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How to Keep Flies Away From Your Dog’s Food & Water Dishes: 5 Expert Tips

Oliver Jones

By Oliver Jones

Cat food exposed to fly

During the warmer seasons, flies are buzzing around and annoy anyone outside. They’re always attracted to open waters and food containers, causing outdoor parties to want to go back indoors. You can find flies on dog food and water dishes, so it can be a real hassle to feed your dog without flies swooping in to join. If your dog’s outdoor water and food dish is constantly attracting flies, there are a few things you can do to minimize the number of them buzzing about. Here are the best DIY tips on how to keep flies off dog food:

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The 5 Expert Tips on How To Keep Flies Away From Your Dog’s Dishes

1. Feed Your Dog at Specific Times

Free-feeding dogs is not really a good idea, especially if your dog is mostly outside. Instead of leaving out your dog’s food all day, set your dog’s food dish down only at mealtimes. A schedule will lessen the time your dog’s food is out and help reduce the number of flies.

2. Fill Sandwich Bags with Water

While it may sound like it wouldn’t work, filling sandwich bags with water and placing them somewhere near your dog’s water and food dish actually works. They’ll attract most of the flies and will reduce them landing in your dog’s water and food dishes, especially if you use a few bags.

Sealing plastic bag
Image Credit: XIE WENHUI, Shutterstock

3. Make DIY Fly Traps

Instead of repelling flies, try to attract them away from the food and water dishes. Fill a mason jar about 1/5 of the way up with apple cider vinegar and a spoonful of sugar, then add some dish soap. Honey around the rim also works for additional stickiness. Hang them up and out of your dog’s reach, but close enough to attract the flies.

4. Grow Plants That Flies Don’t Like

Growing plants and herbs that flies don’t like is another gardening trick to keep them away. Plants like mint, citronella, basil, and lavender are perfect for reducing the flies in your yard. Place the dishes around these plants, but make sure your dog doesn’t try to eat these plants.

  • Do not use essential oils on or in your dog’s water, as these can be highly toxic to your dog’s health.
  • Do not burn citronella candles indoors or burn multiple candles outdoors near your dog, as they are toxic to your dog.
lavender plant
Image Credit: Hans Braxmeier, Pixabay

5. Feed Your Dog Indoors

If your dog spends a lot of time outside but doesn’t sleep or live outside, feed your dog indoors for mealtime. While this tip doesn’t help with the water, having your dog’s food indoors may also help reduce flies around the water dish.

Make sure you’re feeding your dog the right amount, check out our dog food calculator here:

The exact amount of calories an individual animal needs to maintain a healthy weight is variable and influenced by many factors including genetics, age, breed, and activity level. This tool is meant to be used only as a guideline for healthy individuals and does not substitute veterinary advice 

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Flies are, unfortunately, a part of warmer weather, so finding ways to lessen them around your dog’s food and water bowls is important. Thankfully, with the steps above, you can keep flies away and make your dog happier and healthier. These steps can also work great for outdoor parties and get-togethers, which can make enjoying the summer weather more fun. Before using any anti-fly products, always check to see if they’re safe for dogs as most are toxic if your dog ingests them.

Featured Image Credit: Johnny Harvester, Pixabay

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