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Nerdy Science in the Kitchen

Which Kitchen Trash Cans are Best for Dog Owners



Avoid coming home to mischief by using a dog-proof trash can.
Avoid coming home to mischief by using a dog-proof trash can.

Many of us have families that include a special, furry friend. We adopt them, love them, and think of them as as one of our own. We learn to appreciate their unique personalities, and we also learn to develop those personalities. Like children, our dogs need discipline every now and then. They’re not perfect, just like humans.

Sometimes, you arrive home to find the trash can empty and its contents scattered across the kitchen floor. You wonder what’s happened, but then you see Buster sitting in his basket with the guiltiest of expressions painted across his face. He’s looking at you with a bowed head, nervously wagging his tail, begging for forgiveness.

Why do dogs get into the trash?

No matter how many times you tell him “no” about the trash can, it seems be a regular occurrence whenever you leave the house. It might happen for a number of reasons, from hunger, to boredom, to separation anxiety. Dogs are social creatures. It can be difficult for them to deal with their owners leaving them alone for much of the day.

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Part of the problem is that it’s instinctual for dogs to seek out food. Regardless of the occasional tap on the nose, dogs will be dogs. As responsible pet owners, we understand that it’s in their instincts to do this. It’s frustrating to get home after a long day at the office, only to find last night’s leftovers on the floor. But, your dog accepts you unconditionally, and you’ll also have to accept him for his nature and make the necessary adjustments.

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Stowing away your trash can can help keep Fido out of the garbage.
Stowing away your trash can can help keep Fido out of the garbage.

There are a few things you can do to prevent your dog from accessing the trash can. You can store the trash in a cabinet. Many households keep the trash can beneath the kitchen sink because it’s closer to the work space. It’s also good for keeping the dog away.

Having said that, you might find scratch marks on the cabinet. If this is the case, your clever pal has realized what’s in there. Another option is to keep your trash in the garage. This way, it’s in a totally separate room where the smell is less intense on his nostrils. The only problem is that not everyone has a garage, and it’s also a bit of effort to keep your trash can in a separate room if you do have one.

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The easiest alternative is to invest in a dog-proof trash can that you can keep in your kitchen. The good news is there are a lot of choices out there. So, which kind should you get?

Plastic Trash Cans

Plastic trash cans simply aren’t good enough. If the trash is nearly full, the lid won’t sit down properly and it will be an easy task for the dog to get inside. Plastic trash cans are also much lighter than metal ones. A bored dog will topple it with ease.

Metal Trash Cans

A simple metal trash can with a pedal that opens the lid works well for many dog owners. Their paws can’t maneuver the pedal and it’s likely too heavy for them to knock over. That’s the case for smaller dogs, at least. A big (and determined) dog will probably have no trouble knocking it over and ravaging the contents.

My Recommendation

simplehuman 30 Liter / 8 Gallon Butterfly Lid Kitchen Step Trash Can, Brushed Stainless Steel

The best dog-proof trash can I’ve found is the simplehuman Butterfly Step Trash Can. It comes with some extra security measures. The butterfly doors, for starters, make it difficult for a dog to get inside. It’s not as easy as nudging a lid that sits precariously atop a pile of trash with your snout. You need to step firmly on the pedal for the doors to open, which is more difficult for a dog.

See the simplehuman Butterfly Step Trash Can, Stainless Steel, 30 L at Amazon

This model can be bolted to the wall, making it impossible for the dog to use brute force to knock it over. You’ll have a sturdy fortress to protect your pizza crusts and coffee-stained newspapers from a canine invasion! It comes in stainless steel, meaning it will fit seamlessly into any kitchen of any decor, so you shouldn’t have to worry too much about something that looks out of sync with the rest of the room.

See the simplehuman Butterfly Step Trash Can, Stainless Steel, 45 L at Amazon

They come in two sizes, a 30 (7.9 gallon) liter model and a 45 liter (11.9 gallon) model. But either way you’ll be guaranteed that the dog won’t make a mess while you’re out of the house!

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Be a pal!

If you’re a dog owner, you might face the occasional problem of trash on the floor. But, the unconditional love is worth the occasional annoyance. With a few small adjustments and a sturdy trash can, you and Fido can get back to what you two do best: being bestest pals!

Not enough choices for you? Head here for even more dog proof trash cans.

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For more kitchen cleaning tips and tricks, be sure to see this post on the best kitchen drawer inserts for spices. You might also like my article on how to clean scorched stainless steel, and the best dishwasher for pots and pans and the best lunch containers for adults.

Kitchen Professor author
About the Author: Bryce Heitman

Bryce is not a real professor, but he's real nerdy in the kitchen. He's been barbecuing, chopping, and generally blazing food for many decades. He thinks there's definitely a better spatula or utensil out there that hasn't been invented yet.

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