Sarah Wilson

Dog Expert

The Ultimate Dog Proof Trash Can


dog proof trash canThe quest for a good dog proof trash can can be unnecessarily long without good information.

If you’re reading this blog you either have a trash-hound or are trying not to have a trash-hound. Either way, here’s what you need to know: you need to take steps to make the trash less appealing (see below) and less accessible.

The less accessible can take a few forms, my favorite sort of can (if you aren’t going to put the whole shebang in a closet or under the counter) is one with a locking lid, as seen below.

Plain lids and swinging lids don’t deter the serious canine trash seeker. Actually, there probably isn’t a single dog proof trash can that will ward off all dogs of all sizes and all levels of determination. However, some are better than others and here are your best bets:

Simple Human Trash Can
simplehuman 50L-Liter / 13-Gallon Semi-Round Step Trash Can
Foot pedal, quiet closing, lid locking can. Lid can stay open, when you need it do. Simple Human simply makes excellent trash cans.

Dog Proof Trash Cans

simplehuman 40-Liter Slim Plastic Step Can
Similar features as above in a slimmer, fits-in-a-tight-space design.

simplehuman Rectangular Step Trash Can, Stainless Steel, Plastic Lid, 38 L / 10 Gal
Same as above. Lid designed to open and close close to the wall which is convenient.

And here is the one I use in my kitchen. Love it. But Pip isn’t a trash tipper. I never give her cause to tip. All trash with food residue on it, of any kind, is put into the freezer and taken out on trash day. All food scraps are composted safely out of canine reach or frozen then taken out in one fell swoop. Only paper and other packaging is actually thrown away.

simplehuman trash can
simplehuman Round Retro Step Trash Can, Red Steel, 30-Liter / 8-Gallon
Sturdy, metal, retro trash can that comes in various other sizes and colors.

Alternatively, you can try locking the lid using velcro or childproof locks or penning off the can with an ex-pen. But if your dog is that determined, you’re better off gating your dog out of the room or locking the can away from the dog.


  1. Hi thanks for these awesome recommendations. Are there any trash cans that fixes with the wall? My dog usually kicks the normal trash can, and everything spoils up here and there 🙁

    • It’s a great idea, Marie. I don’t know of cans that do that but putting a strong eye bolt into a stud in the wall then attaching the can to that might do the trick. Some others have used indoor fence units to keeps dogs away from the cans entirely if putting the can behind a closed door isn’t an option. Good luck! – Sarah

  2. simplehuman Rectangle Step Trash Can, Grey Plastic, 45L Liters / 12 Gallons doesn’t seem to be sold anymore by simplehuman 🙁 We had our hearts set on the Rectangle. Guess we now have to buy the simplehuman 50L-Liter / 13-Gallon Semi-Round Step Trash Can instead 🙁

  3. I have the trash can at the very top, and it does NOT stop my dog from knocking it over and opening it up. Even when it’s locked.

    • Then time to remove the can from the dog or the dog from the can. Once they learn they CAN break in it can become a hobby. 🙁

    • Me, too. My dog simply knocks it over and the lid comes off at the hinges, and my dog feasts. Sigh…

      • Attach it to the wall, put it in a closet, put an expen around it, freeze food garbage until trash day, use an indoor fence unit to keep the dog back. There are solutions.

  4. I’ve been researching this for a while now and I’m coming across a lot of the obvious being stated which, I think, is because there isn’t a really great option available. I work in a vet and I know very well that a determined mastiff is going to get in the garage even if it’s in a tank, but there should be an option available that fits most situations. The simple human ones with locks are great for cats, we actually use them in the clinic, but they unlock sometimes when tipped and a dog that has a general idea of where the can opens can open it anyway once the can is tipped with little trouble. But bolting the can to the wall is so simple and so smart I’m a little embarrassed I didn’t think of it, but mostly just so freaking happy that I don’t have to spend $60 a trash can that my old lab is going to get into anyway. Also, sidenote, if you do shell out the big bucks for a simple human can and find it doesn’t keep your pooch out you’ll be disappointed to discover that they don’t offer refunds in that situation because the warranty doesn’t cover pet incidents. It isn’t advertised as pet proof and it often isn’t. You would think someone would notice the pages and pages of Google searches of people searching for this product and make a reasonably dog proof trash can, but nothing so far.

    • For such a dog I simply put the trash in a closet or bar the dog from the kitchen when I am not home. Once a dog knows they CAN get into a can, it can be hard to keep them out of one so removal of the can and keeping ALL food items out of the can is the best approach.

  5. Tried simple human with pet lock. Does not work!

    • If you have an experienced and dedicated trash dog then you need to do what I suggest in the blog: keep food and food-smelling items out of the trash until trash day or put the trash out of reach of the dog or block the dog out of the area or crate dog when you are away. But, once the dog learns that ripping into a can earns them food treats, no can will stop them. Good luck!

  6. I love the simple human trash can and bought it to keep my dogs from getting into the trash. However, my smaller dog jumps up, knocks it over and opens the lid. I sill like the can and will have to come up with some kind of deterrent for my dogs. It definitely isn’t dog proof. I have the semi-round 50L can.

    • Hi Lisa – Persistent dogs who already know the glory of trash require a different approach, for sure. I’d suggest setting up a clip so you can make the can untippable and to store food related garbage in the freezer until trash day. Make it harder to get into and give him no reason to go dumpster diving and things should get better. Good luck! Sarah

  7. Figures a beagle is in the photo. I have a 4 month old that loves the trash! He opens the cabinet it resides in. Ugg!

  8. My 30lb mutt has figured out that he can open the basement door, pull the can from under the counter, push the can DOWN the stairs, and voilà! Treats!

    Freezing isn’t an option in my house as we are a family of seven humans, two dogs, two cats, and an RES. Way too much trash to fit in an already full freezer. Plus it’s really not a good idea to compost meat products so altho veggie waste and the like are composted some things just can’t be.

    I even tried an eye latch for the basement but he pushes a chair to the island, hops up, and unhooks the door. We have a simple human can.

    • That is one smart dog! 1) Not all trash to the freezer but just meat/cheese related packaging and bones. 2) There are hooks and eyes that have a lock on them so he can’t push it open. Replace your hook with that and things should get easier. 3) And you can put an eye bolt in the wall and clip the can to it with a bungee cord or such. 4) You can use an indoor fence unit (a mini) to keep him away from the can 100%. Good luck!

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