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Does Dog Food Attract Roaches? Facts & How to Keep Them Away

Written by: Luxifa Le

Last Updated on April 15, 2024 by Dogster Team

a cockroach on leftover dog food in a bowl

Does Dog Food Attract Roaches? Facts & How to Keep Them Away

There is nothing that roaches won’t eat. Besides pesticides, particularly those designed to be effective against roaches, roaches can and will eat almost anything. Dog food is a big attraction to roaches. Entomologists who keep cockroaches for studies or as pets will feed these creepy crawlers dog food to fulfill their dietary requirements and ensure they grow up strong and healthy.

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What Foods Attract Roaches?

Dog food is a big one since dog food has a nutritional composition that is appropriate and even healthy for roaches. So, if you don’t have your dog’s food stored safely, you may find your home crawling with uninvited guests.

Unfortunately, roaches are nature’s most potent scavengers. These tricky scoundrels have been around since the dinosaur age, and scientists believe they even survived the meteor that wiped out the dinosaurs.

Protein-rich foods like dog and cat food are especially attractive to roaches, and the smell of dog food can be picked up through the roach’s antennae, leading them directly to your pet’s food bowl for a tasty treat.

When that protein is left out in the open, it will start to go rancid, which only makes it that much more attractive to your unwanted guests.

Wet and dry pet food made of natural ingredients
Image Credit: Yuriy Golub, Shutterstock

Do Roaches Pose a Risk to My Dog?

Roaches in your dog’s food indicate that the whole bag needs to be chucked. Sealed cans of wet food should be fine, but any open container that contains roaches should be disposed of immediately.

Roaches often carry diseases like salmonella, staphylococcus, and streptococcus, which can make your dog very ill if they’ve been eating food contaminated by roaches. So, keeping roaches away from your pet’s food is imperative.

How to Keep Roaches Out of Dog Food

For starters, if you spill your dog’s food, clean it up immediately. Don’t wait; that’s what the roaches want you to do. Even if your dog is the type to make a late-night snack out of floor-flavored kibble, clean it up.

Elevating your pet’s food bowl off the ground will also help keep roaches out. Some cockroaches can fly, but American cockroaches typically use their wings to glide rather than fly. Unlike spiders, roaches can’t climb vertical surfaces. So removing a direct floor path to your dog’s bowl will help them stay roach-free!

Lastly, always store your dog food in a sealed container, preferably an airtight one. Airtight containers make it hard for roaches to find the food, let alone operate the snap-lock to open the container.

Non-airtight containers work too, but an airtight container is ideal for storing pet food since it will better keep pests out. If air can’t get in, neither can the bugs. If you already have an airtight container, check to ensure the seal remains intact. If the seal isn’t intact, small bugs may be able to fit through the seal.

dog food in plastic container
Image By: APN Photography, Shutterstock

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Roaches are, well, frankly, they’re disgusting creatures. But seeing as they lived at the same time as the dinosaurs and survived, we think they might be onto something. Luckily, keeping roaches out of your dog’s food isn’t difficult. A little bit of repackaging should be all you need to keep those pesky critters out for good.


Featured Image Credit: Thipwan, Shutterstock

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