ant proof dog bowl

Ant Proof Dog Bowls Australia -
The Complete Guide

Our #1 Pick

The Best Value for Money

Petzoo Ant Proof Plate

  • Easy to set up and use
  • Effective
  • Dog friendly
  • Can be used with your pet’s favourite bowl

If you’ve ever had a colony of ants discover your dog’s favourite food bowl, you know what we are talking about. Once these little pests find out there is food in there, it seems it’s impossible to stop them from coming in. If your dog is the type who likes to munch on food a bit at a time throughout the whole day, the problem is even bigger, as you can’t just take the bowl away. So what’s one to do?

An ant proof dog bowl would sound great, but does it really exist? Today, we solve the mystery.


How To Find an Ant-Proof Pet Bowl

No matter what you do, ants seem to find a way to get into that tasty bowl of food. There is plenty of DIY advice floating around, but none of this seems to offer a proper long-term solution for your pet. Place the food bowl inside a bigger bowl filled with water? Sure, it will keep the ants away but not water from your floor. The same goes with placing various ant-deterrents around the bowl. It is highly unlikely that they will stay in place.

So what is it about ants that makes them so persistent?

“Scientists have known for decades that ants use a variety of small chemicals known as pheromones to communicate. Perhaps the most classic example is the trail of pheromones the insect’s place as they walk. Those behind them follow this trail, leading to long lines of ants marching one by one” - Carrie Arnol, ScienceMag

So once a single ant finds the source of food inside the bowl, it will leave a trail for others to follow, resulting in an ant-disaster. 

“Temporary relief can sometimes be had by wiping away the invisible odour trails with a kitchen cleanser or mild detergent.” - Michael Potter, entomologist, University of Kentucky College of Agriculture (2). 

However, this will only provide short-term relief. To get rid of ants in the dog bowl once and for all, a more permanent solution is needed. Now, you might have seen some magic products on the market claiming to solve the issue. Could this be true? Let’s talk about how an ant-proof bowl works.

Anti-Ant Dog Bowls

Almost every effective ant-free dog bowl works using the same mechanism, and it’s quite a simple one. The trick is keeping the edges of the bowl lifted from the floor to make it impossible for ants to find a path inside. Different bowls will do this in different ways. Sometimes the design is simple with a narrow base in the middle and the broader edge lifted off the floor. Other bowls offer a more complicated design with multiple layers - but the principle is always the same - break the ant’s path.

Do these bowls really work? Yes, most of the time they do. The trick is also keeping the bowl away from walls and any other objects. If the bowl is touching the wall or some other surface, what you are doing is creating a path for the ants to climb into the bowl.

There are also some ant-deterrent bowls around with more complicated designs that include water and/or insecticide. However, we don’t recommend those due to the potential for mess and, in case of insecticide, poisoning your pet. If you use anything with insecticides or ant-repellents, double-check if they are safe for dogs!!

Anti Ant Pet Bowl Trays

Anti-ant trays are an alternative to pet bowls. The design is rather similar, only in this case the tray is lifted off the floor, not the bowl itself. This could be a nice solution if you wish to keep your pet’s favourite bowl but still get rid of ants.


Best Ant Proof Pet Bowls & Trays 2021

Ready to check out the most effective anti-ant bowls available? You’ll find them below.

What sets this product apart from the rest?

  • Easy to set up and use
  • Effective
  • Dog friendly
  • Can be used with your pet’s favourite bowl

This ant-proof plate from Petzoo is the perfect solution for dealing with ants. The plate is raised off the floor and in addition to that, it is composed of two layers which makes it incredibly hard for ants to get to the top layer on which your pet’s bowl (or bowls) is located.

In addition to this, the hollow space under the top plate is filled with pet-safe ant repellent in strategic places to stop the ants in their tracks in case they get that far. Replacement ant-repellent powder can be bought from Petzoo. Now, while Petzoo claims the powder is harmless for pets, we still wouldn’t want them licking it up, but luckily, this is not an issue since the place where the powder is applied is out of reach of the dog (under the top plate.

We chose the rectangular version of this plate as our top pic. It is a bit more than 30 cm long and 18 cm wide, which makes the plate suitable for holding two bowls. That’s perfect for a food bowl and a water bowl, and also a nice solution if you have multiple pets. However, there is also a round version available that measures 18 cm in diameter. This can also look cute as simply a stand for a single bowl.

Verified Review - 15/02/2020
Excellent Tray
"This stops ants getting into my cats food bowls. As well as them not liking the ant repellent the design of the plate/tray works brilliantly so that the ants can't climb onto the top part where I put the food bowls. The size is perfect for my needs. Great product."

Pros

Cons

  • Easy to set up and use
  • Uses an ant-repellent powder
  • Effective
Cell
  • Can be used with your pet’s favourite bowl
Cell

  • Simple design
  • Chemical-free
  • Durable
  • Affordable

This anti-ant bowl from Delisio is a simple and affordable solution. As a plus, it looks like a standard metal dog bowl. The bowl stands very stable on the ground, and you don’t have to keep complicated contraptions under the bowl to keep it ant-free. Sounds great, especially for messy eaters.

So how does this bowl work? Well, it features a narrow round base and an overflowing metal edge that does not reach the floor. The gap between the floor and the outer edge is too wide for the ants to reach.

Is it impossible for ants to get inside the bowl? Not really. A very persistent ant could do it, but this bowl makes it very hard. The insects would have to climb up the interior base part, then down the backside of the bowl’s edge, then up again and then into the bowl. Does this really happen? Usually not, but there have been cases where it does - this is why the bowl receives bad reviews from time to time. However, even if the ants get in, just cleaning the bowl with hot water and dish soap should be enough to stop them from coming inside.

Other than that, we found this bowl to be perfect. It’s made of stainless steel, which means it’s resistant to corrosion and rust and can last practically forever. It comes in 3 sizes - 450 ml, 800 ml, or 1.6 litres, so you can find the perfect size no matter how big your canine companion is.

Verified Review - 4/01/2019
Love IT
"Love this bowl so far. Truck is to make sure its not up against a wall or ling grass which give the ants a bridge. Approximately a month now of leaving dry food in it daily and no ant swarm yet unlike her old dish which I was constantly emptying and washing, not to mention the trail of ants down my hallway."

Pros

Cons

  • Simple design
  • Doesn't always work
  • Chemical-free
Cell
  • Durable
Cell
  • Affordable
Cell

  • Effective
  • Easy to clean
  • Lightweight

This no-ant pet bowl from DYL works on a similar principle as the one we described above - it keeps the edge of the bowl lifted off the floor, ensuring the gap is too big for ants to climb up. The main difference is that this bowl is made of colourful plastic. Being made of plastic means this bowl is less durable, but also more lightweight than those made of metal. If you go camping often or travel with your dog and need an ant-free bowl, this can be a great solution.

The bowl has a plastic base and a plastic top part, which is the bowl. The parts fit together in such a way that the upper part of the bowl seems to be floating in the air - thus keeping the ants away. Does it work? According to reviews, it seems it does, and we don't see why it shouldn’t work.

It is also possible to separate the bottom and the top part of this bowl. This is a great feature, because dirt and food easily get inside the gap which would be extremely difficult to clean if you couldn’t separate the two parts. Luckily, this is quite easy to do.

The bowl comes in two sizes. The larger one measures 15 cm in diameter on the inside (the exterior is a bit larger), and it’s only 6.6 cm deep. This is enough for small to medium canines, but you might find it a bit small for large dogs.

Verified Review - 27/02/2021
Works Really Well, But Must Keep Water Level Up.
"Works really well, but you do need to be mindful about keeping the water level up. A couple of times when we didn’t the ants got to the food."

Pros

Cons

  • Effective
  • Rather expensive
  • Easy to clean
  • Could be too small for large dogs
  • Lightweight
Cell

  • Effective design
  • No need for chemicals
  • Can be used with your pet’s favourite bowl

Yes, it’s called MeowPlanet, but don’t worry, this tray is completely suitable for dogs too. Considering it measures a bit over 23 cm in diameter, it is also large enough even for big food bowls.

This tray is round in shape and will support a single bowl standing on it. What we love about it is the design that keeps the surface ant-free without the use of chemicals. Just like with most similar solutions, the surface of this tray is raised off the floor to make it impossible for ants to climb. However, in addition to this, the underside of this tray features a real labyrinth for ants ensuring they will not figure out how to get up to the top.

Overall, it’s a great solution. The only downside is that it’s made of plastic which might not last all that long, especially if left in the sun. 

Pros

Cons

  • Effective design
  • A bit expensive for a plastic tray
  • No need for chemicals
  • List Element
  • Can be used with your pet’s favourite bowl
Cell

Final Verdict

As it turns out, all effective anti-ant bowls and trays work in a similar manner - by keeping the food off the floor. Which one should you choose? The tray from Petzoo is affordable, effective, and doesn’t require a special bowl. You can use the one you already have, which is always a plus.

On the other hand, the Delisio Ant-Free Stainless Steel Pet Bowl is a well-made bowl with a reasonable price regardless of ants. Many pet parents have had a positive experience with its ant-repellent feature too, so why not give it a try? In any case, we hope this guide has helped you deal with your ant problem!

Want to learn more about dog bowls? Check out our below guides:

FAQ

Can you keep ants away without buying a special bowl?

There are many ways to keep ants away without a special bowl, but many of them are simply difficult to maintain with a dog around. Placing the food bowl in a shallow dish full of water to create a barrier is one option. It does work - but you must ensure water is always there, and your pup does not drink it all up, for example.

Some also recommended spreading petroleum jelly around the bottom rim of the bowl, or placing some sticky tape in the same manner to catch ants. Both of these could be effective, but unfortunately, you’ll probably also end up catching lots of dog hair. Sprinkling baking soda around the bowl can also help, but it’s not a long term solution.

In short, if you want something that will last and not create a mess, an ant-proof dog bowl is your best bet.

Can my dog get sick from eating ants?

Ants are full of protein and munching on an ant or two is usually fine for most dogs. So, if you think your dog has accidentally eaten ant-contaminated food, don’t panic but do monitor your dog throughout the day. However, ant bites can cause serious allergic reactions, and letting your dog eat food full of ants is definitely not safe.

What material is best for dog bowls?

Metal, ceramic, pet-safe plastic and silicone are all ok materials for dog bowls. It all depends on your needs and preferences. However, our go-to option is stainless steel. These bowls are fairly lightweight, easy to clean, durable, and virtually indestructible.

References
  1. Arnold, C. February 7, 2013. “Shhh, the Ants Are Talking”. ScienceMag. Retrieved May 18, 2021. https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2013/02/shhh-ants-are-talking
  2. Potter, M. “Ant Control for Householders”. University of Kentucky. Retrieved May 18, 2021. https://entomology.ca.uky.edu/ef619
Vedrana Nikolic

Vedrana Nikolić is a professional writer, anthropologist & dog lover with a B.A. in Cultural Anthropology. Currently pursuing a Masters degree in Semiotics studying the communication between animals and humans. Vedrana is able to use her expertise to analyse and review dog products and write informative posts on canine behaviour and training.

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