Dry food is the most popular type of dog food out there. You do not always need to buy lots of it, as it is widely available in every pet shop. You can buy it lose – as much as you want, just like you can purchase bags in all kinds of sizes.
However, there are situations when you might need to buy more than usually. Picture this scenario – you load the RV to go on an extended holiday, and you want to make sure your furry friend has enough food. You do not feel like trying to find a pet shop in the middle of nowhere, especially if your dog is on a diet.
The same rule applies when your dog needs particular food that is not so common, not to mention finding food at an excellent price on a special offer – you want to buy plenty of it then, but you do not want it to go out of date.
So, How long can dry dog food be stored?
What To Pay Attention To When You Buy Dry Dog Food
data-preserver-spaces=”true”>Buying dry dog food is just as important as storing it. When at the supermarket or pet shop, make sure you double-check the expiry date upfront. Some brands provide natural food that has a short shelf life. You should know how much your dog eats, so you can determine whether it can finish it or not. If you are not sure, get a smaller bag. You can also freeze some of it to keep it fresh for longer.
Such ideas are even more critical if you find special offers for dry dog food, only because it expires soon.
You must also pay attention to the actual packaging. If you see anything unusual, pick another bag. There should be no tears or rips. A bag that has been resealed with tape is a bad idea because you have no idea how long it was open for. It could be a few minutes or weeks.
Now, how to tell if dry dog food is bad?
Does Dry Dog Food Go Bad?
According to Pet MD, oxidation starts when the pet food is exposed to air. The same goes if you expose it to direct light. When left exposed, food becomes rancid rather sooner than later. Think about it for a minute – you spend a fortune on dog food, mainly if you invest in premium food or exceptional food for a diet. Therefore, knowing how to store it properly is imperative.
Here are some ideas to store food without exposing it to harmful factors.
- The perfect environment is cool and freezing dry dog food– somewhere in a big container or perhaps a cabinet. The temperature should not exceed 26 degrees C. Do not go for particularly humid places, such as a basement or a cabinet under the sink. Mold will damage food in no time.
- Do you tend to empty bags in a container for more comfortable feeding procedures? Nothing wrong with that, but make sure that box works like the bag – it must be airtight. The less air goes in, the fresher the food will taste.
- The original bag is not a bad idea, either. Once you open it, make sure you fold it and clip it, only to keep the food fresh. Air will still get in, so it might be wise to store it in an airtight container too.
- You have more options – plastic, metal, or Glass. Plastic is alright, but it is not always qualitative. If you used it to store other foods before, it can collect oils and become rancid. Plus, it tends to collect odors, too, and your dog may not like the new “flavors.” Glass is a better choice, yet metallic alternatives are just as handy.
- To ensure proper storage and to prevent the food from going rancid, you can put loose food in the container, but make sure you have enough for the next two or three weeks only. Keep the rest in a sealed bag. If you have hot summers, you might want to store enough food for a week only, as humidity can ruin it.
- Freezing cool dry dog food is yet another good idea to keep it fresh for a longer time. It can stay fresh for up to half a year. It should be double wrapped, though. Otherwise, your food may smell like dog food or the other way around – not that your dog would hate some meaty flavor.
Dog Dry Food Storage Tips And Tricks
Based on The Dogington Post, here are a few tips and tricks to help you with pet food storage.
- Keep it off the floor. Even when folded and clipped, the bag can catch a pest infestation, so store it at a higher level.
- Feed your dog with appropriate portions. You will get a better idea of how much food it needs, but you will also encourage proper eating behavior. It will prevent food contamination too.
- Do not throw the bag away, as you might need it for further references. Maybe you cannot remember what flavor your dog liked, or perhaps there might be a recall. You can also give your vet enough details, should your dog feel bad. Chances are you will never need it, but it is better to have it around just in case.
- It is worth noting that lamb based dog food has a shorter shelf life than other meat foods — double check the expiry date upfront.
As a short conclusion, you do not need to be a dog expert to learn how to store dry dog food long term. Most of the tips, as mentioned earlier and solutions, make common sense, and they can be applied to your regular food as well. However, you cannot taste dog food to be able to tell if it is rancid, so storing it correctly will prevent ruining your dog’s meals.
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