It’s the nightmare scenario we’ve all encountered. You come home from a night on the town to find your friendly pup has managed to tip the garbage can over. He’s covered in trash, your nice clean rug is a distant memory and the kitchen looks like a bombsite. But this can be avoided. You could lock your dog away in an inescapable crate, but there are better options available. Dogs may be getting smarter but luckily so are we. There are now a selection of affordable and quality-made trashcans that are designed with your playful pooch in mind. Dog proof garbage cans are designed for puppies during their early training stages. Your pup can be taught to learn that the garbage is a no-go area but this takes time. Since you can’t be home at all times to keep an eye on them, a dog proof trash can gives you the guarantee that whilst he’s learning the ropes, your kitchen doesn’t have to suffer.
Why dogs like your trash
Dogs are dogs. They’re curious, playful and if there’s one thing we know they love, it’s us. It doesn’t matter if you’re eating, drinking, sewing, peeling, cooking or going to the bathroom. Your pooch wants to see what you’re doing and he wants to be involved. That means that when you put your disposables in that large mysterious container in the kitchen, your dog is plotting right away how he can solve that mystery. Pups are also greedy. They’d eat all day if they could. The smell of food coupled with new smells they haven’t come across before are sure to get them wondering what it is you’re trying to hide from them.
Why you shouldn’t let your dog in the trash
It isn’t just your kitchen you need to worry about when your dog gets into your garbage. Dogs are wonderful animals but they are curious and clumsy creatures. Items like bones, bottle caps and glass can be very harmful to them. Some items can be very difficult for dogs to digest and cause them stomach problems. There are also many household items that are extremely poisonous to dogs. This can also include foods that are relatively safe for humans such as chocolate as well as discarded cleaning equipment.
Training your dog to stay out of the trash
Training can be a tricky process and have no doubt, it will take time. The great thing about training your dog yourself is that you can watch them progress into strong, well-adjusted dogs. Puppies are by nature, extremely mischievous. By being there from the beginning, you can get your pup to behave in a suitable way when he’s alone in the house. It also provides you with a great opportunity to bond with your dog and learn from each other. Here are some simple but effective ways to teach your dog directly to stay out of the trash:
Deter your dog during walks
Walking your dog is a great way for you to spend time together. It’s also a brilliant way to get your dog to obey and follow your instructions away from your home. Walking your dog brings them into contact with a new and exciting world. This is the perfect opportunity to teach them new skills. Using the words “leave” or “off” in an abrupt way is a great way to teach your dog what they can and cannot explore. You need to allow them to sniff and explore items that they would be allowed to in your home. When you come across an item that is off-limits, a quick “no” and a tug on the lead is enough. This on a regular basis will reinforce what your dog can and cannot interact with. They will eventually learn that certain items are OK and what they have to steer clear of.
It is important when you feed or treat your dog, that you maintain eye contact. This is how your dog will know that they are only supposed to eat when you are there. If you are there to give your permission, it will strengthen your bond with your dog. It will also teach your dog that good behavior and following instructions is more likely to lead to a reward.
It’s important that when your dog does as he is told or withdraws from the trash, he learns that he is being good. This can be anything from a biscuit to a small treat. Positive reinforcement is a great way for your dog to learn. If he begins to withdraw from trash with a quick pull of the lead or a swift “no!” it’s time for a treat. He will soon learn that being a ‘good boy’ is a positive experience.
Teach him to wait
Teaching your dog to wait is a brilliant way to teach him some self-control. It also allows you further time to bond and trust each other. There are two different ways to do this. Some trainers like to teach their dog to sit and then place a treat on the floor. Your dog will then learn not to eat until you have given permission. If he tries to take the treat before you give the command, you take the treat away. You will be amazed how quickly dogs learn from this. Some dog trainers opt instead to place the treat on their dog’s nose. This will also work but can cause dogs to snatch instead of wait. This might be better used in the later stages of training to avoid confusion and also to avoid injury on your part.
Other ways to stop your dog getting into the trash
Here are some other relatively simple things you can do to prevent your dog from raiding your trashcan:
Keep your dog fed
This may seem the simplest but it’s often ignored. Dogs like routines just like people and they’re brighter than we think. If your dog gets used to eating at a regular time, he’s far less likely to indulge in an afternoon trash feast. It’s also a great way of monitoring what your dog’s eaten and when.
There’s no need to be heavy handed with this one but you must let your pup know when he’s in the wrong. This is particularly beneficial for a puppy. Dogs can respond well to a stern voice or simply ignoring unwanted behavior (don’t reward ad behavior with attention!). If he knows he’s in the wrong, he’s far less likely to misbehave in future. It might not be fun to yell at him but I’m sure he’ll soon forgive you at dinner time.
Hide your trashcan
If your bin is not on display, your dog is unlikely to get any naughty ideas. Perhaps you have a small cupboard or separate room to hide your trashcan. If the temptation is not there, your dog is far less likely to misbehave. It also takes away the temptation if he’s bored or simply feeling mischievous. There are a number of items available to accommodate this approach such as the Rev-A-Shelf:
The Rev-A-Shelf fits comfortably inside your cupboards to keep your trashcans hidden from your curious dog. It’s simple to fit and allows you to quickly tuck your trashcan out of reach to remove temptation. The Rev-A-Shelf retails at around $70 but can be a welcome addition to your kitchen during your pups early years.
Bolt the lid
A cheap bolt from the hardware store will keep your curious dogs snout from sniffing where it doesn’t belong. It’s a relatively simple household task but it could save your pooch from causing an unwelcome mess.
6 Best Dog Proof Garbage Can Reviews
Teaching your dog in the ways described above is a long process and young puppies can take anything up to a year to learn new skills. As a result, there are a number of dog proof trash cans that have been designed especially for mischievous hungry pups or older dogs that just wont learn. This is a rough guide to 6 of the top models on the market right now:
1. simplehuman Semi-Round Step Trash Can
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This sleek trendy trashcan features a pedal at the bottom to open and a side lock at the top to prevent your dog from opening the door on his own. You simply allow the door to close and press the silent slide lock to secure. This bin stands at around 27″ and can hold anything up to a 13 gallon drawstring bag. The bin comes in a smooth jet black and retails at around £50 though for a slight $5 increase, you can choose from a selection of colors. This bin is odor-proof and is easy to wipe down if you have any spills. All in all, a fine product that offers great value for money. This trashcan comes with a 5 year warranty but if treated well is likely to have a much longer life.
2. simplehuman Slim Plastic Step Trash Can
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This slim tidy trashcan is ideal if you are struggling for space. The trashcan is only 10″ wide making it ideal to fit snugly between your stove and your fridge-freezer. Despite the size, this trashcan stands at 24″ and can still hold a 13 gallon garbage bag comfortably. This trashcan comes in a uniform black color for the rough price of $40. It is also available in a selection of different colors for anything up to $10 more depending on your preference. The bottom of the trashcan features built-in wheels so you can pull it out without difficulty and handy pedal to open the lid. In order to keep your dog out, the silent-close lid features a silent-lock that easily clicks into place and prevents the pedal from opening the lid. This trashcan is odorless as long as the lid remains closed. This trashcan would definitely suit someone in a smaller apartment.
3. Suncast GHW1732 Resin Wicker Trash Hideaway
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This wicker resin trash receptacle is designed with style in mind. This trashcan is ideal for outside but is so well-made it would be a welcome addition indoors too. The lid features a latching lid that must be unclipped to open. The lid has great grip and will stave off your dogs with ease. The trashcan stands around 32″ and can easily hold a 30 gallon trash bag. It is secure and heavy enough to avoid being toppled by eager dogs looking for a meal. The bags sit comfortably inside and can be replaced with ease. This would definitely suit a smart decking or patio area.
4. Rubbermaid Commercial Defenders Step-On Trash Can
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This heavy set white trashcan is constructed from white steel. It features a foot-pedal for hands-free operation and a heavy set lid to prevent your dogs from getting inside. The trashcan is stood at around 32″ making it tough for even the tallest dogs to get into. This trashcan is heavy and solid enough to prevent your dogs from knocking it over and can hold up to a 30 gallon trash bag. One problem with this trashcan is that it’s really heavy, anything up to 25 kilograms and that’s without any waste. This makes it near impossible for your dog to tip but also very difficult if you need to move it around. A great dog-proof trash can but it’s far too heavy to be practical. This trashcan also retails at around $200 and can cost a small fortune to deliver due to its weight and mass.
5. simplehuman Butterfly Step Trash Can
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This slim fit chrome trashcan is ideal once again if you are struggling for space. It features a handy metal pedal at the bottom to open and close the top. The top is fitted with two doors that open outwards and that close when you take your foot off the pedal. This is ideal to prevent either a large or medium-sized dog from getting inside. The bin itself is deceptively spacious for its slim size and can hold any 32 gallon trash bags. The inside of the unit comes out completely when you need to change to avoid any spills or mess. This unit weighs in at around 9 Kg but if you dog did manage to tip it, it would still be impossible for them to open as the door is completely controlled by the pedal. Although this unit retails at approximately $160, it is good enough quality to last you for many years and the pedal itself is designed to last for over 150,000 steps. All in all, this item will provide great value for money.
6. Rubbermaid RM5F8201 Animal Stopper Trash Can
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Although this trashcan might not be as visually appealing as the previous models, it’s just as fit for keeping out curious dogs from your garbage. Despite that, the material is not strong enough for keeping out many other unwanted pests. The lid clips on comfortably on the top and is near impossible for an animal to open. The trashcan stands at around 34″ inches tall and can easily hold as 32 gallon garbage bag. One major problem with this trashcan is dogs are able to tip it, particularly if it does not contain a lot. On the bright side, when the unit is tipped, the lid will still remain secured. Your dog will be unable to get inside as both sides of the lid must be unclipped. The trashcan itself is made of plastic which a household dog would struggle to break but raccoons have been known to chew through them outside. All in all, for around $50 this trashcan is certainly fit for purpose in the house with your dogs but unlikely to survive against other animals outside.
Different dogs behave differently around trashcans and it can be difficult to know if a dog proof trashcan is necessary. Some dogs are simply more curious than others and no amount of training is going to prevent them from trying to enter your trashcan either way. If this is the case with your greedy pooch, it might be worth investing some extra money into a high quality model trashcan such as the simplehuman Semi-Round Step Trash Can or the Suncast GHW1732 Resin Wicker Trash Hideaway to take away that temptation. If on the other hand you feel that your dog will behave after you’ve trained him a little better, a temporary solution such as the Rubbermaid Animal Stopper Trash Can would be ideal for the puppy phase. Hopefully, your dog will be able to learn that sticking his nose in the garbage is not in his best interests if he wants to see you with a smile on your face.