Dog eating trash out of knocked over trash can

The Best Dog-Proof Trash Cans

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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 dangers 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.

Our Vet’s Top Pick

iTouchless 13 Gallon Pet-Proof Sensor Trash Can

For the best in dog-proof trash cans, look no further than the iTouchless 13 Gallon Pet-Proof Sensor Trash Can.

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 towards keeping your home pet-friendly.

Our Vet’s Top 5 Dog-Proof Trash Cans

Here are the top picks from our veterinarian. Compare the ratings and features of different models.

Editor’s Picks Brand Rating Automatic Locking Size
Best Overall iTouchless 13 Gallon Pet-Proof Sensor Trash Can 4.4 13 gallon
Best Budget Buy Sterilite 12.6 Gallon Locking Lid Step On Kitchen Wastebasket 4.5 12.6 gallon
Best Automatic hOmeLabs 13 Gallon Automatic Trash Can 4.3 13 gallon
Best Indoor/Outdoor Keter Baltimore 38 Gallon Trash Can 4.6 38 gallon
Best Step-Open simplehuman Rectangular Hands-Free Kitchen Step Trash Can 4.7 14.5 gallons

*Ratings are on a scale of 1 to 5 and based on reviews, feedback, and opinions of actual customers

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. Stay a step ahead and puppy-proof the trash can now!

Who Should Not Buy a Dog-Proof Trash Can

  • Trash can 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.

Research Tips (From a Veterinarian)

When looking for a dog proof trash can the most important features for me would be:

  1. 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.
  2. Hands-free opening – Whether it is a step or automatic, a hands-free opening means that it’s more likely to
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Easy to clean – A nice, appealing look is a plus, but a sleek design will make it all the easier to keep clean.
  6. 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

How Much Do They Cost?

Between $50-$120

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 Cans: Full Reviews

Our Vet’s Top Pick

iTouchless 13 Gallon Pet-Proof Sensor Trash Can

For the best in dog-proof trash cans, look no further than the 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 motion 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.

Pros
  • 19 sizes and style options
  • Odor control filter to prevent temptation
  • Stainless steel makes easy clean-up
Cons
  • Battery adapter not included
  • Filters require replacement
Best for Budget

Sterilite 12.6 Gallon Locking Lid Step On Kitchen Wastebasket

For a trash can that will keep your dog out, but won’t break the bank, try the 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 into 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.

Pros
  • 2-pack for multiple rooms
  • 2 colors to coordinate with room decor
  • Lid stays locked when tipped
Cons
  • Trash bag compatibility isn’t universal
  • Not tip-proof
Best Automatic

hOmeLabs 13 Gallon Automatic Trash Can

If you’re looking for a hands-free trash can to keep your dog out, consider the 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.

Pros
  • 2 size options
  • Split lid for more versatile countertop clearance
  • Stainless steel makes easy clean-up
Cons
  • Not locking lid
  • Some functionality loss over time
Best Indoor/Outdoor

Keter Baltimore 38 Gallon Trash Can

If you’re interested in an indoor/outdoor trash can to keep your pet out, check out the 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.

Pros
  • Durable resin construction
  • Double lid to hide trash bag
  • Fluid drawer for drip catch
Cons
  • Difficult to open (even for you!)
  • Not especially aesthetic for indoor use
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 one-step operation that your dog won’t be able to master.

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.

Pros
  • Silent close lid
  • Rear trash bag storage
  • 10-year warranty
Cons
  • simplehuman brand trash bags for optimal fit
  • No lock

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a dog-proof trash can and how does it work?

A dog-proof trash can is a trash can in which your dog is unable to get. There are varying degrees of resistance and depending on your dog’s tenacity, you may not need a completely proof trash can. You can get a trash can that requires motion over a sensor to open – there’s a good chance your dog will be unable to figure that out. You could also try a locking lid that will not open, even if your dog knocks the trash can over. – And with that in mind, you can also find a heavy-duty trash can that won’t topple over. A dog-proof trash can will have all of these features.

How do you dog-proof a trash can?

If you are unable to purchase a bespoke dog-proof trash can, there are ways to dog-proof it yourself. The simplest way is to put it behind a closed door. – A closet or pantry, perhaps. Along those lines are baby or dog gates that keep your dog out of the room your trash is in. You could also purchase a locking mechanism (think “baby-proofing”) and stick it on the lid and the side to make sure the trash cannot be opened without unlocking. They’re typically inexpensive, sometimes less than $5.

Why do dogs knock over trash cans?

While we may never know exactly what goes on in our dogs’ minds or why they knock over the trash, there are two very likely causes of this behavior. He may be bored.3 Taking him on more walks, and giving him plenty of chew toys may be all you need to stop this from happening. Additionally, he may just simply be curious. If you put in pleasant-smelling (to him) waste, then it’s natural for him to want to know what it is and try to get to it.

How do I get my dog to stop eating trash?

The easiest way to keep him from eating trash is making the trash can do-proof. The trash cans on our list above will do that, or you can move it. You may also want to train him to avoid the trash can – this is probably the most effective, but most difficult. A sealed lid will keep appealing smells from escaping and that may mitigate some temptation and as we mentioned, keeping your dog engaged can help tremendously to prevent boredom and trash picking.4

Article Sources

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.

  1. Oxford Veterinary Hospital. Trash Can Dangers For Your Pet. Ovhnc.com. Published August 14, 2017. Accessed March 23, 2021.
  2. Grossen J. Garbage Gut. Pacificveterinaryhospital.com. Published November 9, 2018. Accessed March 23, 2021.
  3. Gibeault S. Bored Dogs: How to Recognize Doggy Boredom (and Help!). Akc.org. Published April 24, 2019. Accessed March 23, 2021.
  4. Huval D. My dog eats everything! The potential complications of ingesting a foreign body. Aspenmeadowvet.com. Published November 19, 2014. Accessed March 23, 2021.