Can Dogs Eat Ants? Everything You Need to Know

Ants are one of the most common insects around the world. Since they are so readily available everywhere, they occasionally find their way to your dog’s eating bowl. In some cases, even your dog can go on the hunt for ants.

For dog owners troubled with issues, we are here to elaborate on whether it is safe to let your pup feed on ants. Furthermore, we’ll also tackle some similar questions pertaining to the topic. Let’s dive in.

Can Dogs Eat Ants?

Image of a dog eating ants on the ground
Dog eating ants on the ground.

Yes, it is safe for a dog to eat ants. In fact, they can also be a great source of vitamin C and protein for your pup. We usually dislike ants for their irritating and somewhat-painful bites. However, humans are renowned for having eaten many types of insects throughout history. And it won’t harm your pup to feed on some of these tiny creatures.

Please keep in mind that it is only safe for dogs to eat classic black, tiny, and harmless ants. Fire and red ants should be avoided at all costs as they are very aggressive. Some dogs are allergic to ants, and they won’t touch their bowl if they see ants crawling in it. However, there are also other dogs that search and eat ants to satisfy their prey drive and curiosity.

Why Do Dogs Eat Ants?

During our research, we came up with three reasons why a dog might eat ants. The first and most common is that they don’t even notice them. Ants are sweet frenzy, and anything that has sugar or sweetness in them will attract an army of ants. As your pup is munching on its favorite food, it will seldom notice swallowing a couple of ants.

The second reason is their curious nature. Dogs are fast learners, thanks to their curiosity. They like to play with and taste things that are new to them. Thus, your dog might eat ants purely out of curiosity to know what it is that they are dealing with.

Finally, dogs are natural hunters. And sometimes, their prey drive kicks in, and they start demolishing these tiny creatures. However, as long as the ants don’t seem dangerous, you can let your dog enjoy its hunt. After all, a bit of vitamin C and some protein will not do any harm.

How to Get Rid of Ants from the Dog Food?

Image of ants crawling through the dog food bowl
Ants crawling through the dog food bowl

If you ever see a lot of ants in your dog food, chances are they have built up a colony nearby. Even if your dog likes eating ants, eating a whole swarm of them is never recommended. Let’s see how you can get rid of these tiny insects.

Chances are, the ants have already infested the dog food. Thus, we advise keeping the food container air-tight to prevent any future invasions. If your dog likes to stroll around while eating, some ants might invade the food bowl. You can deal with this by putting the bowl in a dish full of water. The water will act as a barrier that the ants can’t pass.

Instead of food, if the ants have infested your dog’s body, there are some easy solutions for it. The most convenient one would be to give your dog a deep bath. You can also use your lint roller on its thick fur. And finally, you can use a bristled brush to drag those invasive insects out of your pup’s body.

What Happens if My Dog eats Ants?

According to Dog Advisory Council, it is harmless for your dog to eat ants. However, if your dog has eaten ants in excess, it might experience some complications.

The first one is allergic reactions. Some dogs are naturally allergic to ants. It may result in rashes and irritation in your dog. Thus, you should refrain from treating itself to ants even if it likes it.

Moreover, your dog may face some stomach issues in case of excess feeding on ants. Ants are full of protein, and it will be tough for your pup to digest all of them.


There is no harm in letting your dog eat ants. However, you must know where to draw the line. It also depends on the type of ants, as the red and fire ants can be quite a nuisance.

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