Dogs are often known for their passion and ability to eat almost anything – human food, garbage, dead animals, chicken poop – they indeed will eat whatever crosses their path. Just because they will eat things that are not real food does not mean that they should. As part of being a good pet owner, you want to be sure that your dog is getting proper nutrition and not eating spoiled or rotten food.
When we purchase food for our pets, it is essential to pay attention to the type of food you buy and how long it will stay fresh. If you are like me and hate having to go out and buy dog food, you can buy it in bulk to have enough on hand for some time. If you choose to buy big bags of food or stock up on food cans, you need to know how to store your dry dog food long term.
Depending on the brand that you choose, dry dog food is often sprayed with oils that begin to break down once you open the bag. Once that process starts, dog food can turn rancid and make your dog sick.
We researched and found some great ways to store dry dog food to help keep your dog healthy.
How to Store Dry Dog Food Long Term
The easiest way to ensure that your dog’s food stays fresh is to read the label on the bag. All dog food has a “best if used” date, which can be your guide to freshness. Just because your dog can finish the food before that “expiration” date does not mean that it will stay fresh. Following some simple guidelines can help to preserve freshness and keep food from going bad.
How to Store Dry Dog Food
There are several different ways to keep dry dog food fresh. One of the easiest things to do is keep it in the original bag you bought it in, but keep it closed uptight. You can seal a dog food bag with either the closure on the bag (some bags have Velcro or tape seals) or a strong bag clip.
If you choose to keep it in the bag, ensure that it is tightly sealed every time you open it. Many veterinarians recommend keeping dog food in its original container.
If you want to get the dry dog food out of the bag, you need to find an airtight container. There are many different choices out there; it depends on what you are looking for in design and size. Dog food containers can be plastic or metal, with hands-free, sensor opening, closing, or additional features.
The nice part about boxes is that you can decide how big you want it – if you have a small dog and want a container to hold 5 pounds of food, that is easy to come by. If you have a large breed dog or several dogs, you can find dog food containers that hold 50 or more dog food pounds. The key is ensuring that airtight seal and use by date.
The other quick and easy way to keep dry dog food fresh is to clean out the container with each new food bag. Ensuring the box is clean with each new bag removes any spoiled or dried-out food that could contaminate the fresh food you add. This will help to preserve the freshness of the new food.
How Much Dog Food Should You Buy?
Every dog breed is different – dogs are similar to people, and that they like other food options and eat at different rates. Before you decide to purchase a storage container for your dry dog food, set up a tracking system to see how much dry dog food your dog eats in a month.
Add in the best used by date, and then decide how much your dog eats while the dog food is still fresh. Once you know how much your dog eats during that timeframe, you can better estimate the correct size of the container needed.
If you have several dogs, tracking them separately will help give you better information about your dry dog food needs. Even if they all eat the same food, you can track them individually to be sure you are correct in estimating your food purchases.
Another option to keeping dry dog food fresh is to freeze it. If you buy dog food in bulk, you can pack it into sealable, smaller packages and put it into your freezer, taking it out as you need it. Using this method, you can plan for dog food sales, buy food in bulk, and ensure that it has not gone bad before your dog can finish it.
How Can You Tell if Dry Dog Food Has Gone Bad?
No one wants to feed their dog rotten dog food. To be sure your dog is getting fresh, nutritious food, be mindful of the date of purchase and the best-used date. If you know that the food has been exposed to moisture or high heat, you may want to throw the food out – both heat and humidity can cause dry dog food to spoil.
If you notice mold or bugs in the dog food, that is another indication that the dog food has gone bad. Be sure to throw out any food that is wet or moldy and purchase new food for your dog.
When it comes to your dog, you want to make sure that the food you feed them is fresh. Ensuring that your dry dog food is kept safe from moisture, heat and kept in an airtight container will help preserve your dog’s food. Remember that the nutrition in dog food is your dog’s primary source of health. Keep the food clean and safe so that your dog maintains its health.