How Long Dog Food Last? How To Store Dry Dog Food Long Term

Dog parent’s constant trip to the pet store is a hassle and time-consuming. If you have the budget and capacity to buy bulks or sacks of dog food then obviously you’ll do it. However, you have to be aware that there are tendencies that the dog food will get ruined due to various reasons.

Dog food can be stored until the expiration date of the dog food. Although, there is natural dog food that only lasts for a shorter period of time because it is natural and no preservatives were added. Dog Food last depending on the type of dog food:

Kibble/Dry Food – it lasts longer than any other dog food. The unopened ones have a shelf life of 12-18 months. However, despite the fact that it lasts longer, it will go stale when not stored properly.

Canned Food – same with the Kibble, canned food lasts longer and has an unopened shelf life of 2 years from the date it was manufactured.

Home-cooked – if you want to control and make sure that your dog is healthy then home-cooked dog food is the best. It won’t last long and will spoil if not refrigerated.

Raw Dog Food – same with home-cooked food, it needs to be refrigerated to last. However, it’s nice that you are fed raw food that is fresh.

Take note that expiration date and shelf life depends on the brand of the dog food. There are also stores that would cook  natural dog food for your dog and deliver it to your house to lessen the burden of cooking. Also, in choosing the type of dog food, don’t just think of how long it would last but also on the nutrition it can provide on your dog.

How To Store Dry Dog Food Long Term

The dry food of dogs can last longer depending on the techniques and food storage used. Remember that when dog food is exposed to air it will grow stale and can no longer be eaten by your dog. Thus, if you are buying dog food in bulk its longevity depends on the way you store it and the storage you’ve been using.

1. Store the Food in Its Original Container.

You might be asking because you got used to removing all the dry dog food on the original container and bag and you transfer it to the container of your choice. Nevertheless, it could work but the containers were used for a purpose. The companies made all those dog food bags to lock out moisture and to ensure that the food will last longer.

In addition, there are benefits in using the original container rather than getting a new one. First, you can easily fold and clip the bag after getting the food from your dog. In addition, you can directly see the ingredients in the bag as well as the expiration date of the food.

Some containers have low-quality plastic that will cause oil from the dog food to gather and will make the dog food go bad. The food will taste bad and have an unpleasant smell.

2. Use Sealing Clips

To ensure that the dog food container is tightly sealed, use a sealing clip so that no humidity or air can enter the dry food container or bag. When you leave the bag unattended, you are letting the dog food go to waste. Before you clip the lid, make sure that you roll down and fold it 2 to 3 times then you seal the container with a clip.

3. Use the Dog Food Immediately After Opening.

When you open the dry dog food, you have to use it right away because it only has a shelf life of only 6 weeks. Beyond that, the nutritional quality of the dog food will degrade as well as the quality of the dog food. To stop wasting it all, make sure that your dog consumes the dry food within six weeks.

4. Airtight Containers

If you are going to use a container to store the bag of dog food or the dog food directly then make sure that it is an airtight container. By using this type of container, oxidation will be prevented and you can preserve a fresh and quality taste from the dog food.

5. Freeze Dog Food

Like human food, you can store dog food in the refrigerator especially if you have loads of dry pet food in the house. Just be sure that you use a vacuum sealer in storing these pet food because in freezing you’ll have exposure to moisture. In addition, you can use a ziplock and store pet food in a small amount of every plastic wrap. That is to ensure that you will not spoil other dog food while you get some for the day.

6. Inspect the Container Before Using It

It is ideal to inspect and clean the container before putting all the pet food inside because it’s either the container has a crack or it’s still moist. You don’t want to use a crack pet food storage because of the exposure to air. By cleaning, you can avoid bacteria so that your dog won’t get sick. Aside from cleaning and inspecting pet food beforehand, consider using an airtight plastic container too.

7. Opt for Glass Containers

There’s nothing wrong with using a plastic container but you can opt for a better option which is a glass container as a food storage container for your dog food. There are plastic containers that weren’t made for food storage thus because low-quality plastic can impart unnecessary taste and smell to the dog food.

8. Store Indoors

It’s better that you store the dry dog food inside wherein the temperature is dry and normal. Avoid places that are rich in moisture because of the tendency of the pet food to go stale. Just be sure that wherever you put it it is safe, tightly closed, and not exposed to high temperature. 

9. Use Multiple Small Containers

It is wise to use multiple containers that are small so that when you open the other one you still have dry dog food that wasn’t exposed to air and moisture. You can estimate one small storage for a week of dog food and then the other storage for another week. In this case, you can prevent spoiling all the dog food. If an accident happens, you only have one dog food container that is ruined.

10. Leave Only Small Amounts on Automatic Dispensers

Remember to not put all the dry kibble on the dispenser because it won’t preserve the dog food. Yes, it is helpful in feeding your dog when you are not around but the dispenser will not store the dog food long term due to air and moisture exposure.

11. Don’t Mix Old and New Dog Food

Finish the old dog food first before you open the new one. Do not let both old and new food be mixed up to avoid contamination and so that the new one won’t be affected if the dog old dog food starts to taste bad or degrade in quality.

12. Buy Only Dog Food That Is Sealed

There is a bulk store that sells dog food in an open lid wherein you have to scoop the amount you need for your dog and pay for it. Although it is nice and good for the environment, you just can’t allow the dog food to be exposed in the air even if there’s still a lid that covers it. Always buy the ones that are in a bag that has a clear ingredients list and expiration date.

13. Avoid Artificial Preservatives

Artificial preservatives make a dog’s food last longer but it is not good for your dog’s health because it has Ethoxyquin, BHT, BHA which are the common preservatives that lead to many health issues on your dog. If you want to preserve the dog food, make use of the natural preservatives such as Vitamin C and E.

How Do You Know If Dog Food Has Gone Bad?

You can tell if the food is not safe to eat by your dog because of the expiration date clearly stated on the packaging. However, if you want to know how to tell if it has gone bad before the expiration period then take note of the following signs: mold growth, bugs, bad smell of the dog food, and if your dog does not want to eat it because of the unusual taste. Remove the dog food from the storage immediately and throw it away. Just be sure that your dog or other dogs won’t find it again cause it will cause health issues on the digestive system of your dog. In addition, check the possible reasons why the dog food has gone bad so that in the future you can prevent the same incident from happening again.

What Will Happen if Your Dog Ate a Spoiled Dog Food?

Your dog will experience food poisoning when they eat spoiled dog food especially when it is showing molds on it. Most likely the symptoms would be diarrhea, vomiting, dehydration, and loss of appetite. When your dog is showing signs of food poisoning, immediately check their dog food and call your veterinarian for a proper check-up and treatment on your dog. Always check the dog food before you allow your dog to eat it. Furthermore, check the food dispensers if the dog food is still good because there are tendencies that it will go bad especially when you are not checking the insides.

Why Dog Storage Is Important

Just like how we humans value our food by putting them in storage boxes, pantries, or refrigerators, we should also preserve the dog food for our dogs. All food has the tendency to expire, that’s why proper storage of dog food is important. Not just because it preserves the taste and freshness but also to keep your money’s worth and not go to waste. By storing food properly and by minding the way you do it you can prevent food poisoning on your dog which is an expensive medication and will create worries for you. Your dog can’t store their food that’s why you as a responsible pet owner have to do it.

Can Dog Canned Food Last Longer Than Dry Food?

Yes, canned dog food lasts longer than dry food just like canned food for humans. If you are considering changing the diet of your dog because the tendencies of dry food getting spoiled is higher, then choose canned food for dogs. Unfortunately, it contains many preservatives which are not good for your dog’s health. You can alternate the diet between dry and wet food but be sure to choose the ones that have natural preservatives, more protein, and fewer carbohydrates.

Make your dog a part of the family not just on how you give affection and love but also on how you feed them. Do not choose less or cheaper dog food, just for the sake that you are feeding them. Make the dog food healthier and safer by storing it properly. Invest in a good vacuum seal, ziplock, airtight, and glass container for you to preserve the dry food much longer. Make the most out of your money by keeping your dog healthy, alive, and safe.