Our four-legged friends are often thought of as part of our families, and of course we want their foods to be nutritious, safe and tasty. So what should be done to make sure Fido or Fluffy’s dry kibble is safe? After all, pet food is perishable, and once the bag is opened and oxygen seeps in, the product can quickly lose its integrity.
Be cautious; just because an expiration date is written on the side or the bottom of a dog or cat food bag does not mean the food is good for a year. All of that just means it stays fresh as long as you haven’t opened the bag – remember natural dog foods that do not contain chemical preservatives have a much shorter shelf life if not properly stored.
To begin, here are some suggestions of what NOT to do:
- Upon opening the bag, do not leave it opened
- Don’t let the bag or the food get wet; molds and mildews are dangerous to your pet’s health
- Do not store dog food in the sunlight
- Don’t mix the old food with the new food; use all of the old food first
- Make sure to use the food within 45 days of opening the package
And now as to what To do:
- Store all pet food in a cool, dry place away from the sun
- Every time you replace pet food, make sure to carefully wash, rinse and dry the container to avoid contamination.
- Store food in the original bag in an airtight container. If that isn’t possible, cut off expiration, lot and all ID#s just in case of a recall.
As to a favorite, the IRIS Airtight Pet Food Container Combo Kit tops the chart for storage.
“This stacking 3-piece combo includes a 33 and a 12 quart container and a matching 2-cup food scoop. Airtight seals keep dog food, cat food, bird seed, treats, etc. fresh and pest-free. Four rotating casters allow for easy movement around the kitchen or pantry.”
As a rule, I keep all of my dog’s food in the original bag which does take up more room, but keeps the fats and oils from settling in the bottom of the container and spoiling. The containers are made of a hard plastic which doesn’t scratch. Although it doesn’t come completely assembled, it takes just a few minutes to add the casters and the tops. The casters make it convenient to move around. I have another complete set in my back pantry which I use to store bird seed and food for the squirrels.
Buy the IRIS 3-Piece Airtight Pet Food Container Combo on Amazon.com for $19.66. Buying with this link on Amazon helps support Pet Rescue Report.