How To Stop Your Dog From Raiding The Bin

Written by: Milica Brzakovic
Is your dog going through the trash regularly - leaving you both angry and worried about its health? This article will give you some tips on how to stop this kind of behavior.

We all have bad habits, right? And guess what – dogs do too!

Unfortunately, dogs going through the trash is a very common bad habit dogs have.

So – how can you prevent this from happening?

You come home, after a long day, only to discover trash all over the floor. We’re guessing this doesn’t make you too happy? Besides, you’re probably wondering if your dog ate something that’s bad for dogs or swallowed an unwanted object.

Not only is your dog making a mess, he or she is also risking its health! So, how do you get rid of this habit?

How Do I Stop My Dog From Going Through The Trash?

Like every habit, this one can be eliminated as well. Fortunately, there are many various things you can try. Before you continue reading about them, check out the video below!

1. Make The Garbage Unreachable

It could be as simple as that! By keeping the trash out of sight and reach, your dog might actually forget to raid the bin. There are numerous ways to keep your dog away from the garbage. Here are a couple of tips:

  • Keep the bin in a cupboard or locked in a storage room. If your dog knows how to open cupboards, childproof it.
  • If the previous isn’t an option, you can try putting the bin somewhere unreachable – on a chair or on a shelf.
  • Buy a garbage with a lid that’s difficult to open. Contrary to the bins with a step mechanism or even worse – without a lid, you should invest in a bin which will be difficult to open.
  • Put baby gates around the bin. By doing that, you’re sending the message that the garbage is off-limits.

2. Make The Garbage Repelling

And you thought that that wasn’t the case already? Well, not to your dog obviously! So, making the trash can undesirable could be a good solution. How do you do that?

  • Buy a deterrent device. Placing it near the trash will hopefully keep the dog away.
  • Place a motion-activated device next to the bin. When your dog approaches it, the device will shoot out compressed air.
  • Spray dog repellent on the bin. You can also try sprinkling some baking soda on it, as dogs usually hate the taste of it. This will make the dog associate raiding the trash with something unpleasant and hopefully stop doing it.

Just remember – don’t use these kinds of devices if your dog get scared easily and is rather sensitive. It will only make things worse.

3. Keep Your Dog Busy

Could it be that your dog is raiding the bin out of boredom? Maybe he or she doesn’t have anything to do when you’re away, which leaves plenty of time for coming up with activities on their own.

If that’s the case, consider providing some activities when your dog is home alone. For instance, you can leave out some chew toys that will occupy your dog’s attention. Another thing that has been proved to work is leaving classical or specifically designed dog music on.

Also, when you’re home, make sure to provide plenty of exercise and activity. Some dogs have more energy and if your dog falls down under this category you should make sure he or she is getting rid of it. Otherwise, your dog will come up with an activity on its own – such as raiding the bin.

4. Make Sure Your Dog Isn’t Hungry

Even though some dogs raid the bin just for the fun of it, some might do it out of hunger. You will prevent this from happening by feeding your dog small, but regular, meals throughout the day. Instead of one or two large meals, divide the same amount of food into four smaller meals.

5. Train Your Dog Not To Raid The Trash

Obedience training is important if you want your dog to listen to you. You have to teach your dog basic commands, such as “sit”, “stay” and “leave it”. The latter is especially useful if you want to keep your dog away from the trash. Read more on how to teach that command here.

6. Catch The Dog While Raiding The Bin

It’s actually possible that your dog doesn’t understand that he or she’s doing something wrong. In order for your dog to understand that this is undesirable behavior, you have to be clear about it the very moment you catch your dog in the act.

It’s important not to get mad and start yelling at the dog when it’s already done, for example when you come home and see trash all over the floor. Your dog won’t understand why you’re mad, as he won’t associate it with going through the trash.

Instead, wait until you actually catch your dog doing it and then reprimand the dog for it. You can go out of the room and wait quietly for your dog to start. When he does, make sure you’re very clear about it and that kind of behavior isn’t tolerated.

However, never punish your dog physically as it will only be counterproductive and make the dog anxious. The goal is to teach your dog it’s not okay, not to scare him or her.


This is a really annoying habit dogs have, we know! Raiding the bin is not only very irritating for you – as you’re the one who have to clean it up – but it can also be dangerous if your dog eats something toxic or swallows something that causes an obstruction. Fortunately, this isn’t something that can’t be fixed.

There are various things you can try in order to keep your dog away from the bin. For instance, you can make the can unreachable and undesirable by using deterring devices. You should also make sure your dog isn’t hungry and that he gets enough exercise and activity – both mental and physical. Finally, you should train your dog to walk away from the bin when you say so, by teaching commands such as “leave it” or “off”.

It’s also very important not to reprimand this kind of behavior afterwards, as your dog won’t understand what’s wrong. Instead, try to catch your dog in the act and show that going through the trash isn’t something you approve of.

Be persistent and we’re sure you’ll get rid of this habit! Good luck!