Everyone would relate when we say that kibble doesn’t smell tasty to humans, but how can you tell if a dry dog food is bad? You must know how to check it and store your canine’s kibble to ensure that it won’t cause any digestive issues. As a dog owner, you should always do your best to ensure that your pooch remains healthy through a balanced diet and exercise.
Providing nutritious foods is beneficial to achieve the holistic development of your furry pal. However, your pet won’t realize it if the dog food goes wrong, and it starts degrading without you knowing. To avoid unwanted elimination of full nutritional value, here are some ways to detect if the food of your pooch is still safe for consumption.
How To Tell If Dog Food Has Gone Bad?
Pooches will eat almost anything that they think is appetizing, even their poop. Hence, you must know the signs that dry dog food is bad and throw it before your pet eats it. Fortunately, there are easy ways to identify rotten dog food. You just have to be observant and be vigilant when assessing the dry food of your pet.
- Find out if there is a perceptible unpleasant or rotten smell.
- Look for any symptoms of pollution, mold, or bugs.
- Always check the bag of the dry dog food if it is past the expiry date.
- Think if the dry dog food had exposure to excessive heat or to high humidity.
- Your dog fails to eat, or after feeding shows signs of illness or discomfort.
Determining whether dry dog food is terrible may sound complicated, but it’s a matter of observing and assessing its current state. Think about how you suspect whether the food that has been in your fridge is still good for consumption or not. Sometimes, even if you store dry dog food right, there are circumstances where it will eventually spoil due to other factors like heat, humidity, and expiration date.
4 Easy Tips To Tell Dry Dog Food Is Bad
You already know that dogs have incredible senses, especially picking scents and odors through their noses. It is a skill that humans can’t do well, but it doesn’t mean that canines don’t go wrong when it comes to determining whether the food has gone to waste or not. First of all, they have no idea what is right and wrong. Let us be more comprehensive when it comes to telling if your dog’s dry dog food is terrible.
Tip #1 – Always Inspect the Dog Food With Your Senses
Food will go bad after high exposure to excess moisture, growth of bacteria, or high temperatures. It is especially the case during hot summer months. Hence, looking for signs of dietary decay is critical. Mold growth can mean contamination of foodstuffs. Likewise, insects and unpleasant smells are also signs of rotten dog food. If it becomes spoiled, dry kibble appears to smell like chemicals, while canned or wet food gives off a bad smell.
Step 1 – Sniffing Of The Dry Dog Food
Like what your pooch would usually do, no matter how disgusting it may look, you have at least to smell the dry dog food of your pooch to know if it is already in bad condition. It produces an off odor that suggests that the food is poorly aged and may have gone rancid. On a typical day, dog food might not smell great, but if it feels downright disgusting, chuck it and find fresh food.
Step 2 – Inspection of the Kibble
Can you notice moldy, or does it seem to be covered in dust? If so, the food isn’t new and might have been rancid. Most dry kibbles for dogs are color brown, so it can be challenging to perform this step in dark places. So, make sure to wear your eyeglasses or use a flashlight. Inspect the kibble in an area where there is a sufficient amount of light passing through your home.
Step 3 – Changes On Your Pet’s Habits
Check for changes in bathroom habits for your furry friend. Diarrhea may be a sign of rancidity in the food. Look out for other hints on your dog. When your dog usually eats his food but then is unwilling to eat or refuses to eat it outright, it may be trying to tell you the last meal you’ve provided is terrible.
Tip #2 – Be Mindful Of The “Best Before” and “Expiration Dates”
Packaged food starts rotting as soon as you open it up. Check the expiry date on the package before serving your dog with the food. Dog food typically comes as wet food or dry kibble. Opened canned food, appropriately refrigerated with a tight lid, lasts 6-7 days. Opened dry food bags that are correctly sealed after each use last up to 6 weeks. You can contact the manufacturer or look at the date of production of the products to find out more. Always buy food under six months old to ensure your dog is consuming new, healthy food.
Pet food manufacturers set expiry dates, or “best by” dates to ensure your dog’s health. Unopened dry pet foods usually have a shelf-life of 12-18 months, while unopened canned foods are good from the date of manufacture for two years. Check for the expiry date at the bottom of the food bag or bottles for your dog. So, prepare to open and use it before that date.
Keep in mind that the date printed on the bag shows how long it will stay fresh before opening. When it is opened, and air and moisture can get in, dog food will start rotting. Many experts suggest to let your dog consume its food a few weeks after opening it. If you’re concerned about getting through a full bag before it goes wrong, try buying smaller quantities of dog food. Better to use a small bag safely than risk spoiling a big, open container of dog food before it’s empty.
Tip #3 – Be An Observer With Your Dog’s Reaction to Its Food
Dogs have keen senses, particularly their smelling abilities. Observe ifmyour dog finds out what kind of food it likes and enjoys and whether it refuses to eat its favorite food. Your pooch could even smell off the food you’ve served and turn it away. Those may be indicators that food has gone bad for your dog. A dog has a much better taste and smell than we humans do, making rotten food easier for him to spot.
Tip #4 – Avoid Buying Bulk Dog Foods
Dogs have a digestive system and are much better at handling and digesting food than humans. Generally, dry dog food has a “Best By” date ranging from 6 months to 1 year, while unopened canned dog food will last from 2 to 5 years. Nevertheless, the selling of expired food is not illegal for supermarkets. You should make it a point of purchasing food no more than one month before reading the expiry date.
Water, bacteria, or mold contamination is a common cause for the deterioration of dog foods. Understanding how rotten food is handled will keep your dog safe. Don’t forget to buy fresh dog food every month to ensure your dog enjoys healthy food. Read the date and expiration of the “Best By,” and seal and store the dog food correctly after each use.
How To Store Dog Food For Long-Term?
Dog food storage bins are useful to keep food in and out of the way. Food poured out of its bag and into a container, however, will spoil more easily as oils and fats settle into the bin’s walls and bottom. Experts recommend that you keep the dog food in the container from which it came to avoid spoilage. Dog food bags are for protecting dog kibbles from air and moisture, all of which can increase the rate at which pet foods degrade. Additionally, you can store dry dog food in an airtight bin to avoid oxidation of the fats.
When the kibble’s fats and oils first reach the walls of your pet food containers, they start oxidizing, mainly plastic ones. On the other hand, you can store canned dog food in fresh and dry places that are not available. You can also store it in the refrigerator for a few days after opening. Be sure you cover any leftover canned food securely with plastic wrap or a reusable lid. Finally, store it in a cold fridge or freezer if you are using fresh or frozen dog food. Check instructions for information from the manufacturer.
14 Tips To Store Dry Dog Food And Prevent It From Spoiling
Here comes the best part; let us give you our 14 tips for storing your canine’s dry dog food. These ways will help you prevent it from spoiling and damaging your dog’s digestive tract. More importantly, you get to maintain the nutrients from kibbles.
Tip #1 – Keep Kibbles In Its Original Container
Always store your dog food in its original container and have to fold and clip it once you open it, and place it in airtight storage containers. Why? First of all, due to the low quality of particular plastic containers, they will absorb oil from the dog food, rendering it stale. Most dog food firms use high-end packaging bags. It includes barrier bags with oxygen designed to keep out moisture and oxygen.
The original container contains essential details you may need to keep your dog’s food healthy. It includes the UPCs, lot number, and date of expiry. Sometimes, the specifics can come in handy when you have a food crisis or dog food recalls—the best oxygen barrier bags to store food long-term.
The ShieldPro Mylar Bags are one of the effective ways to store your dog’s dry dog food if you throw its original bag. However, if you find it small for your pet’s kibbles, you might want to settle with bigger containers that can retain its nutrients. One of the best items that you can use is the SimpleHuman Pet Food Storage Can.
Tip #2 – Seal The Storage Bag At All Times
Seal any dog food bag or container after each feeding to avoid exposure to moisture and oxygen, top elements that speed deterioration of the food. Unsealed food bags are also susceptible to contamination with the bacteria. Roll down the sides to seal your bag, or use clips like Ikea Bevara Sealing Clips to cover it.
Tip #3 – Let Your Pooch Consume The Food For A Maximum Of 6 Weeks After Opening
Like human food, dry dog diets have expiry or ‘best by’ dates on them as well. Note that this date refers only to a sealed container. Once the food bag has been opened, the expiry date is null, and the product has a shelf-life of up to 6 weeks. After six weeks, the food’s nutritional value would be lower than when you opened the bag first. Consider marking the date when you opened the bag with a marker pen to easily track the expiry date and discard the remainder of the food after six weeks.
Tip #4 – Use Airtight Containers
The jar you use to store dry dog food should be airtight to protect the food from contamination so it can retain its fresh taste intact. It also avoids penetration of the rodents into your dog food. Do you want to empty your dog food in containers for better feeding? Well, you should know the practice has some risks to it.
- Plastic containers can contain chemicals which can easily access your dog’s food
- You increase the chance of storing mites and growing molds, which can cause food poisoning in dogs. Mold mites like Tyrophagus Putrescentiae are exceedingly challenging to notice unless there is a significant infestation.
- The residual oils and fats from the dog food can settle at the container’s sides and bottom, contaminating the food and making it unhealthy.
Tip #5 – Believe It Or Not, You Can Freeze Some Dry Kibbles
If you have more dry food than your dog can eat before it expires, you can freeze it for up to 6 months. Make sure you double wrap it in a freezer-safe bag or jar to ensure it retains its flavor. Remember, however, that freezing will add moisture to your dog’s food. But continue to use vacuum sealers in the kitchen to avoid unintended exposures to moisture.
Alternatively, use zip lock bags to hold your dog food in small amounts, and then take out small portions to last your pooch for a few days. The Anova Precision Vacuum Sealer is one of the recommended kitchen vacuum sealers that you can use.
Tip #6 – Always Inspect The Storage Container Before Using
Test the container for dents, punctures, and holes on your dog food storage bin. There are high risks of products being tainted or infected with botulism in containers with these defects, which is a dangerous poison for dogs and humans. When it comes to storing dog food, glass and metal containers are safer than most plastics. Some plastics, mainly those not produced solely for pet food storage, may impart undesirable odors and flavor to your dog food.
Besides, plastics can scratch or shape tiny nicks and dents that can harbor bacteria and contaminate your dog food. Opt for glass containers with rubber gaskets on the rim to keep your dog food out of the moisture and dust. Don’t be tempted to simply top off your storage container with a new bag of dry dog food. Strive to wash your storage container between refills to limit the chances of carrying rancid oil from the old container, contaminating your fresh food.
Whether you have a plastic or metal container, wash with warm or hot, soapy water, and white vinegar, then allow it to dry before refilling it. Remember that excess moisture in your storage containers can cause mold and mildew growth on your dog food. Be careful in scraping the inside of the container while washing. It is because some come with BPA-rich products, which are harmful to your dog.
Tip #7 – Always Store Dry Dog Foods In Cool And Dry Places
Stop keeping the dog food outside due to changes in temperature and shielding the dog food from rodents, insects, and pests. The best place to store dry dog food is in cold, dry areas away from humidity and high temperatures. High temperatures and humidity can speed up the cycle of food deterioration and cause nutrients to break down inside dry dog food. Make sure your pooch can’t easily access the place you choose to store the foods to prevent it from sneaking a snack.
Tip #8 – You Can Use Multiple Containers When Storing Dog Foods
Consider storing foods for your dogs in several locations instead of using one large container to save a large amount of kibble, using the container to hold several smaller bags of different food brands. Smaller parts are easy to use and keep you more than you need from the hassle of unsealing. If one container is contaminated, you will still be left with fresh food elsewhere for your pooch.
Tip #9 – Leave Small Amounts Of Treats In Your Dog Food Dispenser
Automatic dispensers make feeding stress-free for your canine friend, but they increase the likelihood of food spoilage and contamination because they require a lot of moisture and oxygen. So, at a given moment, just put a few days worth of kibble in a dispenser and try to keep the dispenser clean.
Tip #10 – Never Mix Old With New
Never transfer that last bit of the biscuit from your dog’s food from the old storage container to a new bag. You can unknowingly contaminate the new bag by doing so because the old container is more likely to contain any germs or bacteria. First, feed the old food to your dog until the new bag is opened. As a result, your new food bag will be completely sealed for a long time, making your dog food fresher.
Tip #11 – Keep It Out Of Reach For Children
When you have one, your kids won’t experience high hygiene rates when preparing dog food as an adult. Teaching your kids to help you feed the dog is a definite idea, exempt them from storage and other chores that involve high hygiene standards. They can contaminate your dog food as a whole easily by failing to swash before and after handling the food.
Tip #12 – Use Clove Oil To Shoo Away Ants
Putting a few drops of clove oil on the outside of the lid of your jar will discourage ants and other insects. Although clove oil isn’t harmful to dogs, some dogs don’t like this essential oil’s strong taste, so don’t put it in the dry dog food. Even some dogs may be allergic to clove oil.
Tip #13 – Don’t Buy Dry Dog Food From Open Food Bins
Don’t buy dry dog food from open dog food bins in bulk food stores as much as possible, as they are inexpensive. The nature of these dry dog foods is hard to say, and there is also the possibility of bacteria, bugs, and mold contamination.
Tip #14 – Preservatives Won’t Help
Artificial preservatives can make food for your dry dogs last longer. The risks associated with these hazardous chemicals, however, greatly outweigh their advantages. A wide variety of health issues in dogs have been associated with BHA, BHT, and ethoxyquin, some of the most common forms of dry dog food preservatives. Use natural preservatives such as vitamin C ( ascorbic acid), vitamin E (mixed tocopherols), or plant extracts such as rosemary instead of chemical preservatives to protect your dog’s food.
If you are not ready to buy any of the storage containers we suggest in this article; you can make your DIY containers. You might use empty juice bottles, for example, and repurpose cat litter buckets and use them as a large storage container where you can place dry dog food bags.
Finally, you can also repurpose old suitcases as a large storage bag for dry dog foods. Regardless of the type of container, you would be using; it is vital to have a lock that will protect the dry dog food from air pollutants. Proper handling is the safest way to avoid dry dog food from ending up in poor or waste condition.