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Where and how you store dog food is really important. It can have a huge impact on the freshness of the food, which in turn affects your dog’s appetite. Here are five places in your home that work. Read on!
Freshness isn’t the only important factor. Pest contamination is another highly significant issue with dog food, as well as food poisoning and upset stomachs.
We want to make sure our dog food is safe and fresh so that our dogs stay happy and healthy. Which is why I’ve got five tips for you on different ways you on how you can store dog food, depending on whether it’s wet or dry, and which places you should and shouldn’t keep it.
First, let’s focus on the requirements for wet food because there aren’t many options. If the cans are unopened, they can be stored in a cupboard as long as it’s dry and cool. The temperature needs to be less than 30 degrees Celsius (86 degrees Fahrenheit).
Wet food should always be stored in the fridge once opened, in an airtight container, or with plastic wrap or foil to cover the can. Ideally, you should invest in getting a purpose-made can cover instead.
You shouldn’t freeze canned food because it can change the taste and texture. It’s not that it isn’t safe to do so, because it is, but most dogs will refuse to eat it because of the change.
After being opened, wet food should be consumed within two days and no later. If you still have wet food after the 2 days, it’s safest to just throw it away.
Dry dog food should always be stored in a cool and dry place that is under 25 degrees Celsius (77 degrees Fahrenheit) to prevent bacteria.
You need to avoid places that are humid since both mold and pests thrive in those conditions. This is why garages and sheds are a no go because they get very hot and can cause dog food to go stale quickly.
The best place to store dog food is in a cupboard that stays cool. What most people don’t know, however, is that you should choose a cupboard that is off the floor. It’s common to keep pet food in a cupboard that’s low, but this is a mistake. Why? Because you’re giving easier access to pests. By placing it in a cupboard higher up you can avoid pest infestation.
Kitchen cupboards tend to be the best places, or inside the pantry if you have one. But, again, up of the floor if you choose the latter.
If you do not have the option to store the dog food in a high up place, either because of size or a lack of cupboards, then just make sure you do not put it in a cupboard that is under your sink. Humidity and moisture are your enemies because this is how mold forms, and under the sink means there’s a chance the dog food gets wet.
In a Container
For extra protection, you should put the food into a dog food container as well, still in its original bag. The reason you shouldn’t put the food in a different bag is that it can change the smell, and sometimes even the taste.
Only use a container that is airtight to keep the food fresh and not let any pests in. Make sure that you fold the opening of the dog food’s bag closed and clip it shut.
Whatever you do, don’t keep dog food in plastic storage containers. This is because they aren’t usually made with high quality plastic, and plastic can collect oils from the food causing it to go bad quicker.
Plus, plastic can easily have scratches in it where bacteria can collect, which is why metal, or glass containers are the best options (this is also relevant for your dog’s bowls).
There aren’t that many containers that are big enough to store the large bags of food that we buy, and so what you could do is quite easily reuse a plastic or metal bin and put the bag of dog food inside. Just make sure that the lid is air-tight and you’re good to go.
You should get yourself a pet food scoop for when you want to take food out, as this stops excess bacteria from getting in.
Make sure to finish all of the food inside the bag before adding any new dog food because you should never mix.
Once the dog food is finished, wash the bin with water and soap before placing the next bag of dog food inside.
In the Freezer
Every dog owner that I know always buys these huge bags of dog food, which is understandable as it saves money. In this case though, it would be best to only store a little of the dog food in a container as mentioned above. I opt for keeping just a few weeks’ amount of dog food in a container (still in the original bag inside), and freeze the rest.
Of course, this isn’t mandatory and it’s totally fine if you choose to keep all of the food in a container. If you happen to live somewhere where it gets very hot in summer though, I’d definitely consider the freezer.
Dog food can be kept frozen for up to 6 months. Just make sure it’s double wrapped, to prevent your freezer food from smelling, or even tasting, like dog’s food. Double wrapping also helps to maintain the dog food’s flavour.
Freezing can add moisture to the dog food though, so make sure you’ve put it in zip lock bags, and if you can vacuum out the air that would be even better.
When it’s almost time to use that frozen food, keep it in the fridge beforehand to let it thaw out for a while.