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?
Why Is Corn In Certain Products
Corn is an excellent ingredient because of the benefits it brings to the product. Corn is a highly nutritious ingredient chosen as a source of protein , carbohydrates , fiber, antioxidants and linoleic acid – an essential fatty acid that promotes healthy skin and a luxurious coat.
Hill’s® uses grades 1 and 2 corn for our pet foods, which are the grades traditionally used for human food products.
While some individuals are concerned about allergies in pets, corn is NOT a common cause of adverse food reactions in pets. Studies have shown that corn causes no more food allergies than any other grain.
Most grains, including corn, are poorly digested before they are cooked. Once cooked, however, they become highly digestible. Corn is also highly digestible, higher than several other grains such as rice, wheat, barley and sorghum.
Some consumers are concerned that corn may be a filler. Fillers offer no nutritional value whatsoever. Corn, as mentioned above, is a superb source of nutrients.
We choose all of our ingredients for the nutritional value they contribute to each product we make.
Shelf Life Of Unopened Cans Of Dog Food
Before purchasing canned dog food, check the “best if used by” or “use by” date on the container. If this is hard to find or not there, avoid the food as it is likely a low-quality product. Canned dog food should have a shelf life of two to five years from the date of canning. Because canning is a sterilizing process, undamaged canned food can potentially last much longer, but it’s best to throw it out if it is past the “use by” date.
Also Check: Can You Buy Dog Food With Food Stamps In Florida
Listen To Your Dogs Behavior
Even though we would like to believe that dogs eat anything, sometimes they tell us if there is something wrong with their food. They have high sensory detectors that tell them something can harm them.
If you see that they did not touch their food, check it for spoilage or molds, instead of scolding them. It would also be better to buy in small packaging than trying to save money on hauling big bags of dog food for penny-pinching reasons. It will save you more money by paying good attention to what you feed your dogs.
Is it important to know how long is dry dog food good for? In conclusion, dog food can go rancid and spoil when you dont pay good attention to it. Its a common mistake of most dog owners to think their dogs are invincible. Table food is all right in small controlled quantities.
Dogs have special needs. Special because they are dog needs and not human. We need to give them the love and care that they deserve for being good boys and girls, not just by providing them with any food. If we look out for our food as human beings, we need to look out for their food. A healthy and well-fed dog is a happy and loving dog.
What Does The Intermittent Feeding Statement On The Hill’s Prescription Diet Pet Food Package Mean
The statement “This food is intended for intermittent feeding only or as directed by your veterinarian,” is a reflection of AAFCO regulation. The Association of American Feed Control Officials requires that a feeding statement be included on all pet food labels. The key phrase in the statement is “as directed by your veterinarian.” Most of our Hill’s® Prescription Diet® pet foods have been shown to be adequate for long-term feeding in animal feeding trials, but this does not mean that all animals should be eating therapeutic foods long term. We wish to make it clear to each pet owner that the advice of a veterinarian is essential for proper utilization of Prescription Diet® brand products.
You May Like: Is Iams Dog Food Any Good
The Problem With Rancid Fats
Heres why you dont want your dog to eat rancid fats.
So its very important to prevent your dogs food from oxidation.
What Do Dogs Eat
The short answer for what do dogs eat is that dogs need mostly protein and calcium in their diet. This is provided by any quality dog food and is all that is needed for dogs eat to maintain a balanced diet.
Thats the easy part, but if you like to give dogs treats to eat, then there are specific dos and donts. A strange blog for a human food site, but if you are tempted to feed your dog whatever you are eating, you should read on.
Anyone who has raised a puppy, will quickly answer the question of what do dogs eat with everything!. Speaking from experience, they are right! Heres a list of just a few things that our golden retriever has eaten or attempted to eat, in just his first 8 months of life: rocks, electrical chords, expensive wallets , corn cobs, bones , shoes, the list goes on and on. Some of the favorite things our dog likes to eat are dirty napkins and dirty socks. The veterinarian said we have been very lucky so far, as she usually has to do surgery when most of these things are eaten by dogs.
So, included below the list of what dogs eat is a list of things to never feed your dog and then, of course, our table of how long does dog food last.
Don’t Miss: Is Iams Dog Food Any Good
Can I Give My Pet A Nutritional Supplement
Before giving any supplement to your pet, discuss it with your veterinarian, especially for pets diagnosed with a disease or illness. Prescription Diet® brand pet food is designed to nutritionally manage pets’ conditions via specific key product characteristics, so supplements could seriously jeopardize your veterinarian’s nutrition recommendations.
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!
Don’t Miss: Royal Canin Urinary So Feeding Guide
Freezing Wet Dog Food
Owners that need to store their opened wet dog food for a longer period of time can look to the freezer for help. Freezing the dog food will keep it safe to eat for a long period of time if done correctly.
There are a few different methods depending on the needs of the owner and dog. With that being said, the freezing method can deteriorate the quality of the food in terms of nutritional content and taste.
Keeping it in the freezer for too long may make it undesirable to dogs, so owners should try serving the food as soon as possible.
The easiest way to freeze the food is to pop it in some zip-lock bags. Owners can portion out the food so that it’s easy to defrost and prepare come dinner time.
Never put the can directly into the freezer. Due to the formula’s high moisture content, doing so will lead to a nasty surprise when it freezes. Instead, use multiple zip-lock bags placed on a tray. It’s important to space out eat tray to ensure that the bags don’t stick together as they freeze.
Another alternative is to use ice cube trays. This is great for owners looking to make a quick treat for their pup. It’s also beneficial for portioning food after it has frozen. Simply fill the trays, leaving enough room for expansion.
With either method, defrosting is fairly easy. Whether it’s a large portioned zip-lock or small cube, run the frozen food under some warm water or pop them into the microwave. It’s important to heat them up to moderate temperature to avoid burning the dog.
How Long Does Opened Canned Pet Food Remain Safe
We all want to feed our pets healthy, wholesome food. While keeping dry pet food fresh is mostly a matter of storing it properly in an appropriate sealed container, there are different considerations when it comes to canned pet food. Unopened, canned pet food is good to use until the use by or best by date marked on the can. However, once the can of dog or cat food has been opened, do you know how long the food will remain good to use?
First, lets consider the food you put down for your pet. When you open a can of pet food, ideally you should serve a portion that your dog or cat will finish in one sitting. If your pet does not finish the entire portion of canned food, it is best to pick up any uneaten food within 30 minutes, and even more quickly on warmer days. The high moisture content combined with exposure to air and warm temperatures makes canned food susceptible to bacteria and mold growth. The uneaten food in your pets dish should be discarded. Use a clean pet food dish for every feeding.
What about the food remaining in the can? If you have a partial can of open dog or cat food, it should be closely covered and immediately placed in the refrigerator. Keep in mind that when you serve your pet the food from an opened can, most pets prefer the refrigerated food to be gently warmed to room temperature. This releases the aroma of the food, and many pets do not like cold food. Any uneaten pet food in the open can should be discarded within 3 days after opening.
Also Check: Is Royal Canin Dog Food Made In China
How Do I Figure Out The Number Of Cups In A Bag
There are a couple of ways to do this calculation. One method is to multiply Cups per pound x pounds in the bag, where the Cups per pound can be found in Hills Key to Clinical Nutrition.
Another method is to multiply Bag size in pounds x 16 to find the number of Ounces in the bag. Then divide: Ounces in the bag / Ounces per cup of product to find Cups per bag, where the Ounces per cup of product is found in the Hills Key to Clinical Nutrition.
Stored Food Cool And Dry:
- The dry meal is intended to be kept in a dry situation. Keep your provender in a cool, dry zone to forestall microbes and form development. On the off chance that your nourishment gets wet, it ought to be tossed out and replaced.
- Pooch food ought to be kept at around room temperature, which is commonly viewed as 20 to 25°C. In the event that the encompassing temperature in your standard stockpiling zone is outside of this range, storing the nutriment to the fridge, or generally warming it ere serving your dog.
Recommended Reading: What Does Dog Food Taste Like
Can Dog Eat Cold Food From Fridge
Our research shows that nearly a quarter of all owners warm their dogs food. But avoid serving food that is either too hot or too cold. So, there are owners who warm their dogs chilled food to simply bring it back to room temperature or slightly above. A dogs desire to eat might be diminished by illness or injury.
Common Problems With Dog Foods Past Their Expiration Dates
Dog foods tend to undergo a lot of changes, once they age. Such changes can have an impact on your dog, especially in terms of his health and level of energy. With that in mind, it is crucial for you to be aware of the common problems associated with expired dog foods aside from checking them for mold and bacteria. By knowing these problems, you can decide whether you should feed the food to your dog, even when it expires.
Recommended Reading: How To Make Homemade Dog Food For Kidney Failure
How To Keep Your Dogs Food Fresh
First, lets take a step back. All dog foods should have a “best by” or “best before” date printed somewhere on the bag or can. Whenever possible, purchase bags or cans with dates that are as far in the future as possible. When you do this, you are buying the freshest food on the shelf. Keep in mind that these dates are not infallible, however. Food doesnt expire the day after its “best by” date, and if the packaging has been compromised the food may go bad much sooner.
Examine packaging before you make a purchase to be sure that bags are intact and cans arent bulging or leaking. When you get home, use some common sense. If you open a bag or can and the food looks or smells “off,” or your dog is reluctant to eat it, stop feeding from that package immediately. Reputable pet food manufacturers will stand by their products and offer a money back guarantee.
Store The Opened Canned Food In Airtight Containers
Most people think that after opening some canned food that they can just put it in the fridge and it will be good for a long time. The problem is that canned food that is placed in the fridge will have some condensation due to the temperature differences. Condensation is basically small water droplets that will actually start to rust the can as it contains iron. So if you have ever wondered why your canned food tastes like metal after a couple of days in the fridge then this is the reason.
Once you close off the contents of the canned food in an airtight container you will prolong its shelf life, especially if you place it in the fridge. When it comes to what kind of airtight container you can use you have several options like zip lock bags, mason jars, or plastic containers. No matter what kind of airtight container you use make sure that the container is closed correctly. A good thing to think about is the size of the container, generally speaking, you should use a container in which the contents of the canned food fit but doesnt have too much empty space.
If you store a small amount of canned food in a large container then it will spoil as there will be enough air in the container to allow bacterial growth, even if it is in the fridge. If you are wondering if you can eat canned dog food then check out my recent article Can humans eat dog food in an emergency? .
Which Hill’s Prescription Diet Foods Can Be Used With Prescription Diet Treats
Hill’s® Prescription Diet® Canine c/d®, g/d®, h/d®, k/d®, r/d®, w/d®, b/d® and j/d. Prescription Diet® Hypoallergenic Treats can be used with z/d® Ultra, z/d® Low Allergen, and i/d®. To inquire about any exceptions to this list, please contact the Hill’s Veterinary Consultation Service at 1-800-548-8387.