How to keep ants out of your dog’s food

Do you own a dog and find it difficult to keep ants out of its food?

Unless you have an anteater or a hedgehog as a pet, it is never good to have ants crawling in or about your pet’s food. Unfortunately, this is the time of the year when, in different regions of the World, ants come crawling out of their hideouts and get attracted to your pet’s food.

How to keep ants out of your dog's food

How to keep ants out of your dog’s food

Most of the time your pet’s corner in your house is the very first place they visit after rising as a dark knight. Outsmarting the agenda of these morsel hunting insects is the main goal of any pest control. You can use the following knowledge, tips and tricks to get rid of these ants and prevent your dog’s food from becoming an ant-magnet.

Do you wanna get rid of these little monsters?

Some tips to keep Dog food ant-free:

Here are some tips to make sure that your dog’s food doesn’t become a vacation resort for the ants and other insects that might find it delicious enough to make it their new house:

  • Always store your pet’s food in a lidded plastic container. Never use a lidless box or container to store your pet’s food. This is like survival rule 101 for your pet’s food. Never keep it lying around without a lidded plastic container.
  • Always vacuum the area nearby your pet’s food bowl to make sure that there are no crumbs of your dog’s food laying around, welcoming the ants to come over and stay for a while.
  • Put your dog’s food in a moat around it. Use a shallow pan with water in it to offer your dog its food. In this way, there will be a circle of water around the food bowl and the ants will have to go through the water which they can’t because ants didn’t go to the swimming classes in their junior high. Water level should be moderately high enough so that it doesn’t spill into the food bowl.
  • Always keep your pet’s feeding area clean. This usually helps to keep away not only ants but also all other kinds of pests and germs. Always wash your dog’s food bowl after it has finished eating. Never leave your dog’s food in the open and always use lidded trash cans.

Five Effective Ways to Keep Dog food ant-free:

If you’re facing a problem known as ant-invasion in your pet’s food or generally your house, here are some things that you can try before going all in for a strong pest control spray. You can look at these ways as natural remedies or DIY hacks to get rid of ants or to make sure that you never have to deal with an ant-invasion. If you’re not dealing with an ant-infestation currently, congratulations then, you’re already ahead of the game which means you can make the first move and make sure that the ants never show up to bother your pet.

1. Keep your dog’s dish clean:

One of the most basic and the simplest tricks you can use to avoid an ant invasion is to keep your dog’s food bowl clean by washing it properly after you dog has eaten its food. Also make sure that the area where your dog feeds and where you keep your dog’s food bowl is sparkling clean all the time. Make sure that there are no dog food crumbs laying around inviting the ants and other kinds of pests to come over and have a party.

2. Use a plastic container to store your dog’s food:

Next time you pay a visit to the One Dollar Store, make sure that you buy some small plastic containers as your dog’s food bowl and some large plastic lidded containers as well to store your dog’s food. You can also find extra-large containers online that are especially made to store large amounts of pet’s food and they are much easier to handle the filling of feed without spilling the pet’s food on the floor.

3. Always make sure to create a water barrier:

As y’all know, ants can’t swim because their parents don’t usually pay for their swimming classes, so you can use this point for your benefit as well. You can create a water barrier around the food container by simply putting the container into a bigger and flatter bowl having water in it. Make sure that the level of water is moderately high and doesn’t spill the food bowl. This way ants won’t be able to get to your dog’s food.

4. Mark a territory for your dog’s food:

You can also use some other kind of barriers than water like marked territories around your pet’s food. Here are some options to go with:

a. Chalk

Sometimes, people use chalk to draw a line around the dog’s food bowl and get lucky enough to avoid an ant invasion into that bowl. This trick is not that useful because it works sometimes when you get lucky but sometimes luck doesn’t seem to be on your side.

b. Sticky Tape

You can also use a double sided sticky tape to prevent ants getting into your dog’s food bowl. It’s just like drawing a line around the food bowl. Instead of using chalk, you’ll be making a line by sticking a double sided sticky tape on the floor. As long as the tape stays sticky, ants won’t be able to get into the bowl unless they learn how to fly which isn’t possible in this life.

c. Vaseline

If you apply Vaseline to the floor, it makes the surface very thick and slippery to walk over even for ants. So, if you mark a line around your dog’s food bowl with Vaseline, ants won’t be able to cross over that line because of Vaseline.

d. Lemon Juice/Vinegar

You can keep ants away from your kitchen floor or the area where your pets eat simply by adding a little amount of lemon juice or vinegar to the water that you use to mop that area clean. Both lemon juice and vinegar help remove the aroma or fragrance of any food crumbs that can attract ants or other pests.

e. Pepper

Pepper is a natural substance that ants and many other pests can’t tolerate or cross over. Regular black pepper works perfectly in keeping the ants away from your dog’s food bowl.

f. Baking Soda

Another option is baking soda! You can mix some sugar in a small amount of baking soda and sprinkle it around the different corners of the house where you can see ant communities on the move. Sugar will attract these ants but baking soda will kill them quickly. This will be a merciful death of these small creatures. They’ll die eating their favourite food which is sugar.

g. Diatomaceous Earth

Diatomaceous is a natural source to kill ants, fleas, bedbugs and various other pests without bringing any harm to humans and pets. It comes in both food-grade and inedible forms which are and aren’t meant for human consumption respectively.

h. Cinnamon

Cinnamon has a great fragrance which confuses the ants and they seem to lose their way and specific pattern of movement in groups. You can use Cinnamon to exterminate ants from your pet’s food bowl by marking a territory with Cinnamon mixed with Vaseline around your dog’s food bowl.

i. Borax

This product is sold under the name of 20 Mule Team Borax and you can find it in the laundry section of any grocery store. You can get rid of ants in your house by mixing half cup of sugar with one and half tbsp of Borax and one and a half cups of lukewarm water then, dipping a cloth in it and putting it in the area with any infestation.

j. Orange Peels

Orange skin contains some essential oils that have the properties to deter many animals. You can simply take a peel of an orange and make juice or spray with a small amount of water in your juicer machine. This spray or juice can be used to be sprinkled over anthills around your house. Another benefit of using the spray of orange peels is that everything will be smelling citrus fresh and clean in your house.

5. Natural sprays to get rid of ants:

Here are some natural DIY sprays that you can make and use to get rid of ants from colonising around your pet’s food:

  1. Add a small amount of dish soap in boiling water and spray where needed.
  1. Fill a spray bottle up to two-thirds with water and add twelve drops of peppermint essential oil with two tbsp of witch hazel. Spray this mixture wherever you see an anthill in your house.
  1. Fill a spray bottle with water and add five to ten drops of tea tree oil with two to three drops of peppermint essential oil. Now you can spray this mixture in the corner of your house where you see ant infestations.
  1. Another ant repellent spray can be made by mixing 2 ounces of water, 2 teaspoons of vodka, 15 drops of lemon oil, 15 drops of orange oil, and 15 drops of clove oil. Fill this mixture in a spray bottle and your DIY natural ant repellent spray is ready to be used.
Here are Some Products that Help to Keep your Pet’s Food Ant-free:

If you don’t have enough time to make your own DIY natural homemade ant repellent sprays, then here are some options for you to buy from the market or from online stores:

i. The Antser Ant-Proof Barrier.

ii. BugSnub Ant Proof Tray.

iii. Dyl No-Ant Pet Bowl.

iv. Neatmaster Ultrasonic Pest Repeller.

Summing it all up:

Everyone who owns a pet, sooner or later they have to deal with the problem of ant invasion into their pet’s food. It’s already bad enough that they occupy the area of your kitchen but what makes it even worse is that they infest your pet’s food as well. There are a number of ways to get rid of these pests without spending too much time, money and effort. You can choose the way which suits you the best. All of the tips and remedies are natural and the products listed above are effective in exterminating the ants that have invaded your house as well as your pet’s food.

Dr. Tayyaba Akhtar Vet.

How to keep ants out of your dog’s food

University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences