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When dog food is made, it may have oil added to it from animal fat, sometimes even sprayed onto it to add to the flavor and aroma so that dogs find it more palatable. This oil can potentially become rancid from exposure to high temps and it will also become out of date and stale from air exposure. Here are some ideas to help your dog food last longer and taste better to your dog.
- Once opened, transfer your bag of dog food to airtight containers. This will prevent it from getting stale and losing flavor. It will also prevent flies from getting into it, or mice if you live in an area where they find their way in during the cold winter months. They’ll delight in finding bags of dog food they can live on. Putting food in a chew-proof container in your area will be best. Some people utilize galvanized steel trash cans and store their food in a plastic bag inside of this. It helps retain freshness and keeps out chewing rodents such as mice and rats. Some manufacturers recommend that even if you place your food into a plastic or metal holding bin to keep the food in the original bag as it has been designed with freshness in mind.
- Store food in a cool, dry place. A closet or pantry is typically fine. You should try to make sure that even dry kibble is kept at temperatures below 100 degrees Fahrenheit.
- If you use canned foods or fresh foods that are refrigerated, always place them into airtight containers and place them in the refrigerator. Treat them as you would your own leftovers. They should be kept cold, under 42-degrees Fahrenheit, once they’ve been opened.
- Store food where your dog or cat can’t reach it. Dogs and cats will tear open bags and get into their food, blowing their diet and making a mess. Store the food up high away from dogs and behind closed doors from cats. Cats can learn to open cupboard doors so you may have to get creative. Dogs don’t usually climb but you might find that the occasional dog will climb shelves to get to bags. Visit Pet Blogish for more ideas on how to store food and be smarter than cats or dogs!
- If you are feeding fresh or raw food diets, don’t keep leftovers for more than 2 days in the fridge after opening. If you are using fish, the food should be used on the second day or discarded. Take care with raw foods as they can become tainted easily so keep your kitchen clean when you’ve got the container out and be careful not to contaminate it with any spoons used in something else that aren’t cleaned well. You can easily transmit bacteria from one food to another.
- If you are making your own pet foods, follow procedures for keeping foods at safe temperatures and stored adequately, in airtight containers. When handling and cooking foods, be careful not to cross contaminate meat and vegetables by using the same cutting boards, knives, or containers. Cross-contamination can lead to salmonella and other bacteria getting into foods and causing real issues. So be sure you’re handling food safely when you are preparing them and storing them safely so you don’t contaminate your food in your refrigerator as well. No one wants to get sick, not you, your kids, or the dog, so be safety conscious at all times when handling and preparing foods.