How To Keep Ants Out Of Pet Food Bowl

ants out of dog bowlI can’t believe it. It’s the last day of the calendar year as I write this and my dog’s bowl is full of ants. Look at his face. Doesn’t he look stressed? Now ants in the dog bowl is something I expect to happen in June; but not in December. Hopefully the weather will cool off soon and the ants will go back into hiding. But in the meantime…

What’s a mother to do?

I’ve tried ant traps. I’ve tried borax and baby powder in the trail. I’ve tried all kinds of things. Mostly, we just agree to live together happily–until they get in the dog bowl, that is. Then I pull out all stops.

One Sunday, a year or so ago, the preacher was telling a story of when he and his wife were missionaries to Thailand and how the wife had to put the legs to the food cabinet in little bowls of water to keep the ants from getting into the cabinet. This week I remembered that story. This week, my little Asa finally got relief from the ants in his dog bowl.

My Miniature Pinscher--Asa

My Miniature Pinscher–Asa

I set his bowl on a silver tray filled with water. If the ants are brave enough to climb up into the tray, they will be drowned. So far, no ant has tried. What do you think? Got a better way to keep the ants out of your dog bowl? I’d love to hear about it.

Oh, and by the way, I think this technique would work just as well for the cat dish, too.

Blessings to ya,


How To Keep Ants Out Of Pet Food Bowl — 22 Comments

  1. Great advice, I live in the Caribbean so will definitely be trying this. I will of course have to change the water every day as mosquitos can breed in just a small amount of water and in just a few days. Maybe the dogs will drink the water when they have finished their food, that would be the perfect solution – thank you! : ))

    • Yes, I have noticed my little doggie drinking the water. So if you don’t have a divided bowl, and if you keep the outside of his food dish clean, you could just set his food dish inside his water bowl. Thanks for stopping by.

  2. Oh yes…I remember when we adopted our son from Thailand. We got to go and visit our World Vision child and we took her out for lunch…the ants were in the salt…and on the tables. Our WV girl just took the spoon scooped her salt ( I think it was salt or maybe sugar…now I’m not sure)…anyway, and the ants just fell off the spoon and back into the bowl. I tried so hard not to show my horror…but wow, all I ordered was a pop LOL.

    Glad your puppy got relief.

  3. Ingenious! I can’t help wondering, though, if your dog, in the way of dogs, feels that he is finally getting his proper respect since his meals are now served on a sliver tray? They get big heads, these little guys. He’s adorable, by the way.

    • Oh Grace, he is definitely a spoiled little fella. Of course a plain ol’ cookie sheet or other type of pan will work just as well. 🙂

  4. Thanks for the reminder Carol — I had forgotten and poor Sydney has been frustrated with the ants in his food.

  5. This also works for hummingbird feeders. Use a red colored cap from a peanut butter jar, drill a hole to fit over the hanger and seal it with clear caulking. Then add the water and it becomes a moat and they will drown.

    • Thanks, Rebecca. We always check for second-hand before buying new. I just don’t think of telling others to do that. 🙂

  6. Simply do not leave food down. Feed the pets in the house for starters. Feed them at certain times 2x a day rather than leaving food out- it gets stale sitting there.

    • That’s a good point, Laurie, except for two things. My dog food bowl gets ants inside the house. 🙁 The other is that miniature dogs do not eat their food all in one sitting. They like to nibble. If I took up the food, my dog would be begging throughout the day for a morsel of food and that would get irritating. But, I’ve never had him complain that his food is stale. 😉

  7. I have a 5 year old shitzu who is a very spoiled eater. I leave her dogfood in her bowl all day til she eaTS. i NEVER noticed ants til I gave her canned food, hoping she would eat it,no luck just ants,s0 back to dry food and we are still getting them. Is there any thing safe I can use to get rid of these buggers???

    • Hi Betty, I’m sorry it seems the ants are there to stay. To keep the ants out of the dog bowl, try as suggested in this post. It works! To get the ants out of the house, I use Raid ant traps. They work, too.

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  9. Sorry to comment so late, but I just started having ants getting in my kittens’ food bowl, and I will try the moat trick. As to how to kill ants: My home remedy is Boric acid mixed with honey. It doesn’t kill them instantly, but it will kill a whole colony after a while. Another one is Boric acid mixed in a sugar water slurry, which works as well as honey, except the sugar water dries up and the ants stop going for it faster than the honey trick. Just us a bottle cap or soda bottle cap filled a millimeter and put it somewhere your animals can’t get into, but also make sure the ants can get into it.

  10. thank you for the information I will try your suggation tonight thank you very much