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Best Dog Proof Trash Cans: These Locking Cans Will Keep Pups Out

Looking for a trash can that will keep Fido out? Many dog owners find out the hard way that owning a dog-proof garbage can is a must if you own a nosy canine. In this review, we break down our favorite models by comparing their cost, quality, brand history, and more!


Last Updated: March 9, 2021 | 7 min read

Dog Proof Trash Can

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Looking for the best dog-proof trash can to keep your pup out of the garbage? Did you recently have an incident that makes you regret not locking up your trash? Maybe you’re coming in from a long day at work, or a night out with friends; you turn the key to your front door and open it, fully expecting to see your buddy on the other side, overjoyed at the prospect of you arriving home?

Instead, you’re greeted by one rather sad and dejected-looking doggo and a home that’s been completely and totally littered with garbage. Sadly, this nightmare scenario is something that all dog owners deal with at least a time or two. Not only is the mess a huge pain to clean up, but it can be dangerous for your dog, too.

Thankfully, that’s where a dog-proof trash can enters the picture. Today, we’re going to take a closer look at everything you need to know and take a look at some of the more secure garbage cans on the market today.

At a Glance: Our Favorite Dog Trash Cans

SimpleHuman Trash Can Step
Our Rating

Best Overall

SimpleHuman Steel Trash Can

SONGMICS Trash Can 16
Our Rating

Popular Pick

SONGMICS Airtight Trash Can

GLAD Stainless Locking Can
Our Rating

Budget Pick

Glad Stainless Trash Can

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Buyer’s Guide

Guilty Dog in Kitchen
There are multiple factors to consider before buying a secure trash bin.

Understandably, you are probably looking for a can that looks halfway decent in your kitchen. You don’t want your friends, family, and neighbors don’t chuckle when they come over.  With that being said, functionality is important too. You don’t want your dog ingesting something that could put them in the animal hospital.

Regardless of the brand or product you choose, there’s a few traits to keep in mind. You’ll want to evaluate several different characteristics when comparing trashcans.

Build Quality

The most important characteristic to look for is how well built the trash can is. Basic models that are made from lightweight plastic or metal are no match for any determined dog. These materials do nothing to deter your pet from getting into the garbage.

Whether it’s built from metal or plastic, you’ll want to choose a trashcan that’s built to last and made from heavy-duty materials. This consideration becomes especially important if you have a large dog that can tip the can over.

Tip and Fall Proof

This factor is especially important if your dog is smart. If they have no trouble making their way into a trash can that’s easily tampered with, you must make this a primary factor. Even locking lids can be easily knocked off if they aren’t built specifically to prevent dogs or other animals from entering.

It’s one thing if the garbage can is able to be knocked over. What’s important is that your dog won’t be able to get to the contents of the can, even if it tips and falls. The best options provide superior protection even when the can is knocked over.

Bigger & Better

Obviously, a bigger garbage can will be more difficult for your dog to get into than a smaller one. Smaller cans are easy to push around and easier to manipulate. While it may not be possible to purchase a large garbage can if you’re using it in a kitchen, bedroom, or common room of your home, larger garbage cans are more difficult for dogs to break into.

Locking Mechanism

If you’re looking for the utmost in security, consider a can that locks. It’s not a bad idea to consider a garbage can that has multiple safety features in place to keep pets and small children from getting into the garbage.

While the functionality of these varies from brand to brand, most operate with a step lever as well as a lock on the lid that must be turned before the lid will open. This also prevents the can from being compromised if it’s tipped over.

Additional Tips

A locking trash bin is probably the best way to keep your dog from nosing around in the trash, but there are some other ways to keep your dog out of the trash as well. Combining these methods with a new dog-proof garbage can will be an especially effective way of eliminating your pooch’s fascination with the garbage.

Many dog owners have found success by spraying something to deter their dogs from trying to get into the garbage. If your dog is licking or chewing on the garbage, bitter apple spray is another effective option you may want to consider. Ultimately, keeping things out of the trash your dog may love is probably the safest bet. Try to throw away pork bones or other doggy delectables in an outdoor garbage can when possible.

Best Dog Proof Trash Cans

Dog Destroyed Trash Can
Purchasing a secure trash bin will make life easier for both you, and your dog.

Again, we know that looks play a huge part. You don’t want an eyesore sitting in your kitchen. That’s why we’ve listed the most popular picks first, simply because they incorporate functionality and practicality. Further down our list, you’ll see our budget picks & more. Without further ado, let’s jump right into our favorite trash cans that you can pick up in order to keep Fido locked down.

SimpleHuman 15.3 Gallon

SimpleHuman Trash Can
  • Five different color options.
  • 15-gallon capacity.
  • Soft-close silent lid.
  • Durable steel pedal.
  • Fingerprint-resistant coating.
  • Liner holds bags in place.
  • Eco-friendly (two sides).

If you’re looking for the best you can buy, look no further than this stainless-steel dual compartment option from SimpleHuman.

This container features a fingerprint-resistant stainless-steel finish that’s available in a variety of colors to suit the decor in your home. The moving parts are all heavy-duty, and the foot pedal is designed to last more than twenty years. A silent lid is completely quiet when opened or closed.

Inside, two separate compartments allow you to house your garbage and recycling in a single unit. Or, you could use both sides for garbage. A wide steel pedal is virtually impossible for most dogs to operate, making this model effectively dog-proof.

We love the looks of this can, how it has two containers in one unit, has a heavy duty pedal and carries a 10 year warranty.

SongMics 16 Gallon

  • Brushed steel.
  • Two separate bins.
  • Hands-free operation.
  • Fingerprint-resistant coating.
  • Fits straight up against a wall or island.
  • Quiet open & close.
  • Durable construction.

If you’re looking to add a high-end touch to your home, this stainless-steel garbage can is a great choice. It’s pet-proof and more affordable than many competitors. The 16-gallon dual compartment will also provide options for both trash and recycling.

This can costs about half what other high-end garbage cans do, but it still provides many of the same great features that are exclusive to the top-of-the-line garbages. There are even some additional features you won’t find on some other models.

This garbage can has two separate containers, with two independent lids and foot pedals. That way, you can open the lid to the garbage without opening the lid to the recycling compartment, and vice versa. Available in several attractive stainless-steel finishes, this can also offers handles on either side to make transport a breeze.

The lid closes softly and quietly, and the foot pedals are heavy duty and built to last. Inside, each independent bins has a stainless steel carrying handle, so it can be easily lifted out of the enclosure when it’s time to change the garbage.

We love the cost on this unit.  The dual compartments have recessed carry handles for easy removal and movement.  It also has a stain and fingerprint-resistant finish.

Sterilite Step On 12.6 Gallon

Sterlite 12.6 Locking Can
  • Durable plastic finish.
  • Locking lid.
  • Fits neatly against walls.
  • Stays locked when tipped over.
  • Protects against inquisitive dogs.
  • Budget-friendly.
  • Made in the United States.

For pet owners looking for an economic dog-proof garbage can with an especially effective lock, this model from Sterilite could be perfect.

With a 12.6-gallon capacity, this garbage can is perfectly suited for the kitchen or outdoors, but it’s sleek enough for other rooms, too. The lid of the can is operated with a foot pedal, and a turn lock on the lid is completely pet-proof, even when the can is knocked over.

A simple twist of the knob on top of the can allows you to unlock the can for easy operation. Sold in a pack of this can is perfect for people who need multiple dog proof garbage cans for their home.

Compared to other dog-proof trash cans on the market, this is the only option that provides a lock that no dog will be able to operate.

We love that this can is dog proof, affordable and the D-shape fits nicely in any room.

Glad Stainless 13 Gallon

GLAD Trash Can
  • High-quality at a reasonable cost.
  • Three different colors.
  • Two different sizes.
  • Soft-closing lid.
  • Fingerprint-resistant shell.
  • Rear bag storage compartment.
  • Odor protected.

This is another viable option for anyone looking for a pet-proof garbage can. It offers a second level of security thanks to the step-on mechanism. This makes this popular 13 gallon can from Glad a solid choice.

This model features attractive two-tone styling and a quiet close lid. These add a high-end touch to this economical garbage can. It features hands-free operation with an easy-to-use touch step. There’s also storage on the back where you can keep additional waste bags so you don’t have to dig under your kitchen sink.

At 13 gallons, it’s ideal for most situations. Its rounded sides and flat back fit perfectly flush against any wall in the kitchen, on the deck, or in any other room in the home.

We love that this can looks nice in your kitchen. It also has a lockable lid, and is budget-friendly.

Hefty Touch Lid 13.3 Gallon

Hefty Touch Lid Trash Can
  • Budget-friendly price.
  • Can be used indoors & outdoors.
  • Touch-lid keeps contents locked up.
  • Larger opening for waste.
  • Fits up to 13.3 gallons.
  • Locks in smells.
  • Lid may detach if knocked over.

If there’s one brand you’d expect to puppy-proof the garbage can, it’s Hefty. Look, it may not be the sexiest topic. But Hefty is an industry leader at bringing affordable garbage management solutions to the market. This 13.3-gallon garbage can provides a great blend of style, value, and performance. This makes it perfect for anyone looking for a dog-proof garbage can.

This can is 13.3 gallons, which is a bit larger than most of the other popular single container garbage cans. Its large size is ideal for the kitchen, or outdoors. It’s still small enough to be used in other rooms if necessary.

When it comes to keeping your dog at bay, this garbage can features a touch lid on the top of the can. This means it will be able to keep all small and medium breeds from getting into the can. This model is available in black, white, or bronze.

We love that this can is affordable, has an effective top lock. It also appears to be made in the United States.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Why does my dog get into the trash?

    While buying a dog-proof trash can is one way to help avoid ever having to come home to a garbage-filled hellscape, it’s only half the battle. You should also try and learn why your dog has such a nose for the trash so that you can correct their behavior moving forward. Here’s a few reasons why this might happen.

    Something Smells Great: One of the most common reasons why a dog breaks into the garbage is because something in it is piquing their interest. This is often an issue in the kitchen garbage. Those scraps from the dishes or other food waste may be disgusting to you, but chances are, it’s very appetizing for your pup.

    They're Hungry: While your dog may be getting a delicious and nutritious diet, if they’re breaking into your garbage, it may indicate that they aren’t getting quite enough food from you. It’s easy to get into a routine when it comes to feeding your dog. But, your dog’s needs change as time goes by, and there’s a chance they may need more food than what you’ve been providing.

    They Are Acting Out: Many dogs will ransack the garbage or have other similarly destructive behaviors if they aren’t getting the attention and stimulation they need from you. Consider your dog’s activity level. Do they get plenty of walks or adequate yard time? Do they have durable toys that allow them to let out some pent-up energy?

    You Need Reinforcements: If you can’t put your finger on why your dog may be acting out in this way, especially if they’re repeatedly trying to get into the garbage, it may be a good idea for you to enlist in a qualified dog trainer for help. You can also crate train. Having the right crate is also an important piece of making sure your pup is cared for.

  • How much should I spend on a secure trash can?

    This depends largely on whether or not you need your garbage can to look like, well, less of a garbage can. While some of the best dog-proof garbage cans are available for well under $100, there are options that cost upwards of $200 as well.

    If you’re looking for a can with a decorative function, or additional features, like touchless operation, you may want to consider a more expensive can. If that’s not important to you, you may be better served by a more affordable option.

  • Can I dog-proof my current garbage can?

    Depending on the garbage can you have now, you may be able to effectively dog-proof it without having to replace it. There are universal garbage can locks that fit a variety of trash can styles, allowing you to lock the lid to the can to prevent it from being opened. While these locks are quite effective, they also need to be unlocked before you can use the garbage, too.

    You can also do things to your existing trash can to make it more difficult for your dog to break into. Some things, like placing weights or bricks in the bottom of the can, or placing a weight on top of the lid when you aren’t using it, can be helpful. If the can is outdoors, consider attaching it directly to an exterior surface so it can’t be knocked over.

  • Is a plastic or metal trash can best?

    This question boils down to a matter of personal preference, with some people preferring the look of a metal garbage can to a plastic one. The fact is, there are some equally high-quality options available in both materials. If you’re looking for the most durable garbage can possible, a high-density plastic model is the least likely to show wear and tear.

Final Thoughts

Each of these garbage cans is a solid option. If you’re determined to keep your dog out of the garbage, one product, in particular, caught our eye. The Glad Stainless 13 gallon is an excellent combination of both cost, and quality.

Each of the cans on our list provides an added level of security over a standard garbage can. This can does so all while making sure it won’t empty your pocketbook. If you’re looking for a stainless-steel garbage can, the SongMics dual container garbage above offers a great blend of value and intuitive features you can’t find on other models.

If budget isn’t a concern, the SimpleHuman 15.3 gallon should be your pick. It provides as much elegance as you can get out of a container where you store your garbage. Each of these options will do just fine, but it all depends on your budget, and what you feel will look best while being functional in your home.

Big white dog laying on dog bed

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1 Comment

  1. do you have suggestions for dog proof dishwashers my dog keeps pressing buttons and messing up the cyclels

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