Refrigeration Avoids Costly Wastage
Okay, you might be thinking that food spoilage isnt a problem because it isnt harmful to your dog, and your dog wont eat spoiled food anyway. So, no animal was harmed in the making of this doggy food waste.
However, it will hurt you in the pocket. That could add up to a big ouch if it happens regularly.
If you were to add up the cost of such wastage over time, you might get a shock. Youll quickly come around to the view that the small extra effort needed to refrigerate canned dog food is more than worth it.
Refrigeration will slow down the processes that cause spoilage and reduce waste. That means youll need to buy less dog food, saving you money for other things.
Preparation Of Our Homemade Diet
All of the information above might seem intimidating, but I assure you that making the actual meals for our dogs takes no more than 20 minutes of actual hands-on time.
First, we cook our complex carbs, whether theyre grains, legumes, or starchy vegetables.
While that pot is simmering on the stove, we cook the meat in a separate pan in coconut oil and ground turmeric. After its cooled a bit, we add chunks of meat to our food processor and pulse until theyre broken down into 1/2- to 1-inch pieces.
Then, we gather whatever vegetables or fruits we have in the kitchen , chop them up as needed, and toss them into the food processor.
We also add a few clean, crushed eggshells to the mix. A few pulses turns all this food into smaller pieces, making them more digestible for our dogs.
Finally, we add the cooled, cooked carbs to the food processor and do a couple more pulses to combine. Everything should have a finely crumbled texture by this point.
Since dogs have short digestive tracts, its crucial that you break down the food to increase its bioavailability that is, making all the nutrients in those wholesome ingredients more digestible in a dogs system.
I prepare enough food to last my two pugs an entire week. Its unbelievably easy, and I like knowing exactly what goes into their food. Friends will watch us feed our pugs and remark that it looks good enough for them to eat!
Storing Canned Dog Food
An unopened can of dog food can remain fresh for years when stored in a cool and dry location, but only buy the number of cans that can be used before they reach their “best by” dates. Once opened, canned food should be stored in the refrigerator for no longer than seven days. If you do not think you will use the whole can in that amount of time, freeze single-serve portions and thaw them on an as-needed basis. Canned food that has been opened and left at room temperature should be discarded after four hours. Clean the bowl prior to refilling it.
Youve spent good money on your dogs food. Dont let improper storage sabotage your dogs health and well-being.
Dr. Jennifer Coates
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Cooking Our Way To A Healthier Dog Diet
Ever since I started raising my own dogs, Id always wanted to make their food at home but thought it would be too expensive or too time consuming, or that they wouldnt get the nutrition they needed.
During the month of Bugs doggy depression, I vowed to make her precious life as comfortable as possible.
Both of my pugs had a range of health issues growing up, which I unfortunately found out were common for the breed.
My older one had persistent hot spots and itchiness that no commercial dog food could cure .
Bug was overweight for a while when she was younger, even though she ate the recommended amount of food for her target weight. Eventually, I settled on Wellness kibbles and they did well with that brand.
But, I wanted to explore other options. I wanted to give them real food fresh, nutritious ingredients that I recognized and could even eat myself.
Ive mentioned in my post on homemade whole grain chicken feed that the entire household all share the same whole grains and seeds that we buy in bulk, as well as the bounty that comes from our edible garden.
Everything our animals eat, we can eat.
When it comes to homemade feed for our laying hens, we stick to a tried-and-true formula that works for every layer: 16 to 17 percent protein , vitamins, minerals, and amino acids from a wide variety of grains and seeds, and free range of a pasture for weeds, greens, and insects.
Dogs, on the other hand, arent bred for a standard function the way chickens are.
Can You Put Unopened Canned Fruit In The Fridge
Unopened canned fruit can be refrigerated for short periods of time. As mentioned, canned fruits should not be refrigerated for a long period of time.
Canned fruits that are unopened can last for up to 3 years in the pantry and 1 year if refrigerated.
This means that you do not need to refrigerate them unless the situation calls it.
Canned fruits are very versatile and are used in many recipes to make delicious items such as pies, crisps, and cobblers.
They are preserved by canning methods which include storing it in a can of water, canning fruit in its own juices or syrup, and vacuum sealing.
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Dont Forget To Clean Food Bowls Regularly
How often do you wash your pet food bowl – Every week? Thats not bad, but the Food and Drug Adminstration actually recommends washing pet food bowls, dishes, and scooping utensils with soap and hot water after each use. This is to prevent infectious agents such as Salmonella or Listeria from accumulating on the items. If you use a plastic container to store your pet food, wash the container when empty, and make sure it is completely dry before adding new food.
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.
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Refrigeration Helps Avoid Food
Surprising as it may seem, you can pick up food-borne illnesses from your dog. Its not from eating contaminated pet food, although that will do it.
The problem is that even if your dog doesnt show any symptoms of a food-borne illness, it can still be a carrier. So, anyone coming into contact with their dogs stools, fur, or saliva is at risk of becoming infected. Infected dogs can spread the bacteria as they roam around the house.
You can also pick up food-borne bacteria, like salmonella, from handling infected food.
Children, pregnant women, and seniors are especially susceptible to infection. For some, regardless of age or other factors, food-borne illnesses can be fatal.
So, apart from harming your dog, not refrigerating canned dog food once opened can also pose a risk to human health.
A Hungry Dog May Seek Out Other Bad Food Sources
Okay, you have money to burn, so the financial impact of doggy food spoilage wont hurt you, and since your dog wont eat spoiled food, it wont harm him. So, youre happy not bothering to refrigerate your canned dog food.
Well, while spoiled food may not directly harm your dog, it could do so indirectly.
You see, if your dog is rejecting the food you put down because its spoiled, hell look for other food sources that might cause illness.
You could turn your dog into a dumpster diver. While you may not have wanted the food in your garbage cans, it may still be palatable to your hungry canine.
However, especially in high temperatures, the food youve put in your garbage can may be unsafe to eat. Cast your mind back to the first section above on bacterial growth if you need reminding, or easier still, just scroll back up to it.
Its not only what youve put in your garbage that will tempt your dog. Some dogs seem to enjoy eating poop. While it may be for some health reason, one likely cause is that theyre underfed.
The trouble is, poop-eating can cause illness if the poop is infected with bacteria or parasites.
Feeding your dog food from a freshly opened can or one thats been kept fresh by refrigeration will keep it from being hungry. In turn, its less likely to develop a poop-eating habit due to underfeeding.
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Get The Latest Recipes Right In Your Inbox:
DIY dog food can easily be made right in the slow cooker. Its healthier and cheaper than store-bought, and its freezer-friendly!
If you didnt know what your slow cooker is capable of, youll be very happy to know that you can now add dog food to the crockpot list.
Remember that DIY homemade dog food recipe I made recently? Well, this is pretty much the crockpot version, using a blend of different veggies that will hold up a little better in the slow cooker.
Now the best part about this, just like all slow cooker recipes, is that you can simply dump everything right in. Thats it! Simply set it before you go to work and then you can come home to 2 weeks worth of dog food by the time you get home.
Its easy, its healthy, its nutritious, and you know exactly whats going into your pups bowl. This recipe is also completely customizable to veggies that you have on hand just be sure to double check what your pup can and cant eat. You can simply do a can my dog eat xyz search on Google.
But as always, please consult with your pets veterinarian for possible allergies and when applying this information to your own dogs diet.
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.
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An Overlooked Dog Food Option
Canned dog food. That was it. Bailey wouldnt eat the kibble. But he sure did love that wet food.
So, I decided to learn more about canned dog food. I knew Bailey liked it. And he liked it a lot more than he liked kibble.
But I had to be sure if it was OK for him to eat. After all, Id always heard that canned dog food wasnt as good for dogs as kibble.
Note The Expiration Date
Your dogs food has an expiration date just like your food does. Thats why we always make the Best Before dates on our packages easy to find and understand. For dry dog food and pouches of wet food, its on the back. For canned food, its on the bottom of the can and the date is clearly visible theres no secret code you have to crack. After that date has passed, though, swap out old food for new, because we cant guarantee its nutritional integrity anymore.
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Keep Dog Treats Fresh Too
Treats are a great way to reward your pup for good behavior or just as a way to show him how much you love him. But no one wants a soggy, stale treat, including your pooch. To keep treats fresh and tasty, follow these steps:
How To Store Canned Food After Opening
Not a lot of people think about the everyday logistics of surviving, like what to do with opened canned foods. Most people once they open canned food they will consume it entirely so that it doesnt spoil. Although you can do this fairly easily with canned foods meant for one or two persons but with bigger canned foods you will not be able to consume it all. Most preppers buy canned goods in bulk, so if you are a prepper odds are that you have some family-sized canned goods also.
You can store canned food after opening by placing the content of the can in an airtight container, and by pouring the liquid from the can in the container as well. The liquid in most canned foods contains preservatives, which will prolong the shelf life of the canned food even after you have opened it. The airtight container will limit the growth of bacteria and will slow down the decaying process.
One of the easiest ways to store the contents of an opened canned food is with plastic containers, my personal recommendation is to use one that is BPA free and which you can also use in your microwave on Amazon.com
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How To Store Canned Wet Dog Food
Wet food is a delectable option for dogs. They’re usually full of flavor and chock full of the essentials. Canned food also tends to be fresher than their dry counterpart. With that being said, what happens if the pup can’t finish the entire can?
This is a common question by dog owners that prefer wet canned food for their furry friend. Instead of tossing out the leftovers out of fear of spoilage, there are a few ways to make that food last longer and save money in the process.
How To Store Dog Food For Maximum Freshness
Dog food storage containers are handy for keeping food contained and out of the way. However, food poured out of its bag and into a bin can spoil faster as oils and fats settle into the walls and bottom of the bin. Experts recommend storing dog food in the bag it comes in. Dog food bags are designed to protect food from air and humidity, both of which can speed up the rate at which pet foods degrade .
But that doesnt mean you cant get one of those clever dog food bins. Just put the bag into the bin! Storing food in its original bag, in an airtight bin, can prevent the fats from oxidizing When the fats and oils of the kibble first hit the walls of your pet food containers, they begin to oxidize .
Canned dog food should be stored unopened in a cool, dry place. Once opened, canned dog food can be stored in the refrigerator for a few days. Be sure to tightly cover any unused canned food with plastic wrap or a reusable lid, such as one of these can covering lids.
And of course, if you use fresh or frozen dog food, store it in a cold fridge or freezer. Check manufacturer instructions for details.
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Is It Ok To Mix Wet Food With Dry Dog Food
Mixing wet and dry dog food or wet and dry cat food is fine as long as both options are of high quality and meet your pets nutritional and other health needs. Quality wet and dry foods are formulated to provide your pet with all the protein, fat, vitamins, minerals and other nutrients they need to thrive.