Ants have a very sophisticated tracking system. Once one ant discovers a food source, it will lay down a trail of pheromones for other ants to follow. If you feed your dog outdoors, you have probably seen firsthand how quickly ants can be drawn to your pet's food dish. This can be not only frustrating to you, but frustrating to your dog as well--especially if he prefers to eat only a portion of his meal and come back for the rest later. Luckily, there are steps that you can take to keep ants out of your dog's bowl for good.
Dig up any ant beds you find in your yard with a shovel. Place the ants in a large bucket of soapy water. The soap will prevent the ants from being able to attach to the sides of the bucket and climb out.2
Place the bucket in an area that your dog does not have access to. This will prevent him from being tempted to drink from the bucket. Leave the bucket alone for three to seven days to give the ants time to drown.3
Wash the area where you normally feed your dog thoroughly with soap and water. This will clear away any existing ant pheromone trails.4
Create a ring of mint oil on the ground in a wide circle surrounding the area where you intend to feed your dog. Ants do not like mint and will not cross mint oil. In addition, the oil is non-toxic to your pets.5
Fill a shallow pan with water. Place it within the circle of mint oil.6
Place your dog's food dish in the shallow pan of water. Any ants that do cross the mint oil trail will get caught in the water before they can make it to your dog's bowl. In the unlikely event that an ant does manage to reach the dog bowl, the surrounding water will prevent it from laying a pheromone trail for other ants to follow.7
Remove the dog's food dish whenever it is empty.