Can Dogs Eat Ants? My Dog Ate Ants, What Do I Do?

Can dogs eat ants? If your dog ate ants, what do you do? Should you be worried? In this article, we’ll answer these questions and tell you the exact steps to take if you have a dog eating ants, as well as the command you’ll need to prevent any future problems.

Next, we’ll answer questions like why does my dog eat ants, can my dog get sick from eating ants, and what do you do if your dog ate ants and threw up. We’ll then cover how to keep ants out of dog food, how to get ants out of dog food if they’ve already gotten in there, and finally, how to get rid of ants in the house. Keep reading!

Can Dogs Eat Ants?

Can Dogs Eat Ants?

While dogs eating ants is generally not harmful in small quantities, it’s not recommended. Ants can have a strong, acidic taste and certain species can bite or sting, causing discomfort for your dog. Further, some ants may carry pesticides or other harmful substances.

Dog Eating Ants

Most dogs eat ants out of curiosity, especially if they are bored or if the ants are moving around and attract the dog’s attention. While an occasional ant is unlikely to harm your dog, a larger quantity may cause stomach upset due to their acidic nature. Moreover, ants such as fire ants can sting, leading to localized pain and irritation, and in rare cases, allergic reactions.

My Dog Ate Ants, What Do I Do?

If your dog ate ants but only a small number of them, monitor your pet closely for any signs of discomfort or unusual behavior. This could include pawing at the mouth, drooling, vomiting, or diarrhea. If you notice any of these symptoms, or if your dog appears to be in distress, contact your vet immediately.

However, if your dog ate a large number of ants, or if they have eaten ants known to be venomous or harmful, such as fire ants, it’s recommended to seek immediate veterinary assistance. This is especially true if your dog shows signs of an allergic reaction, such as swelling, hives, difficulty breathing, or collapse.

Training the “Leave It” Command

One way to prevent your dog eating ants is to train them with the “Leave It” command. This command is useful for teaching your dog to ignore or walk away from distractions or potentially harmful situations.

  1. Begin the training in a quiet environment with minimal distractions. Hold a treat in both hands.
  2. Show your dog one of the treats and then close your fist around it. Say “Leave it.”
  3. Let your dog sniff, lick, and paw at your hand, but ignore all these actions. Once your dog stops trying to get the treat and pulls away, say “Good” or “Yes”, and reward them with the treat from the other hand.
  4. Repeat this process multiple times. Once your dog consistently moves away from the first treat when you say “Leave it,” you can start practicing with different items, slowly increasing the level of temptation and introducing more distractions.

These steps will get your dog to stop eating ants, but it’s important to remember that the underlying behavioral issues (prey drive, curiosity, overexcitement, etc.) that were causing all of this to begin with will still be present. And until you address those, any positive changes you see are only going to be temporary.

“Well, how do I make these changes last?”

By getting your dog to truly choose to follow your direction, that’s how. I tried many times to write out how you can do that before deciding it made more sense to just link you to the free video series that explains it better than I’d ever be able to.

The series is by a man named Dan who is one of the world’s leading dog obedience trainers. In it, he teaches you how to put an end to things like your dog eating ants and all other misbehavior using his fast and easy-to-follow methods.

In the first video, Dan will reveal to you why the two most common methods of dog training only doom you to failure. You can watch the video now by clicking here. Follow the proven system he’ll show you in his series and you’ll never have to spend another second worrying about your dog eating ants ever again!

Why Does My Dog Eat Ants?

my dog ate ants

Dogs eat ants for a variety of reasons, with some being as simple as curiosity or boredom, while others might be drawn to the ants due to their fast, unpredictable movement. It is important to understand that while this behavior is generally not harmful, there can be potential health problems if your dog eats ants in large quantities or ingests certain species of ants.

Why Do Dogs Eat Ants?

Dogs eat ants most often because they are naturally curious creatures and their inquisitive nature often leads them to explore their environment using their mouth. The rapid, scurrying movement of ants can trigger their innate prey drive, making ants an interesting target for your furry friend.

Dogs might also eat ants simply because they are bored and looking for something to occupy their time. There are even instances where dogs might be attracted to the unique scent or taste of ants, although this is less common. Learn the command to keep your dog away from ants by going back to the first section.

Can My Dog Get Sick From Eating Ants?

Eating a small number of ants is unlikely to get your dog sick or cause any significant health issues. However, if you have a dog eating ants in large quantities, they may experience digestive discomfort due to the ants’ acidic composition.

Additionally, certain types of ants, like fire ants, are known to sting when threatened, potentially causing discomfort or even an allergic reaction in your dog. There’s also the risk that the ants your dog is eating have been in contact with pesticides or other harmful substances, which can certainly pose a serious risk to your dog’s health.

My Dog Ate Ants and Threw Up

If your dog ate ants and threw up, it might indicate that they’ve ingested a larger number than their stomach can comfortably handle. If this happens, it’s important to ensure your dog has access to plenty of fresh water, as vomiting can lead to dehydration.

Monitor your dog closely for continued vomiting or any additional symptoms such as diarrhea, loss of appetite, or lethargy. If these symptoms persist, it is important to seek veterinary care as soon as possible to ensure your dog’s health and safety.

Puppy Eating Ants

Young puppies, often more curious and adventurous than adult dogs, may be more inclined to eat ants. As with adult dogs, a small number of ants should not cause any harm, but large quantities or particular species can lead to health issues.

Close supervision when they’re outside and teaching them the “leave it” command can help prevent them from eating ants and other potentially harmful items. Learn how to do it in the first section. Regular vet checks are vital to ensure your puppy isn’t experiencing any adverse effects from their exploration and ant-eating habits.

Regardless of your dog’s age, you should get this issue taken care of now as it will also help keep them safe during encounters with other insects and critters. You then won’t have to worry about things like your dog being bitten by fire ants, your dog eating Japanese beetles, your dog eating roaches, your dog eating lightning bugs, or your dog eating dragonflies.

How to Keep Ants Out of Dog Food

How to Keep Ants Out of Dog Food

Keeping ants out of your dog’s food involves several strategies including regular cleaning, proper storage, and using natural deterrents. A clean feeding area, an ant-proof dog bowl, and the use of natural ant repellents like vinegar and cinnamon can all contribute to keeping ants at bay.

How to Keep Ants Away From Dog Food

Ants are attracted to dog food because it provides an easy source of nutrition. Here are some ways to keep ants away from your dog’s food:

  1. Regular Cleaning: Clean your dog’s feeding area regularly. This includes wiping down the area where your dog eats and washing the bowl after every meal. Leaving no traces of food behind makes the area less appealing to ants.
  2. Ant-Proof Dog Bowl: Consider investing in an ant-proof dog bowl. These bowls have a design feature that prevents ants from climbing up to the food.
  3. Proper Storage: Store your dog’s food in airtight containers. This will keep the smell of the food contained, making it less attractive to ants.
  4. Natural Ant Repellents: You can use natural ant repellents around your dog’s feeding area. Vinegar is a great choice as it disrupts the ant’s trail. Simply mix equal parts of vinegar and water and spray it around the feeding area. Cinnamon, another natural deterrent, can also be sprinkled around the area.

Quick Fixes for an Existing Ant Problem

If ants have already invaded your dog’s food, you might need to take some immediate action:

  1. Relocate the Feeding Area: Temporarily move your dog’s feeding area to a different location until the ant problem is under control.
  2. Use a Moat: For a quick fix, create a small water moat around your dog’s bowl. Ants can’t swim, so they won’t be able to cross the water to reach the food.
  3. Professional Pest Control: In case of a severe infestation, you may need to hire a professional pest control service. They can treat your home with safe, pet-friendly solutions to eliminate the ant problem.

Preventive Measures for the Future

Prevention is always better than cure. After you’ve addressed the immediate issue, take measures to prevent future ant infestations:

  1. Regular Pest Control: Regular pest control treatments can help keep ant populations under control. Make sure to use pet-safe products or hire a professional service.
  2. Seal Entry Points: Ants can enter your home through the smallest cracks and gaps. Regularly inspect your home for potential entry points and seal them.
  3. Keep Your Yard Clean: Regularly clean your yard, especially around your home’s foundation, to discourage ants from nesting. Remove any potential food sources and water collections.

Remember, the key to keeping ants out of your dog’s food is cleanliness, proper storage, and prevention. By following these steps, you can help ensure that your dog’s meal remains ant-free. If you need to learn to control your dog around ants, go back to the first section now.

How to Get Ants Out of Dog Food

How to Get Ants Out of Dog Food

If you find ants in your dog’s food, the best course of action is to discard the contaminated food immediately. It’s not recommended to try to separate the ants from the food due to potential disease transmission. To prevent future invasions, proper storage, regular cleaning, and the use of natural ant deterrents are crucial.

Why Are Ants Attracted to Dog Food?

Ants are scavengers and opportunistic feeders, always on the hunt for easily accessible food sources. Dog food, left unattended or stored improperly, provides a perfect nutritional feast for these tiny invaders.

The food’s high protein content and the sweet flavoring additives in some dog foods are particularly enticing to ants. Therefore, the key to preventing ant infestation is making your dog’s food unattractive and inaccessible to them.

Ants in Dog Food Safe to Eat?

Feeding your dog food infested with ants is not recommended. While the ants themselves may not pose a significant health risk, they can carry bacteria or parasites that can contaminate the food. There’s also a risk of allergic reactions. Some dogs can have a sensitive reaction to ant bites or the formic acid that some ant species release.

How to Remove Ants from Dog Food

If you notice ants in your dog’s food, it’s best to discard the food right away. Trying to separate the ants from the food is not only time-consuming but also potentially unsafe. Ants can carry bacteria or parasites that may contaminate the food, posing a potential health risk.

Additionally, some dogs might have allergic reactions to ant bites or the formic acid that some ant species release.

Preventive Measures to Keep Ants Away from Dog Food

Following preventive measures can help keep ants away from your dog’s food:

  1. Proper Storage: Store dog food in airtight containers made of sturdy materials that ants can’t penetrate.
  2. Clean Feeding Area: Ensure that the area where your dog eats is cleaned regularly. Any leftover food should be promptly removed.
  3. Natural Deterrents: Use natural deterrents such as vinegar or cinnamon around your dog’s feeding area to discourage ants.

Maintaining cleanliness and storing dog food properly are the most effective ways to keep ants out of dog food. Remember, if ants do invade your dog’s food, it’s safest to throw the food away and take preventive steps to ensure it doesn’t happen again.

Learn to control your dog’s behavior around ants and other insects by going back to the first section.

How to Get Rid of Ants in House

Why Does My Dog Eat Ants?

To get rid of ants in your house, you need to find and eliminate the nest, use ant baits, and maintain a clean home. Opt for natural methods if you have pets at home, as some ant killers can be harmful to animals. Regular cleaning and keeping food properly sealed can also help keep ants at bay.

How to Get Rid of Ants Permanently

Permanently eliminating ants requires a three-step process:

  1. Identify the Ant Species: Identifying the type of ant is the first step in permanent eradication. Different ants prefer different food sources and may respond better to different types of bait.
  2. Locate and Eliminate the Nest: Once you know what type of ant you are dealing with, it’s essential to find the nest and eliminate it. Ant baits are often the most effective way to do this, as the worker ants carry the poison back to the nest, effectively killing the colony.
  3. Maintain a Clean Home: Keep your home, especially kitchen and dining areas, clean and free of food crumbs and residues. Regular vacuuming and cleaning of floors and surfaces can eliminate the ant trails that guide other ants to food sources. Sealing off entry points can also prevent ants from entering your home.

How to Stop Ants From Coming in the House Naturally

You can stop ants from entering your home naturally by using various safe and non-toxic methods:

  1. Essential Oils: Certain essential oils, such as peppermint, clove, and tea tree oil, are known to repel ants. You can make a spray by mixing a few drops of oil with water and spraying it at entry points or areas where you frequently see ants.
  2. Diatomaceous Earth: This is a type of powder made from fossilized aquatic organisms. It’s non-toxic for pets and humans but lethal for ants. Sprinkle it around the ant trails or entrances.
  3. Vinegar: Vinegar disrupts the scent trails that ants follow. Mix equal parts of water and vinegar in a spray bottle and use it on ant trails.

Natural Ant Infestation Prevention Tips

Preventing future infestations involves creating a less inviting environment for ants. Ensure all food items are stored in airtight containers, and food residues or crumbs are promptly cleaned up. Regular cleaning and sealing off potential entry points can also help prevent infestations.

Ants in the house can be quite an annoyance, especially if they start to invade your pet’s food. Utilizing a combination of identifying the ant species, locating and eliminating the nest, and maintaining a clean home can help you get rid of ants permanently.

To learn the command you’ll need to control your dog around ants and other insects, go back to the first section now.

I’m sure you’re ready to not worry anymore about your dog eating ants, so I’ll let you get started on all of this now. Good luck with everything, and thanks for reading our article “Can Dogs Eat Ants? My Dog Ate Ants, What Do I Do?”

The Author

KB Williams

KB Williams

Hey there! I'm a dog behavior expert and lover of travel. Since 2016, I've been sharing my knowledge of dog training and behavior while exploring the Pacific Northwest with my two rescues.