Best Tips for Storing Pet Food
Guest Post by Kent Page McGroarty
We are animal lovers around here and with our strong focus on all-things-food, it is a major oversight that we have not yet addressed this important topic! Thank you, Kent, for helping us out!
Pets need fresh, healthy food to survive just as we do! Rather than leaving pet food containers open or stored in less-than-dry areas of the home, ensure all dog and kitty kibble is properly sealed and contained. Check out some of the best tips for storing pet food and keep Fido or Fluffy happy!
First Things First
It’s essential to purchase food that features no tears, rips or other signs of damage. Such food is probably contaminated and won’t do your pet any favors. Check “Use By” or “Sell By” dates, and remember that such dates apply to sealed food bags only. Also keep in mind that about six weeks after opening, the food will have lost nutritional value.
As with many items, it’s best to store pet food in an area of the home that is dry and cool, preferably under 80 degrees F. If dealing with leftover wet food, refrigerator it immediately unless it’s old and or features mold, in which case throw it the heck out. Store wet food in a sealed container in your refrigerator, with the appliance set at 40 degrees F.
It’s best to keep food in its original packaging. Place the entire bag inside an airtight container; pet food containers are usually made of plastic or wood. Wooden versions are durable and ideal for keeping insects from snacking on the food, though they aren’t quite as airtight as plastic, stackable versions. Stackable containers are great for storage as they don’t take up a lot of space and prevent insects and moisture from damaging the food.
A common practice with pet food storage is to pour the food directly into a storage container. Not a good idea! This causes residual fats and oils to settle at the bottom of the container, which generally leads to a gross, rancid mess. It also means contamination of any fresh food you add to the container. Harmful chemicals from plastic containers may also leak into the food, especially if stored in a warm place.
If you’re concerned about too much air leaking into malleable plastic containers that house pet food bags, try using vacuum sealers and similar supplies to keep the container as airtight as possible.
Should you think your pet food is stale or otherwise features a questionable odor, throw it out! It’s never worth having a sick kitty or pooch on your hands! Use a clean spoon or measuring cup to ladle the pet food into the bowl, and avoid feeding pets in the kitchen due to cross contamination issues.
Follow these tips and enjoy a healthier pet!
Kent Page McGroarty is a blogger for Survivalbased.com whose work has also appeared in the SF Gate and AZ Central Healthy Living. Read more of her tips on the Survivalbased blog.
A funny picture from the archives: we attempted to have a picnic with a puppy. I think this was taken about 14 years ago.
Nothing in this blog constitutes medical advice. You should consult your own physician before making any dietary changes. Statements in this blog may or may not be congruent with current USDA or FDA guidance.
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Dog Food: Morguefile
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