How Long Will Opened Dry Dog Food Last
To be on the safe side, youll want to finish the bag within 14 days of opening. I know that doesnt seem like a lot of time, but you need to remember that when it comes to food spoiling, the enemy is oxygen.
Right when the bag is opened, the food is exposed to oxygen, and there will be a chemical reaction that begins the process of spoiling. Thats why its best to purchase smaller bags. I know you save a bit of money when purchasing big bags, but unless you think youll finish it off within two weeks, its best to buy multiple smaller bags.
Keep Them In Their Original Packaging
I had designed dog food packaging to fight off spoilage. If you keep it in its original packaging, you limit the risk of having oxidation. But still you need to keep it closed or covered. If you want to keep the dog food in a plastic container for concealment, just place it in there with the original packaging.
Does Dry Dog Food Go Bad
Its nice getting the price break when buying dog foods in larger bags, or even getting some special discount for buying multiple bags at once. But how long is the dog food good for?
Whether its wet dog food or dry dog food, they are meant to have a long shelf life, but they also have expiration dates. And those dates are there to protect your dog from eating something harmful. But is there a shelf life difference between opened and unopened packages of dog food?
Also Check: Iams Veterinary Formula Intestinal Plus Puppy
Does Dog Food Go Bad
- This post contains affiliate links. Read more here.
- Not a substitute for professional veterinary help.
Dry or canned, most dog food is made to lastfor a while, that is. Although many commercially-available dog foods have long shelf lives, they dont stay fresh forever.
Does dog food go bad? In short, yes: without proper storage, dog food can spoil or go rancid. But dont worry, there are lots of ways to ensure your dogs food stays fresh for as long as possible.
Read on to learn how long dog food lasts, how to store it to last longer, and how to tell if dog food has gone bad.
Here Are 6 Tips To Help Get The Best From Your Pets Dry Dog Food:
TIP 1: Avoid feeding your dog bags of dry dog food that may have been torn or damaged, and do not feed your pup food that has passed its expiration date.
TIP 2: Store your pet’s kibble in a cool, dry environment .
TIP 3: Between each use, keep the kibble tightly sealed in its original packaging. If you do use air-tight storage bins, it’s best to store the kibble in its original bag and place it inside the container. .
TIP 4: Throw away kibble that has a plastic, chemical-like smell .
TIP 5: If your dog is refusing to eat its kibble at mealtime, dont force them to eat – your pup may have detected that the food is spoiled.
TIP 6: Consider moving away from economy-size bulk kibble that is more prone to these issues.
Read Also: Is Royal Canin Made In China
Why Does Dog Food Spoil
The key to understanding how to preserve pet food is to understand why it spoils. One reason dog food goes bad is due to oxidation. Once the bag is opened, the contents are exposed to the air and moisture in the environment. Dry food is particularly susceptible to oxidation, so proper storage is crucial but we will cover that in a bit.
Once the contents of the pet food are exposed to the air, it becomes vulnerable to bacteria contamination the longer it is left out. As with most food, too much moisture in the air can cause mold, which is sometimes toxic to your dog especially when its ingested in large amounts.
One more environmental reason why dog food can spoil is due to high temperatures. The heat, especially when it is combined with the above factors can lead to rancidity.
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!
Also Check: What Is The Best Costco Dog Food
How Long Is Dry Dog Food Good Once Its Opened
Like any food, once you open the packaging, the countdown of freshness begins. Some people say that dry dog food should be consumed within 2 weeks of opening it. But PetMD.com says that dry dog food should be eaten within 6 weeks of opening the bag.
Jennifer Coates, DVM says: How you handle food once you have it at home can make a big difference in how long it remains fresh and maintains its ideal nutritional profile. Exposure to air, light, hot temperatures and humidity speeds up the rate at which foods degrade. To limit these effects, keep dry foods in their original packaging.
And as far as leaving dry dog food sitting out in a dog bowlit can be out in the open for a day or so. But PetMD recommends not leaving out more dog food than what should be consumed in a 24-hour period, so that your dog doesnt end up overeating. Overeating can cause your dog to struggle with obesity, which leads to heart issues, hip and joint issues, and other health problems.
And all dog food should have an expiration date on itso be sure to use the dog food before that date.
List Of What Dogs Eat Healthy Snacks Or Alternate Meals For Dogs
1) Cooked Lean meats no bones, grizzle or skin.
2) Slices of fresh fruit like apples, oranges, bananas, and especially watermelon make tasty treats for dogs to eat. Be careful to remove seeds , stems, and leaves which can cause serious problems as noted above.
3) Fresh vegetables like carrots, green beans, cabbage and cucumber. Cooked potatoes are fine, but raw are not.
4) Pasta or White Rice plain white rice and boiled chicken can actually help a dogs upset stomach, but make sure they are both cooked.
Read Also: Pedigree Vs Purina Dog Food
How And Where To Buy Dry Dog Food
Buy kibble in small batches that you know will be eaten within 2 to 3 weeks. Resist the temptation to save money by buying huge bags of food. I purchased a 30 lb. bag once which lasted 6 weeks. But toward the end of the bag, it started to smell a little stale so I threw it out. Now I only buy 15 lb. bags, which last around 3 weeks for two dogs. Sometimes I will just pick up a couple of 5 lb. bags and open one at a time.
I prefer to buy food from the local pet store in my neighborhood. The owner keeps the inventory moving in a climate-controlled building, and the food is always fresh. During the pandemic, I ordered from a larger more distant pet store and the quality seemed okay, but I did not feel as comfortable with the freshness.
I avoid purchasing dog food from large chain stores or online. Even though the bags may be within their expiration date period, I still wonder about their standards and storage conditions.
I buy Fromm Adult Gold dry kibble for my two dogs. Fromm does not sell directly to consumers, and they only sell to small stores that meet their strict storage guidelines. See more about their policy here. I have been giving my dogs Fromm Adult Gold Kibble for 3 years and I have never had a problem with freshness. And my dogs have never had a problem eating it! See more about this in my post Is It OK to Feed Your New Rescue Dog Dry Kibble?
How Long Can You Keep Unopened Dog Food
Rover.com says that pet food manufacturers establish expiration or best by dates to ensure the safety of your dog. In general, unopeneddry pet foods have a shelf life of 12-18 months, while unopened canned foods are good for two years from the date of manufacture.
And companies like Pedigree agree, saying that unopened bags of PEDIGREE® dry dog food have a one-year shelf life, while unopened cans and pouches of our wet dog food are good for two years from the day we make them.
Remember to store the food in an airtight container in a cool, dry place. Heat could cause moisture and mold. And leaving the food opened, or even on the floor could attract pests to come snack on your dogs foodcontaminating it.
You May Like: Is Iams Dog Food Grain Free
Is Frozen Wet Dog Food Being As Nutritious As Fresh Dog Wet Food
If you want to save your opened wet dog food can for a long period of time, place it in the freezer.
It will increase its shelf life, but remember, it is not as nutritious as fresh canned food. The aroma will be lost and many dogs dislike thaw food.
Always fill the bowl with one-time thawing, if your dog not eats it then discard it. If you place it back into the freezer, it will be a call to bacteria to host here. Always serve fresh meals to your pooch.
How To Tell When The Food Has Gone Rancid
The idea that dry dog food will go rancid seems foreign to most people, but that is because it can be difficult to tell when it happens. Dogs have a sense of smell that is much stronger than that of a human, so your dog may notice the food isnt good before you do. However, dont trust that because some dogs will eat anything.
You will know that your Kibble has gone rancid when:
- You see signs of moisture, bugs, and even mold growing on it
- The food produces a sour and pungent odor
- The food has been exposed to either moisture or heat
- The food has gone past its expiration date
- Your dog refuses to eat or gets sick immediately after eating it
There are three primary ways that food goes rancid. The main ways that your Kibble can go wrong are by being exposed to:
Keeping the Kibble away from moisture or heat will help to keep the food fresh longer. Dry and cold is the best option for storage as it will keep the Kibble for the entire two-week duration.
You May Like: Darwin’s Natural Pet Products Reviews
Look For Visible Signs
When most of us pour food into the dog bowl, we rarely take a look at it. If you think the dry dog food might have gone bad, be sure to carefully inspect the food and check for mold or bugs. Also, look for different colors and a white powdery coating. All these are visible signs that the food has gone bad.
Keeping Dog Food Fresh: Tips & Tricks For Making Your Dogs Food Last
Weve explained the typical length of time that most dog foods last before becoming spoiled or stale, but its important to note that these time frames arent set in stone. With proper storage and care, you can maximize the length of time your dogs food will last.
So, consider doing some of the following things:
In order to keep Fido feeling his best, its important to serve him food thats fresh and nutritionally sound. Each food has its own storage and preservation pointers, but youll also want to keep an eye out for any clear signs that your dogs food is past its prime.
What kind of food does your dog eat? How do you keep Fidos food fresh? Wed love to hear all about it below!
Like it? Share it!
A General Guideline For Preparing Homemade Dog Food
My DIY dog food recipe is more of a general guideline, rather than an exact meal plan that I follow each week. My dogs diet changes the same way ours does, depending on what we do and what we buy or grow.
However, we almost always stay with this basic formula:
- 50 percent cooked protein
- 25 percent cooked complex carbohydrates
- Fats and supplements
Protein is always meat and usually chicken, though weve also used turkey, pork, and beef. We feed any and all parts of the animals, but most commonly, we saute chicken breasts or chicken thighs in coconut oil and ground turmeric.
Coconut oil has a host of health benefits for dogs, such as improving the skin and coat, increasing energy, aiding digestion, reducing allergic reactions, promoting wound healing, preventing yeast and fungal infections, and supporting arthritis or ligament problems.
Turmeric has long been studied for its powerful medicinal properties, including its use as an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory.
We add it to the coconut oil since it is fat-soluble, and use it to support our pugs joint health.
Speaking of dark meat, we feed thighs and breasts interchangeably. While well remove the skin from poultry and trim off excessive fat from red meat, we dont worry about buying the leanest meat possible for our dogs.
A little fat is necessary for a well-rounded diet.
They tend to be the leftovers in our produce bin, so we never have to buy, say, a whole head of cauliflower just for the dogs.
Best By Vs Expiration Dates
Best by dates and expiration dates are not synonymous. An expiration date denotes when the food item has ‘turned’ and is no longer safe to eat. A best by date, on the other hand, is the date in which a pet food item isn’t as nutritionally complete as the label may say. It doesn’t always mean that the pet food is no longer safe, though. Most pet food will still list best by dates so that pet owners can confidently know they are feeding their pet nutritious, safe pet food.
A pet food company can gauge what the best by date for a particular food line will be based on the type of preservatives used in the food. When it comes to canned food, canning is the preservative, so unopened cans usually stay fresher longer than unopened dry food. In regards to added preservatives, there are various kinds of natural and synthetic preservatives used in pet food. While the word preservative has gained a bad reputation in recent years, they are vital in keeping your pet’s food safe for consumption.
Not all preservatives have the same rate of degradation, though, and pet food companies will use this knowledge to determine how long their food is good for. Once the best by date has passed, the preservatives will begin to degrade. Once that happens they can no longer protect your dog’s food from spoiling, either from mold or bacterial overgrowth.
Don’t Miss: Iams Low Residue Dog Food Recall
What Dog Food Is Killing Dogs
Midwestern Pet Foods expanded its recall of dry dog and cat food following reports that dozens of dogs died after eating the Sportmix dry kibble, the FDA said. A pet food recall is widening after the Food and Drug Administration announced that more than two dozen dogs died after eating Sportmix brand dry kibble.
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.
Don’t Miss: Does Dog Food Taste Good To Dogs
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.