Tips on How to Store Your Pet Food ProperlyAzia Weisz
Let’s face it. Having a pet is hard work. You constantly need to tend to their needs, and it isn’t as if they miraculously learn how to feed themselves. However, despite the effort that it takes to raise and care for our pets, we do it gladly – and this definitely applies to their pet food. They have the ability to crawl into our hearts, and we end up wanting only the best for them, sparing no expense.
When it comes to their food, most pet owners are very picky. They do loads of research to find the best food for their cats and dogs and pay a pretty penny for the good stuff.
But their food is perishable, and if you don’t store it properly, it can go pretty bad, pretty quickly. In the end, you end up spending way more money on food than what you bargained for in the beginning. The good news is that you don’t have to fork out hundreds of dollars for their food if you store it properly.
There are a couple of things that you can do to ensure that your dog or cat will always get A-grade food. After all, a trip to the vet is way more expensive and a lot more effort than practicing proper food storing methods.
The type of food will typically dictate how you store your dog or cat food. Dry dog and cat food you would ideally store in a dry environment. Keeping the container or bag of the floor will also help in reducing the chance of potential infestation.
Canned dog and cat food need to be stored in an area with a temperature between 50 -100 degrees Fahrenheit prior to opening the can. Under no circumstances should the can be frozen seeing that this will change the texture as well as the taste of the food. Moreover, because of the water content in the can, it has the potential to swell and burst open. Once water reaches freezing point, it expands by 9 %, and this could lead to a rupture in the can.
When the dry dog and cat food bags are opened, many pet owners tend to pour the food over into a large plastic container. To an extent, this could alter the taste of the food. Plastic is known for giving off some taste when pet food is kept in it for a while. Over time, if these containers aren’t kept clean, an oily layer starts to develop on the sides of the container. This could cause a potential stomach irritation for your cat or dog which could lead to dehydration.
If you opt for a container, metal or tin cans and bins are ideal. They do not give off any taste and generally do not develop an oily layer as fast as plastic. The best course of action, however, if you still want to pour the food over into a container is to keep the food in its original packaging and put the open bag into the bin.
The same container principles apply to canned food as well. You can use plastic containers to store excess canned food, but it will in all likelihood give off a taste.
Once the canned food is open, it should be stored in the fridge to preserve the moisture of the pet food. Keeping it in the fridge will prevent it from oxidizing and going off at a rapid rate. Keeping it cool will also keep the food from drying out seeing that the moisture will not have a chance to evaporate so quickly.
Let us not fool ourselves, no matter what food you buy your cat or dog, it doesn’t smell good, to begin with. When you store the food in a sealed container in the fridge, it will also keep the smell at bay. Most canned foods come with a tight sealing lid which makes it possible to keep the food in its original packaging and placing the supplied lid on to prevent the food from drying out.
Many pet owners will experience that their dear felines and k9s sometimes do not finish eating their food. This is not the end of the world, and you don’t have to throw the food away immediately. Dry cat and dog food can be kept in their bowl for an indefinite amount of time.
As long as the food isn’t subject to direct sunlight or moisture, it could last for a long time. It might lose some nutritional value, but your pet won’t become ill from the food. The second aspect to look out for is an infestation.
Ants and other insects love to feast of cat and dog food, therefore, you should keep the bowl slightly off the ground to prevent these insects from spoiling the food. Regardless of how long the food will stay fresh, it is always a good idea to clean the bowls once a day.
Canned dog and cat food, on the other hand, is much different. Food that was not eaten should be discarded after about 4 hours if the outside ambient temperature is above 50 degrees. If the food is not consumed in the allotted time, it should be discarded, and the bowl should be cleaned. Opened cans should only be kept for up to 7 days after which it should be discarded.
The best before date on your canned food is a pretty good indicator of when the pet food should be thrown out. If the date states that the can is best before March, it should be discarded on 1 March. Although there isn’t an exact date for when the food would not be suitable, you wouldn’t want to take a chance on it with your pet.
Dry bag food on the other hand, if it doesn’t get moist and moldy, it can last for quite a time after the best before date. The pet food might lose a bit of nutritional value, but it won’t harm your pet.