Start With The Expiration Dates
Pet food manufacturers establish expiration or best by dates to ensure the safety of your dog. In general, unopened dry pet foods have a shelf life of 12-18 months, while unopened canned foods are good for two years from the date of manufacture. Look for the expiration date on the bottom of your dogs food bag or cans, and plan to open and use the food before that date.
Keep in mind, the date stamped on the bag indicates how long the food will stay fresh before being opened. Once its opened, and air and moisture have a chance to get in, dog food can start to degrade. Some experts recommend using opened food within a couple of weeks. If youre concerned about getting through an opened bag before it goes bad, consider buying dog food in smaller amounts. Better to safely use up a small bag than risk a large, opened bag of dog food spoiling before its emptied!
What Temperature Should Dry Dog Food Be Stored
Dry dog food should be stored away from heat and in a temperature not exceeding 80F. Anything hotter than this will cause a nutrient breakdown. Eventually, it will make dry dog food go bad.
Also, you must store the dog food away from your pets reach. This will prevent overconsumption and exposure to bacteria.
I highly recommend that you get a dry dog food container . These are airtight containers that will prevent the entry of air, bacteria, and other elements that will affect the foods quality.
However, most dog food containers will not protect against direct heat. Its your job to ensure that the location where you store the food is safe and has the ideal temperature. please read here how to heat a dog without electricity.
How To Keep Dry Dog Food
We recommend that you follow these easy guidelines:
- Purchase only as much food as your dog will consume in a few weeks.
- Keep the food in the original bag, push out as much air as possible, and seal tightly with a clip, wire, or elastic.
- Place the bag inside an airtight container.
- Do not combine new and old foods. Unless youre changing your dogs diet, always complete the old food bag before opening a new one.
- Always clean the container in between each food bag. Rancid oils will set off a chain reaction in your new food, causing it to spoil much more quickly.
- After cleaning, always allow the container to air dry thoroughly.
- Please keep it away from insects and rodents in an excellent, dry location.
- If you have too much food, freeze a portion of it.
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What Makes Dry Dog Food Go Bad
The biggest factor in whether or not dry dog food goes bad is how long it is kept in a warm place. Dry dog food can be kept for up to six months when stored at room temperature, but it will go much faster if the temperatures are higher.
Unopened and unrefrigerated, you should be able to store your dry dog food for about 90 days. If opened and refrigerated, this figure jumps to about one month.
How Long Is Dog Food Good For After Expiration Date
For dog food, and most human foods for that matter, expiration or best buy date is used to indicate maximum taste and freshness and not necessarily safety. Dog food, be it canned wet food or dry kibble, is already designed to endure a long shelf life.
This long shelf life is promoted by the use of preservatives in the dog food, some of these are totally healthy for your dog, and others, like sodium, are typically measured at just the right amount to promote the preservation and still meet healthy guidelines for dogs.
A manufacturer of dog food will frequently put out guidelines for how much preservatives to add to the food to keep it from spoiling, while also still maintaining an attractive taste for dogs.
In addition to this process, the best buy label is applied to a can or a bag to indicate a cut-off time for how long the food will preserve its taste before the preservatives start to become more pronounced in the aroma and taste.
The matter of when dog food becomes unsafe for your dog is a different matter. The best before date on dog food indicates that the essential nutrients that are most beneficial for your pet will be at peak freshness on or before that date. After the best before date has come and passed, the nutrients will begin to degrade but the food will still be edible to your dog-just not as healthy.
Therefore, the essential nutrients begin to lose freshness and potency, but just how long can expired dog food last before it becomes unsafe for dogs?
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Do Dog Treats Go Rotten After A While
Like dry or canned dog food, dog treats have an expiration date. The shelf life is determined by the components used and the types of preservatives used.
The shelf life of homemade peanut butter dog biscuits is substantially lower than a commercially produced treat. Soft, meaty sweets are more likely to deteriorate than hard biscuits. Treats kept in airtight containers and carefully preserved endure longer than those exposed to air and humidity.
Dog treats can go rancid. However, as long as theyre stored properly and utilized before the expiration date, theyll be alright.
Can Dxpired Dog Food Grow Mold And Bacteria
Bacteria, mold, and contamination are common with dry and canned dog food months past the expiration date. The main reason for this is that dog food is an organic matter of course, which means that no matter how many preservatives are in the food, the quality will eventually degrade over time and bacteria will begin to form.
With dry dog food, mold growth is not a concern if the food is stored properly and remains unopened. Once the bag is opened, the air immediately begins to respond to the organic matter, and light, either sunlight or artificial, the moisture in the air , and mold spores that routinely float in the air become absorbed into the food.
Mold can only be toxic if it is allowed to grow, therefore, this is why it is important to keep dry food sealed or closed after opening.
Canned dog food is a bit different. Opened canned food is of course immediately exposed to mold and bacteria, and unless you use an entire can, this bacteria can grow rapidly without refrigeration and proper storage. Opened canned dog food that is not used in one feeding should be used within 1 to 2 days even with refrigeration.
Unopened canned dog food refers back to the previous paragraph, and mold and bacterial growth are not an immediate concern with unopened, sealed cans. To find mold growing inside of canned dog food, this would likely only occur after years past the expiration date-if at all. If this is the case, you shouldnt attempt to feed this to your dog in the first place.
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When Should Dog Food Be Thrown Out
If your dogs dry dog food has gone bad or if it smells bad and your dog refuses to eat it, you should throw it out.
Also, it would help if you threw out any opened bags that are still moist, as this could also be a sign that it has gone bad.
According to the FDA, dog food can be thrown out when it has been open for more than 3 months, and it is past the sell-by date on the bag. The sell-by date on your dogs dry dog food should be 4-6 months after purchase.
Dog Symptoms That Dog Food Has Gone Bad
There are many symptoms that a dog may experience after eating food that has gone bad, but thankfully most of these symptoms are very obvious and hard to miss.
Vomiting and Diarrhea are the two most common symptoms and are likely to occur soon after eating or within the following 24 hours.
However, for some dogs, vomiting, and Diarrhea may occur somewhat regularly regardless of their food which can sometimes allow for these symptoms to slip through the cracks.
There are other digestive-related symptoms that some dogs can experience from stale or bad food, including flatulence and discomfort.
In extreme cases, where the food is contaminated with bacteria or mold, the symptoms can be more severe. This could include paralysis, hemorrhagic enteritis, and other severe digestive system illnesses.
If your dog experiences any of these symptoms, its critical to consult with a professional vet immediately. Based on this consultation, take their advice in relation to diet and food and whether you should dispose of your dogs current food or switch to an alternative.
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Can Dogs Get Sick From Stale Dog Food
If your dog does happen to get into spoiled or expired dog food you may see signs of general gastrointestinal upset such as vomiting or diarrhea. Depending on the pathogen, though, your dog may become seriously ill. Bacterial pathogens like E. coli and Botulism can cause life threatening illness if left untreated.
Dog Food Gone Bad: Overview
1. Buy fresh food. Check the best if used by date on the bag.
2. Visually inspect the food it shouldnt be dusty or moldy. Smell it it shouldnt smell rancid. Discuss any irregularity with the maker before you decide whether to feed it.
3. Store dry food in its original bag, in a cool, dry place. Ideally, keep the bag in an airtight container.
4. If your dog has an adverse health event that could possibly be related to the food, withdraw the food immediately. Contact the manufacturer and report the event as well as the products date-code. If the symptoms are serious, get your dog to a vet, fast, and put your vet in contact with the manufacturer.
5. Pay attention if your dog is reluctant or slow to eat his food. It may be rancid or oxidized.
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Put The Original Container Into An Airtight Container
If youre buying small bags of dog food and using them up quickly, you may get away with just rolling up the top and clipping it closed. Even with small bags of dog food, however, its still better to put them in an airtight container. With larger bags, its highly recommended. Ideally, youll still clip the bag closed, just to be doubly sure its airtight.
Keeping your dog food in its original packaging will ensure that the inevitable crumbs stay in the bag and dont get into the container. This helps to minimize the attraction to pests.
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Repeated Mistakes In Kibble Manufacturing
Theres a big difference between a company whose products are frequently problematic and one that has suffered a one-time adverse event, no matter how tragic. We propose that the victim of a single event disaster may well be in the best position to learn every possible technique to prevent further accidents, and should not necessarily be punished by consumers, especially if the remediation efforts were swift, sincere, and generous.
In contrast, weve heard of companies that ship products with the same problems with their products year after year, and that offer little if any remediation to customers who complain. If we bought a bag of expensive, premium food and it was moldy, wed expect an immediate replacement and an explanation. If, some months later, this happened again, wed probably switch brands for good.
How Long Does Dry Food Last Unopened
The simple answer to this question is about one year to eighteen months. Some dog owners find it more economical to buy dog food in large quantities. Buying in large quantities, not only saves costs, but it also saves time spent going back to the store to pick replenishments.
Whether you are buying in large quantities or much smaller ones, the first rule should be to check the expiry date given by the manufacturer. Besides the expiry date, ensure that you read all the other details concerning the ingredients to find out if there are any likely to go bad quickly.
A bag of dry dog food has a shelf life of about one year to eighteen months, and as long as it stays unopened, it should last through the date of expiration indicated by the manufacturer. Once you open the bag irrespective of how far the expiry date is, it becomes another whole story.
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What Are The Health Risks Of Expired Dog Food
Expired food can present both minor and severe risks to your pup, and, for this reason, we would say not to take the risk with it. Although food marginally out of date is safe, taking the chance of your pup getting a tummy upset will mean no one wins if you have to clean up after him.
Diarrhea and sickness is the main problem you will encounter if Fidos food is bad. The spoiled foods will have bacteria present that can upset the balance within the gut and intestine, which causes the body to expel extra fluids in a bid to flush them out.
Symptoms can last for a few days. The sickness should stop within 24 hours, but the loose stools may carry on for a few days afterward. If it does happen, you must bin all expired food and feed him a plain diet of chicken and rice to not upset their stomach any further.
A more serious aspect of spoiled food is the possibility of serious bacteria breeding and being present when your pup eats it. Bacteria such as Salmonella, E. Coli, Botulism, and many more can spread through the bloodstream. This will cause many health issues, that if untreated, could mean a life-threatening battle for your pupper.
A less severe but still serious consequence of feeding food that is past its best is malnutrition. Degraded foodstuffs often lose their vitamin and mineral goodness before they go moldy or rotten. This means that they are not delivering what your pup needs, even if it doesnt upset his stomach.
Is It Safe To Feed Your Dog Human Expired Food
When it comes to human foods, there is actually very little that is acceptable and good for dogs in the first place. In terms of expired foods, the same concern for you also applies to your dog. In fact, there are very few differences between the spoiling process of expired human foods and expired dog foods.
Exposure to air and light accelerates human foods in much the same way. Also, the loss of nutritional quality and taste are the same as seen with expired dog foods. Treat the process the same way and also avoid feeding your dog human foods that would cause them problems in the first place.
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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.
How Many Cups Of Dry Dog Food Should I Feed My Dog
Assuming your dog has a typical activity level, toy breeds should have about ¼ cups to 1 cup, small breeds should have about 1 cup to 1 2/5 cup, medium breeds should have about 2 cups to 2 2/3 cups, and large breeds should have about 2 4/5 cups to 3 cups. -Senior dogs should be fed a little less than adult dogs.
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How They Make Dog Food Last A Year
The main reason kibble is heated and dried is to remove the moisture from the food. Moisture is the enemy of any food that needs to sit on a shelf for months or years because moisture breeds bacteria. So most kibbles contain only about 10% moisture.
Once the kibble is dried, the packaging is critical to the stability of the food. If air got into the food on the shelf, it would become oxidized. Oxidation happens when the chemicals in the food come into direct contact with oxygen. Oxidation lowers the nutritional value of the food and can also cause toxic mold and bacteria to grow.
The most sinister result of oxidation is how it damages the fats in the food. But modern-day packaging has a grease barrier. The barrier usually contains a synthetic antioxidant to prevent the fats from oxidizing and becoming rancid. So with the proper packaging in place, the pet food manufacturer can send that food out on pallets and it can sit on the shelf with a Best Before date so you feel safe knowing the food you buy your dog isnt spoiled.
While AAFCO requires pet food companies to put a Best Before date on your food, they dont have to say when the food was manufactured. So you dont know how long the food has been sitting on the shelf before you buy it.
But because the packaging is such an important part of keeping your dogs food safe from the harmful effects of oxygen, what happens when you open that bag?