How to Keep Dogs Out of the Cabinets

picture of a dog in kitchen cabinet

Like most homeowners who share their lives with pets, you do have to venture out of the house from time to time. Since most dog owners don’t like the idea of crating their pets for long periods of time, the ideal goal is to train your dog to be trustworthy when given free rein in your home. While this can most often be successfully achieved, dogs can be curious creatures, particularly when they are bored or hungry. This can mean that once in a while your fave furry friend may decide to do some exploring in your kitchen cabinets. Some dogs are large enough that they will even jump up on your counters to get a better vantage point from which to view the potential snacks found in your cupboards. If you’ve come home to one too many a mess and a grossly overfed Fido contentedly snoozing on your couch, you may be wondering: how can I keep my dog out of my cabinets?

Our Top Tips for Keeping Your Dog Out of Your Cabinets

There are several different approaches you can take to help Fido learn that his place is on the ground and not snooping in your cupboards.

Here is our list of the top tips for keeping your dog out of your cabinets:

  • Make use of childproof locks

In many ways, dogs can be just like children; always wanting to snoop in the places you want them to stay out of for their own safety. Installing childproof locks on your cabinet doors may be a bit of a nuisance for you but are a surefire way to keep Fido out of things he shouldn’t be into. With childproof locks in place, these cabinets are then the perfect spot for you to store things such as cleaning agents, toxic materials, chemicals, and more since your dog will have no access to what is found inside the cupboard.

  • Keep hunger at bay with regular feeding

Though many dog owners prefer to feed their dogs two larger meals per day, giving your dog several smaller meals spread throughout the day will help keep his hunger well sated. A dog that is not hungry is less likely to go looking for snacks, keeping your kitchen cabinets safe from snooping.

In addition to this, it is also a good idea to remove any potentially tempting items such as fruit bowls or other food products from your kitchen counters. These items can prove too difficult for even the most obedient dog to ignore. Set your dog up for success by keeping your counters completely free from any edible items.

  • Provide toys for mental stimulation

Sometimes dogs get into trouble not because they are hungry but because they are bored. Ensuring your dog has an ample supply of fun things to play with is a great way to keep his mind—and his jaws—productively engaged.

  • Prevent bad behavior with distractions

If your dog enjoys trying to get inside your cabinets both when you are home and when you are away, it is a good idea to supervise him carefully when in the kitchen, so you can distract him when he makes any attempt to scope out the contents of your cupboards. Experts recommend making use of an object like a whistle or a bottle filled with gravel or coins that you can blow or shake to help divert your dog’s attention from your cupboard to you. This process is designed to help the dog associate the behavior with a sound they find unpleasant, thus discouraging the action over time.

  • Block access to the kitchen

Sometimes the best way to keep a dog out of your cabinets is to implement proactive strategies. If your dog just cannot seem to resist the allure of what may be inside your cupboard doors, using baby gates to keep him out of the kitchen entirely may be your ideal course of action. Alternatively, you can make use of heavy objects in front of the cabinet doors to hold them in place or simply crate your dog until you return.

  • Spray your cabinet doors with Bitter Apple

Bitter Apple is a product that can be purchased at most veterinary clinics and retail pet stores. It can be sprayed on most household items to prevent dogs from chewing. The premise of Bitter Apple is that by spraying something that tastes unpleasant to the dog on an item, the dog will naturally lose interest in chewing or trying to get inside it and will move on to something else. Though not always effective with cabinets, it is worth a try, particularly since the spray is inexpensive and readily available.

  • Make opening your cabinets difficult or undesirable for your dog

There are many different surfaces that dogs don’t like feeling against their sensitive paws. To help prevent attempts to open your kitchen cupboards, you can try applying double sided tape along the edges of the door where your dog is most likely to try to pry it open.

  • Correct jumping up on or pawing at kitchen cabinet doors

No doubt your dog spends time in the kitchen with you when you prepare your family’s meals or get Fido’s dinner ready. During this time, it is very important to remain consistent by not allowing Fido to paw at or jump up on your kitchen cabinet doors. If you permit Fido to do one thing when you are present but are angry about that same behavior when you are absent, you send confusing messages to your dog and are unlikely to achieve any level of success with keeping Fido out of your cupboards. When your dog attempts to open your cabinet doors, issue a firm “No” to him so that he understands that this behavior is displeasing to you and should not be continued. Over time, your dog will learn what is expected of him, an important step in becoming trustworthy enough to be left alone when you are not home.


Tired of coming home to find the contents of your cabinets strewn all over your kitchen floor? Is Fido getting a little too familiar with the items on your kitchen counter? Try our top tips for helping Fido learn to be trustworthy in your kitchen when you can’t be at home.

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