Dog and Trash Can

The Best Dog Proof Trash Cans (2022 Reviews)

Our veterinarians research and recommend the best products. Learn more about our process. We may receive a commission on purchases made from our links.

You can’t blame your dog for wanting access to the tasty garbage buffet in your kitchen, but a dog proof trash can will keep them out of mischief. Of course, you don’t want the contents of your trash can strewn across your home, but more importantly, you need to keep your canine companion safe from hazards found in your garbage, including bacteria, sharp objects and foods that are toxic to dogs.

Our vet advisor, Dr. Chyrle Bonk, chose our top products based on her experience and expertise. They selected the iTouchless 13 Gallon Pet-Proof Sensor Trash Can due to its convenient sensor lid with a safety lock to keep pets out. Read how she chose the top 5.

Our Vet’s Top Pick

iTouchless 13 Gallon Pet-Proof Sensor Trash Can

Thanks to its PetGuard technology, your dog won’t be getting into this trash can.
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.

Vet’s Picks Model Rating Automatic Locking Size
Best Overall iTouchless 13 Gallon Pet-Proof Sensor Trash Can 4.4 13 gallon
Best Budget Rubbermaid Classic 13 Gallon Step-On Trash Can 4.3 13 gallon
Best Touchless Glad Stainless Steel Touchless Trash Can 4.6 13 or 20 gallon
Best for Kitchens simplehuman Rectangular Hands-Free Kitchen Step Trash Can 4.8 12 or 14.5 gallon
Best for Bathrooms iTouchless SoftStep Small Stainless Steel Step Trash Can 4.6 1.3 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

  • Anyone whose dog roots around in their trash can – Only you know whether or not your dog can be trusted around a trash can. If they’ve got into your garbage before, they’ll probably try it again, so a dog proof trash can is a must-have.
  • People who leave their dogs unattended for long periods – The longer you leave your dog home alone, the more likely they are to get bored and get up to mischief.
  • Dog caregivers who put potentially harmful items in their trash cans – If you always put broken glass straight in your outdoor trash receptacle or food waste straight in your compost bin, it wouldn’t be such a disaster if your dog got in your garbage can. However, few of us can say we never put anything in our trash can that could potentially harm our dogs.

Who Should Not Buy a Dog Proof Trash Can

  • Pet parents whose dogs have never showed interest in the trash can – Some dogs simply have no interested in rooting through your trash, in which case you don’t need a garbage can that’s dog proof.
  • Owners of very small dogs – If your dog is extremely small, they simply wouldn’t be able to get into a trash can, especially a large kitchen one.

Research Tips (from a Veterinarian)

Making something that is truly dog proof is a difficult, even near impossible ordeal. But there are better options than others and the best dog proof trash cans have a few things in common. These tips will help you find the ideal one for you and your canine companion.

  1. Think about durability – Thin or brittle plastic isn’t going to keep a determined dog out, and you’ll want a trash can that’s a little more substantial. Look for heavy duty plastic or metal in order to dissuade sharp teeth and powerful jaws. Remember, it’s not just about the can – the lid, hinges, and latch mechanism have to be durable as well.
  2. Pay attention to the lid – Dog proof trash cans need a lid that fits snugly. It should also stay on when the can is tipped over and be durable enough to withstand some chewing. Again, heavy duty plastic or metal with some type of latch is best. Lids may use their weight or a mechanism to keep them latched.
  3. Consider the size of your dog – Little dogs typically don’t need the heavy duty trash can that bigger dogs do, even though there are some cunning small breeds. For smaller dogs, a tall can may be enough. However, larger dogs will need a locking lid instead.
  4. Know that odor control plays a part – If only trash cans could also contain odor as well as trash. While this can’t be completely resolved, some trash cans are better than others at containing those tantalizing odors that piques a dog’s interest. Having a tight-fitting lid is the best way to do this, as well as being made from stainless steel or another easily disinfected material.

How Much Do They Cost?

Between $20 and $150

Dog proof trash cans cost anywhere between $20 and $150. A lot will depend on the size of the bin, with small bathroom bins costing less than large kitchen bins. You’ll also pay more for models that have automatic motion sensor technology and locking lids.

Our Methodology: Why Trust Pets Digest

As a veterinarian, I know how important it is to keep your pet safe from the dangers within the average trash can. From personal experience, talking to clients and colleagues, I know what makes a good pet proof trash can, such as a heavy or locking lid, a pedal or automatic design that dogs can’t open, and overall durability. That said, all of these features sound great, until you get into the trash can aisle. If you’re still looking for some advice, try talking to pet store or hardware employees for their recommendations. Veterinarians, boarding facilities and groomers are also good sources. Check with family and friends, especially those with similar dogs to yours to see if they’ve found the perfect dog proof garbage can. – Dr. Chyrle Bonk

The Best Dog Proof Trash Can: Full Reviews

Our Vet’s Top Pick

iTouchless 13 Gallon Pet-Proof Sensor Trash Can

Thanks to its PetGuard technology, your dog won’t be getting into this trash can.

The iTouchless 13 Gallon Pet-Proof Sensor Trash Can has an automatic motion sensor but also features a PetGuard locking mechanism so your dog can’t activate the sensor and open up the bin. It’s even suited to determined dogs who would normally knock over the can to get the tasty trash inside.

It also features an AbsorbX activated carbon odor filter, which helps reduce odor from trash and can keep dogs from being tempted by food waste or other deliciously stinky garbage inside. As an added bonus, it has a fingerprint-resistant stainless steel finish that looks great.

pros
  • Locking lid helps keep dogs out
  • Features an odor-absorbing filter
  • Can be powered by batteries or AC power
Cons
  • It’s possible for big dogs to activate the motion sensor if you don’t engage the lock
  • Some buyers report the motion sensor burning out after 1-2 years
Best Budget

Rubbermaid Classic Step-On Trash Can

The step-on mechanism keeps curious dogs at bay.

If you’re looking for an affordable waste can to deter dogs from getting their nose inside, consider the Rubbermaid Classic Step-On Trash Can. It’s made from a durable resin with a seamless design that makes it tough. The lid fits closely so it isn’t easy for dogs to lift with their snouts and they certainly can’t operate the foot pedal.

It works well for pooches who might casually try to lift the lid, but determined trash thieves will be able to open it by knocking it over, so think about the size of your dog and how into trash they are before you buy.

pros
  • Hands-free step-on mechanism
  • Durable design
  • Easy to clean
Cons
  • It isn’t enough to foil determined dogs
  • You have to attach the lid yourself and it’s slightly fiddly
Best touchless

Glad Stainless Steel Trash Can

Thanks to the odor control, dogs are less interested in raiding this garbage can.

Does your dog only nose through the trash when they’re tempted by a particularly strong odor inside? Then the Glad Stainless Steel Trash Can could be the ideal option. With Clorox odor protection, it neutralizes those tempting smells that make your dog unable to resist the siren song of the garbage.

What’s more, the lid fits tightly and the motion sensor isn’t sensitive enough to register curious dog noses as hands. You can choose two automatic options: one with a 13 gallon capacity and one with a 20 gallon capacity. There’s also a 1.2 gallon version, but this comes with foot pedal operation.

pros
  • Dogs can’t operate motion sensor
  • Attractive brushed stainless steel finish
  • Closes automatically after five seconds
Cons
  • Would be even better with a locking mechanism
  • Could be more durable overall
Best Kitchen

simplehuman Rectangular Hands-Free Kitchen Step Trash Can

A highly durable heavy duty can that keeps most dogs out.

Durable and stylish, the simplehuman Rectangular Hands-Free Kitchen Step Trash Can is a nice option for anyone who doesn’t mind spending more on a product that will last. The lid closes flat at the top, so dogs can’t work their noses in to push it open. However, it will flip open if the can’s tipped over on its back, so if your canine companion is highly motivated to steal your trash, they can find a way.

It has a foot pedal mechanism and a soft-close lid. The body is made from fingerprint-resistant brushed stainless steel that looks particularly good in kitchens with stainless steel appliances. You can choose from two sizes: 12 or 14.5 gallons.

pros
  • The lid is tricky for dogs to get into
  • It’s well-made and durable
  • It has a convenient liner pocket on the rear
Cons
  • Dogs may be able to get inside if they tip the bin over
  • It’s on the pricey side
Best Bathroom

iTouchless SoftStep Small Stainless Steel Step Trash Can

This durable can is tough for dogs to get into.

With a compact 1.3 gallon capacity, the iTouchless SoftStep Small Stainless Steel Step Trash Can is ideal for use in the bathroom or as an office waste paper bin. The lid opens with a foot pedal and has no obvious lip, which keeps doggy noses from being able to flip it open.

Thanks to the removable inner bucket, it’s easy to empty when it’s full up, even if you choose not to use a liner. It has a non-slip base, which is great for hard floors.

pros
  • Ideal size for bathroom use
  • Lid is hard for dogs to nose open
  • Stainless steel finish
Cons
  • Big dogs could easily tip it over if determined
  • The lid isn’t smudge-resistant

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do you need a dog proof trash can?

Trash isn’t just your dog’s wildest dream, in fact, it’s a great place for bacteria as well. When a dog tears into your trash can, they’re not just spreading garbage around, they may also be sharing bacteria that can make them and you sick.

There are also some things we throw away that can injure our canine companions. Think broken glass or plastic fragments. When a dog goes ripping into your trash can, they also risk sharp or pointed objects poking or cutting them or coming across objects that are choking hazards.

Why are dogs attracted to trash?

Dogs have powerful noses that can smell food waste in trash cans. The trouble is, some human food can be harmful to dogs. Chocolate, raisins, and xylitol are only a few. There are even more foods that, when spoiled, can cause your dog serious illness. Keeping your trash contained can help prevent dogs from eating those foods that are bad for them.

Can dogs open motion sensor trash cans?

This depends on the trash can and the dog. Motion sensors are on the top of a trash can, so small dogs will have no chance. Some motion sensors are extremely sensitive, so if your big dog was investigating with their nose, the lid would open up. However, some require a hand to be waved near the sensor and won’t open up for pets.

How do you secure a trash can from a dog?

Choose a dog proof trash can and it should be enough to keep your dog at bay. Otherwise, consider putting the trash can on the counter or keeping your dog out of the kitchen, bathroom or other trash can-containing room while you aren’t around to supervise.