Every dog owner wants the best for their furry friend, and more often than not, they will invest highly in canned dog food. Wrongly storing your pet’s food will disrupt the pet’s health and general well-being. Thus, ensuring that you store your dog food where there are the right properties and conditions will help you get value for your money.
Some of the best places to store canned dog food include the kitchen, garage, mudroom, and laundry room. It is important to keep these places clean, cool, dry, dark, and away from contaminants and direct sunlight. Avoid keeping the food in toxic environments where it can easily get contaminated.
In this article, we will review these places further and the required conditions since, for most dog owners, where and how they store their dog food is an afterthought.
Table of Contents
Dog food should be stored in a cool, dry place and away from direct sunlight, preferably in a cabinet with no moisture, because a humid place will create a good environment for mold to grow and damage the food in no time.
Maintaining cleanliness in the room is very important. Just like human being’s food, ensure the place you store your pet’s food is clean to avoid contaminating their food.
Use plastic containers to store opened canned food in the refrigerator. The OXO Food Storage Container from Amazon is a great choice. It is a BPA-free plastic container that is rounded on all corners to help in pouring.
It is vital to note that dog food shouldn’t be placed in direct sunlight because the sun’s warmth can cause the food to lose quality in a few weeks. Pet proofing the places you store your pet’s food is very crucial as well.
In the kitchen, put the canned dog foods away from the trash or incorporate the tilt-out trash bin so that the harmful objects, like polythene paper, which may lead to choking, are out of reach by the dog.
Here is a video of how to make a tilt-out trash bin for your kitchen:
Utensils such as knives and forks should stay far away from the pets because they can easily harm themselves. In the garage, put the dangerous items in latched cabinets, declutter, and be keen not to go in unsupervised.
Make sure your laundry area is tidy so that your beloved furry friends cannot rip clothes. You can also add the pull-out shelves to minimize the dog’s chances of coming into contact with clothes.
Do not forget to put away the washing detergents to avoid spillage into the foods and the dogs poisoning themselves. At all times, your dog should be monitored because things can go south at the snap of a finger if they are left unsupervised in the house.
Watch the video below to learn how to make a pull-out shelf for your laundry room:
Adding decorative cabinets in your kitchen where you specifically store canned dog food will not only help you locate the food easily when it’s time to feed your pet but also prevent the smell from coming into contact with food for your dogs.
The cabinets, whose temperature should be between 10°C and 37.8°C (50°F and 100°F), should be higher than where our animal friends can reach to ensure they do not damage the food while trying to reach it.
The shelf life of unopened canned food can range between 2 and 5 years since the day of manufacture. They can stay this long without refrigerating because the cans are airtight and prevent air and bacteria from entering and canning involves a sterilizing process.
While in the kitchen, ensure you maintain and handle the dog’s food appropriately, just as you handle a human being’s food by:
- Cleaning the counter surfaces before preparing and serving the canned food
- Washing your hands before handling the dog food
- Keeping the food bowls clean and washing them regularly after every meal
- Carefully opening the can to avoid injuries
After opening the can, and your dog doesn’t finish it all at once, ensure the remaining food is kept in the refrigerator at 40°C-45°C (104°F-113°F) within 4 hours as this helps retain the moisture and minimize the food’s exposure to air.
However, you should not leave it there for more than seven days. It is not recommended to store the food while still in the can because the lining of the can contains toxic metals which, when exposed to air, leach.
Leaving the tin unsealed exposes the food to harmful bacteria. Flies could also lay eggs on the food and cause the fat in the food to go rancid. This ruins the flavor and could even make your four-legged friend sick.
Make sure that, at all times, the food remains sealed with a plastic lid can. We recommend the ALAZCO BPA-Free Can Covers from Amazon, which snap onto the top of the can and create a tight seal.
If you buy the food in bulk, meaning your dog has several servings, you can divide them into single-serve portions and freeze them, and then thaw them when needed. Make sure to double wrap the food because you wouldn’t want your freezer tasting like dog food. Although this will change the texture and taste of the food, their nutritional value will be maintained.
Storing dog food in the garage reduces your child’s chances of getting into contact with the pet’s food. Although children will feel like feeding their pet is a good thing, which we do not, in any way, mean to say is bad, they should sit this one out until they are of age.
They could easily contaminate the food by not washing their hands before handling the food, which would cause more harm than good. You can consider this as a hiding technique. The garage should be dry because dampness corrodes the metal lids, breaks seals, and causes vitamin loss and rancidity. Avoid keeping the food on the floor to prevent infestation.
The garage should be of cool temperature because high temperature can degrade essential oils and break down nutrients in the food. Although storing food in the garage may be a good option, it also has a few shortcomings:
- Your pet’s food is exposed to insects.
- A lot of heat generated in the garage causes harm to the food, as mentioned earlier.
Store your canned dog food in a laundry hamper so that the room does not lose its aesthetic since laundry hampers are very attractive. Besides, the dog will not try to take the can or eat it because it is covered.
Make sure the laundry room has enough ventilation for the dryer and has the right temperature. Failure to do this, the room may be damp and humid. When the food is exposed to moist air, it makes the food susceptible to mold and bacteria, which the dog parent cannot see, and neither can our furry friend taste it.
Similarly, if the room is warm, it can cause the food to spoil, which may lead to serious health complications if the dog eats the food. This situation can be avoided because all dog parents want to see their pets healthy.
Exposing the food to air and humidity contaminates the food by allowing mold to grow. Mold is toxic and can lead to damage to the liver. Use airtight containers made from BPA-free plastic or glass containers.
We recommend using these Rubbermaid Brilliance Glass Storage Containers with Lids from Amazon. They are BPA-free, leak-proof, and airtight, perfect for storing food in the refrigerator.
Although this may seem like a good investment, the food may become monotonous to the dog. Can you imagine eating the same food over and over again? Dog food needs to be rotated; give the dog a wide variety of foods. Buying in bulk reduces the freshness of the food, although it may help the dog parent save time.
Keep the food in a place where your dog does not have access. It is common for dogs to knock over the can and tamper with the seal if the can is unopened, hence permeating air and humidity to the food. If the food is in containers, it may be spilled or exposed to a harmful environment when the pet comes into contact with it, hence shortening the food’s shelf life.
Refrigerating canned food after you open it is non-negotiable. Discard the food after 4 hours of opening, and if the area is warm, 20 minutes after your dog is done eating. Throw away the leftovers if you had forgotten to refrigerate.
It is mostly indicated at the top or bottom of the container. It can be written as best if used by or best before. If this information is not written, then the food is of low quality.
This date does not necessarily mean that the food is spoilt; it indicates that the manufacturer does not vouch for its quality after the written date, although it can be eaten and still be fresh. Buy a product that the expiration date is far from the day you are making the purchase.
There are no accidental rips or tears. Examine the packaging before buying the food. If the can appears damaged, dented, looks old, or the seal is missing, then do not buy the food. This shows that the can may have been tampered with, and this should make you question the quality of the pet’s food.
You need to consider the smell of the can. If the can has a mild strange smell while you are buying it, do not even consider buying the food. This signifies that the food may be contaminated, and feeding the dog this food may cause health complications.
It has a longer shelf life if not opened.
It is expensive.
It does not contain preservatives.
It may contribute to periodontal disease in some dogs.
It is more palatable and suitable for picky eaters.
It contains many unwanted toxins.
It reduces bloat.
It is messier.
It is easy to digest.
It has to be refrigerated.
It is fresh.
It requires a large storage space.
- Your furry friend should be well fed before going out to play.
- Whenever they are outside playing, make sure they are supervised since they could easily eat something that could jeopardize their health.
- Clean any spill before they ingest anything that could make them sick.
- Where they stay and sleep should be cleaned regularly.
- Thoroughly wash their dishes with soap and water after every use.
- Replace their water daily.
- Before introducing them to a new food, ensure you do thorough research and find out what they are allergic to, and compare to the ingredients of the canned food.
- Make regular checkups to the vet.
Dogs are generally very good pets to have around. They offer companionship, friendship, and so much love. Just as you take care of your family members, the dog should also be given maximum attention at all times.
It is advised that you establish a routine for your furry buddies to ease their stay with you. Since you make an effort to get the best quality of canned dog food, you should ensure the food is stored properly under the right conditions.
- Pedigree: Smart Ways to Store Your Dog’s Food
- Pet Food Institute: Safe Handling and Storage at Home
- Dogs N Pawz: 6 Benefits & Drawbacks of Wet Dog Food You Should Consider
- PetMD: How To Keep Your Dog’s Food Fresh
- FDA.gov: Proper Storage of Pet Food & Treats
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