A Cool Dry Place Is Ideal
In order to maintain the nutritional quality and shelf life of dry dog food, it is important that you store the food and its container in a cool, dry place.
Moisture can lead to mold, which can make your pet sick. High temperatures can also speed up the degradation process and cause the nutrients within the food to breakdown. You will want to avoid storing your dry dog food in places where temperatures can exceed 100 degrees Fahrenheit, like a garage or shed.
Make sure the chosen location of your dry dog food storage is secure and cant be accessed by your dog to prevent him from sneaking a snack on the down low.
Plastic Containers Are Not A Good Place For Storing Dog Food
Fats and oils that are contained in the ingredients of dog food are usually the first things that cling to the walls of the container.
Once that happens, these fat and oils will oxidize. Have you ever seen yellow stains on your plastic containers that dont seem to disappear, however you wash it?
Those are facts that have oxidized and went through the microscopic pores of the container. They are like viruses that spread out to new hosts when you put in new kibbles or treats in the container.
It is even worse when you dont wash the container. Plus, plastic has chemicals that react with oxidation, and it can harm your dogs in the long run. So, dont risk it.
Does Dry Dog Food Go Bad
According to Pet MD, oxidation starts when the pet food is exposed to air. The same goes if you expose it to direct light. When left exposed, food becomes rancid rather sooner than later. Think about it for a minute you spend a fortune on dog food, mainly if you invest in premium food or exceptional food for a diet. Therefore, knowing how to store it properly is imperative.
Here are some ideas to store food without exposing it to harmful factors.
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How Long Is Dry Dog Food Good For 10 Things You Need To Know To Keep It Fresh
Dogs food go bad?
A simple and honest answer is yes!
It is important to know how long is dry dog food good for minimizing health risks. Dog food is still food. Like human food, they compose it of ingredients that come from natural resources and eventually breaks down.
If you are a human being with love for dogs through the depths of your soul, you might want to know how long dog food lasts.
Here are ten things you need to know about dog foods and how to keep them fresh:
What Can You Do With Leftover Dry Dog Food
Store your dogs food appropriately.
Dry kibble should be stored in an air-tight pet food storage container with a lid and kept in a cool, dry environment. Many dog owners simply scoop food from the bag and roll the bag over resulting in food that can go stale, collect moisture, grow mold, or become contaminated.
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Best Practices For Proper Dog Food Storage
Dogs are not known for their discerning palettes. I mean, your dog probably thinks a month-old chicken drumstick on the sidewalk is a perfectly acceptable snack. That is why they depend on you to provide fresh, balanced meals each day to keep them healthy.
While you may have nutritious for your pup, you still should learn how to store it properly so it can maintain its nutritional value. Not only is properly stored dog food better for your pup, but improperly stored dog food may degrade and turn rancid rapidly, which can make your dog sick.
We consulted veterinarian Dr. Katy Nelson, associate veterinarian at the Belle Haven Animal Medical Centre in Alexandria, Virginia, and host of The Pet Show with Dr. Katy on Washington DCs News Channel 8 to find out how to keep your dogs food fresh for as long as possible.
Trashing The Original Packaging
You should never throw away your dogs foods original packaging. This packaging is made to keep out elements such as air and moisture and preserve and keep the food fresh as long as possible.
The original bag also carries important information, including the barcode, the expiration date, and batch code, all of which can come in handy, particularly in a dog food recall.
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How To Keep Dog Food Fresh
Since kibble, wet food, fresh ultra-processed and fresh frozen dog foods all go bad quickly once the packaging is open, its important to take steps to extend the shelf life and preserve the quality.
Shop more often: Almost one-quarter of pet parents purchased two packages of pet food at a time even though 64 percent of pets took at least four weeks to consume one bag of food, according to research . Buying several packages might save on extra trips to the store but could increase the odds that your dog food expires before your pooch polishes off the entire bag.
Make space in the freezer:Storing fresh, frozen foods in the freezer can extend their shelf lifebut Chavez offers one caveat.
If its been exposed to heat or previously frozen and thawed above 40 degrees Fahrenheit, freezing is not recommended, he says.
Practice safe storage: Leaving dry dog food unsealed, pouring kibble into plastic containers or leaving food out too long are among the most common dog food storage mistakes to avoid. Instead, Chavez suggests leaving dog food in its original packaging and storing it in a cool, dry spot with limited exposure to heat and light.
Paying attention to the expiration on your dogs food ensures that your furry friend is benefiting from all of the flavor and nutrients her dog food should provide and protecting her from potential illness.
Dont Mix New With Old
When youre almost finished with a bag of dog food, you might be tempted to open up a new bag and pour the remainder of the old bag into the new one. If the old dog food had any bacteria or mold at all, it could transfer it to the new bag.
I understand the desire to save space, but the last thing you want to do is put your dogs health at risk. Instead of mixing the old bag with the new bag, make sure you completely finish off the old bag, then open the new one.
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Loss Of Nutritional Value
Depending on the specific formula used, dog food will begin to lose it’s nutritional value once it’s surpassed it’s shelf life. Vitamins and nutrients will begin to fade and the food’s promised benefits will diminish.
The kibble will still retain some nutritional value, but it will be far inferior to when it was freshly made. In fact, if the food has a natural preservative, the nutritional value will decrease the moment it leaves the factory. But what does this mean for your dog?
Dogs rely on their food to get all the nutrition they need. Many owners choose food based on the benefits it can bring to their dog. When you feed your dog expired food, you’re depriving them of all the essentials they need to thrive. While you may be feeding the same amount, it’s just empty calories. Owners will have to offset this deficit with supplements.
Smart Ways On How To Store Dry Dog Food Long Term
Dry food is the most popular type of dog food out there. You do not always need to buy lots of it, as it is widely available in every pet shop. You can buy it lose as much as you want, just like you can purchase bags in all kinds of sizes.
However, there are situations when you might need to buy more than usually. Picture this scenario you load the RV to go on an extended holiday, and you want to make sure your furry friend has enough food. You do not feel like trying to find a pet shop in the middle of nowhere, especially if your dog is on a diet.
The same rule applies when your dog needs particular food that is not so common, not to mention finding food at an excellent price on a special offer you want to buy plenty of it then, but you do not want it to go out of date.
So, How long can dry dog food be stored?
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How Long Does A 40 Lb Bag Of Dog Food Last
Theres approximately 4 cups of kibble per pound. The 4 pound bag will have close to 16 cups of food, 60 cups of food in the 15 pound bag, 120 cups of food in the 30 pound bag, and 160 cups of food in the 40 pound bag. With a pet eating around 3 cups per day the 40 pound bag will last close to 53 damore.
Prevent Air From Getting In The Bag
When youre done scooping out the dog food, make sure to completely seal the bag. The best way to do this is to tightly roll the top and then use a clip to seal it.
The reason its crucial to keep air out of the bag is that exposure to air will accelerate the growth of harmful bacteria. The longer the food is exposed to oxygen, the quicker it will go bad. Simply clip the top of the bag to make the food last longer.
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Read The Best Before And Expiration Dates
Packaged food begins to degrade as soon as you open it. Check the expiration date on the packaging before you serve the food to your dog. Dog food usually comes as canned wet food or dry kibble. Opened canned food that is properly refrigerated with a tight lid lasts 6-7 days. Opened bags of dry food that are properly sealed after each use last up to 6 weeks. You can contact the manufacturer to find out details or look at the food production date. Always buy food that is less than 6 months old to ensure that your dog eats fresh, nutritious food.
If The Dog Food Doesnt Smell Right
If a food looks fine but smells bad when you open it and, especially, if your dog seems reluctant or slow to dig into it its likely that the foods preservative and antioxidant agents have not performed as well as they should. The fats in the food may be rancid, making it unappealing, but not necessarily unhealthful. Oxidation of the fats in a food can result in a chemical chain reaction that leads to a rapid spreading of free radicals . The absorption of essential fatty acids and fat-soluble vitamins is significantly reduced in oxidized foods defeating the purpose of buying that costly nutritious diet!
If a food is giving off a strong, chemical or rancid odor, its probably not dangerous to feed to your dog, but its certainly not what the manufacturer intended. If it doesnt smell right, you shouldnt feed it, advises Armstrong. My experience is, if a food is rancid, a dog wont eat it, even if hes a real chow hound.
Armstrong and several other pet food company executives admit that all makers of naturally preserved foods struggle with the task of preventing rancidity and oxidation in their products. The one downside of natural preservation systems is that sometimes shelf life is shortened, says Dr. Brown. Still, its better than putting chemicals and artificial preservatives into our animals tissues.
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Can Dogs Eat Expired Food
Some people might feel it is okay to feed expired food to their pet. In many cases, it is alright. And this is because dog food undergoes a unique manufacturing procedure that is aimed at increasing the life of the food. The nutrient-full formula is packed with different ingredients to keep the food good for as long as possible.
However, dog food starts losing its nutrients the moment it is packed and leaves the factory. Packages and cans all have a best by date. They do not have a strict expiry date because the food does not necessarily become unsuitable for consumption past that date. The food only loses its nutritional value beyond its best by date.
Moisture And Insect Contamination
This isn’t really a problem with food that’s stored in aluminum cans. Most owners may even think that it’s not a problem with bagged food.
Unfortunately, many kibble bags are permeable. Tiny microscopic holes will allow air and moisture to enter the bag. Over time, the food will absorb this moisture and attract pests.
Bugs can burrow their way through the bag and infest the food, leaving behind some unfavorable material. This contaminated food can lead to a host of issues in the dog if ingested.
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How Long Does Dog Kibble Really Last
Hint: Once opened…not that long.
Buying bulk bags of kibble can seem like a great way to save money when choosing food for your pup. Often sold at a lower cost per pound than smaller bags, the apparent savings can be appealing. But most dog parents are not aware that unless the food is consumed within a short window of time, it can spoil quickly. The potential result? Lots of waste, stale kibble, and a dissatisfied pup. Read on to learn more about how long dry dog food lasts and 6 tips and tricks for keeping your pups kibble fresh.
Can Dry Dog Food Go Bad What Causes Spoilage
The processes involved in producing dry dog food kill off most bacteria and fungi. Then what causes dry dog food to go bad?
Unfortunately, once opened, nothing is stopping their recolonization efforts beyond the preservatives , which, as we discussed earlier, dont last forever.
Holes in food bags are often the routes by which these bacteria and fungi can repatriate onto your dogs food. Holes are also a route for air and moisture that they depend on.
Air exposure allows for oxygen-hungry aerobic bacteria to multiply. These can produce toxic byproducts and speed up fat oxidation.
Moisture can also find its way into the bag making a great environment for fungi . Even if you think the food in the bag is not wet, your so-called dry food actually contains up to 14% water.
Any increased moisture can lead to a greater water activity, allowing fungal and microbial colonization to happen.
Last but not least, high environmental temperature accelerates both microbial growth and fat rancidity.
Preservatives can only prevent all these processes until the dry dog foods best-by date. After that, the food will start degrading.
After the expiry date , the dog foods nutritional content is highly compromised and it might also contain potentially hazardous substances.
As some studies pointed out, rancidity accounts for most of what we consider dry pet food spoilage and therefore lower fat diets usually have a longer shelf life.
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Look For Fresh Products
Weve said this before but it bears repeating: When buying naturally preserved foods , look for products bearing best if used by dates that are at least a year away. Most dog food manufacturers use best by dates that are 18 to 24 months from product manufacture. You want fresher products than that.
Some companies print dates of manufacture on the label, in addition to the best if used by dates and their coded information we love that. And dont buy food that is close to its best if used by date.
Dog Food Can Go Bad When Accessible To Dogs Other Pets And Even Children
Its another reason for food to deteriorate/spoil when accessible to dogs and other pets and even children. There are chances that they mix mud, water, or any other thing in the food. That can change food composition, and it turns bad or spoiled on the ground while mixing mud in the food.
To keep your dog food-safe, you need to keep that on the high place where your dogs cannot access it. In the majority of cases, when owners use transparent jars that lead to a problem, the dog can see that food and make efforts to get that.
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Shelf Life Of Dog Food
Dry dog food remains edible for two to six months. Canned food is a different story. It can maintain its flavor and quality for up to five years. Of course, this is provided that the container is not opened, dented, or otherwise damaged.
Always be on the look-out for marked down dog food products. The containers might be damaged, and you can never be entirely sure whether its contents are suitable for consumption or not. Who wants to take a risk with their pet?
Opened dry food can remain edible for up to six weeks. However, only if stored in a refrigerator. If at room temperature, it stays somewhat fresh for 24 hours. So, if you are out of home for that period, you do not have to worry about your pet going hungry.
Keep unopened cans of dog food in a cool and dry place. Opened can food should be used within a week of opening, if refrigerated.
If The Food Doesnt Look Right It Probably Isnt
First and foremost, its important to withhold any food from your dog that doesnt look right. The presence of foreign objects, a coating of powdery or hairy mold, and even a significant deviation from the foods usual color can signify something amiss with the foods production.
If you see anything unusual about your dogs regular food, call the makers toll-free number, printed on the bag or can of most commercial foods, and talk to a representative about it.
The company should be able to provide an explanation and offer remediation. First, though, they will need to confirm that you do, in fact, have some of their food. To do this, they will need information from the product label so they can determine when and where the food was made. For this reason, you must have and keep the bag or can until you have fed all the product it contains.
The importance of this cannot be overstated. Without the date-code information , the manufacturer is totally blind, says Russell Armstrong, president and co-founder of VeRus Pet Foods, of Abingdon, Maryland. In fact, he adds, every food maker has had the experience of trying to deal with a dog owner who insists their pet became ill after eating the companys food, but who can provide no proof of ever having purchased it.