5 Tips For Safe Dog Food Storage
Dog food can spoil just like any food the rest of the family eats.
This spoilage can cause major health problems for the family pet and is mostly caused by poor storage practices. Keep your dog healthy with the following five tips for safe dog food storage:
1 – Store pet food in containers with air and moisture-tight seals.
A bag of dry dog food can attract moisture, insects or even vermin who can taint your pet’s meals in very unhealthy ways. Instead of just sitting in the bag on the floor or in a cabinet, seal it inside a lidded plastic container that will keep out moisture and pests. This box should be cleaned out when one bag of dog food is done and another is added. Keeping the original packaging can help you remember what brand to buy and what the expiration date is. These are especially important if your favorite type of dog food is recalled by the manufacturer. Wet dog food can be kept for one or two days in the refrigerator, but should be likewise stored in a sealed plastic container or a zipper-top bag.
2 – Only handle pet food with freshly washed hands.
Everyone washes their hands before cooking the family meals or making themselves a snack. It is just as important to have proper hygiene before handling pet food. A 30 second scrub with warm water and soap can remove most bacteria and dangerous microbes like salmonella from your hands. The last thing you want to do is transfer any germs to your beloved pet. Just as you should wash away any impurities from your hands before handling pet food, so should you wash your hands after handling it as well. This will help you stay healthy in case of pet food contamination.
3 – Scrub and sanitize pet bowls regularly.
Would you like to eat breakfast, lunch and dinner from the same unwashed plate every day? Your pets don’t want to either. According to the FDA, pet food bowls should be washed with soap and hot water every day and the water bowls washed at least every other day. More frequently is ideal.
4 – Keep track of expiration dates on pet food bags and cans.
Dog food has aspiration dates just like human food does. These are often indicated on the bag or can with the words “used by” or “best by.” If you have trouble locating the date, you can look at the manufacturer’s website for more information or even call them and get directions to where it is printed on the package. Expired pet food can be spoiled or may have lost important nutrients over time.
5 – Store canned and dry dog food in a controlled environment.
Cases of pet food cans and large bags of kibble can take up a lot of room in the pantry. Many pet owners use the garage for dog food storage, but this is not the best practice for maintaining its freshness, taste and nutritional value. Cans of food should be kept in a controlled environment where the temperature does not drop below 50°F or raise above 100°F. Taste, texture and nutrition can be compromised if the food freezes or gets too hot. Dry food should likewise not be exposed to excessive heat. Also, store it in a sealed container off the floor to prevent insect or animal infestation.