How to Properly Store and Handle Dry Dog Food

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October 3, 2023
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How to Properly Store and Handle Dry Dog Food

When providing food for our canine companions, some pet owners believe that dry food is the best option, simply because it requires so few precautions in order to maintain freshness. However, despite the fact that dry dog food stands to hold up a bit more resiliently against decay than other dog food types, dry dog food is not impervious to contamination.

Dry dog food, when kept in unfavorable conditions, can rot, become moldy, get contaminated by human touch, or become a food source for potentially dangerous pests. To prevent these issues from occurring, it’s essential to properly store and handle your dog’s dry food and its packaging.

In this article, pet owners will learn essential tips and guidelines to ensure the freshness and quality of their canine companion's food. We’ll begin by emphasizing the importance of proper storage to maintain the nutritional value and taste of dry dog food. We will also explain how exposure to air, moisture, sunlight, and temperature fluctuations can lead to food spoilage and the loss of essential nutrients.

Choosing the Right Storage Container

Plenty of container options exist on the market today but they’re not all created equal when it comes to their ability to store food items.

When it comes to storing dry dog food, selecting the right container is one of the most important elements to consider. Common factors included in selecting a suitable container are as follows: 

  • Volume capacity: the container’s ability to hold the amount of food you typically purchase
  • Durability: the container’s ability to hold up against the elements (heat, cold, moisture, etc.)
  • Seal quality: the container’s ability to keep pests out of your dog’s food

Airtight containers are highly recommended because they essentially lock out air and moisture, preventing it from reaching your dog’s dry food. With the ability to create a strong seal against air and moisture, these containers are essential if you want to maintain your dog food’s freshness and prevent spoilage. 

Additionally, it’s wise to opt for a dog food container that’s made out of a food-grade plastic. By using a food grade container to store your pet’s food, you can ensure that there’s no risk of having any potentially harmful chemicals leach into the container’s contents during storage.

Storing Dry Dog Food

Once you have decided on a container that suits both yours and your dog’s needs, you’ll then want to designate an appropriate location to store your dog’s dry food. Ideally, the storage area you choose should be cool, dry, and out of the way. You’ll want to avoid placing the storage container in direct sunlight or near any source of heat, as exposure to these elements can cause your dog’s food to degrade and lose some of its nutritional value. 

Additionally, it's crucial to protect your dog’s food from pests such as insects and rodents. On top of ensuring that the container is closed and secured properly, make sure the storage area is clean and free from any potential entry points for pests. For example, if you store any additional food items in the same area, take precautions and make sure those food items are also stored in airtight containers.

While on the topic of pest prevention, it’s also a good idea to buy a dog food container that’s not only made out of a strong, thick material, but it’s also wise to choose a container with firm lid latches. Both of these features will prevent pest infestation. Latchable lids prevent rodents from opening your pet’s food container and thick material prevents various pests from being able to chew through the container to get to the food inside.

Handling Dry Dog Food

Properly handling dry dog food is just as important as storing it correctly. Before handling your dog’s food in preparation for a feeding, make sure to always wash your hands thoroughly to avoid any contamination. This simple step can help prevent the spread of harmful bacteria that you may otherwise introduce to your dog’s dry food container.

In addition to washing your hands, it's essential to use clean utensils, such as a scoop, when measuring and serving food to your dog. Wash your dog’s food scoop and bowl after every time that he or she eats. Using clean measuring scoops helps maintain your dog food’s hygiene and prevents any cross-contamination from occurring. 

Monitoring Dry Dog Food

Regularly monitoring your dog's food is crucial to ensure its freshness and safety. Check for any signs of spoilage, such as strange odors, color changes, or mold growth. If you notice any of these signs, it's best to discard the food immediately. Mold can be dangerous for dogs to ingest, as can dog food that has previously been contaminated by pests. 

Additionally, always keep track of the expiration dates of the food packages you purchase, as using expired food can be harmful to your dog's health. 

Lastly, it's important to monitor the quantity and usage of the food to ensure that you are providing your canine companion with the right amount of nutrition. Follow the serving recommendations listed on your dog’s dry food packaging unless directed otherwise by your pet’s veterinary care provider. 

Properly storing and handling dry dog food is essential for maintaining its freshness, nutritional value, and taste. By following the simple guidelines provided in this comprehensive article, you can ensure that your animal friend's food remains safe and healthy for as long as possible. 

To recap, always choose a suitable storage container, store the food in a cool and dry place, handle it with hygiene in mind, and regularly monitor its quality. By taking these simple steps, you can provide your beloved dog with the best quality food and contribute to their overall well-being.

SOURCES

https://boneappetreat.com/how-to-store-dog-food/

https://www.hepper.com/how-to-store-dry-dog-food-long-term/

https://www.fda.gov/animal-veterinary/animal-health-literacy/tips-safe-handling-pet-food-and-treats#:~:text=Both%20before%20and%20after%20handling,%2C%20spoon%2C%20or%20cup%20instead.

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