Dog food bowls provide easy meals for ants and other pests. Once ants find dog food, they swarm the bowl. Not only is this unsightly, but soldier ants often guard worker ants, and their pincers can sting unwary dogs. Ants communicate with each other using scent pheromones, and lay down pheromone trails between the dog food and the ant nest. Understanding this helps you keep dog bowl ant-free.
Remove the dog food bowl. Mop the dog's feeding area with soapy water. Mopping destroys any existing scent trails the ants have established.2
Place the larger dog bowl in the feeding area, and fill it partially with water. Place the second bowl inside the first. Ideally the second bowl will not float. It should have an inch of water between it's edge and the edge of the first bowl.3
Fill the second bowl with food. The water will drown any ants that try to reach the food, and prevent the ants from laying down a scent trail that leads to the food.4
Remove any food from the surrounding floor as soon as possible. With no way to reach the food in the bowl, and no food scattered around the bowl, the ants will move on to other food sources.