fist. Practice “leave it” command, this teaches your dog to get out of the trash. With the treat in your fist, your dog will likely sniff and paw on your hand, and may even bark or whine to get the treat. When the dog has lost interest in receiving the treat, probably after a minute or two, open your fist, immediately say “yes” and give the dog the treat. Every three or four times you practice this, keep an open fist, say “yes”, and give the dog the treat. With this, you are teaching your dog that he needs to walk away when you say ‘leave it’. Keep practicing until your dog knows how to leave the trash alone when you say “leave it.”

Say “Leave it” when your dog gets closer to the trash can. When your dog walks by the trash, also say “leave it.” At this point in his training, your dog should know how to look at you for reward than reaching for something that he is not supposed to. Reward it with a treat every time it turns away from the trash and looks at you.

What dog proof trash can do you use? What do you think of it? Let us know in the comment section!

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Living in Indiana, I love many of things. God, my family and almost anything outdoors.

I started newdogowners.com for one simple reason, to help prepare new dog owners for owning a new puppy. My goal is to help stop the passing around of dogs. The forever home, should be a dog's first home.
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  1. sandy says:

    THanks for your thoughts…..going to purchase the first one now!

    • Vince says:

      Thanks for the comment Sandy. That is the we got and love it. You just have to make sure everyone learns to keep it locked lol. Not one issue since we got it! Make sure to come back and let us know your thoughts on it.

  2. Johana says:

    Thanks for your help! But I did not have luck with option 1, my black lab found a way to get into it and have chewed the lid, so the lock doesn’t work at all anymore 🙁 I am planning to buy a bear proof one, even though they are expensive and not that good looking for the kitchen.

    • Vince says:

      That is crazy Johana! We have a 100lb Lab/Sheppard/Great Dam mix that is just under 2 years old. He has yet to find a way in. It sounds like you have your hands full. I might suggest a training collar as well? Our dog has eaten and destroyed everything from wall trim to every stuff animal in the house and even our couch! I know how you feel and wish you the best if luck!

  3. Carrie says:

    We have the first one and our 70 lb dog just knocks it over and the lid opens. Maybe I’ll try putting some bricks on the bottom. It is a few years old so I’m thinking that the lid isn’t as secure when locked as it used to be. I’m thinking of trying the second one.

    • Vince says:

      Hi Carrie, we have yet to have an issue like you have but my dog has pretty much gave up on the trash can. He might nose the lid every once in a while to see if one of the kids forgot to lock it but he then just keeps on walking. I hope we don’t run into an issue with the lid opening in the future, but to date, these are the only real choices I have found, and the only trash can with a lock I have personally found.

      Thanks for the comment 🙂

  4. Denise says:

    Thank you for this article. We have resorted to putting our trash can up on a table so the Great Dane doesn’t get into it and I’m so done with that. Will try one of these!!

    • Vince says:

      Thanks for the comment Denise, make sure to come back and let us know which one you ended up with and how you like it!

  5. C.S. Van Meter says:

    I have owned the first trash can that’s on your list for 9 months now. My Dachshund mix knocks this one over everytime I forget to put it on the counter. When the lid is locked it sometimes stays shut. He can usually rip the lid open and then proceed to scatter the trash all over our house. When the lid does stay locked he rips off the draw string so I wont be able to take the trash out with that bag. So just a heads up, it works some of the time with my 25 lb trash hound.

  6. Jared says:

    I purchased the first one and within 10 minutes of being out of the house my husky was able to get into it. the lock was still in the lock position but the lid was opened. Returned it and purchased the second one. Got it in today and put it to work. When I returned home the can was still in place. I was puzzled. I then laid the can on its side and the lid swung open. I could not believe it. returning it and will try the simple human 40Liter pet storage container. Hopefully that will work if not………I will cry.

    • Vince says:

      Hi and thank you for the comment. It sounds like you have a very smart dog. Our can is still working just fine. He still noses it every once in a while to see if someone left it unlocked.

    • Muse says:

      It is necessary to take the size and intelligence of your dog into account when you buy some dog proof products

  7. Jim says:

    We have the first one and it works fine. I’m sure if you throw it down hard enough, anything will break. Sadly the top and third dog proof trash can listed above are the only two real options out there. The only other options would be to find a trash can with a whole for a lock of some sort.

    My opinion, the above options is the best as it gets.

  8. Pippa Stanford says:

    I appreciate you leaving the comments from everyone on here. I own 2 Newfoundlands, one doesn’t bother the garbage cans and the other is constantly on a mission to eat All The Garbage.

    My problem is that having a lid with lock doesn’t work, because he just gets the whole lid off (lock and all). Whether its from knocking the can over, or ingeniusly popping the lid off with his big noggin.

    We currently have a small can up on the counter, we can use old shopping bags as liners. The downside is that it gets filled up quickly from our family of 6…and when it gets full certain members of the family (aged 9-17) tend to make a pile next to the can…very helpful. Lol!

  9. I’m stuck. My beagle is too smart for her own good. She knows how to undo locks and step on the pedal to open the lid. I haven’t tried the butterfly one yet, but since she can climb up onto counters and eat an entire cake without leaving a mess, opening a trash can is a cinch.

  10. Nicci Cimino says:

    Any other brands besides simple human? don’t seems like you did any fair comparisons or mentioned any brands you tried. Seems like a propaganda blog for Simple Human. Wonder what consumer reports says…

    • Vince says:

      Hi Nicci, I have yet find any dog proof trash cans besides one made by Simple Human. If you have found any, I would be happy to add to the list after looking into them.

      As for your comment about being a fair comparison and not mentioning any brands that I have tried. You may want to re-read my article, I plainly say that I have indeed tried the first one. In fact, it is still in my kitchen as I type this. The metal dog proof trash can I did not try. I added it because some people are looking for one and I could not find any, that is the closest I could find.

      As for my article being propaganda, I’m sorry you feel this way. You are more then welcome to start a blog and post your views and thoughts.

      Thank you for your comment 🙂

  11. Cathy says:

    Hi Vince, Thank you for your blog. I’m going to purchase the simplehuman 50 liter/13 gallon trashcan today. I have a Flatcoated Retriever named River who believes I keep a trash can just for him when he wants a snack. I’ll let you know how it works with my dog and my humans. After cleaning up after River I googled dog-proof trash cans and found your review! Thank you again! Cathy

    • Vince says:

      Hi Cathy and thanks for the comment :). Yes, please let us know. Seems that there are mixed results but ours is still working. The kids now lock it (most of the time) and rosco still noses it every once in a while to see if one of the kids didn’t lock it but for the most part, he just gave up. Looking forward to your review!

  12. Ash says:

    Hi, Vince! I have a Cavalier who is the ultimate opportunist when it comes to garbage. Right now we have a small trash bucket which we leave on our coffee table..which doesn’t do much for the look of our living room! I Googled ‘dog proof trash cans’ and yours was the first non-ad that showed up! I’ll definitely be purchasing one of the first ones! Thanks for writing this!!

  13. Coralie says:


    So, I came across your website because our dog was knocking our trash over. I bought a Simple Human Locking Trash Can. Yesterday, I came home to it flung across the living room and corners of the can chewed up. My dog, apparently, has very strong teeth, but she was still unable to unlock it. So, you may want to let future people know. 🙁

    Otherwise, I loved the trash can. Too bad she committed attempted murder…

    • Vince says:

      Coralie, thanks for the comment, you have a mad pooch! Hopefully after a couple try’s she will give up on it. But you are right, attempted murder on the family trash can is never good (sorry but I laughed when I read that)!

  14. Ellen McCann says:

    HI! I have a 25lb Cavalier and he’s loving, loyal and very ingenious. I own the locking cover 13 gallon garbage can. It didn’t last a day in my house. My Cavalier attacked it while I was home! My dog goes for the plastic bag liner that peeks out all around the can. He keeps pulling that bit of liner that peeks out around the rim of the can until he manages to pull enough of the liner to get the can to tip over. If the lid doesn’t pop open when the can crashes to the floor, he continues pulling on the liner until the lid pops open. You know the rest of the story. The garbage can is now on the kitchen counter. Since my pooch uses the edges of the plastic liner to pull the can over, I’m going to leave the liner inside the can instead of attaching it to the edges of the can, and yes that will be inconvenient and messy for me. Next I’m getting a couple of bricks from my yard to place in the bottom of the can. Finally I’ll purchase a collar for my wonderful tricolor Cavalier. If my attempts to sabotage my dogs antics don’t work, my last resort is to cage him when I go out.
    This blog has been helpful and I’ll check back to see if there are more suggestions I can implement. Thanks everyone!

  15. Ian Fischer says:

    tips for dog/child proofing your trashcan.
    1. get a metal trash can because plastic can break pretty easy especially with big dogs.
    2. Bolt that sucker to the floor. That way it can’t be knocked over.
    3. Make sure the lid has a padlock, because you need thumbs and a brain that can figure out combinations. I guess If they are smart enough to break into a padlock they earned it. There are humans who can’t pick a pad lock. what chance does a dog have?
    4. put it into a cabinet like a pull out model which has the added security of locking the door. so even if they get the door unlocked with child proofing locks, they still have to open the padlock on the lid.
    5. make sure the lid can’t be bent out of the way. high quality large gauge steel. if you can’t bend it they can’t bend it.
    6. metal is generally stronger than teeth so they can’t bite through it. or claw through it. plastic cans suck.
    7. don’t let your trash bags touch the ground when taking them out.
    8. if an animal is attacking your outdoor trashcans, on trash night. or trash day. consider contacting the dispatcher at the trash removal company to ask them if they can give you a general time when your pickup is and schedule time to be present when the trash collectors come to deliver it personally.
    you can also find a dumpster that’s unlocked and chuck your trash in there though most businesses frown on that practice.

    also make sure that there is an air tight and water tight seal so that any contents inside don’t leak out if the can happens to be tipped over, (assuming you haven’t bolted your can to the floor. or the dog can push over a can that is bolted to the floor)

  16. Claudia says:

    You had me at “I broke down and figured there had to be a better solution”

    I’m SO tired of our dog going through the bathroom trash can – I think the only reason she watches us leave the house is to be sure we’re gone so she can go raid the bathroom.

    THANK YOU so very much for doing the research. I’m going for the Butterfly version – mainly because I like the style and fortunately it’s at Bed Bath & Beyond so I’m using one of their handy dandy coupons!


  17. Sheila says:

    I bought a Simplehuman Butterfly Metal Step Trash Can and agree it’s a great choice for dog proof trash can. My 80 pound dog got into a number of other trash cans but never this one. Besides being a dog-deterrent, the product has attractive clean lines and is hands-free–unlike most locking varieties.

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