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While we do not fail to feed our pets, we must make sure the food is fresh and not spoiled. Most dry pet foods contain ingredients that can go rancid over time, and this process will accelerate when the food is improperly stored. Therefore, proper storage is important to keep dog food fresh and healthy.
You can vacuum seal dry dog food and store it in a cool place. However, pay attention to the expiration date on the dog food can or packet. If you are unsure whether the dog food has spoiled, look out for signs such as a rancid odor, presence of mold and bugs, or the dog refusing to eat the food.
Keep scrolling to know more about what causes dog food to spoil, the benefits of vacuum sealing, how to know if the dog food is spoiled, and how to store dry dog food properly.
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Most pet owners keep in mind the expiration date of dog food, but they often fail to realize that this date is not applicable once the bag is opened. Studies suggest that even if dog foods can be used one year from the date of fill, it is best to use it within three months of opening the pack.
This is because once you open the pack, its freshness is exposed to different elements in the atmosphere. The three major causes of dog food spoilage include:
The fats and proteins present in dry dog food will break down in the presence of air. As a result, the food will become rancid and is at high risk for bacterial contamination. These harmful bacteria can bring several health problems to your furry friend when he consumes the food.
Dog foods, generally, have some moisture content in them. But when they are exposed to excess moisture, the conditions become favorable for the formation of molds and fermentation of organic substances.
Bacteria also need moisture, in addition to oxygen, to multiply. As a result, kibble will develop a foul smell, and your pet will most likely stay away from it. But it is important to look out for these signs, because your dog may not always understand that the food has gone bad.
The consumption of rancid food can cause food poisoning and other serious health issues.
Dry dog foods contain fats that will begin to oxidize when exposed to high temperatures. This process gives rise to free radicals that can badly affect your dog’s health.
According to the FDA, the ideal temperature at which dry pet food is to be stored is less than 80°F (27°C). Also, do not keep the dog food near fire sources and stoves where there is excessive heat.
Vacuum sealing or vacuum packing is a type of packaging where the air inside is fully removed prior to sealing. This method of packing is widely accepted all around the globe to pack food.
Just like its name, vacuum sealing refers to sealing the contents in a plastic bag through a vacuum. Once the items are filled in the bag, the vacuum sealer removes the air completely.
As discussed above, exposure to air and moisture can affect the quality, taste, and odor of food over time. Vacuum sealing protects food from dehydration, excess moisture, air, and other substances and keeps the food fresh and healthy.
Vacuum sealing greatly extends the shelf life of the food, as long as 6 to 12 months. If the food pack is vacuum-sealed and frozen, it can stay fresh up to 2 to 3 years.
Vacuum packing prevents bacteria from dwelling on your food and keeps the item fresh and free of molds and fungi. Here are a few reasons why this method of packaging is widely used:
Since air and moisture do not enter the bag once it is vacuum-sealed, the conditions are not favorable for bacteria or fungal growth, as these cannot grow without oxygen.
Moreover, the fats present in the food will not get oxidized, and the nutrients will not break down, preventing the food inside from going rancid.
Vacuum sealing is a great option for foods that requires some moisture content, such as wet dog food. As air and moisture do not leave or enter vacuum-sealed bags, the moisture content will stay the same until the bag is opened.
Vacuum sealing also prevents freezer burn, a condition where frozen foods are damaged due to exposure to air. This happens due to dehydration and oxidation and commonly occurs when the packaging is not secure. Vacuum sealing prevents freezer burns by not letting air or moisture to enter inside.
Vacuum sealed foods stay fresh 3 to 5 times longer than foods stored in plastic containers. The food in vacuum-sealed bags lasts for about 2 to 3 years if kept frozen. And 6 to 12 months if stored in other ways.
Vacuum seals are efficient food organizers. You can keep separate bags for different categories of food. Moreover, you can also see the contents inside vacuum bags.
Most dogs do not eat spoiled food, but you must learn how to determine if the food is spoiled or not (in case your dog fails to notice it).
Here are a few signs to look out for which indicate that dog food has spoiled:
- A rancid smell
- Formation of molds or fungi
- Passed expiry date
- Your dog refuses to eat, or show signs of sickness after eating
Although a vacuum seal is a great option to store dry dog food, these tips will help you store kibble safely without any damage.
Whether you are storing kibble in containers or vacuum-sealed bags, always keep those containers clean and free of other substances. The best way to do this is to wash the containers thoroughly and then dry it to remove moisture. Also, before storing the food, check the bags for food materials and dents.
As mentioned earlier, air, moisture, and high temperatures can spoil dog foods. Therefore, store them in a cool and dry place to reduce the risk of bacterial contamination. Always use airtight bags and keep them from stoves and fire sources.
You can simply buy good quality vacuum bags such as Wevac Vacuum Sealer Bag, or go for a vacuum sealer machine if you want to do this long term. GERYON Vacuum Sealer and NutriChef Vacuum Sealer are excellent vacuum sealer machines if you are planning to buy one.
This is certainly a wise tip that you can follow from now on. Evaluate how much food your dog really needs and only buy the right amount of food. This will prevent food spoilage and help you give your furry friend fresh and healthy food.
Here is a video that explains how you can store dog food properly:
To conclude, dry dog food can be stored in vacuum-sealed bags. However, always monitor the expiration date and the food state to determine whether it has spoiled.
Vacuum seal bags increase the shelf life of foods and keep them fresh. Always store the food in a dry and cool place, and avoid exposing it to air, moisture, and high temperature, as these can accelerate its degradation.
- Food Saver: The Science Behind Vacuum Sealing
- Rover: How to Know if Your Dog Food Has Spoiled (and How to Prevent It)
- Pet Central: Best Practices for Proper Dog Food Storage
- Survivalist Boards: Thoughts on vacuum sealing dog food
- Oxford Pets: Can Dry Dog Food Go Bad In Heat?
- US Food and Drug Administration: Proper Storage of Pet Food & Treats
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