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Which dog-proof trash can is best?

Keeping your dog out of the trash can be a tedious task at best. If the contents of your garbage can entice your pup, it might be time to upgrade to a dog-proof trash can. Various features set dog-proof trash cans apart from other models.

Finding the best dog proof trash can for your home can put an end to Rover’s dumpster dives. If you’re looking for the most durable and affordable dog-proof trash can for your kitchen, the Simplehuman Butterfly Lid 45-Liter Step Trash Can is the top choice.

What to know before you buy a dog-proof trash can


Before picking out a dog-proof kitchen trash can, first measure the space where you’re going to put it. Regardless of shape, most kitchen trash cans measure 15 to 22 inches wide and 20 to 26 inches tall. Consider whether it will be next to a wall, table or appliance and which direction it needs to face.


Most kitchen trash cans use bags that hold 9 to 15 gallons of waste. Households that produce more waste may benefit from trash cans with a larger capacity. Keep in mind that the longer it takes to fill up your trash can, the more likely your dog will become interested in the smells it emits.


Although you can find trash cans without lids, most kitchen trash cans come with lids attached with a hinge. In addition, many trash-can lids have additional features like a smooth-close mechanism that automatically closes the lid or a locking mechanism that can click into place.


Kitchen trash cans can be made of plastic, aluminum, stainless steel or a combination. Higher-quality cans use heavier, more durable materials, which help prevent your dog from tipping it over to nose through the contents. However, trash cans made primarily of stainless steel come at a premium price.


If you’ve ever come home to a dog who tipped over the trash can, weight may play a factor in which garbage bin you choose. Trash cans made with heavier materials such as metal are more likely to stay standing when bumped or kicked by your family pet. On the other hand, containers made of plastic weigh less and may tip over more easily, depending on where you place them.

What to look for in a quality dog-proof trash can

Auto-close lid

Trash cans with an auto-close and smooth-close feature ensure that every time you open the lid, you know it will close again within seconds. These trash can lids are easy to use, quiet and work even when you forget to close the top yourself.

Locking mechanism

Trash cans that offer a locking-lid mechanism provide an extra layer of reassurance that your dog won’t find their way into the bin. Locking lids generally have a clasp, button or clip at the edge of the trash can’s lid that holds the lid in place, even when tampered with.

Step pedal

A step pedal or foot pedal at the base of a kitchen trash can offers a convenient way to open it without touching the lid. These step pedals are especially useful when doing chores, preparing meals or working on projects where you don’t have free hands. In addition, step pedals inherently keep dogs out by requiring you to step directly on the pedal to access the bin. When the pedal is released, the lid closes. For more information, check the buying guide to kitchen step trash cans on BestReviews.

How much you can expect to spend on a dog-proof trash can

Most dog-proof kitchen trash cans range from $50 to $150. More expensive options are available for multi-bin trash cans or models made with premium materials.

Dog-proof trash can FAQ

Can dogs open trash cans with step pedals?

A. Yes and no. Dogs could technically open the lid while pressing their paws down on the step pedal. However, they would need to release the pedal and stand up to reach the top opening, inevitably closing the lid.

How can you prevent your dog from digging through the trash?

A. A few changes can help discourage your dog from trying to fiddle with the kitchen trash can. Most importantly, make sure your trash can has a lid and that your dog can’t reach their head into the top of the bin. Also, invest in a dog-proof kitchen trash can that is difficult or impossible for your dog to open.

Make sure you take the trash out regularly, especially when it’s extra smelly. You may try giving your dog a treat or chew toy to satiate their need to gnaw on something. If you haven’t already, you can work on training your dog with the command “leave it” to walk away from the trash and go elsewhere. Lastly, evaluate whether your dog is bored or anxious, and consider spending more time getting rid of your dog’s energy through other activities.

What’s the best dog-proof trash can to buy?

Top dog-proof trash can

Simplehuman Butterfly Lid 45-Liter Step Trash Can

Simplehuman Butterfly Lid 45-Liter Step Trash Can

What you need to know: This durable butterfly-lid trash can has a unique opening mechanism that prevents your dog from nosing around in the trash.

What you’ll love: A heavy-duty step pedal controls the opening hinge for hands-free chores. The butterfly-lid design extends the height when fully open, so pets can’t see or reach inside the bin. At almost 19 pounds with a non-skid base, this trash can isn’t easily knocked over by an average dog. It has a 12.5-gallon capacity between two removable inner buckets for separating waste and easy cleanup. With the butterfly opening, this trash can fits up against any wall or appliance. The fingerprint-proof stainless steel finish gives it a modern, polished look.

What you should consider: It’s a slim trash bin, so it may fill up more quickly than expected.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon, The Home Depot and Wayfair

Top dog-proof trash can for the money

Simplehuman Semi-Round Kitchen 50-Liter Step Trash Can

Simplehuman Semi-Round Kitchen 50-Liter Step Trash Can

What you need to know: This semi-round trash can features a locking lid and easily fits up against walls.

What you’ll love: You can lock this trash can’s lid by sliding the mechanism inward once it’s closed. This kitchen trash can holds up to 13 gallons. The semi-round design is ideal for placing against kitchen walls or appliances to save space. You can choose from five colors.

What you should consider: This trash can is plastic with a painted finish and may not look as high-end as other models.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon, Bed Bath & Beyond and Wayfair

Worth checking out

Simplehuman Dual Compartment Rectangular 58-Liter Step Trash Can

Simplehuman Dual Compartment Rectangular 58-Liter Step Trash Can

What you need to know: This is a heavy-duty dual-compartment trash can that’s perfect for preventing pets from snooping through the bin.

What you’ll love: The 21-pound container is no match for any dog that tries to tip it over. The two compartments include a 9-gallon trash can and a 6.3-gallon recycling bin for convenient waste disposal. The strong and wide steel pedal provides a touchless experience while preventing dogs from getting in. The manufacturer offers a 10-year warranty. It comes in black and brushed stainless steel.

What you should consider: The price point is significantly higher than other alternatives.

Where to buy: Sold by Bed Bath & Beyond and Wayfair


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Katy Palmer writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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