A Vet on TikTok Said Chalk Will Keep Ants Away From Your Dog's Bowl — So I Tried It!
Walks around the neighborhood, trips to the beach, my dog loves it all. He's even a big sunbather (I wonder where he gets that from). The only problem is — and I'm sure a lot of fellow dog owners can I agree with me on this — situating the water bowl can be an issue. It's either in direct sunlight or acts as an amusement park for bugs . . . especially ants. The more ants there are, the more distracted he is from actually drinking his water. Plus, they sometimes crawl onto his paws. So now, I have a dehydrated pup with irritated paws and ants in my house. I mean, I know bugs are attracted to water, but can you leave my dog (and me) alone?
Then, I saw this chalk hack by TikToker and veterinarian Adam Christman, DVM (@dr.adamchristman52) that repels ants from invading your dog's water bowl. Truth be told, I didn't think this little science fair experiment was going to work, but Dr. Christman made some pretty strong points. While drawing a chalked heart around his dog's bowl, he explained that ants avoid chalk because it interferes with their scent trail. Thus, throwing them off from locating your dog's bowl. Violà! Ants be gone! Of course, being the skeptic I am, I had to try this vet's hack out for myself. Keep reading to see what happened.
How does the hack work?
Before we get into the science of it all, Dr. Christman notes that owners who typically use stainless steel dishes for their pets should swap out the bowls prior to going outside. The combination of sun and steel will actually cook the water. Opt for a plastic or ceramic bowl instead.
Next, you'll want to draw a circle, square, heart, or whatever shape you want around the bowl with chalk. Doing so will prevent ants from sniffing their way to your dog's water bowl. It's essentially a barricade.
Does it really keep ants away?
Okay, so obviously trying to photograph an ant failing to cross the chalked line is kind of impossible to do with a still image, but I promise you, the hack works! The ants crawl right up to the line then immediately bounce back and scurry away. To see it in action, watch Dr. Christman's TikTok video demo.
If your pet likes to spend time with you outside, then there's no reason not to incorporate this step when setting up their outdoor water station. Chalk is inexpensive and doesn't expire, so you don't have to worry about it being a money guzzler. I'd recommend drawing your shape bigger than mine so your dog can physically stand within the circle. You can also color a few dots around the bowl as extra precaution. Besides my art skills needing some work, I was pleasantly content with how it turned out.
How did your dog react?
Ryder gives Dr. Christman's chalk hack two paws up, and recommends that fellow dog owners do the same for their four-legged babies. Since he is an anxious dog, I was curious to see whether the chalk would freak Ryder out from going near his water bowl; however, after some sniffing around he was unbothered by it. And I didn't have to stress about my dog accidentally swallowing an ant! It's a win-win for everyone.