Serving your dog the best food that you can afford, and food that is fresh is essential to your dog’s health and well being. Whether your dogs’ food is homemade, from a can, or dry dog kibble, it has to be fresh. Serving your dog stale, expired, and food that is starting to turn can lead to food poisoning, illness, and upset tummies.
Bacteria, yeast, and fungus can start to grow, on both dry and wet food, and contaminate the food. If it doesn’t smell good, or look good, you should toss it.
This may not be as easy to see, on dry food, but there are fats, in the kibble, that will go rancid. The best way to keep dog food fresh is to store it correctly.
Storing Canned Dog Food
Cans of dog food can last for a very long time, but they need to be stored in a cool place. As soon as cans are opened, the food will start to oxidize (make contact with air) and you have to refrigerate leftovers.
You must use a silicone can lid, and not plastic wrap, or aluminum foil, as the seal will not be tight enough to the can.
At a cooler temperature, the fungus can still develop, and the canned dog food will not be fresh after a few days and needs to be thrown out. If the open can is accidentally left at room temperature, you must throw it away. If it has been out for four hours you have to throw it away straight away.
Storing Home Made Food
You must store portions in the fridge in plastic, or glass, containers that have a very tight seal. Portions can also be frozen, and thawed, before use. You should not refreeze, once they have thawed.
Homemade food will stay fresh for a few days in the refrigerator, as long as the seal is tight. You need to dispose of it, if there is any sign of mold, or it smells strange, at all.
Storing Dry Dog Kibble
Dry food is the most popular type of dog food. You need to select a bag that is not compromised in any way and to read the expiry dates.
Always choose a bag that has the best date. In supermarkets, and pet stores, the newest stock in often placed behind the older bags. Take from the back of the shelf, not the front. Read the small print – check the dates.
At home, you need to store your dry food in a container, or bin, made of plastic, glass, or metal, that has a tight lid. It needs to be in a cool place and set off the ground.
You need to protect the kibble from insects, and vermin. This is especially important in a hot and humid climate, as an open bag can attract flies.
Flies can transfer bacteria, viruses, and breed in food bins, of all kinds. Think of a double seal, although this may be more work, the food will be protected.
Double Seal Storage
It’s recommended that you store the bag of food in a container, in its bag, and not just pour in the kibble, and throw away the bag. While it may be more convenient to portion out some of the kibble from a bigger bag, into a smaller container, if you have bought in bulk, you need to still place the bigger bag into a sealed bin.
Use A Scoop
Don’t scoop from the bag using your dog bowl. You should always use a scoop to dish up kibble. Unless the bowl is completely clean, you may transfer bacteria into the fresh food. it is more hygienic to use a scoop.
Wash Your Dog Bowl
You need to wash your dog’s bowl at least once a week with hot, soapy water. Serving fresh food into a dirty, gritty bowl, which is caked with old food, is not hygienic.
You should also toss any food away, after 24 hours. At room temperature, especially, fungus and bacteria will grow on the food. Kibble will also be stale, and start to turn, after 24 hours. It is no longer fresh, and the nutrient value of the food is less.
Flies may also be attracted to old dog food, and contaminate the food that is in the bowl. Throw out food after a day. Not only will it no longer be fresh, but it may make your dog sick.
Dry Dog Food Tips
The amount of food that you buy for your dog depends on the size of your dog, and the amount of food that he, or she, will need. It’s much healthier for your dog if you buy smaller bags, more often, and give them the ‘freshest’ food possible.
Don’t Buy Bulk
A common mistake that many pet owners make is to buy dry dog food in bulk. Big bags appear to offer the best value for money, to consumers. Their price per unit (per lb) is considerably less, and they will last you a lot longer.
You will not have to buy bags every week, if you have a large bag of dog food, which can last, at least, a month. It looks like a good option and will save you money, but it may not be.
Dry Food Is Not Dry
Pet nutritionists, vet’s and pet food companies all offer different points of view on how long dry food will stay fresh. One week, three – or six. Dry food has a best before the date that is printed on the bag.
Dry dog food is not completely dry though and contains fat. The more expensive the dog food, the more omega oils, and fats there may be, in the kibble.
How Do I Keep The Food Fresh?
The nutrients in all types of dog food will deteriorate as soon as they come into contact with air. Dog kibble, tinned dog food, and homemade dog food, all contain fats, protein, and ingredients that start to decompose, over time.
You can order food for your dog online, and it can be delivered fresh to your door, or you can cook food every day. Most people may not have the time or resources to give their dogs freshly prepared food.
The best way to ensure that your pet is getting the freshest food possible is to make sure that you are buying the freshest food, whether kibble or canned and that you store it in an appropriate container, with a strong seal. Make sure that you only buy enough food to last your dog, for a week, or so, if you can afford to do that.
But you’d Like To Save Money? This is a value based decision that you will have to make on your own. Are you happy to compromise on the quality, and freshness, of your pet’s food?
Making The Best Choice
The best choice for your dog’s health is about choosing the best brand that you can afford and not buying too much of it, at any one time. Only buy in bulk if your dog will eat it all before it goes off, otherwise, it is a false saving.
You will have to look at the nutritional content, of various brands, to make the best decision, for your dog, and for your budget. Buying bulk kibble may not actually be the wisest choice.
Make sure your dog always has plenty of fresh water available, and feed your dog fresh food – if you have any doubt, toss it out. Choose the best dog food that you can afford, and store it properly.