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How to Store Dry Pet Food Long Term: 13 Storage Tips At the Store

How to Store Dry Pet Food Long Term: 13 Storage Tips At the Store

The components in your pet's food are essential to their health and happiness, and this is the most important factor in ensuring that your pet lives a happy and healthy life. However, many pet owners forget the storage of their pet's food, and rancid or moldy food can have negative health impacts on your pet.

Dry pet food is really practical. You can purchase huge quantities of pet food to save money and effort, and to maintain a consistent diet for your pet. You can be certain that your pet is receiving a balanced diet since high-quality pet food contains all the essential nutrients, vitamins, and minerals.

As is the case with human food, dry pet food deteriorates over time when exposed to air, heat, and moisture. The food for your pet must be maintained properly to prevent it from becoming rancid or moldy and causing potential health problems. We compiled this list of 15 simple techniques for storing pet food to ensure that it remains as fresh and healthy as the day it was purchased. Here's how to long-term store dry pet food:

When it comes to feeding dry pet food, most pet owners are mainly concerned with the food's safety and the components used to produce it. Very few individuals consider food storage methods. Nonetheless, similar to human food, pet food undergoes flavor, texture, and color changes when exposed to dampness and severe temperatures. If you do not store dry pet food properly, it may quickly decay and become rancid, exposing your pet to a broad variety of health problems. To guarantee that your dry pet food stays fresh for a long time and provides your pet with optimal nutrition, we will outline what you need to know about long-term storage of dry pet food.

Does Pet Food Go Bad?

Similar to human food, pet food can expire. Even dry pet food can develop mold or microorganisms, which can make your pet unwell.

Eventually, pet food may also:

  1. Lose nutrients: Certain nutrients are perishable, thus old pet food will be less nutritious than new pet food.
  2. Infestation by pests: Pantry pests such as moths and weevils are particularly fond of pet food. The remainder of your food supply could be infested by these parasites. Your pet may not mind eating insects, but I do not appreciate them in my diet. Learn how to prevent insects from entering your food source.
  3. Go rancid: The pet food's fats will become rancid. Even though rotten food won't necessarily make your pet sick (unlike bacteria or mold), it will develop an unpleasant flavor. Your pet may not be interested in eating rotten kibble.

How long can dry pet food be stored?

Unopened and in its original container, dry pet food has a shelf life of six to eighteen months.

The shelf life of pet food with numerous preservatives is longer than that of pet food with natural components. If dry pet food is stored in an airtight container in a cool location, it can last for several years. If stored with oxygen absorbers and kept refrigerated, pet food can remain fresh for nearly five years.

How to Long-Term Store Dry Pet Food

The best way to store pet food for an extended period (over a year) is in an airtight container with oxygen absorbers.

Without oxygen, fats will not get rancid and nutrients will not degrade as quickly. It is also necessary to store pet food in a cool, rodent-free area.

The Thirteen Tips for Long-Term Dry Pet Food Storage:

  1. Keep Foods in Their Original Containers
  2. Always store pet food in its original packaging, and remember to fold and clip it before placing it in airtight containers once it has been opened. The advantages of storing dry pet food in its original container are as follows:

    Some plastic containers are composed of low-quality plastic, which can absorb oil from pet food and cause it to become rancid over time.

    The majority of pet food manufacturers utilize high-end packaging bags, such as oxygen barrier bags that are meant to seal out oxygen and moisture.

    UPC codes, lot numbers, and expiration dates are included on the original container to help you maintain the freshness of the pet food. The information can also be useful in the event of an issue with the food or a pet food recall.

  3. Always keep your storage bag sealed
  4. After each meal, seal the bag or container containing your pet's food to prevent exposure to moisture and oxygen, two of the primary components that accelerate food spoilage. Unsealed food bags can potentially become contaminated with microorganisms.

  5. Use within six weeks of opening, at most.
  6. As with human food, dry pet food has an expiration or "sell by" date. Please note that this date applies only to unopened bags. Once the food bag has been opened, the expiration date becomes invalid and the food has a maximum 6-week shelf life. After six weeks, the food's nutritious content will be lower than when the bag was originally opened. Consider noting the date you opened the bag with a marker pen so you can easily keep track of the expiration date, and destroy any remaining food after six weeks.

  7. Use sealed containers at all times
  8. Any container used to store dry pet food must be airtight in order to prevent oxidation and preserve the food's flavor. It also prevents pests from entering your pet's food and is devoid of moisture, which can lead to mold growth. For maximum freshness, we recommend storing the food in its bag and then within a container.

  9. Little by Little
  10. For a fresh flavor and to prevent food contamination, store just what your pet may consume within three to four weeks, or less during the summer and in humid conditions. How is pet food stored? Purchasing in bulk can be economical, but you may end up wasting it if it turns old or rancid before you can feed your pet.

    Even if you have pet food storage bags that can carry 30 or more pounds of food at once, you do not need to fill them.

  11. Freeze It
  12. Dry pet food can be stored in a chest freezer for up to three months. Ensure that it is double-wrapped; you don't want your freezer food to taste like pet food or vice versa.

  13. Before utilizing the storage container, carefully examine it.
  14. Always inspect your pet food container for dents, punctures, and odd growths. There is a strong likelihood that goods in containers with these faults are spoiled or infected with botulinum, a toxin that is fatal to people and canines. P:Importantly, remove such containers as soon as you discover flaws. Wrap them in plastic before discarding them for safety. And after handling such cans, be sure to use a hand sanitizer to clean your hands. Use disposable gloves instead to handle the containers.

  15. Preserve the flavor of your pet's food by using glass containers.
  16. Glass and metal containers are superior than the majority of plastics for storing pet food. This is due to the fact that certain plastics (especially those not manufactured specifically for pet food storage) can transmit unwanted odors and flavors to your pet's food. Plastics can also scrape or develop microscopic nicks and dents that can harbor bacteria and contaminate pet food. Choose glass containers with rubber gaskets to keep moisture and air out of pet food.

  17. Keep your pet food containers sanitized
  18. Don't be tempted to simply replenish the pet food in your storage container. Between refilling, you should wash your storage container to reduce the likelihood that rancid oil from the previous container will contaminate your fresh food. Before refilling a plastic or metal container, wash it with warm or hot, soapy water and white vinegar and allow it to dry. Remember that excess moisture in storage containers can lead to the growth of mold and mildew on pet food.

    Caution: Avoid scraping the interior of the container when washing it. Some containers are lined with BPA-rich materials that are toxic to pets.

  19. Keep indoors in cool, dry locations
  20. Due to temperature variations and to protect the food from mice, insects, and other pests, avoid storing pet food outdoors. The optimal location for storing dry pet food is inside, in cold, dry, and temperature-free locations. High temperatures and humidity can accelerate the process of food degradation and cause the nutrients in dry pet food to degrade. Additionally, verify that the location you chose to store the food is inaccessible to your pet in order to prevent him from stealing a snack.

  21. Keep pet food in numerous containers.
  22. Consider storing your pet's food in several different areas. Instead of storing a huge number of kibble in a single large container, use the container to store several smaller bags of different food brands. Not only are smaller portions more convenient to use, but they also save you the trouble of unsealing more than you need. Additionally, even if one container is infected, you still have fresh food for your pet in other containers.

    Recommendations for large pet food containers

  23. Keep It Cool
  24. Keep pet food in a cold, dry location that is below 26 degrees Celsius. Avoid humid environments where insects and mold thrive. Throughout the warmer months, store pet food in cooler areas of your home, such as the basement, or at the very least out of direct sunlight.

  25. Verify Packaging
  26. Regardless of the sort of pet food you select, ensure that the packaging is intact and free of rips, tears, and leaks. If you feed your pet dry pet food, dehydrated or freeze-dried pet food, avoid packages that have been taped or resealed. Nobody knows how long the business was open.

    Small dents in canned pet food are generally acceptable, but deep dents or dents at the can's edges could indicate a hole large enough to allow bacteria to enter. Be cautious of cans with extensive dents.

    Avoid cans that have an inflated appearance, particularly on the top and bottom. This could indicate that the seal has been broken and the food has gone bad.

Instructions for long-term storage of pet food:

  1. Put it in a Mylar bag. For long-term storage of large quantities of pet food, Mylar bags are the most convenient alternative to airtight containers such as Mason jars.
  2. Add oxygen absorbers. The number of OAs varies according to the size of the Mylar bag.
  3. Seal the bags; remember to label them!
  4. Place it in a pail with a lid. This will protect the Mylar bags from rodents and other pests.
  5. Keep in a cool location. Even if fats are stored with oxygen absorbers, they will still get rancid at high temperatures. Try to store the pet food in a cool location.

Can pet food be vacuum-sealed for long-term storage?

By removing part of the air from the bag, vacuum sealing helps the pet food last longer. Nevertheless, vacuum sealing does not eliminate all oxygen. In addition, vacuum sealer bags are not entirely airtight. Eventually, they will enable air and moisture to enter the sealed bag. Therefore, vacuum sealing is NOT a suitable method for long-term food storage.

How do you tell if dry pet food has gone bad?

Here are several methods for determining whether your pet's dry food has gone bad:

Examine the expiration date on the packaging: Although the shelf life of some types of dry pet food may extend beyond the expiration date, you should avoid feeding your pet food that has beyond its expiration date.

Check for the presence of mold: The presence of mold and insects suggests that the food has been exposed to dampness and bacteria, all of which can make your pet sick.

Smell the cuisine: Dry pet food typically has a paint or chemical odor.

Observe Your Pet's Response to Food: If your pet refuses to eat the food, sniffs it and turns away, or consumes only a small amount, it is likely that the food has gone bad. Remember that your pet has a stronger sense of taste and smell than you do, so he may quickly detect rotten food.

Can dry pet food spoil in extreme heat?

Yes is the quick answer. Even though heat is not as detrimental as humidity when it comes to storing dry pet food, it can nonetheless cause the food to spoil. First, it may cause the oils and fats in the food to become rancid, making the meal harmful for your pet. It can also cause food to become drier, so diminishing its nutritious content.

What should you do if your pet accidently consumes rotten or expired dry food?

If you feel that your animal buddy has taken tainted food, you should immediately take him to a local veterinarian for an examination. The majority of veterinarians will utilize gastric lavage, which involves removing as much of the rotten food from your pet's stomach as possible. As a follow-up treatment, activated charcoal may be offered to absorb any leftover toxins in your pet's body. Remember to bring a sample of the food you suspect your pet has consumed so that your veterinarian can test it for toxins and eventually provide your pet with better care.

Conclusion

If you truly love your pet and consider him a member of the family, you should pay close attention to his diet. This involves ensuring that his food is fresh, safe, and nutritious. Thankfully, it is not difficult to store pet food properly if you have the right information. Follow the advice outlined in this tutorial on 'How to store dry pet food for an extended period of time' to ensure that your pet's food remains fresh, tastes great, and provides optimal nutritional content.

Final Reflections

Not only are high-quality components and food of high quality critical for your pet's health, but so is proper food storage. Fortunately, correctly storing your pet's food is rather simple, and if you follow the procedures indicated above, you will be well on your way to providing your pet with fresh, healthy food

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