It is doubtful that your dog cares how or where you store its dog food. He or she is likely willing to consume just about whatever you put in front of them. However, as a smart pet parent, you know what is best for your canine, and keeping their food safe and fresh is an important step to take.
Dog food that isn’t stored smartly can turn rancid and cause your pup to become ill. Keeping your canine’s kibble properly will also help it retain its nutritional value. You wouldn’t want it to degrade in taste or quality either.
Storing Dry Dog Food
Most pet parents realize to check the “best by” date on the bag of dog food before purchasing it. However, what many people don’t realize is that once it has been opened, dog food should only be kept for about 1 month to ensure freshness.
Once a bag of kibble has been opened, the food has been exposed to air, light, and heat. To help remedy this situation, you should always seal your bag of dog food with a clip when you are finished.
Using Airtight Containers
Keeping your dog food in an airtight container is like having extra insurance against the food going rancid. Stainless steel and plastic containers are both acceptable, providing that no air can get in.
About the Original Dog Food Package
Even if you decide to use airtight containers, it is important to keep the original packaging. This is because you need to have access to specific information about the origin of the food such as the UPC code, lot number, “best by” date, and more in case there is a recall.
Cleanliness Is Important
When the container that houses your dog food is running low, do you just top it off with a new bag of food? Think this through before doing so. Old grease and meat particles are now sticking to the sides of the container and will contaminate the new food you pour inside. Instead, just let the container become completely empty and then give it a quick wash in hot soapy water. Allow it to dry completely so that mold and mildew won’t ruin your new bag of food.
Keep It Cool and Dry
Storing the container and its contents in a location that is cool and dry is a must-do. If moisture creeps in, so does mold. Your pet will get sick if they eat moldy dog food. If the surrounding air temperatures of the dog food reach as hot as 100 degrees Fahrenheit, the nutrients in the food will begin to break down. That is why a shed or garage is not ideal for storing dog food.
Also, keep in mind that wherever you have chosen to keep the dog food, it shouldn’t be able to be found by your dog when you aren’t looking.
Storing Wet Dog Food
If left unopened, canned dog food can last for years. With that being said, go ahead and throw out any cans of dog food that have heavy dents in them, as this may indicate that the seal has been broken. When that happens, the air gets in and bacteria begin to grow.
Speaking of air getting to the canned dog food, you only have 24 hours for your pet to eat any of the leftovers that you are saving for them. You can use can covers to save leftovers in the refrigerator for a day or utilize Ziploc bags or other airtight containers.