How to Treat Ant Bites on a Dog

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Don't panic!
Image Credit: Demand Media

When your dog steps on or rolls in an ant mound, act quickly to remove the ants. If the dog is bitten, provide home treatment to soothe your pet and decrease the pain and swelling.

Stop the Bites

Brush off ants

Remove your dog from the area where he encountered the ants. Brush off any ants that you can see and use a dog brush to reach down to the skin to remove any ants hidden in your dog's fur. Talk to your dog calmly during this process. Prevent him from scratching or biting at the bites.

Wash the Ant Bites

Oatmeal bath

Prepare a soothing oatmeal bath by pouring some cool water into a container and adding oatmeal shampoo to it. Soak a washcloth in the oatmeal bath and wipe the solution on the ant bites. Oatmeal soothes itchy areas and cleanses the bites to prevent bacteria. Rinse your dog and dry him thoroughly.


Apply Baking Soda Paste

Baking soda paste

Make a baking soda paste to apply to the ant bites. Pour some baking soda into a small bowl and add a few drops of water at a time while mixing to form a thick paste. Spread the paste on top of and a few inches around each ant bite. Baking soda relieves the pain and reduces swelling from ant bites naturally.


Watch for Complications

Examine bites for infection

Examine your dog's ant bites daily for signs of infection, which may include extreme warmth at the site, with or without draining pus, a red line extending from the bite, and fever. If you believe the bites are infected, take your dog to the veterinarian. If your dog has many ant bites, he may be hypersensitive to the venom. Red ants contain more venom than black ants and can cause shock in extreme cases. Watch your dog closely for 24 hours after contracting ant bites. If your dog drools, acts agitated, has diarrhea, has difficulty breathing, collapses or has seizures, take him immediately to your veterinarian.


Apply Ice Packs

Cool bites

Cooling the ant bites on your dog can relieve swelling and pain. Wrap an ice pack or a bag of frozen vegetables in a towel and hold it on the bites for 10 to 15 minutes. Don't leave the cold therapy in place longer than this because it restricts circulation. Reapply cold packs about every two hours.

Always check with your veterinarian before changing your pet’s diet, medication, or physical activity routines. This information is not a substitute for a vet’s opinion.