My Dog Ate Ants What Should I Do?

Reviewed By Tom •  Updated: 08/04/22 •  3 min read
Dog Moderate Toxicity Level
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My Dog Ate Ants What Should I Do?

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Ants can be the bane of your existence when they get into your house. They create trails that other ants follow. After all, they want to grab whatever yummy stuff their scout ants have found! Who’d want to miss out on a great treat or meal?

Occasionally ants can even end up in your dog’s food. This can happen if you free-feed your dog. That means leaving dog food in the dog dish all day long, so your fur baby can graze when he wants to. Unfortunately, this practice is a great way to invite insects into your home, including ants. But what happens if your dog eats ants?

Has your dog eaten ants? Are you worried the ants will make your dog sick? If so, you’ve come to the right place. We understand it can be scary when your dog eats something like this.

It is strongly recommended to contact a Pet Poison Helpline or your veterinarian.

We’ve put together information about ants and whether they can make a dog sick. Let’s get started!

What are Ants?

Ants are insects that belong to the wasp and bee families, believe it or not! There are over 13,800 species of ants on our planet. These interesting insects live in colonies that may contain only a few members to thousands of individual ants. And these critters even occupy specific territories they protect from invading ants.

While ants are fascinating insects, they’re not so great when they get into your home. When scout ants find food sources or materials for their nest, they leave a chemical trail. This trail is used by their nest mates to find the food and other things they need.

So, if ants find food in your home, such as dog food left out all the time, they will invite others from their nest to come and join the feast! Then your dog’s food or other food they can access becomes overrun with ants. The ants may also spread out to find more food in your home! Not a fun situation!

But what happens if your dog happens to eat ants? Can they make him sick?

Ants & Dogs

Fortunately, ants are not toxic to your dog. They’re considered a great source of protein and vitamins. Other animals regularly chow down on ants, including birds, bears, and more. Even humans in some parts of the world eat ants.

While ants are safe for most dogs, there’s a slight possibility they could make a dog sick. Some dogs may have an allergic reaction to eating ants. But the dog would have to be allergic to ants. And if the dog ate enough ants, it’s possible he could have an upset stomach. In that case, the dog would have to eat a lot of ants. We’re talking many, many ants.

Another problem is if your dog eats red ants. These ants are highly aggressive and may bite and sting. This is more common in fire ants, for instance. Their stings could cause an allergic reaction, swollen face or tongue, and more. Again, this is rare, but it is a possibility.

Summing It Up

If your dog eats ants, there’s usually nothing to worry about. Just monitor him for any concerning symptoms, such as continuous vomiting and diarrhea.

And if your dog ate red ants and has a reaction of any kind, call the vet right away.

Otherwise, your fur baby should be OK! And he’ll receive the benefit of additional nutrition from the ants he’s eaten!

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Tom has always loved to write since he was little - he wanted to be either a writer or a veterinary doctor, but he ended up being a professional writer while most of his works are based on animals. He was born in San Francisco but later moved to Texas to continue his job as a writer. He graduated from the University of San Francisco where he studied biotechnology. He is happily married and a soon to be father!

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