Date Published: August 1, 2014, Updated: August 2, 2017 at 9:53 am, Author: admin
As most wise dog owners know, buying in bulk can really save money when it comes to feeding their pets. However, how you store dog food and treats can make a big difference in how long and well they keep. The last thing any owner wants is to risk making their dog sick from molded or contaminated food.
Correct storage not only keeps dog food and treats fresh, but makes them last longer and taste better to your pet. Here are some tips for properly storing your dog’s favorite munchies.
Dog food is usually dry (like kibble) or wet (canned). How you store both types depends on where you live and how quickly your dogs go through it.
Whenever possible, and especially if you buy in bulk, check the packaging for the furthest “best by” date. This helps ensure that that massive bag of kibble will be fresh for longer.
Don’t solely rely on what the package says however. Just like you would for your own food, make sure the cans or containers are not ripped, leaking, or bloated. In addition, if you open it after you buy it and the food looks or smells strange, chances are it’s been contaminated or has gone bad, so don’t feed it to your pet if you find yourself wondering.
Proper storage for dry and wet dog food involves limiting its exposure to heat, air, humidity, and moisture. Dry kibble can be left out for about 24 hours, while wet dog food is only good at room temperature for about 3 hours. Pet owners who live in hot and humid places will have to be more careful about leaving food out than those who live in cooler locations.
In general, try to keep pet food in its original container, off the ground, out of the sun, and in a dry area. Dried dog food maintains its highest nutritional value for about 6 weeks after being exposed to air, so make sure you don’t open more than your pets eat in that time. Always reseal the bag, and if it’s an open can, you can store it for up to a week in the refrigerator.
Just like dog food, digestible dog chews and treats last better if they are stored in a dark, cool, dry place. Most come in resealable containers to help maintain freshness.
For long lasting chews like bully sticks or moist snacks like homemade treats, don’t leave them out in the open for long periods of time. They are likely to attract insects or rodents and can easily grow bacteria.
Storing treats in an airtight plastic bag or container in cold storage is the way to go, since they can last 1-2 months in the fridge and around 6- 8 months in the freezer. Cold storage also comes with added benefits. For example, some dogs really love having chilled or frozen bully sticks, since they become firm again and are both tasty and cool to chew on.