How to Stop Your Dog Getting Into Trash and Garbage Cans

Last time on the Acoma Animal Clinic Blog we talked about dog throw up and how to avoid it or when to call your vet. This follow up is about one of those frequent causes for dog vomiting, getting into the trash! If you are just about at your wit’s end because your dog getting into trash has caused a mess, or gotten them sick then this blog is for you.

dog getting into trash

We can’t count the number of times we’ve experienced it. Coming home and walking into your kitchen to find trash shredded up and strewn about your home. The dog has done it again, got into the trash.

Why is the dog getting into the trash a problem? Well, if you haven’t already read the blog from last time, dogs getting into the garbage can cause a number of problems, not just a mess to have to clean up! Getting into possibly toxin items, or swallowing foreign objects can cause tears in their digestive tract, blockages or other complications. This can have your dog vomiting or worse.

To prevent more messes and to keep your pup healthy and free from trash, use these tips!

Keep Them Fed

A big part of dogs getting into the trash is their scavenger behavior. If they are hungry, they are going to snoop about and find something edible to take care of that need. If your dog is well fed, by having frequent meals or what have you, then they are going to be much less likely to go digging for garbage.

Up Your Trash Security

The easiest way to deter your dog getting into trash is by making that impossible. Buying a trash can with a childproof latch or finding one small enough to be placed inside a closet or cupboard. When the trash can is out of reach from Fido, they won’t be tempted in the first place!

Keep Pooch Engaged

Your dog might not only be getting into the trash because they are hungry. Often behavior like this is because they are bored! They need activity and to be engaged. Get your pup a chew toy to play with and take them for regular walks. As the saying goes, a tired dog is a well-behaved dog!

Fences, Gates, and Crates

Just like the trash security, keeping your pooch out of reach from the trash may be the easiest way to correct the problem. Use baby gates to block off certain sections of your home, or use a crate if you are going to be away for a length of time. In some cases, the creation of boundaries can be so effective that they can eventually be removed and the dog will still honor the space.

Training and Observing

When it comes to anything dog, you can be sure there is a training answer option! Dogs can learn a surprising number of behaviors. If you catch your dog in the process of getting into the trash and quickly and consistently curb the behavior with a sharp ‘No’ or ‘Off.’

If for whatever reason, following all of these techniques your dog is still getting themselves into the trash then you have a Houdini Dog on your hands! Putting the trash can away, or keeping them kenneled should be the final step necessary to keep them and the trash separate.


If your dog already got into the trash (again!) and swallowed something they shouldn’t have, don’t hesitate to call your vet, or if you’re local to the Tucson area the Acoma Animal Clinic. We are more than happy to help you get your pet’s health sorted to the best of our abilities.

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