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 Long Will An Open Bag Or Can Stay Fresh For
Monday, October 23, 2017 |
For our dry recipes, the food will stay fresh until the Best By date, which can be found in the production code box. To help ensure freshness, we recommend you store your food in a container in a cool, dry location. Be sure to make note of the Best By date before you empty the bag into the container so you know how much time you have to use the food. For our canned recipes, we dont recommend leaving an open can out for more than 30 minutes. Partially eaten cans should be covered or put into an airtight container in the refrigerator and kept no longer than three days after opening.
The information in this blog has been developed with our veterinarian and is designed to help educate pet parents. If you have questions or concerns about your pet’s health or nutrition, please talk with your veterinarian.
How To Tell If Dry Dog Food Is Bad
Follow these easy steps to tell if your bag of dog food is spoiled.
If anything is wrong with the food, take it back immediately. You should not be paying for food that could potentially harm your dog.
Don’t Miss: How To Stop Food Aggression In Dogs Towards Other Dogs
Diy Dog Food Storage Container Ideas
If you arenot ready to purchase some of the storage containers that we have recommendedin this post, you can make your DIY containers. Here are a few ideas you canuse:
- Use empty juice bottles to hold small portions of your dogs food. Ensure that the food can easily be poured when it is time to feed your dog.
- Use colored storage totes to hide or limit your dogs access to dry food without your consent. You can use the totes to hide multiple dry food bags or boxes.
- To contain some dog food aromas, put them in a baby diaper pail because the pail was designed to conceal odors.
- You can also repurpose cat litter buckets and use it as a large storage container where you can place bags of your dry dog food.
- Old suitcases can also be repurposed as a large storage bag for dry dog foods
How Long Will Unopened Dry Dog Food Last
Now that you know how to make dog food last as long as possible, youre probably wondering how long it will last if you do everything right.
Lets start with an unopened bag. As long as you keep the bag in a cold room, the food should last for well over a year. Check the expiration date on the bag. These expiration dates are for bags that remain unopened. Most bags will show an expiration date of about two years from the time of purchase.
Recommended Reading: What To Feed Dogs Without Dog Food
Store Your Dog Food In Its Original Packaging
There are two good reasons for storing your dog food in its original packaging.; Firstly, it will have been made from food-grade material.; Ordinary plastics can actually cause food to spoil.; Even if they are airtight, they may draw out oils from the dog food.; Over time, this will lead to it becoming rancid.
Secondly, the original packaging will have all the key information about the dog food.; You never know when you might need to refer to this.; For example, if the brand has a product recall, you will need to check the original packaging to see if you need to return the food.
Handle Canned Dog Food With Care
Many dogs prefer canned food because of its moist, meat-filled texture and taste. Its like your pup gets a fresh, delicious bowl of stew each time you open a new can. Best yet, canned food can last for years if properly stored, but there are a few precautions you have to take to ensure that it will taste delicious and be safe when you serve it to Fido.
- While canned dog food can last for several years, youll want to check the best by date on the bottom of the can to ensure that the food hasnt expired yet.
- Most importantly, always check cans for dents, swelling and punctures, all of which could indicate that the food is spoiled or contains botulism, a;potentially deadly toxin;to humans and pets. According to the Government of Canada, botulism is caused by bacteria called Clostridium botulinum, a type of bacteria that grows in moist, oxygen-free environments like those formed by the canning process.
- Discard any suspect cans its better to be safe than sorry. To be extra safe, wrap the can in plastic and discard it in the trash. After handling a suspect can, wash your hands thoroughly or, better yet, use disposable gloves to handle the can.
- Store pet food cans indoors in temperatures of;22 degrees Celsius;or below. Note that you dont have to refrigerate unopened cans of food and most pets prefer food that is at room temperature.
Don’t Miss: How To Make My Dog Eat His 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.
How Long Does Dry Dog Food Last
Just like humans, dogs too need to feed on fresh and nutritious food that meets all their nutritional needs and wellbeing. Feeding on fresh food helps to prevent health and poor growth issues. Dogs feed on both dry and wet food, which comes in many different recipes provided by various brands.
The feed also comes in different sizes. In this article, we focus on dry food. One of the questions people keeping pets for the first time asks is how long does dry food last. Dry foods come in many, and easily manageable types. The most popular dry food is the kibble, which contains 6 to 10 percent moisture.
Besides coming with easy storage abilities, kibble is also budget-friendly and does not require refrigeration like the wet and canned food recipes. With dry food, you do not have to worry about spillages or the food spoiling before the dog finishes the amount in the bag. Many of the dry food recipes come with easy to follow guidelines, which make it even easier to feed the dogs.
Recommended Reading: What Did Dogs Eat Before Dog Food
How To Store Dog Food To Keep It Fresh
Before you start thinking about how to keep your dog food fresh, think about what dog food you buy and how you buy it.; Be very careful about buying dog food from open bins e.g. at bulk stores or markets.;;
If youre buying dried dog food in bulk but have a small dog, think about buying multiple small bags.; These may look more expensive but theyre actually likely to work out more economical.; This is because its more likely that your dog will have time to eat them while the food is still fresh.
Tip #: Put The Bag In A Can
Weve just established that you should leave your dog food in its original bagyou should NOT be transporting it into a different bag.
But you can put that original bag inside a secondary container made of glass or stainless steel.
This way you get the benefit of the original bag, and you get the benefit of a second airtight container. This will help ensure that your food stays fresher, longer.
Don’t Miss: How To Moisten Dog Food
Does Dog Food Expire How To Keep Your Furkids Food Fresh
ByCynthia Lawrence24 September 2021
If you’re looking for an answer to the question ‘how long does dog food last?’ you’ll find everything you need to know right here…
If youve been pondering the question does dog food expire? then were happy to report that youve come to the right place! Whether its dry kibble or canned food, even the best dog food can expire and go bad after being opened.;
Since dogs need a nutritious diet each day, spoiled dog food will deprive your pooch of the essential vitamins and minerals required to stay healthy and happy. Whats more, bad food can lead to gastrointestinal or other bacterial issues that will affect your pups overall well-being.
While it may not always be obvious when dog food has gone off, it is important to always check the expiration dates and labels when purchasing. This will give you a clear indication of how long your food can be kept for and ways in which you can store it safely.;;
Typically, unopened wet dog food tends to stay fresher for longer periods, compared to unopened dry dog food. Kibble has a shelf life of about 12-18 months, while the canned variety can last for up to two years from the date of purchase. This is because the canning process itself acts as a preservative and ensures food doesnt spoil quickly. However, once its gone beyond its expiry date, it will start to degrade.;;
Natural Preservatives In Kibble
Natural preservatives, such as vitamin E and vitamin C are used in better quality foods. But while natural preservatives are less toxic than their synthetic counterparts, they dont offer the same shelf life. And while theyre less toxic, not all natural preservatives are, well, natural!
Some of the more common natural antioxidants include:
You May Like: How To Soften Dry Dog Food
Tip #: Do Not Give Your Dog Food That Is Discolored Or Smelly
You wouldnt drink milk that smells funky, would you? Of course not!
And you shouldnt feed bad-smelling or discolored-looking food to your dog, either.
Thats why its never a bad idea to give your dog food a quick whiff before giving it to your dog, especially if its has been opened for longer than 60 days.
If you can train yourself to get in this habit, then youll know what the food is supposed to smell likeand youll be able to tell if that odor starts to change.
Does Dog Food Expire
Admit it: You didnt know dog food has an expiration date. Its not like the dog food sits around for monthsyour four-legged, speed-eating champ makes sure of thatso does the expiration date really matter?;
Its important for pet owners to note the expiration date on their dog food package to prevent feeding expired or soiled food to their dog, explains Dr. Megan McCarthy, a veterinarian at the Best Friends Animal Society Lifesaving Center in Salt Lake City, Utah. Expired dog food may have a loss in nutritional quality and may cause illness.;
Despite the importance of heeding the expiration date, more than 10 percent of pet owners never check the expiration dates on pet food packaging and 7 percent admitted to feeding their pets expired kibble, according to 2021 research .;
Also Check: What Foods Are Not Safe For Dogs
How To Store Dog Food: 7 Tips For Keeping Your Dog Food Fresh
If youre like most pet owners who use Bully Max, youre already well aware of how important it is to nourish your dog with high-quality dog food.
But heres something many pet owners tend to forget:
Just like any other food, dog food gets stale and can even go bad over time.
And because we arent the ones eating it, sometimes it can be hard for us to realize when our dogs food is no longer freshbut your dog knows!
And of course, the most important thing is to make sure that you are never feeding your dog food that is expired or rancid.
So to help make sure that never happens, weve put together this list of our top 7 best storage practices to keep your dog food fresh:
Storage Safety: How To Store Dog Food
Your dogs food is the nutritional foundation for her health so we want to be sure it stays nutritious and tastes delicious for our best friends. It might not be the first thing we think about, but proper dog food storage is one way to keep your four-legged friends dining experience a happy one.
Fortunately, there are measures you can take to keep her food fresh and save you from wasting bags of kibble or wet food. Weve compiled some best practices to help you properly store different types of dog food and treats.
You May Like: How Long Do Dogs Stay On Puppy Food
How Much Dog Food Should I Buy
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.
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.
Don’t Miss: What’s Good Food For Dogs