Keeping ants out of your dog's food is a challenge, especially if you live in a rural area where insects are plentiful. Ants are found everywhere in the world and, with their superior navigation and recall skills, they target accessible food sources to supply the nest. While ideas abound on how to keep them away from your dog's bowl, only a few bowls are available commercially that keep them out.
Bowls with Moats
The most common method of keeping ants away from food is to use water. Ants cannot swim, and several dog bowls are available that have a "moat" around the base that you can fill with water. Some are bowls-within-bowls, where a smaller bowl fits into a larger, base bowl that contains the water. One is ergonomically designed with a two-piece, interlocking moated platform on which you can place the bowl. In this design, the bowl is larger than the moat, which prevents food from falling into the water and providing ants with a foothold on which to cross. Another bowl available has a single-mold design that requires no assembly, features anti-skid feet and a moat, and is made of durable, dishwasher-proof plastic.
Raised Food Bowls
Many dog bowl manufacturers offer raised feeding stations. Some have very smooth plastic or stainless steel surfaces, which deter ants because they make it more difficult for them to climb the sides. However, to be truly ant-free, these stations need to stand in a tray of water.
You can adapt stainless steel dog cage cups manufactured for positioning securely inside a dog crate for ant proofing. Hang the cup by its hooks on the outside of the crate so the dog can reach it, and wipe cooking oil along the bars of the crate where the hooks make contact. The oil must be refreshed regularly, but it will prevent the ants from crossing the bars of the crate to reach the bowl.
DIY Ant Proofing
Ant proof your dog's bowl by placing it in a larger, flat container or tray. Fill the container with water and add a drop or two of bleach. This will keep mosquitoes away and ensure that any ants that try to cross the "moat" will die. Some reports claim that drawing a circle of chalk around the bowl will also help to keep the ants at bay.