Pest Control

Can Dogs Eat Ants? | 7 Amazing Facts For You |

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Yes, dogs eat ants. In fact, ants could be commonly spotted in dogs’ food containers and on many occasions, they consume food with ants.

Having said that, there could be some dogs which will not consume their food if they spot any ants in their food. Ants may sound like annoying living beings to you. However if the dogs consume ants,  your dogs could gain protein and vitamin C . Having said that,  that does not mean that you need to invite ants to come and occupy the dog’s food containers. If the ants bite, it could be annoying for both pets and their owners.

Can Dogs Eat Ants

Why do dogs eat ants?

Dogs tend to eat ants, as they can simply find them in their food containers or in their food. In fact, even if the dogs find the ants in the food, they will continue eating their food. They are not harmful to eat and as aforesaid they would provide added protein and vitamin C which will be beneficial for the dogs. 

Dogs are not fuzzy when it comes to their eating habits. Literally they would consume any food item they are given. If your dogs are outside whilst sniffing and if they come across any group of ants, they will hunt them and eat them despite whatever the best food they have at home. They usually do it due to their biological impulse for hunting. This would be useful for their mental wellbeing.

Ants are nutritious

Dogs do realize that ants are great food sources. If they feel like having a snack and if they come across any ants, they will consume them without any hesitation.  

Hunting drive

Ants usually move in a funny way. The way they move captures the dog’s attention very much. Hence, dogs may sniff them and try eating them. 

Just playing with ants

Dogs may end up eating ants when they try to play with ants too.

Further They may come across ants in their food containers and dogs will not hesitate to eat ants whenever they spot them.

Will eating ants hurt my dog?

Ants may hurt your dogs once they are consumed with the food. Having said that, when the dogs eat ants, it will provide added protein and vitamin C as well. On many occasions you could count the ants as harmless. In fact ants could be one great food source for any animal species such as dogs, bears, birds etc. simply because they contain vitamin C and protein.

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Can Dogs Eat Ants

What happens if a dog eats ants?

Most time nothing

It would not create any harm for the dogs on many occasions when they eat ants. Having said that there could also be occasions where they will suffer from allergic reactions and from stomach issues as well.

Sometimes allergic reaction

When dogs eat ants, chances are that you could spot the dogs forming a rash. The severity of the rash could be either mild or severe. It could vary depending on the dog’s sensitivity to allergies. If your dogs are allergic to ants, it would be safer to avoid them eating ants despite how curious it is to eat them.

Stomach problems

Consider that your dogs have a susceptible stomach, then if in case your dogs consume a significant number of ants it could result in stomach pains in them. In fact, the high levels of protein gain from ants’ consumption would contribute to this condition. However, they may go through this condition only if they consume the ants in large numbers.

Apart from the stomach pains, dogs may come across a couple of more repercussions such as kidney failures and blindness  of ant’s consumption. It is something very rare. 

Further dogs need to eat the ants in moderate numbers to be subjected  to these conditions too. For example, if they eat ants in a whole bucket, it will result in these conditions. However, as per what the experts have discovered, it could most probably be the powdered version of ants which could make them go through these conditions and not the ants living. However, if you still want to ascertain this, you may go for your vet’s opinion.

Can ants harm my dog?

Ants will not harm your dogs most of the time. But if they bite the dog that will cause pain to the dog. In the world there are more than 14000 species of ants and only a handful of them cause you and your real damage. Some of these poisonous ants have acidic venom which can cause a burn sensation to your dog skin. 

The good thing is one ant’s venom can not do any real damage to your dog. But if your dog is attacked by a group of ants you better take him to the vet as soon as possible. 

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How to get ants off my dog?

You may use a lint roller, bristled brush to get rid of the ants in case you spot any ants on your dogs. Apart from that you may consider giving a bath for the dogs. Best is to get rid of the ants from your dog’s fur at the very moment you spot them. Unless they could bite the dogs or result in skin irritation if you leave them on your dog fur for prolonged periods.

Can Dogs Eat Ants 2 1

How to get ants out of my dog food bowl?

Finding ants crawling in your food container would be so unpleasant to see. However, no matter what you do to control this, you may still come across such situations. In case there are any ants crawling in your dog food bowl, you could place the bowl in a shallow dish of water. 

You need to first make sure that you remove as much as ants you can and only then place the bowl in the dish of water. 

Once you do this step, it will not be possible for the ants to reach the dog’s food bowl as there will be a moat created. If the ants have invaded the dog’s food bowl on a significant level, you may consider throwing the food away and prepare an ant free food once again. 

Next you could place the food in an air sealed container so that you could keep the ants and the other pests away from the food. 

Most importantly remove your dog’s uneaten food as soon as possible and clean the area to avoid ant invasions. Do not use any ant resistant chemicals to repel ant from your dog’s food bowl. Your dog might eat or lick those chemicals and it can cause problems. 

What would I do if my dog ate ant poison?

If your dog consumes any insect control chemical, you need to first keep observing your dogs. In case they show any symptoms of gastrointestinal distress, you should go for your veterinarian’s opinion. Do not force them to vomit. Get your vet opinion before doing anything. Further as a precautionary measure, you need to keep the insect traps and poisons at a distant place so that you do not have to go through these conditions. 

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Recently asked

How do I keep ants off my dog?

  • Try to keep the pets indoors as much as you can
  • Do not leave loose food in your house
  • Place a moat around the pet’s dinner.
  • Trap the ants

Why are ants all over my dog?

Ants usually prefer to occupy the pet food bowls. Furthermore, ants tend to attack the dog’s hairless and old skin. In addition to that, ants are quite attractive towards dogs which have irritated skin, or which have open wounds.  Apart from that, ants only attack your dog if your dog disturbs an ant’s normal behavior.

What happens if dogs eat red ants?

They are not toxic to the dogs when they eat the red ants. If the red ants bite the dogs, it will be painful for them. further it could create an allergic reaction in some dogs. On the other hand, there could be some dogs which have a severe allergic reaction towards them such as creating an anaphylactic reaction etc. It could create life threatening effects on the dog. 

Is Fire Ant Killer poisonous to dogs?

Fire ants could be dangerous for dogs. In case they attack your dogs, they will release a venom called alkaloid which could result in allergic reactions. As a result of this, your dogs may show mild symptoms. The symptoms of ant bites are chewing their paws and itching them. Further their skin will turn red too. If your dog shows these signs, keep a close look at them. These signs might fade after 12 hours. If the symptoms get severe, quickly consult your vet.


Before winding this article up, dogs find the ants as a source of protein and vitamin, and they tend to eat them. Ants in general are not dangerous for them except the fire ants which could create skin troubles and allergies. 


  1. Vail, K.M., Environmental modifications around a Tennessee home unintentionally reduce odorous house ant populations. Rollins, Inc., p.61.
  2. Barber, E.R., 1916. The Argentine ant: distribution and control in the United States (No. 377). US Department of Agriculture.
Credit to : Dog Advisory Council

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I'm Dr. Chamika and I'm a Researcher in Water quality, Aquatic organisms, and Environmental chemistry. Our highly qualified team is trying to educate you in various aspects of the day to day life in many ways. Their mission is to help others to enjoy their life to the fullest.