For a lot of dog owners, finding quality dog-proof trash cans is a necessity. The interest of dogs in eating “human” or “table” food is a well-documented fact and any kind of food waste dropped in your trash can turns it into a beacon of temptation. While you may have a very well-behaved pup, making sure that temptation isn’t too much for your dog to handle is definitely preferred to cleaning up a trash mess or any danger to your pet.
Our vet advisor, Dr. Amanda Jondle, considered the features of dog-proof trash cans to find the absolute best available. She looked at locking lids and costs, as well as ease of cleaning. With the automatic sensor that will allow you to dump your waste hands-free and the durable construction, it’s no wonder that she chose the iTouchless 13 Gallon Pet-Proof Sensor Trash Can as her top pick. Read how she chose the top 5.
While this was Dr. Jondle’s top choice, she also offers a series of her top tips for what to look for in choosing the best dog-proof trash can for your pup, a section on who should avoid purchasing them altogether, and she personally selected the best trash can for a variety of specific use cases.
The 5 Best Dog-Proof Trash Cans
- Best Overall – iTouchless 13 Gallon Pet-Proof Sensor Trash Can
- Best Budget – Sterilite 12.6 Gallon Locking Lid Step On Kitchen Wastebasket
- Best Automatic – hOmeLabs 13 Gallon Automatic Trash Can
- Best Indoor/Outdoor – Keter Baltimore 38 Gallon Trash Can
- Best Step-Open – simplehuman 55 Liter Rectangular Hands-Free Kitchen Step Trash Can
Trash Cans Compared
Here are the top picks from our veterinarian. Compare the ratings and features of different models.
|Best Overall||iTouchless 13 Gallon Pet-Proof Sensor Trash Can||13 gallon|
|Best Budget Buy||Sterilite 12.6 Gallon Locking Lid Step On Kitchen Wastebasket||12.6 gallon|
|Best Automatic||hOmeLabs 13 Gallon Automatic Trash Can||13 gallon|
|Best Indoor/Outdoor||Keter Baltimore 38 Gallon Trash Can||38 gallon|
|Best Step-Open||simplehuman Rectangular Hands-Free Kitchen Step Trash Can||14.5 gallons|
*Ratings are on a scale of 1 to 5 and based on reviews, feedback, and opinions of actual customers
In This Article
Who Should Buy a Dog-Proof Trash Can
- Those with curious pets – If your dog is into everything, then that curiosity likely extends to the trash can. For the pet parent struggling with that curiosity, a trash can that she can’t get into is invaluable.
- Garbage gut dog owners – For some dogs, a half-eaten plate in the trash can prove irresistible.1 Getting into certain trash can cause inflammation in your dog’s pancreas, and harmful bacteria can lead to a sick or dehydrated dog.2
- Puppy parents – Though your puppy may be the sweetest thing to have ever lived, there’s a good chance she’ll touch on both a curious and a gobble stage with regards to your trash can (for some other ideas on things that can help as you get your new puppy home check out our checklist). Stay a step ahead and puppy-proof the trash can now!
Who Should Not Buy a Dog-Proof Trash Can
- Trash cans are hidden – When your trash can is kept in the closed pantry, then you probably won’t see much of a benefit to making that trash can dog-proof.
- Owners of tiny or lazy dogs – It may go without saying but of course, you won’t need a trash can that’s dog-proof if your dog has no interest, or ability to topple it over or get into it.
Buying Guide: Research Tips From a Veterinarian
When looking for a dog-proof trash can the most important features for me would be:
- Stationary lid – When looking at the lid, find one that stays in place and is not removable. If the lid is too easy to take off, your pup will definitely figure it out.
- Hands-free opening – Whether it is a step or automatic, a hands-free opening means that it’s more likely to
- Large, sturdy, and stable – If you pick a trashcan that won’t tip over easily, you’ll find it more difficult for pets to knock over even when they’re empty.
- Locking lids – With a lock on the lid of your trash can, pets still can’t get into the trash, even if it does get knocked over.
- Easy to clean – A nice, appealing look is a plus, but a sleek design will make it all the easier to keep clean.
- Think of the trash bags – Finding a standard-sized trash can may be well worth it for the convenience of easy-to-find trash bags that fit
In addition to making your trash can dog-proof, you’ll probably also want to consider ways to train your dog to stay out of the trash, or at least out of a room that you keep the trash in. Keeping your dog active will go a long way toward keeping your home pet-friendly.
How Much Do They Cost?
The amount of money you spend on a dog-proof trash can will vary depending on the quality, size, and, more likely, just how dog-proof you want the trash can. You can find a simple plastic trash can with a locking lid for around $20, but if you’re looking for a stainless steel, automatic trash can your dog simply will not ever be able to break into, then you’ll spend closer to the $160 range. Depending on your priorities, you can expect to spend roughly $50-120 on a dog-proof trash can.
Our Methodology: Why Trust Pet Life Today
As a veterinarian, I’ve seen plenty of dogs in my office with poor reactions after getting into their owner’s trash. Not only that, but the complaints I hear from puppy parents about the messes dogs can make getting into their trash is nearly constant. Between my experience and my discussion with my vet colleagues, we’ve found some of the best solutions for your dog’s trash tendencies. – Dr. Amanda Jondle
The Best Dog-Proof Trash Can Reviews
1. Best Overall – iTouchless 13 Gallon Pet-Proof Sensor Trash Can
The iTouchless 13 Gallon Pet-Proof Sensor Trash Can is a hands-free trash can that you can open with just a move above its automatic sensor. The Pet Guard keeps it locked against pets, meaning you won’t have to worry about your fur baby’s motion opening it.
It is large and sturdy and comes in a few different styles and sizes, making it the epitome of convenience and pet-proof for any room in your home.
- 19 sizes and style options
- Odor control filter to prevent temptation
- Stainless steel makes easy clean-up
- Battery adapter not included
- Filters require replacement
2. Best Budget – Sterilite 12.6 Gallon Locking Lid Step On Kitchen Wastebasket
The Sterilite 12.6 Gallon Locking Lid Step On Kitchen Wastebasket comes in a two-pack to make pet-proofing your home all the easier. You can add this trash can to the most frequented rooms to keep your pup’s curiosity from getting him into trouble. The lock is so durable that you won’t need to worry about your smart dog unlocking it.
While this is a lighter weight and less sturdy option, it does have a step to open and a lock to protect against pets.
- 2-pack for multiple rooms
- 2 colors to coordinate with room decor
- The lid stays locked when tipped
- Trash bag compatibility isn’t universal
- Not tip-proof
3. Best Automatic – hOmeLabs 13 Gallon Automatic Trash Can
The hOmeLabs 13 Gallon Automatic Trash Can has a motion sensor that will open the lid of your trash can automatically, but should you ever be interested in a more direct approach, you can choose the manual feature to make it all the more difficult for your dog to open. The butterfly opening lid will provide a less convenient opening for the dog, so even should he manage to open it, it’s still not a given he’ll be able to access the contents.
The smart ring bag will hide the bag from view, so your pup won’t be able to pull on the trash bag, and it also makes changing them so much easier.
- 2 size options
- Split lid for more versatile countertop clearance
- Stainless steel makes easy clean-up
- Not locking lid
- Some functionality loss over time
4. Best Indoor/Outdoor – Keter Baltimore 38 Gallon Trash Can
The Keter Baltimore 38 Gallon Trash Can is an excellent locking trash can that will keep your pup out, for sure. You may not love how difficult it is for even you to get into this trash can, but if you absolutely need to keep your dog out, this will definitely do it! It’s a durable design, but if that means you’re not keen on putting it in your home, the good news is that it will work excellently in your outdoor location, as well.
The added bonus of this trash can is that it will keep out any other critters, too – so it’s perfect if your dog or your raccoons are prone to digging through your trash.
- Durable resin construction
- Double lid to hide trash bag
- Fluid drawer for drip catch
- Difficult to open (even for you!)
- Not especially aesthetic for indoor use
5. Best Step-Open – simplehuman 55 Liter Rectangular Hands-Free Kitchen Step Trash Can
The simplehuman 55 Liter Rectangular Hands-Free Kitchen Step Trash Can is a clean, large, sturdy step trash can that is engineered to last over 150,000 steps. It will allow you access to your trash without making it too accessible for your pup.
It comes in a variety of three different sizes and four colors. While it doesn’t have a locking lid, its hands-free opening and lid make it especially difficult for dogs to open.
- Silent close lid
- Rear trash bag storage
- 10-year warranty
- simplehuman brand trash bags for optimal fit
- No lock
Frequently Asked Questions
Pet News Daily uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
- Oxford Veterinary Hospital. Trash Can Dangers For Your Pet. Ovhnc.com. Published August 14, 2017. Accessed March 23, 2021.
- Grossen J. Garbage Gut. Pacificveterinaryhospital.com. Published November 9, 2018. Accessed March 23, 2021.
- Gibeault S. Bored Dogs: How to Recognize Doggy Boredom (and Help!). Akc.org. Published April 24, 2019. Accessed March 23, 2021.
- Huval D. My dog eats everything! The potential complications of ingesting a foreign body. Aspenmeadowvet.com. Published November 19, 2014. Accessed March 23, 2021.