Where do you store your pet’s food? Is it sitting in an open bag on the floor, perhaps?
Where and how you store your pet food can make a big difference in the quality and freshness once it is opened.
We spend a lot of time, energy, and money selecting and buying the best food for our furry friends but where and how we store it becomes an afterthought.
Poor pet food storage can be the cause of those unexplained bouts of loose stool or vomiting as bacteria or spoilage can occur if we’re not being careful how and where we store our pet’s food.
Check the “best by” or “best before” date. As much as possible, choose a product with the farthest date in the future.
Listed below are guidelines to help keep your pet’s food fresh and safe as possible.
How to Store Dry Pet Food
The most important rule of dry food storage is get it off the floor and seal it.
- Store the food in its original packaging.
- Always seal the storage bag. If the bag can’t be resealed, roll and close the top of the bag with a clip.
- Avoid pouring pet food directly into storage containers.
- Use within a maximum of 6 weeks after opening.
Bags of dry food should be stored in a cool, dry environment to prevent the destruction of vitamins and oxidation of fats which cause rancidity.
Pet foods will retain their best flavor if stored in the original bag, which provides a fat barrier however, if you do prefer using a storage container, keep the food in the original bag within the container to create an ideal storage location.
Wash and dry the container not only before adding in the food but at least on a monthly basis. Always use airtight containers.
How to Store Canned/Wet Pet Food
Before opening canned food can be stored at room temperature. Once opened, canned food should be stored in the fridge for no more than 5 to 7 days. The best way to store opened cans of cat or dog food is to use a plastic pet food lid that fits the top of the can to prevent moisture loss and transfer of odors. If a plastic lid is not available, plastic wrap also provides a very good moisture, air and odor barrier. Zip-to-close bags provide good moisture barriers but do not provide good oxygen and odor barriers.
Do not freeze canned pet food as it can change the texture and taste of the food.
You can warm up canned food that is being portioned for your pet in the microwave for no more than 10 seconds. Be sure to stir before serving to ensure that there are no hot spots.
Canned products high in fish oil should be used within 3 days as they develop a strong odour quickly after opening.
How to Store Raw Pet Food
Always store raw pet food in the refrigerator for no more than 3 days at a time in a covered container. If making food in bulk, store it in the freezer using resealable plastic bags or freezer-safe containers.
Discard off any food that is left over and not consumed within 4 hours.