Have you ever checked the expiration date on your dog’s food? If not, then you’ll want to read this article. Feeding your dog expired food can make him sick. And even if you’re careful about this, it’s still possible your fur baby could find some expired dog food in the trash or on a walk outside, and more.
Expired Dog Food
Here, we’re not talking about dog food that’s a few days or even a week or two past the expiration date. In most cases, this food is still usually safe, though you may want to be careful if your dog’s on a raw food diet. We’re referring to dog food that is in airtight packaging.
What we’re talking about is dog food that is a month or more past the expiration date. This may still be safe, but it’s where you may begin finding the food that makes your dog sick.
The Problem with Expired Dog Food
When dog food is produced, it goes through several processes meant to increase the food’s longevity and make it healthy. The substances used to preserve dog food lose their effectiveness over time. This means the degradation of the preservatives can give way to the growth of bacteria, insects, and even mold.
Over time, dog food that’s packaged in an airtight container is exposed to air. This means bugs may be attracted to the dog food and leave behind fecal matter that contains harmful organisms. In addition, without airtight packaging, moisture can grow in the food, which leads to mold. And high temperatures can make the food rancid.
How to Tell if Dog Food Has Gone Bad
You might be able to tell if the food has spoiled by checking for these signs:
- Moisture, mold, bugs in the food mean it’s not edible.
- The dog food was exposed to humidity and high temperatures
- The food smells rancid or sour
- Your dog will not eat the food
- Your dog shows signs of being ill or discomfort after eating
- The dog food has passed the expiration date by several weeks
Symptoms of Food Poisoning in Dogs
You may notice these symptoms if your dog has eaten expired dog food:
- Lack of appetite
- Neurological signs (lack of coordination, tremors, seizures, collapse)
If you notice these symptoms in your dog, then be sure to call the vet right away. This may be a medical emergency.
When caught early, your dog has a very good chance of a full recovery from food poisoning. The key is to get him treated as soon as possible.