Wednesday, September 27, 2023

How Long Does Dog Food Last Once Opened

How Often Should You Change Dog Food

How Long Does Dry Dog Food Last (5 Ways to Keep Dry Dog Food Fresh)

Some pet owners may think the answer to this question is obvious change it when you run out. Since some dogs could take a longer time to finish the contents, we would suggest purchasing the right size bag to get a better idea of when to change your dogs food. How often you change your dogs food should be dictated by the freshness and date rather than when its fully consumed.

How often should you switch up the recipe? Switching out the recipe or even pet food company brand could be a new concept for some owners. Some breeders and vets recommend switching out the formula to make sure your dog always gets a balanced diet with a full nutritional profile. If didnt invest in the best food there is , then changing is a great way to make sure your dog is never nutrient-deficient.

The new food can be just a different flavor from the same brand or a different brand altogether, but pet owners still need to follow the feeding requirements when switching the food. We are talking about the gradual addition of the new food and the decrease of the old recipe.

How Long Is Dog Food Good After Expiration Date


With several companies issuing recalls regarding dog and cat food lately, it is no longer surprising to see plenty of pet owners, who are concerned about the quality and safety of the foods they serve to their beloved pets. Furthermore, the safety of serving pet foods after they have exceeded the indicated best by, best before, or expiration date is still undergoing constant discussions.

It should be noted, in the US, pet foods do not need to put expiration or best before dates in the labels on their packaging. However, many pet food companies do so as a means of informing stores and consumers about the specific length of time when they can guarantee the quality of their products based on what they advertise.

Also, note that different factors, such as the strength of packaging and degradation, have a major impact on the length of time the dry and wet foods for pets can exceed the recommended dates indicated in the packagings label. So how long is dog food good after expiration date? Find out through this article.

Why Fats In Kibble Go Rancid Fast

The minute you open your dogs bag of kibble, air gets in and the oxidation process begins. And every time you open the bag, the amount of oxidation increases, along with the health risks. The fats and oils in the food are very susceptible to oxidation so every time you open the bag, the fat particles break down into smaller compounds such as malondialdehyde, , and the fat becomes rancid.

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Is Your Dogs Food Fresh

So how long does a bag of dry pet food really last after it’s been opened?

According to renowned dog nutrition experts, Steve Brown and Beth Taylor, approximately 2 weeks. Yes, just 2 WEEKS! Yikes!

What about the expiration date on the bag, you ask? While it is true that the shelf-life of an unopened dry dog food product can be up to a year, once a bag of kibble is opened, the two-week count-down begins, making the expiration date on the bag somewhat misleading.

Why does a bag of kibble only last for 2 weeks once opened? It’s all down to a sneaky process called oxidation.

Pet food bags are designed to keep kibble stable and safe for your pet to eat. But, when a bag is opened, and the kibble is exposed to air, the oils and fats in the food start to react with oxygen, gradually causing them to break down and eventually turn rancid . Sounds yucky, doesn’t it?

The Problem With Rancid Fats


Heres why you dont want your dog to eat rancid fats.

  • Rancid fats can destroy vitamins, which can lead to vitamin deficiency. Most dogs today are vitamin D deficient.
  • In lab studies, dogs and other mammals suffered vitamin, fat and protein deficiencies when they were fed diets with rancid fats.
  • Rancid fats have been linked to many other health issues including malnutrition, hair loss, diarrhea, liver and kidney disease, reproductive problems and even cancer and death.
  • So its very important to prevent your dogs food from oxidation.

    RELATED:Dogs with vitamin D deficiency are at risk for cancer

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    Tips To Keep Kibble As Safe As Possible

    Use these 5 tips to make sure your dog is getting the best nutrition possible from his kibble.

  • Know How Your Dogs Kibble Is Preserved

    If youre looking for food-based preservatives instead of synthetic chemicals and vitamins good for you! But be aware that your food wont last as long.

  • Know What Fats In The Kibble

    How long your pet food lasts once its opened depends on where the fats are from. If your dogs kibble is beef, then you need to use the bag up within 3 weeks. But if its chicken or other poultry, the PUFAs will degrade faster and you should use the food within 2 weeks of opening.

  • Dont Buy Big Bags Of Food

    Its true that larger bags of food will cost you less, but your dog needs to get through that bag in 2 to 3 weeks before it goes rancid.

  • Dont Buy Kibble With Fish Oil Or Omega-3 Fats Added

    Fats from fish and fish oil oxidize very quickly. If you must feed a food with fish, use it up within a week for best results. RELATED:The ultimate guide to balancing fats for your dog

  • Never Take Your Kibble Out Of The Package

    Remember, most pet food makers spend more on the package than the contents, and that bag is designed to keep oxygen out. If you must keep your food in a plastic bin, put the whole bag in the bin then squeeze as much air out of it as you can and seal it with a clip.

  • What Do You Do With Open Dog Food

    For Opened Canned Dog Food

    If its 50° F or warmer, you can leave wet food in your dogs bowl for up to four hours. After that, you should throw it away. Opened cans can be stored in the fridge for up to three days. After that, you should toss out any leftover food.

    Read Also: Where To Buy Royal Canin Gastrointestinal Low Fat Dog Food

    Dog Food Usually Spoils Within A Few Days Of Opening It

    An opened canned dog food usually lasts for 7 days in the refrigerator. If it is not in the refrigerator, an opened canned dog food will last about 4 hours.

    Dry dog food with an opened bag will last 4-6 weeks and should be consumed within that period. If its exposed to air, it may happen earlier than that. Keeping it in the freezer will make it last longer, according to experts.

    Seal And Refrigerate To Preserve Freshness

    Making My Dogs Vegan

    Unfinished canned food should be stored in a refrigerator for three to five days, Dr. Nelson says. You can use a can cover to keep the food fresh. Be sure to squeeze out any air, and take a good look at it before feeding. If its watery, or has changed in smell or texture, just throw it out.

    For fresh or frozen foods, Dr. Nelson recommends storing them according to package directions.

    Once opened, we like to wrap the open end of the tube in foil, held in place with a rubber band, she says. That can last up to a week in the fridge.

    Also Check: Where To Buy Darwin’s Dog Food

    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.

    How Can I Tell If Dog Food Is Spoiled

    If your dog suddenly wont eat or takes a few bites and walks away, they may be telling you somethings wrong with their food. Heres how to tell:

    • Theres a sour or rancid smell.
    • The dry food is moist, moldy or has bugs in it.
    • The food has been exposed to high heat or humidity.
    • The bag is past its Best Before date.
    • Your dog seems sick or uncomfortable after eating.
    • Theres a change in your dogs stool.

    If you ever have any concerns about your dogs food, dont risk it. Toss out whats left and replace it with a fresh bag.

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    Feed Your Dog Pallaby

    If you are looking for an alternative to your usual bulk bag of kibble, consider switching to pallaby. Delivered in compostable, pre-portioned pouches, pallaby pet food is optimized for freshness, and is consumed quickly after the pouch is opened. Even better, each pouch is tailored to fit your pup’s nutritional needs.

    How To Store Dry Dogfood Long Term: Our Top 17 Tips

    How Long Does Dry Dog Food Last After Opening?

    1.Store The Food In Its Original Container

    Always store your dog food in its original container, andonce you open it, remember to fold and clip it, and put it in airtight storagecontainers. Here are the benefits of storing dry dog food in its originalcontainer:

    • Some plastic containers are made of poor quality plastics, which can collect oil from the dog food, making it rancid over time.
    • Most dog food companies use high-end packaging bags, including oxygen barrier bags that are designed to lock out moisture and oxygen.
    • The original container has important information that you may need to keep your dog food fresh, including, UPC codes, lot number, expiry dates. The details can also come in handy when you have a problem with the food or in the event of dog food recalls.

    Best oxygen barrier bags for long-term food storage

    2. Always seal your storage bag

    Seal any dog food bag or container after every feeding to prevent exposure to humidity and oxygen, top elements that speed the rate of food degradation. Unsealed food bags are also prone to bacterial contamination. To seal your bag, roll down the sides or use clips like Ikea Bevara Sealing Clips to close up the bag.

    3. Use within a maximum of 6 weeks after opening

    4. Always use airtight containers

    Any container that you use for storing dry dog food should be airtight to protect the food from oxidation so that it can maintain its fresh taste. It also prevents pests from infiltrating your dog food.

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    Dates On The Packaging Are There For A Reason

    Contrary to popular belief, expiration dates are not just suggestions on when food might spoil. It has been tested by food makers to see how long their food lasts.

    Following the stamped dates about how long is dry dog food for is the most sensible thing to observe all the time.

    There was an exact science that came with it. Its the same for dog food. There is a possibility that you can stretch the dates to a few more weeks, but it will still go bad after you have opened it.

    How Should I Store My Fromm Pet Food

    For dry food:

    Fromm dry kibble should be stored in a cool, dry place. This should be somewhere indoorslike a pantryrather than in an environment like the garage or outdoors, where temperatures may fluctuate and exposure to pests is more likely. Also, dont use the freezer or refrigerator to store kibbles.

    Fromm dry foods should be stored in their original packaging. The bags that our recipes come in are specially designed to keep the kibble fresh, and to keep contaminants out of the food.

    On the other hand, when you pour the food into another containerespecially plastic onesthat may result in food contamination or spoilage. Thats because over time, the fats in our kibble will seep into the pores of many types of plastic. Compare this to storing something like tomato sauce in a plastic containerthe sauce permanently dyes the container red. When this happens with kibble, you may also have foreign materials from the plastic introduced into your pets food.

    If you would like to transfer your food to another container, we recommend placing the entire dry food bag inside of another sealed container.

    For canned food:

    Prior to opening, store cans in a cool, dry place indoors, just like you would for dry food.

    Once opened, cover the can and store it in the refrigerator for up to five days.

    Canned food should be sealed and stored in the refrigerator after opening. Our canned food should not be stored for longer than five days after opening.

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    Dog Food Contains Anti

    Its true that quality dog food contains antioxidants that prevent it from going rancid or bad. But thats only when the packaging is unopened.

    Once opened, the anti-oxidants it contains slow breakdown and oxidants that cause spoilage can come in to play and make the dog food contaminated, spoiled or poisonous.

    How Much Dog Food Should I Buy

    Pet Food – How To Care | Store Open Dog | Puppy Feed Big Bags. BholaShola | Harwinder Singh Grewal

    Regardless of your choice of storage, one way to keep meals tasting fresh is to have the right amount of dog food on hand for your furry friend. Buying too much dog food at one time can mean that your dog will be eating that food for months and months. Buying too little dog food will lead to a hungry pooch and emergency trips to the pet store.

    As a responsible pet owner, its important to determine how much your animal needs to eat. Dog food and treats can last a long time once made as long as 12 to 24 months depending on the type of food.

    As a general rule, you can use the following as a start to determine the dry dog food bag size you need:

    • 4-6 pound bag = small dog, under 20 lbs
    • 12-18 pound bag = medium dog, 20-50 lbs
    • 24-30 pound bag = large dog, 50 lbs and over

    Using this suggestion, food will last about 5-8 weeks depending on the size of your dog and how much they eat. Keeping 1-2 months of food on hand helps to maintain the nutritional value and great taste.

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    How To Determine If Dog Food Is Rancid

    There is more variety in dog food selection today than ever before. Some dog owners prefer dry kibble, while others prefer canned food. Still other give their dogs a diet of raw meat, claiming it is a more natural alternative than processed food. Depending on your dog’s taste, a combination of quality dry kibble and canned food is a compromise that gets many tails wagging. When considering canned dog food, it’s a smart idea to check the shelf life before buying.

    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.

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    Storing Raw Dog Diets Properly

    If your pup eats a raw diet, there are special considerations for properly storing it. Raw meat can quickly become rancid at room temperature.

  • Always store raw pet food in the refrigerator for no more than four days at a time in a covered container.
  • If making food in bulk, store it in the freezer using resealable plastic bags or freezer-safe containers. Frozen food can last for up to six months if properly protected from freezer burn.
  • When serving your pup, ensure he eats the entire portion of food you provide for him in one sitting. Otherwise, immediately pick up the food and store leftovers in the refrigerator. Raw meat shouldnt sit out for more than two hours at a time at room temperature.
  • Raw meat isnt appropriate to serve even in timed feeders during the day with a chilled compartment because of its propensity to spoil.
  • Always thoroughly wash your hands after handling any type of dog food, especially raw meat.
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