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Can Ants in Dog Food Hurt My Dog?

Whenever you put your dog’s food in front of it to eat, there is a probable chance that some ants will find their way into the food and start crawling inside. Some dogs eat the food as a whole with the ants. However, some dogs don’t like these creatures and will certainly not eat the food.

Ants coming inside the dog’s food are common, and many owners face nuisance because their dog won’t eat that food. However, some say that the ants in the food can add a little protein and vitamin C to your dog’s diet. But that does not mean you should always purposely add ants inside the food. Ant bites can be painful for dogs.

Why are ants attracted to dog food?

Not only dog food, but ants are also attracted to anything left uncovered. Even if you leave a piece of bread outside, you will see that ants have quickly surrounded the bread and take it with them.

Most dog owners say that they can’t get rid of ants even when they put the food inside a proper bowl. This is because ants have a very keen sense of smell, and they can smell your dog’s food from meters away. If you give food to your dog at a specific place, the ants will also mark it and come crawling along whenever you serve food to your dog.

The ants can eat any dog food, especially if the food is put uneaten and cold on the floor.

Is eating ants safe for dogs?

If the ants are crawling inside the dog’s food, either the dog will reject the food or eat the ants as well.

According to some vets, your dog’s eating ants in the food is normal and won’t harm the dog. However, whether or not the ants are harmful depends on the ants as they have thousands of species. Some dogs really like to eat the ants in food, while some can become sick after eating them.

Sometimes, while your dog is eating the food, some ants can crawl over your dog and bite it. This is a problematic condition because the ant bites can hurt the dog. The worst ant bite is caused by the fire ants. They are extremely dangerous to dogs and can sometimes prove fatal. These ants usually bite on hairless areas and create problems for you and your dogs. The symptoms of ant bites are:

·         Swelling

·         Redness

·         Itching

·         Change of behavior.

Ant bites can disturb the dogs. So, always look for ant bites whenever you see ants crawling inside or near your dog’s food.

What will happen if my dog eats ants?

When your dog eats ants, the ant will use its defense mechanism and create and spray formic acid into your dog’s mouth. This formic acid makes a sour taste inside the mouth. If produced in sufficient quantities, it will make the dog go blind.

If your dog tries to eat fire ants, they can bite and inject harmful alkaloids into your dog’s mouth. This will result in large and painful pustules inside the dog’s mouth. So, it is always a better idea to keep your dog and its food away from ants.

How can I keep ants away from my dog’s food?

There are several ways by which you can keep ants away from your dog’s food.

·        Always clean the bowl:

Cleanliness is the most effective and inexpensive method of keeping the ants away. After your dog has finished the food, clean the bowl and dry it in a place where it will stay out of the reach of ants. It can help save your dog’s bowl from the ants crawling.

·        Put a barrier around the bowl:

If ants won’t stop coming inside the bowl, the best solution is to put a barrier to stop them. You can do this by placing the bowl containing food inside another container or large bowl with water. The bowl with water should cover the side of the food bowl. Even if the ants climb over the bowl, they will sink into the water and not reach the food.

·        Use petroleum jelly:

If ants don’t stop coming inside the bowl, put a thin covering of petroleum jelly on the bowl’s outer covering and upper edges. Then place the food inside. The ants will stick to the petroleum jelly while your dog enjoys the food.

·        Buy an ant-proof dog bowl:

The above mentioned techniques offer a short-term solution. One permanent solution to prevent ants is to buy and use an ant-proof dog bowl. Plenty of them are available in the market, and they can prove beneficial for you and your dog.

Wrapping Up

While eating a few ants might not be harmful to your dog, you never know what kind of ants are present inside the food. It is always a better idea to keep ants away from the dog’s food as they can harm the dogs and bite them as well. Some harmful ants like fire ant can also prove fatal for your dog. So, always keep your dog’s food clean and immediately consult a vet if your dog feels sick after eating the ants in food.

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