What Should I Store my Dog Food In?
Many budget-savvy dog owners have come to realize that the easiest way to save money on their dog’s food is to buy in bulk. Buying in bulk, of course, means that you have a lot of extra dog food on your hands – what do you do with it all? In this article you will learn some valuable information about storing dog food as well as some helpful tips to keep it fresh.
Storing Dry Dog Food
While it may be tempting to stock up on your dog’s food when it goes on sale, it is important that you do not buy more than you can use in 2-months’ time. After about 4 to 6 weeks, dry dog food starts to lose some of its nutritional value, so you definitely want to use it before that begins to happen. One simple way to make sure your dog’s food stays fresh is to check the best-by date on the package and to use up older dog food before you move on to a new bag. Avoid opening a new bag until you are ready to use it because exposure to air and light may increase the speed at which the food starts to degrade.
Many dog owners simply store the open bag of dog food in their pantries, scooping their dog’s daily portion from the bag into the bowl. Some dog owners, however, transfer the food to a plastic or metal container that can be resealed after each use. You may be surprised to hear that keeping the food in the original packing is actually a better option – it will help limit the food’s exposure to light, air and humidity. Ideally, you should store the entire bag in a larger, sealable container to keep it fresh for as long as possible. Store the container in a cool, dry location when not in use. After scooping the food into your dog’s bowl, do not let it sit out for more than 24 hours and make sure to clean your dog’s bowl at least once a week.
Tips for Storing Canned/Wet Food
When it comes to canned food, you do not have to think about the same concerns as you do with dry food. After all, the food is already preserved in the can so it stays fresh for a much longer period of time – as long as the can has not been opened. You still need to pay attention to best-by dates and keep the cans stored in a cool location. Once a can has been opened, you need to store it in the refrigerator and seal it with a lid or with plastic wrap. If you accidentally leave a can of wet food out, it is still safe to use for about 4 hours – after that point, however, it should be discarded.
Health Safety for Raw Food
You are probably already aware of some of the dangers associated with handling raw meats, so it should come as no surprise to you that you should be cautious when handling raw dog food. This is especially true if you make your own dog food at home. If you make your own dog food, be sure to use a clean cutting board each time and thoroughly sanitize all work surfaces after you are finished. Wash your hands after handling the food and sanitize your dog’s bowl after he has finished eating.
An alternative to homemade raw food is commercial raw food – these foods may come in freeze-dried, frozen or refrigerated form. Freeze-dried raw food poses less risk for contamination than frozen or refrigerated food, but you still need to be careful. Follow the storage instructions on the package carefully to ensure your own safety as well as the freshness of the food. Raw foods can generally be refrigerated for 3 to 5 days once the package has been opened and frozen foods shouldn’t be thawed until you are ready to use them.