Storing dog food is not a hectic job, right? Dogs can be the sweetest creatures to have as pets. But they must be taken care of properly and correctly. Their diet is also a very important aspect as it affects their lifespan. Dogs should be fed only dog food. Many people make mistakes while storing dog food which can prove to be harmful and dangerous to their dogs.
We need to know why storing dog food properly is necessary. Proper storage of food for dogs is as important as proper storage of food for humans. It not only keeps your dog’s food fresh and tasty but also saves it from bacteria and household pests. Dog food has oils, fats, and organic ingredients that go rancid with time. Because of this, your dog might get sick, or suffer from illnesses like vomiting, diarrhea, and other stomach-related issues.
If you are wondering about the do’s and don’ts of storing dog food, we have an answer to all your questions. After a small research, we have prepared a list of 6 Don’ts of storing dog food, which might prove to be helpful to you.
1. Buying Excess Quantity
Dog food has a certain amount of nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. But after a particular point, this amount starts declining. Most dog food packages have a “use before” and “best by” date mentioned on them. The “use before” date is an indication of the period that the dog food can be used for. After this, its nutritional value starts decreasing and the food is no longer healthy for your pet. The “best by” date is to inform you, for how long you can store food without opening the package. If you purchase dog food in excess, there is an 80% chance that you will use this food after the date mentioned on the package as well. This may be unhealthy and sometimes harmful for your dog, and you should avoid doing so.
2. Not Refrigerating Canned Food
Generally, unopened canned food can be stored for a long time. But if the can is opened, it should be stored in the refrigerator. Once a can of dog food is opened, it gets contaminated very easily with bacteria or fungi. If there is any food left in your dog’s bowl, it is ideally recommended to throw away the left-over food, but to avoid wastage of food; you can cover the food with foil and store it in the refrigerator. Following the instructions given on the package is very important. Opened canned food should not be stored in the refrigerator for more than 5-7 days and raw canned food should not be refrigerated for more than 24 hours.
3. Throwing Away the Original Packaging
Dog food packages are designed in a certain way. It prevents any kind of moisture, air, dust, or other elements from spoiling the food, and keeps the food fresh and healthy for a longer period. These packages also have the bar code, expiration date, and other important details and instructions mentioned on them. Pouring out food from their packages can be harmful in many ways. The material of the container may change the composition of food thus making it unsuitable for your dogs. According to Woodnutt, “Many pet parents will tip dry food into an airtight pet food container, but this can cause the food to go off more quickly, and scratches in the surface of the container can hold bacteria and allow the food to spoil”. It is important to make sure that the opened packages are sealed properly before storing to prevent any kind of reactions that might happen due to exposure to air, moisture, or high temperatures.
4. Not Cleaning Your Dog’s Bowl Regularly
The oils in your dog’s food create a layer in their bowls which can be very dangerous for their health. Your dog’s bowl should be washed and cleaned after every meal to prevent them from falling sick and catching diseases like diarrhea, or other gastrointestinal infections. Maintaining hygiene is an essential part of the proper storage of food. It not only prevents the food from getting contaminated but also protects your dog against various illnesses. Washing the containers in which you temporarily store your dog’s food is also very important for the same reasons.
5. Keeping Dog Food in Your Dog’s Reach
Dog food must be stored at a place where your dog has no access to it. Dogs are undoubtedly very smart but animals but they do not understand their diet or portion control. If they find their food around them, they will eat as much as they can without realizing how full they are. Eating more than their capacity and more than their actual requirement can have adverse effects on your dog’s health. To be more precise, this can lead to a medical condition called “food bloat”, which means that the dog’s stomach gets so stuffed and distended with food that the blood supply to the stomach and intestines might decrease, leading to a fatal sickness. To avoid this, it is important to store your dog’s food in places that are out of their reach, or in places that your dog has no access to.
6. Storing Food in a Garage
Your dog’s food should not be stored in places that are more likely to have heat or moisture. This can cause bacterial contamination of food which can be infectious for your dog. Storing dog food in closed spaces, or rooms, like a garage can also expose food to pests, or insects, and that can be deleterious for your dog’s health. Dog food should be stored in places that have proper temperature, less exposure to heat or moistures, and that are unlikely to have any kinds of pests or insects around. This will not only keep the food in storable conditions for a long time but also protect your dog against all kinds of diseases and infections.
Final Thoughts On Storing Dog Food
Your pet’s health is as important as your own. They should be rightly fed, regularly medically checked, and given proper love and care. Making mistakes while storing your pet’s food is nothing uncommon. The important part is to know where you are going wrong. This will prevent you from making the same mistakes and keep your pet safe and healthy.