Keeping Pets Out of Trash

Pets, dogs and cats, in particular are often attracted to the smells coming from the indoor garbage cans. Cleaning up after their adventure is not much fun. This is a guide about keeping pets out of trash.

Cat in Knocked Over  Trashcan
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Help, Goblin did it again! She is rotten to the core, the runt of the litter, jet black and even has a wart on her ear! We got her on Halloween. She is a true Trash Cat, and is very hard to keep out of the kitchen trash. I have yet to get the bleach spray bottle thing going, to keep her out of it.

Last night she got a hold of the meat inserts I threw away. You know, the padded liners you find under your store-bought meat that absorbs the yuck. So, do you think she can pass that stuff? It's pretty much impacted tissue paper right? Anyone know if a vet visit can be avoided?

Dede from Macon, MO

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Is your cat hungry? I have always kept a bowl of dry cat food out at all times. If you do, maybe he doesn't like it? The only time I had a problem is when I used a diet type dog food for our dog and she didn't like it and would get into the trash. When I changed the food, she stopped raiding the kitchen trash can.

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Ok, I too have a small place and a limited budget so I cannot afford an expensive can. My cat Odd Thomas will get into the garbage and leave a huge mess, sometimes even going right back to it right in front of me, right after he has been caught and told firmly no!

Sneak attacks with the water bottle don't work and he "likes" pepper! He has been known to chew lemons and other fruits. I have not tried aluminum foil, I keep forgetting to buy some. I have this nasty smelling ammonia spray I have tried, as soon as the smell evaporates he is right back at it. I have even tried to hang the bags up on the highest cupboard, but this is inconvenient as well because I am so short. And this does not stop him. He sometimes gets in the sink or beside it and rips the bag open, or on the stove and rips the bottom, happily chowing down on whatever falls out. I am at my wits end. I need some helpful suggestions. My other cat Sara, doesn't do this. She is relatively well behaved.

By hjgeddie

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I have a small place, also. And a cat who loves garbage! I got a good, sturdy Rubbermaid bin from a big box store for $12.00. I keep my garbage bag in there with the lid closed tightly. I put a pillow on top of the bin and use it as a seat by my door or you can keep it under the table, or in a closet. Keeps the cat out, the odors in, and the garbage out of sight, without taking up much room and it's cheap!

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I can not seem to keep him out of the garbage can in my bathroom or den. He loves getting in there and digging the trash out and playing with it. He has toys all over the house. I'm at my wits end keeping him out of the cans. What can I do?

By Vickie B

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Why don't you provide your kitty with his own trash can full of interesting things? You can change the items often so he has fun with his new challenges.

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It is not a major problem for me, but I would like to hear from others about how they keep their big dogs from the trash. Mine won't do it in front of anyone, they wait until our backs are turned. Usually I keep it in the other room, but I would like to learn of any tricks you may have learned.

By Robyn from TN

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These are such great tips, thank you! Racer

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Recently someone asked about keeping pets/animals from tearing open garbage bags. I don't have that problem now, but I learned this trick from my mother years ago. Before tying off your garbage bag, pour a dab of ammonia in the bag. When an animal tries to tear it open and gets a whiff of the ammonia, it will be long gone.

By knitter926 from Bloomington, IL

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Help. My dog has been on a diet for almost a year. She is driving me nuts. She has been raiding the trash cans and finding things I know were in the trash. She is always hungry. This diet is because the vet said she was over weight. She has lost 4 pounds but then drives me nuts so I give her a treat every once in a while any ideas?

Sandy from Baltimore

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Even though it is now 2011, I learned from my mentor to pour a little Pine Sol into a plastic garbage bag and it will stop the dog from going through the trash.

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How do you keep dogs out of outside garbage cans without spending a lot of money? And without harming the dog.

Jason from Leitchfield, KY

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The suggestion about the trash can on wheels is a joke. Because dogs can jump on the trash cans and still scatter trash everywhere. Even if the cans have lids. I have three dogs, but only one of them gets in to the trash and I personally has seen him do it.

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Puppies are naturally curious and scent-driven, which makes your kitchen trash can irresistible to them. Keep them out by pouring a scant cap full of ammonia into the can. I only had to do this a few times for my pup. He's now 46 inches tall and walks right past it, not even taking a look!

By tahloolabelle from Ventura, CA

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Pets TrainingJuly 17, 2013
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