Best Practices for Dog Food Storage

Reviewed By Tom •  Updated: 02/21/23 •  6 min read
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Dog Food Storage

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Your dog’s food is an essential part of keeping him happy and healthy. Unfortunately, dog food is also a pricy investment these days. For these reasons, ensuring your dog’s food is stored properly is important. However, many pet parents don’t store their dog’s food correctly.

Like humans, dog food can quickly become moldy, rancid, and attacked by pests such as insects, rodents, and more. The food is no longer healthy for your dog; your canine companion could become very sick if he eats it. Yes, it seems as if a dog can eat almost anything, but dog food that’s gone bad could cause serious health issues.

We’ve gathered information about the correct containers for dog food. You’ll also find tips on avoiding mistakes when storing your dog’s food.

How to Store Dry Kibble Dog Food

Kibble is easy to store and feed your fur baby; however, it is perishable, like any other dog food. Dry dog food usually comes in bags that have a “best by” date printed on the outside. The date lets you know how long the food can be kept safely.

The rule of thumb is that a bag of dry kibble dog food is only good for about 4-6 weeks after opening it (if the food has been stored properly).

When you open a bag of dry kibble, the food is immediately exposed to the environment. Three environmental factors can affect the food’s quality and nutritional value, including moisture, air, and high temperatures.

Here are some tips to keep dry kibble dog food safe:

Seal the bag: seal the bag as soon as you’re done getting food out. This minimizes exposure to air. A bag clip can keep the bag tightly closed to keep out pests and the environment.

Airtight dog food containers: experts say that dry kibble can be stored in airtight plastic of stainless steel food containers. However, they must be airtight. Plastic containers can be chewed through by rodents, so you may want to choose a stainless steel dog food container.

Original packaging: even if you store the dog food in an airtight container, it’s best to leave the food inside its original packing inside the storage container. The bag then provides another layer of protection to keep your fur baby’s food from becoming rancid.

Keep the container clean: it’s also important to keep the dog food container clean. That means washing and drying the container thoroughly before putting it in a new bag of dry kibble.

Wash your hands: many pet parents may feel this is going too far, but washing your hands when handling your food or your dog’s food is important. Washing your hands removes dirt, bacteria, and other nasties that could get into your dog’s food. Ensuring your hands are clean can help keep his food healthy and even make it last longer.

Keep the food in a cool, dry place: the dog food bag and/or the container it’s in should be stored in a cool, dry place. This keeps the food from becoming wet and developing mold. It also keeps the food from degrading faster in warm temperatures. It’s best to store dog food and/or its container in a place where temperatures don’t exceed 100 F.

Wet Dog Food Storage

Canned dog food can last for months or years before it’s opened. However, once the can has been opened, the food inside is only good for another 24 hours. After this, the food must be thrown away. The problem is that the food could develop bacteria and other problems.

Avoid using cans of dog food that are dented, have air bubbles, or have swelling. These may indicate that the can’s seal has broken, allowing bacteria to enter.

Here are some tips for storing canned dog food to keep it safe and healthy for your canine companion!

Seal & Refrigerate: canned food can be stored in the fridge for up to three to five days. It’s best to use a cover on the can to keep the food fresh. Before serving the wet dog food to your fur baby, make sure the food has not become watery or changed its texture or smell. If so, throw it away. These could be signs that the food has gone bad.

Freezing Dog Food

If you have more food than your dog will use before it goes bad, you may want to consider freezing it. Freezing is a great option for kibble or wet dog food.

Here, you’ll need to transfer the food into an airtight freezer container or a freezer-safe baggie for freezing. A vacuum sealer can also be used to prepare dog food for the freezer. Just be sure to get all the air out of the package before freezing it.

Frozen dog food should be thawed in the fridge.

Mistakes to Avoid When Storing Dog Food

Here are some common mistakes to avoid when storing your dog’s food.

1. Storing Food in the Garage

The garage is one of the worst places to store dog food. The problems are that the food could be exposed to excessive heat & moisture, pests (such as insects & rodents), and more.

Being exposed to heat and moisture can cause nutrients in the dog food to break down. And once rodents and insects are in the dog food, the food is no longer safe for your fur baby to eat.

So, avoid storing your canine companion’s food in the garage.

2. Leaving Dry Dog Food Unsealed

What happens if you leave dry food sealed? You’d be surprised! Most pet parents believe it’s good enough to roll up or fold over the top of a dry bag of dog food. But the problem is that the food is not sealed well.

When oxygen reaches the dog food, it causes the fat in the food to go rancid. This can make the food taste bad and make dogs sick.

It’s better to roll or fold the top of the bag down and then clamp it shut with a bag clip. Another option is to store the food in an airtight container stored in a cool, dry environment.

3. Leaving Canned Food Out Too Long

Another common problem is leaving your dog’s canned food out too long. This can happen accidentally; however, canned dog food can go bad sitting on the counter for several hours. The food can develop harmful bacteria, flies, and other nasties. So, if food has been out too long, it’s best to throw it away.

Summing It Up

So, there you have it! Your dog’s food needs to be properly stored. Remember, dog food is a pricy investment, and storing it properly preserves the nutrients in the food.

Use our tips to ensure your dog’s food is fresh and safe. The result is a happy, healthy dog!

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Tom has always loved to write since he was little - he wanted to be either a writer or a veterinary doctor, but he ended up being a professional writer while most of his works are based on animals. He was born in San Francisco but later moved to Texas to continue his job as a writer. He graduated from the University of San Francisco where he studied biotechnology. He is happily married and a soon to be father!