We all take great care in how we store our own food—proper refrigeration, sealed containers, checking expiration dates, etc. But for most of us, our dog food sits where? Outside? In a an open bag? Did you even know dog food does in fact, have an expiration date?
With all the worries about recalls and toxic foods, it’s more important than ever to take any precaution you can to ensure your dog’s pet food is safe. Here is what you can do at home to make sure you are not feeding rancid or out-of-date food.
Chris Amick, owner of Global K9 Services has some tips for owners to keep their food fresh:
- Canned food should be kept at room temperature out of direct sunlight – or any source of heat. Opened cans should of course be sealed and refrigerated.
- Dry food should be kept in resealable, airtight containers, also out of direct sunlight.
- Dehydrated food should be kept in resealable containers and refrigerated until use.
- The temperature is very important with food storage. Room temp or refrigerated is best, and never in direct light.
- Regarding spoilage, while dogs seem to enjoy eating some rather gross things, the “rule of thumb” we follow is “if we wouldn’t eat it … the dogs don’t eat it!”
Bette Schubert from Bravo!® Pet Food has tips specifically for raw food feeders:
- Raw should always be kept frozen until needed. Freeze dried and dry roasted treats should be kept in a cool dry place.
- For the integrity of the treats they should be kept in a cool dry place. Heat and humidity can be a breeding ground for mold and bugs
- Smell the food. If it smells bad, don’t feed it to your dog.
- Check for critters. If you find gnats or any other type of bug in your dog’s treats [or food] don’t feed them to your dog.
The best way to keep your dog’s dry food and treats fresh is to remove them from their bags and put them in airtight containers.
REMEMBER! Cut out and keep the UPC barcode as well as the expiration date so you have it in case of a recall and so you know when the food expires. A good place to keep them is in a file drawer or taped to the dog food container.
For my horses, dogs, and cats, I have always used The Vittles Vault™ by Gamma2. These are great, stackable storage containers that are airtight and have twist off lids, making it harder for your pets to get into (Of course, I have a sheltie who can unscrew the container, but I don’t think that is typical). You can find them at Petsmart or on their website.
About the Author
Based in Wilsonville, Ore., animal lover Kristina N. Lotz is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer – Knowledge Assessed (CPDT-KA) and works as a full time trainer. She is the founder of, A Fairytail House, a unique all-positive all-sport dog training facility that helps rescue dogs in her area and provides free seminars and training classes for the community. In her spare time, she trains and competes in herding, agility, obedience, rally, and conformation with her Shetland Sheepdogs. She smartly married a Veterinary Technician, who helps keep the fur kids happy and healthy, and provides a quick resource for articles.
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