Pet Food Storage – Safely and Properly Store Your Pet Food to Retain Its Flavor
Pet food storage containers come in a variety of sizes, shapes and colors to choose from. Whether you are looking for one with wheels, stackable bins or fancy decorative containers, you won’t have a hard time finding one. The question is, what type of container should you be using to store your dry or wet pet food? When it comes to safety and taste, there are some important issues to consider when storing any type of this food.
Dog food, both wet and dry, may be subject to salmonella if not properly stored. This can lead to serious problems not only for the dog but for the owners as well. Salmonella is a food borne illness that can be transmitted to adults and children from dog food and treats. It’s important to know how to store the food properly for safety reasons. As well, some types of containers can change the taste of the food. If one day your best friend looks up at you and rejects his food, it may be because the food was sitting around too long in a plastic container and inherited a taste of its own.
Plastic Pet Food Storage Containers and Bins
When pet food is poured directly into a plastic bin or container it can lose its original taste and take on an odor of its own. Plastic bags including zip freezer bags should not be considered either since they can affect the taste and fat can start to build up on the outside of the bag. The best type of storage container for pet food is a glass or metal one. Most types of pet food will stay fresher longer and more flavorful when kept in metal or plastic.
Keep Food in Its Original Bag
When you bring food home from the store for your pet dog, cat or other pet, make sure that you keep it in its original bag. This bag and its contents can then be placed into an airtight pet food storage bin. Manufacturers offering high quality food also provide high quality packaging that includes petroleum products to keep the air out of the bag. It also stops moisture from creeping in.
If you keep the food in its original bag you can seal it closed with clips and then place it into a plastic storage bin. Problems with plastic arise when you pour the food directly into the bin without the original packaging. As well, when you have the food left directly in the bag you can always check the expiry date to make sure that the food is still good. Cat and dog kibble can go bad if kept beyond its expiry date. You’ll also know whether the food you have purchased is part of a food recall since the batch code, barcode and the expiry date will be on the bag.
Airtight Pet Food Storage Containers
No matter what type of pet food you are storing, make sure that you have an airtight bin or container with a tight lid. The flavor of the food can be compromised when exposed to air.
Understand the Life Expectancy of Pet Foods
Just like human food, pet food can’t be kept forever. The average life expectancy for dry food is only 6 weeks. Keep in mind that the “Use By” dates that are printed on the bags don’t apply to packages that have already been opened. These dates are provided for sealed bags only. After 6 weeks, the pet food considerably loses some of its nutritional value and can become contaminated. An average of 3 to 4 weeks applies to stored pet food in hot or humid conditions.
If you happen to see a super sale on bulk dry food, think twice before buying a ton of it. The only way you’d ever want to consider buying bulk pet food in advance is if you have the freezer storage to accommodate it.
About Freezing Pet Food
All pet food should be double-wrapped before entering the freezer to keep other food smells out and to stop the pet food from adding its own distinct odor to your freezer. Kibble can be frozen safely in plastic bags or containers. You can also use a vacuum sealer if you have one. Make sure that you are using airtight packaging to avoid moisture damage and only remove enough pet food from the freezer to last 3-4 days.
Store in a Cool Dry Area
Dry pet food should be stored in a dry, cool area in the house that is less than 100°F. If the food is kept at a temperature above 120°F for more than 2 days, it will quickly lose its nutritional value. For this reason, it’s never a good idea to store your pet food outside or in a garage. As well, the containers or bags should not be put directly on the floor. Insects and other small pests are instinctively driven towards pet food.
Canned Dog and Cat Food Storage
Cans of wet cat and dog food should be stored in an area where the temperature remains between 50°F to 100°F. If you are storing opened wet food in the refrigerator it will remain edible for up to a week as long as it has been placed in an airtight container or a lid or plastic wrap has been placed over the can.
Storing Pet Treats
You should never buy pet treats at bulk food stores if they are coming from an open bin. You won’t know whether the food has been subject to contamination of bacteria or mold or whether there are any small bugs traveling through the food when you buy it. There is also no expiry date for the treats when you buy them in bulk.
As with the kibble, it’s best to look for metal or glass containers to keep your treats in. In most cases they should also be kept in the packaging which will keep them fresh longer. Treats can also be frozen following the pet food storage freezing tips listed above.
Another thing that you’ll want to keep in mind when choosing the best storage solution for pet food is the owner! Pet food can get extremely heavy when you are buying it in large quantities. If you have a problem lifting the giant bags of food, look for a container with wheels on it. Just make sure that you choose one that’s big enough to hold all of the dog food so that it can remain in its original packaging -unless you plan on freezing some of it.
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I started newdogowners.com for one simple reason, to help prepare new dog owners for owning a new puppy. My goal is to help stop the passing around of dogs. The forever home, should be a dog's first home.
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