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Keeping Pets Out of Trash

Category Training
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.
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October 1, 2010

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.

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By knitter926 from Bloomington, IL

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October 1, 20100 found this helpful
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I know a black bear isn't a pet, but the ammonia in the garbage does not work to keep him/her out. The garbage is next to my carport so I wanted the bears to stop pushing the thing over and spreading the contents down to the creek. It was my husband's job to pick garbage up after the bears.

After realizing that the bear was still getting into my garbage, I had the sickest feeling in the pit of my stomach that I may have harmed the bear with the ammonia. I just about cried. No, I did cry.

The best idea I came up with is leaving the radio on during the night with a light shining at the garbage container. I have not had to pick up bear poop since. (Giggle) They may think that the radio is a bunch of campers. And that the light is the campfire.

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June 28, 2010

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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January 3, 2010

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.

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By Robyn from TN

Answers

January 4, 20100 found this helpful

Try using a bungee cord to hold the lid on. Or get one of those decorative wooden trash containers that you put a removable trash can inside. These come with heavy lids. Or get a small trash container with a lid and keep it on the counter. Empty as needed into the outside can. This is what I do. Since there are only two of us, it gets emptied about every other day.

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January 20, 2009

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.

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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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January 20, 20090 found this helpful

I'd give her a good dose of hairball med. and put the garbage can in a closed cabinet.

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By guest (Guest Post)
January 20, 20090 found this helpful

Why don't you put the rubbish somewhere she can't get into it?

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January 20, 20090 found this helpful

I would watch the litter box and her closely and call a vet to ask what you should do. It doesn't cost for over the phone advice. My meat liners have plastic in them, I hope yours are just paper for Goblins sake. Maybe you can leave dry food and water out for her so she doesn't get hungry and go for the garbage can. Get a garbage can with a locking lid!

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By 0 found this helpful
November 4, 2007

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

Answers

November 4, 20070 found this helpful

I know the feeling of an over weight, starving dog. It's no fun! I can't suggest green beans enough! You can get them pretty cheap at aldis and other stores like that. Try to get the sodium free. Yes, I mean normal canned green beans that you usually store in your cupboard! They are fat free, low calorie, but pretty filling for the dog. Our dogs love them, no tricking involved! Any style bean will do, fancy, French, etc. You can either dump the can in their bowl between feedings, add it to his food during feedings, or feed it to the dog by the fork full if your dog can eat off a fork. I don't know how much your dog weighs, but one can a day helps our bull mastiff a lot, and half a can helps the 23 pound terrier mix. You can't really over feed green beans, so don't worry about that.

I assume you're using a low calorie dog kibble, not just cutting back the amount? I've used Authority dog food for over weight dogs, and it did pretty well. They can still have a good helping of food, but it's lower calorie and fat.

Treats for overweight dogs are tricky. It's the equivalent of a snack cake for a human, it may not be very big, but it packs a lot of calories and fat. Search for home made low fat dog treat recipies. Be sure to avoid those treats like beggin strips, t-bone shaped or hot dog shaped treats and things like that.

Also, give your dog something to chew on instead of the trash. Store bought leg bones are good b/c they don't actually eat it like raw hide, it takes them months if not years to chew it up, and it's not detrimental to their diet.

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By guest (Guest Post)
November 5, 20070 found this helpful

I feed my dogs a lot of low/no-call people food too. They eat apples, carrots, Meijer natural lower-cal popcorn, frozen carrots, grn. beans & peas, boiled chicken & lean beef. I make them a meal every other week & they eat it for 4 days. Just make sure you do a search for foods they shouldn't eat. Some of the animal orgs. have lists on their sites. Plus they have all natural human grade dog food. Cheaper food adds more calories because it's made from cheaper/less quality ingredients. Being hungry is frustrating for a human & we understand it. Think how frustrating it is to a dog & they DON'T understand it. So fill her up on no/low fat human foods.

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November 5, 20070 found this helpful

Spray them with Raid...I am assuming these are indoor cans and your dog is not running the neighborhood and getting in the trash...take them outside, for the ventilation and lightly spray them. this taste awful, but not harmful. We used to do this to our outdoor cans years and years ago when dogs roamed free around our area. Thankfully laws and times have changed. Good luck

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By guest (Guest Post)
November 5, 20070 found this helpful

Not all dogs chew or dig cuz they need something, they smell, they like, they want, they try to get it. We have that problem periodically and we simply put ammonia on a napkin or paper towel or rag and lay it on in or near the trash can. They don't like the smell and it masks any smells that may be coming from the trash so they generally leave it alone. We did have one persistent big old girl years ago that would get past it to what she wanted. So we placed a small mouse trap near things we wanted her to leave alone, including the counter tops. She was never hurt but it scared her enough to leave it alone. Good Luck

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By guest (Guest Post)
November 5, 20070 found this helpful

My dad is a carpenter so he built me a wooden one and the dog can't tip it over. No more messes.

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November 5, 20070 found this helpful

Just like in the game of chess, your options are only three: block, move or capture. You can block her access to the garbage with a barrier, you can move the dog or the garbage, or you can cage her.

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By guest (Guest Post)
November 6, 20070 found this helpful

You can give your dog all of the toys and snacks in the world, but unless you make the trash uncomfortable, she will always get in it. As a last resort, go to the dollar store for some inexpensive red pepper or chili powder and sprinkle a good amount on top of the most inviting morsels...meat, bones, etc. It won't take long. Just to show you how long ago I learned this, it was on Sgt. Preston of the Yukon (a 50's TV show) when he explained how he taught his sled dog, King, not to take food from anyone but him.

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By guest (Guest Post)
November 6, 20070 found this helpful

I wouldn't recommend the Raid approach- Dogs are notorious for eating things even tho they may not be good for them or are deadly- antifreeze is a good example. I would recommend making the garbage inaccessible by using a covered garbage.

Giving your dog healthy treats like green beans -or even better, a crunchy vegetable will help. I give my 2 rescued LH tweeny Dachshunds treats when I chop vegetables- brocoli, lettuce leaves, etc. I also feed them weight-control food. One of my guys came to me at over 20 lbs- he was down to around 17 lbs within about 3 months.

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By 1 found this helpful
December 9, 2013

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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By 0 found this helpful
March 6, 2007

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

Answers

March 6, 20070 found this helpful

A tight fitting bungie cord should do the trick. I put a garbage can in the back of my truck on it's side and the lid stays on with a bungie cord, even when it's full of yard waste.

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By guest (Guest Post)
March 8, 20070 found this helpful

Mouse traps, ammonia, bleach??? She said she doesn't want to harm the dogs?? What's wrong with you people? Are these indoor garbage cans? I keep mine under the kitchen sink so the dogs have no access. There are many inexpensive cans with locking lids if you choose not to. If they are outdoor cans & your dogs have access you can also buy inexpensive cans with locking lids. Mine only cost 10. each. The bungi cord is a good idea too.

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By guest (Guest Post)
March 9, 20070 found this helpful

spray bug spray on the cans...one small lick or taste and the dogs will leave it alone. We use to have this problem years and years ago...where do you all live where dogs are allowed to roam,? it is against the law to let your dogs run. We live sort of in the country and the "roaming" during the last 15 years around here has stopped, because, people will call the law.?
Do not harm the dogs under any circumstance...it is not the fault of the dog, if it has an owner go through the law, if not call animal control and get it trapped and taken away. Remember they are not targeting you, they are just trying to survive!!

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By guest (Guest Post)
March 9, 20070 found this helpful

Notify the neighbor whose dog is responsible

Call Animal control if you have notified the owner and the dogs continue to run free (this works even if you can't identify the dogs)

Once my husband had the neighbor come over and clean up the strewn garbage. He put the dog in the garage (enticed him with a treat) and held him "hostage" until the owner picked it up (This was ONLY after this had happened repeateldy...as we have leash laws about dogs running loose)

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By guest (Guest Post)
December 12, 20070 found this helpful

So..you wanna call animal control and get them taken away from their owner? Awful. It's not the owner or the dogs fault. I assume most of you have a beloved pet. How would you feel to lose it forever. Yea...not great. You need to rethink your morals and learn to have some feelings.

How hard is it to try some non-harmful solutions. Grow a heart.

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By guest (Guest Post)
December 19, 20070 found this helpful

I do not own a dog, nor do I wish to. Yet almost every day, I am forced to pick up disgusting trash out of my yard or step in piles of poop in my OWN YARD. I keep my gates locked, and the dogs squeeze through cracks or jump it. I have spent hundreds on animal proof trash cans that the dogs just knock over and still manage to get into.

I feel that it is very irresponsible for a dog owner to let a dog wander around the neighborhood destroying other peoples property, and also putting the dog at risk. Just this morning a car almost hit my neighbors dog. The driver swerved, and missed but could have injured the dog or themselves. I'm at my wits end.

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By guest (Guest Post)
August 7, 20080 found this helpful

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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February 21, 20150 found this helpful

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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