What You Need to Know About Storing Cat and Dog Food
It can be extremely frustrating to find the perfect pet food for your dog or cat, and when you buy it you discover it goes bad very soon. This is a waste of money, and can also become a threat to the health of your pet. The reality is that even the top-quality pet foods, when stored incorrectly, have the ability to develop mould, bacteria, or go rancid. The food can also become infected by rodents or insects. Luckily, storing your dog or cat food is not that hard once you find out how.
3 Things That Commonly Result in Food Spoilage
The first common factor is air. Air exposure also means bacteria exposure. You need to store the food inside a closed storage container that is also airtight. The second factor is moisture, as an excess amount of moisture will result in the growth of mould. The last is the temperature. Never store your pet food, even an unopened can or bag in the shed or your garage. Many manufacturers suggest storing canned foods and kibble in a dry and cool place. A kitchen cupboard or kitchen pantry is the ideal place.
Keep Kibble Foods Inside Their Bag
Even though it may seem convenient to empty the kibble into a plastic or metal containers for storage, throwing away the bag is never a great idea. These bags have been designed to keep the food fresh and prevent spoilage, for a longer timeframe. It is also important that you check on the “use-by” or “sell-by” date on the original packaging. These bags also prevent any fats that are present in the food from leaking through, which is what causes the food to turn rancid. In addition, if you do experience an issue with the food at a later date, you will need the bag for important information such as the “lot number”. When you open a bag of food, fold over the top of the bag to close it up and use a clamp or clip to keep it closed.
Store the Bag in A Can
Even though you should always keep the kibble inside its original packaging, you should also think about storing the bag inside a clean and hygienic storage container. For a small bag, kitchen canisters work well. For the bigger bags, you can use metal or plastic trash cans. Regardless of what you decide to use, always ensure the lid is tightly replaced after every meal, to keep away rodents and insects.
Tips for Canned Foods
Canned food that is unopened usually has a very long shelf-life. The canning methods and the ingredients used often means that this food type can last for at least 5 years. Yet you should still be checking on the “use by” date, and make sure every time you purchase new food that you use the older cans first. As soon as you have opened a can, transfer any unused portions into an airtight container and store the food in the refrigerator. Make sure you use the food within 5 days.
Refrigerated Pet Foods
This type of food has become more popular over the years and is now available in most grocery and pet stores. Some of these foods come in bags, rolls, or plastic containers. Regardless, of what type of refrigerated foods your pet may prefer, make sure you always check on the sell-by and use-by dates as these products usually have a shorter shelf life. In addition, as soon as you open these food types, they usually need to be consumed in 5 days. Check on the instructions on the package, as in some cases you are able to freeze the excess food.
Protect Any Dehydrated Foods from Moisture
Dehydrated foods must be kept away from moisture. If the food is exposed to moisture it might grow mould. You should keep the food in its original packaging which should be reclosed tightly after every use. You can also transfer the food into a container that features an air-tight lid. You can find the best food storage solutions for this sort of food at Dog Product Picker.
Raw Food Diets
The raw pet foods that are commercially prepared have their own storage instructions which will tell you if you can freeze the food or how long you can keep it in the refrigerator. If you make your own recipe, there are few food handling regulations you need to keep in mind. Raw ground meat such as fish, beef or poultry should be used within a day or two. If you are not able to use all of the food over this time, store the rest in the freezer. The large meat cuts such as chops, steaks, or roasts can stay in your fridge for 3 to 5 days. The frozen meats, when wrapped well and stored in an airtight container, will stay fresh for 4 to 6 months.