You can research, choose and buy the best food that's healthy for your pooch, but if you don't know how to dog food properly to keep it fresh, everything else is pointless. Safely storing your pet's food is essential to avoid contamination, mold, spoilage and generally have it last longer thus saving you some money.
Dry food and wet food will need to be stored differently. Obviously, dry kibble is much easier to keep for longer either using original bags or better yet, dog food storage containers. Wet food won't last as long and is likely to take up space in your fridge or freezer. Regardless of what food you buy, here are effective tips on how to store dog food properly to ensure it lasts longer and is always fresh and enticing for your Fido.
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How to Store Dog Food Properly
1. Check packaging details before buying.
- Check the expiration date before you buy dog food.
- Verify that the package is not damaged.
- Check the security seals to detect any previous exposure.
2. You can leave DRY FOOD in its original bag.
- While dog food storage is more convenient, you can still store in the bag.
- Kibble bags contain a fat barrier to keep it fresh.
- You can keep it in the freezer if stored longer than a few months.
- Seal it properly and air tight with a clip.
3. Keep your WET FOOD in the fridge after it was opened.
- Don’t let wet dog food sit more than 4 hours in your pet’s dish.
- Don’t freeze wet food – this can change its taste or degrade it.
- Best to store in a tight sealed container to avoid leakage or bad smell.
4. Don’t throw the original bags.
- The batch code is important in case your pet has a bad reaction to the food.
- You will also need the product’s SKU/barcode to purchase another one.
- If it's a large bag, use it to mix different types of food from smaller packages.
5. Never leave the food in direct sunlight.
- Direct sunlight elevates the food’s temperature, which can spoil it quicker.
- It elevates humidity levels, which can make it go moldy quicker.
- It increases the risk of contamination.
6. Don’t mix old food with new one when storing.
- Old dog food could be contaminated and it could contaminate the new batch.
- Older food is already closer to its expiration date.
- Older food has already been more exposed to air which affects its quality.
7. Keep it away from your pet.
- Your pooch is smart enough to find a way to access his favorite food.
- There’s a danger of your pet overeating if he gets into a bag.
- Your pet might spill it, risking air-exposure and contamination.
8. Get a pet food storage container.
- Dog food containers are specially designed to store dry food for longer periods.
- They can hold large quantities of dry food and are easy to use.
- They are pet-proofed and difficult for pets to access but convenient for owners.
9. Use your creativity for storing to save money.
- Use old (but clean) trash cans or other empty containers to store dry food.
- Use seal-able yogurt cups or other containers to store opened canned food.
- Search the web for ideas on how to store food creatively; see here and here.
10. Keep it safe from water sources.
- Humidity can degrade or contaminate dry food.
- All dehydrated foods must be watered directly in your pet’s dish.
- If the food has been exposed to water, consider it ruined and throw it out.
11. Be careful with storing homemade and raw food.
- You can cook a two or three-day batch at a time.
- Keep all prepared foods well refrigerated or frozen if needed.
- Avoid unnecessary exposure to the elements such as heat or water.
12. Don’t keep the bag directly on the floor.
- It increases the chances of contamination.
- It increases the chances of spilling.
- It makes it easier for your pet to get into it.
13. Depends: Don’t pour the food directly into a container.
- If using a commercial pet food container, read the instructions for storage.
- For some containers, use the original plastic food bag for storing in the container.
- Residual elements can contaminate the container.
- Plastic or metal material may contaminate the food.
How to Store Dog Food Safely
When to comes to knowing how to store dog food, many pet owners make a few common mistakes mentioned above. Most common mistakes are: they will throw away the original dog food bag, which are specially designed to keep food in its best condition. They sometimes expose pet food air or sunlight, which can completely spoil it.
And finally, pet owners often mix old food and new one because it's convenient but shouldn't be done due to possible contamination (among other reasons). Avoid these common mistakes – follow the above tips on how to store dog food safely, use a dog food containers and always check the expiration date.