Dog food isn’t the nicest smelling food, so when it’s exposed to light and air it can become rancid very quickly. It can also make your pupper sick!
If you’re spending money on some quality, premium dog food, you don’t want it to go to waste, so the way you store it is very important.
First things first, check the best before date on the container or bag before you buy. Although the shop you’re buying from should rotate their food correctly, sometimes some bags can slip through, so it’s always best to check.
Manufacturers research the best way to keep their dry food fresher for longer, so often leaving the food in its original packaging a good way to store it! You should, however, make sure it’s tightly sealed after opening and store it in a cool, dry place.
You can also choose to put your food in an airtight container which will keep it just as fresh, as there are plenty of products designed for exactly this. Make sure it's still kept in a cool, dry place though!
If the canned food is unopened, it’s normally okay for up to 5 years! Again, make sure you take a note of the best before date when you buy them. Canned food in plastic tubs won’t last as long as the tin cans.
When you stock up on canned food, make sure you’re putting those with the longer shelf life at the back, so you don’t end up finding ones at the back that have already gone off!
If you don’t use a whole can after opening, store the unused food in an airtight container and refrigerate. You can then use them within 5 days (depending on the ingredients, so check the packet to make sure.)
Freeze dried food are quite often made using natural antioxidants which means they have a shorter shelf life than most foods. Once you’ve opening a packet, you should normally make sure they’re consumed within a few weeks!
It’s really important to make sure you keep freeze dried food away from moisture to avoid bacteria and mold growing.
If you transfer this food to an airtight container it can actually extend their shelf life to up to 5 years!
Raw food is definitely not made to be stored for a long time. Always use raw food with 1-2 days after opening or thawing if from frozen.
If it’s frozen, it normally lasts for around 6 months, but make sure it's sealed and wrapped properly.
Because all dog foods have different expiry dates, ingredients and preservatives, the shelf life will vary from brand to brand. Natural preservatives (like vitamin C, vitamin E and citric acid) tend to break down quicker than artificial preservatives (such as ethoxyquin, BHT and BHA), which means natural foods are more likely to spoil quicker.
Always follow the manufacturers guidelines, and when it doubt, throw it out!