Puppies and dogs just love a garbage can. To them, the garbage can is a giant buffet that’s been condensed into one easy to access place. It’s heaven for an animal that relies on its nose. The garbage can is a wonderful, odoriferous nirvana for dogs. It’s also extremely dangerous, so you’ll need to do everything you can to keep them out of your garbage can.
The Garbage Can. It’s a Death Trap
That might sound overly dire, but a garbage can really is a potential death trap. It’s filled with wonderful food smells, but it’s also filled with packaging, plastic, and all manner of trash that are all obstructions waiting to happen. Even the smartest dog becomes an idiot when it gets into the garbage can. It will eat whatever it finds if it has the smell of food on it. That includes things like saran wrap, plastic, bits – pretty much anything. Any of those things could be an obstruction, or if they’re particularly sharp or point a perforation.
Related: Dog Food Safety: 5 Things You Should NEVER Give Your Dog
How to Make Your Garbage Can Safe
There are several ways you can go about puppy proofing your garbage can. Most of the time, you’ll have to use all of these in conjunction with each other. Especially if your dog is exceedingly committed to getting into the tall bin of wonderment.
First and foremost is training. While this is almost never the entire answer, it can help. Train your puppy that the garbage can is off limits from the moment it notices the can. You can do this a number of ways including startling your puppy and distracting it when it starts nosing around, and giving it treats when it leaves the garbage can alone.
Related: How to Train a Dog
Keep it Out of Reach
One of the best ways to keep your dog out of the garbage can is to keep you can out of your dog’s reach. If you have a pantry, keep your garbage can in there behind a closed door. If your garbage can is on the smaller size, keep in in the cabinet and put a child latch on the cabinet for extra protection.
If your garbage can must be out, consider putting a couple of bricks in the bottom of the can if your dog is one that likes to tip the can over. Being with one brick and add more until the can is too heavy for your dog to tip over.
Cayenne Pepper and Vaseline
If you have a dog tall enough to nose around the opening of your garbage can, mix cayenne pepper with Vaseline and smear the concoction around the edges of the can opening. This makes an extremely hot paste that will stick to the can, and to a lesser extent, your dog’s tongue. One or two encounters with this hot gel will more than likely keep your dog out of your garbage can.
Use a Bin
Sometimes, a garbage can is what you make it. If your dog is so gung ho about the garbage that you just can’t keep it out of your garbage can, then consider using something else. You can find bins that are relatively similar in shape to a standard garbage can. These bins have locking lids and make an excellent alternative to a traditional can if you have a super stubborn pooch.
Garbage Cans are Deadly, so Keep Fido Out
Whatever you have to do to keep your dog out of the garbage can, it’s never too much. The most genius dog becomes a total idiot when it hits the garbage can, so do whatever you have to do to keep your dog out of that can. If you use these methods – usually in conjunction with one another – you should be able to keep your garbage can safe and sound from your dog.