What you feed your dog is critical to their health but where you store your dog food can also make a big difference to your furry loved ones. Keep these tips in mind for optimal pet food storage.
Where you store your dog food can make a big difference in the quality and freshness once it is opened. Storing your dog’s food in an uncontrolled environment - such as a garage or outdoors – is not recommended as there is the possibility of infestation into the food.
Bags of dry dog food should be stored in a cool, dry environment under 100°F (38°C). This is to prevent destruction of vitamins and oxidation of fats leading to rancidity. Pet foods will retain their best flavour if stored in the original bag, which provides a fat barrier. Storage at temperatures of 120°F (48°C) for more than 48 hours can accelerate the normal degradation or destruction of the vitamins in the food.
Should I use a plastic storage container for my dog’s food?
Many dog owners like to transfer their dog’s dry food from the bag to another container. Studies by Hill's® packaging engineers have shown that storage in a variety of plastic containers (plastic bins, zip-close bags, rubbish or, kitchen bags, rubber/plastic containers, plastic pails, etc.) may impart an odour and taste to dry pet foods that adversely effects the taste of the food. Zip-close bags, rubbish and similar bags will also not prevent fat from accumulating on the outside of the bag. Storage in clean metal containers (small metal tins, or bins etc.) is acceptable. If you do prefer using a storage container, keep the food in the original bag within the container to create an ideal storage location.
You CAN use plastic containers to empty the bags of dry food into, provided that the container is food grade plastic - such as those that chefs use in restaurants for storing food, or those used for expeditions etc. It can be tempting to buy a generic large plastic box that fits neatly into the home and to empty the dried food into, but if the box isn't food grade then keep the food in its original bag before placing into the box if you must. It is also possible to purchase plastic boxes designed for storing dog foods, although they are usually sold at a premium.
As we have posted previously, about storing water in plastic containers, there are risks of toxins leeching from plastic containers that are not BPA free. (BPA stands for bisphenol A, a chemical used in producing plastic and resins. It can leach into water especially if exposed to heat. BPA has been linked to reproductive, brain, behavior problems, high blood pressure, and heart disease among other issues.)
How do I store opened wet dog food?
Opened wet food should be stored in the fridge to retain moisture, minimise exposure to air and reduce transfer of odours to other food. The best way to store opened wet food is to use a plastic pet food lid that fits the top of the can to prevent moisture loss and transfer of odours. If a plastic lid is not available, plastic wrap also provides a very good moisture, air and odour barrier. Zip-close bags provide good moisture barriers but do not provide good oxygen and odour barriers.
Quite often the simplest and easiest way to store open wet food is to keep it in Tupperware style plastic containers - that are designed for food use. Always make sure that any container used is suitable for using with food to avoid contaminants and food spoiling.