Keeping ants out of your pet's food bowls can be a losing battle this time of year. A line of tiny scavengers seems to form as soon as dinner is set down.
The best defense is to avoid leaving food out longer than necessary. Wash the bowl as soon as your pet finishes eating, and don't leave scraps and kibbles scattered on the floor. (This is easier with dogs that tend to gobble their meals than cats that often nibble and nap.)
Some pet owners swear by the pie-pan method. Fill a metal or glass pie pan with water and put the food bowl in the middle of it. The ants supposedly will drown or at least be deterred on their way to the forbidden meal. Some pet product companies make stainless steel "ant-proof" bowls with built-in moats.
Treat the floor area around the bowl with insecticide only as a last resort, and keep your pet in another part of the house until it dries. Also, store bulk pet food in containers with tight-fitting lids.