Storing Pet Food Properly
Storing pet food properly is essential to preserve its nutritional content. In this article we discuss some tips to make sure your pet food remains as fresh as possible.
As soon as pet food is exposed to air and light oxidation starts to happen. Without going into the science of it, oxidation is the process by which the food loses its nutritional value. Storing pet food properly is essential to maintain its nutrients and prevent unwanted bowel issues for your pet!! Not to mention that good quality pet food is expensive to buy.
First and Foremost!!
When buying pet food always check the expiry / best before date!! Some pet shops will deliberately put the expiring food at the front and put it on offer to get rid of it. This happened to me personally!! Be careful because pet shops do this more often than you may think. Pet shops do not like to throw expired food away as that translates to throwing away stock which costs them money. Storing pet food properly is irrelevant if you start off with stale food!
Storing Dry Food
As a rule, store dry food in a cool, dry place, out of the sun and in a sealed container.
Good quality dry food manufacturers will usually have some sort of resealable mechanism on dry food bags. This is your first indication that the particular brand delivers a good quality product because it invests more to make it easier for you to keep the food fresh once opened.
A good thing to do is to split the food in batches. When you buy a new bag of food do not just take the daily portion from it. Instead put some in a saleable container and use that stash to take the daily portions from. Store the big bag properly and only open it occasionally when you need to refill your stash. In this way you avoid opening the main bag frequently therefore keeping the dry food as fresh as possible.
Storing Wet Food
As a rule do not store a lot of wet food as it loses its nutritional value over time despite having a long shelf life.
Wet food comes packaged mainly in tins although you may get some in plastic pouches. Most wet food will have a long shelf life. However this does not mean that the nutritional content will remain the same as time goes by. Wet food stored in plastic pouches will lose more nutritional value over time than tinned wet food.
Once opened, use asap and only leave stored in a sealed container in the fridge for a couple of days. You can buy lids purposely made to fit tins tightly.
Freeze Dried or Dehydrated Foods & Treats
This type of food & treats have a shorter shelf life than others. Such foods & treats rely on natural antioxidants to keep the food fresh. Once opened, these foods & treats need to be consumed within a few weeks.
You can extend the life of such foods & treats by packing in an airtight container.
Treat raw food in the same manner as you would treat your food. Do not store frozen raw food for a long time. Once thawed consume within a day (or two maximum).
Put raw food in sealed containers in a freezer for medium term storage. Most raw food feeders freeze the food in daily portions, In this manner they just thaw a portion a day thus making sure that no raw food stays a long time in the fridge after thawing and is consumed within the day.
The above is a generic summary that covers the storing of the main food types. However storing pet food should be done in accordance with what the manufacturer suggests on the bag or container.
As a final recommendation we always say that, if you are in doubt just throw the food away and get some new. The health of your pet comes first!