No one wants to waste money by throwing away food. If pet food is not stored correctly, it can go rancid, develop bacteria or mold, or become infested with insects or rodents. There are three things that most commonly cause food to spoil:
- Air. Exposure to air also means exposure to bacteria. Keep the food storage container closed and as airtight as possible.
- Moisture. Too much will lead to mold.
- Temperature. Don’t store pet foods (even unopened bags or cans) in the garage or shed where temperatures can get very hot. Store foods in a cool, dry place like a kitchen pantry or an inside closet.
Keep Kibble Foods in the Bag
The original bags are designed to keep the food good for quite a while because the bag keeps the fats from soaking through and thereby turning rancid. Once the bag opened, close it tightly. If you want to place it in a storage container, place the entire bag. Although a large bag of food is usually more economical than a small bag, if you have a small dog that doesn’t go through food very fast, be careful about purchasing too much. Once opened, food should be used within 2 months.
Unopened canned pet foods have a long shelf life. It’s important to keep an eye on the ‘use by’ dates, however, so each time you buy more food, move the older cans to the front of the shelf and put the newer ones in the back. Once a can has been opened, you can transfer the unused portion to an airtight storage container and refrigerate the food for up to five days.
Protect Freeze Dried Foods from Moisture
Freeze dried food offers all the benefits of a raw food diet, but has a longer shelf life and can be more convenient. These foods need to be protected from moisture. Too much moisture before the food is used will lead to the development of mold. The food can remain in the original packaging which is then tightly reclosed after each use or it can be transferred to a canister with an air tight lid.
Many pet owners consider a raw diet to be the very best type of food for your dog or cat as it naturally provides the perfect level of protein, fat and carbohydrates and retains all the essential amino acids and enzymes. Most choose to use a commercially prepared raw diet that comes in the form of frozen patties or nuggets. These are completely balanced and easy to use with no additives, preservatives or harmful by-products. Commercially prepared raw pet food has storage instructions on the packaging which includes how long the product can be frozen or refrigerated. Keep raw meat and poultry products frozen until use, then thaw it in the refrigerator. Keep raw foods separate from other foods and food surfaces and throw it away if not eaten within two hours.