How to Store Dog Food – Effective Advice and Tips

how to store dog food

A common thing dog owners are wondering is how to store dog food or things like how do I store dog food long term?

Well there are certain things to keep in mind when storing dog food depending on if its wet or dry dog food and what to consider for each kind. Below we are going to cover all the options.

How to Store Dry Dog Food?

Dry dog food should be stored in a clean, ventilated area that doesn’t get damp or very humid, at a temperature not exceeding 12 °C (64-65°F) ideally. The temperature indicator is not critical, rather, it is necessary to prevent the ingress of sunlight and the location of the package near heating devices. The manufacturer usually indicates the shelf life on the packaging.

According to experts from, typically, the dog food storage period is 1-2 years. Foods in which vitamin E is a preservative are stored no more than six months usually. An open food bag is stored tightly tied or closed with special clamps to keep it air tight.

Storing dog food in plastic containers that are airtight should keep the food fresher for longer That is arguably the best way to store dog food or any dried pet food really.

How to Store Wet Dog Food?

Canned food is sealed, so it remains good longer than dry food. Their shelf life is 2-3 years. Store them avoiding direct sunlight, away from heaters, following the recommendations on the package.

Open wet food is stored in the refrigerator for no more than a day. After opening, canned food is transferred to a glass jar or a special dog food container. Another question I often get asked is can you freeze canned dog food? The answer to that is you absolutely can, and it works much the same as when you would keep any food in a freezer.

How to Determine That The Dog Food Has Gone Bad?

This can be judged by any simple signs like – appearance, consistency, color and smell.

In all dog foods, the presence of lumps, rot and mold are not allowed. Color and smell should be appropriate for this type of product. Food with signs of spoilage and a musty, unusual or rancid odour should not be used for feeding your pet.

In case of unusual signs, an unpleasant or rancid odor, the product should not be used in feeding.

Dog Food Storage Mistakes

Improper storage leads to deterioration of the food quality, diseases and poisoning of pets.

  • Storage of large packages on the balcony or in the yard under a canopy. It may be convenient for the owner, but changing weather conditions and humidity lead to premature spoilage of food.
  • Putting dry dog food into the tank / barrel. The entire bag should be placed in a special container, and not poured out of the package. In that way the food will retain freshness, aroma and nutritional properties longer.
  • If you are leaving the packaging or container open. The food will deteriorate and its nutrients will be destroyed by contact with air.
  • Storage of open canned food outside the refrigerator. Bacteria begins to actively develop 4 hours after opening the packaging of wet dog food.

Low-Quality Dog Food Poisoning

Poisoning is always a possibility when feeding a dog food that has gone bad. Spoiled foods accumulate toxic substances that can cause pets’ poisoning. Signs for contacting a veterinary clinic are:

  • overexcited condition of the animal;
  • weakness;
  • diarrhea;
  • vomiting;
  • cramps;
  • profuse salivation;
  • shiver.

Symptoms develop very rapidly if we’re talking about dogs, the condition worsens rapidly, so you should immediately contact your veterinarian when the first signs appear.

Bowls for Dogs – What to Consider?

Of the necessary accessories in dog care, it is worth highlighting bowls for feeding and storage jars / containers. It is important that the material of everything that comes in contact with dog food is safe and suitable for food. Special bowls are more convenient for feeding dogs than adapted dishes. It’s best to get 3-4 bowls so you always have a clean bowl for either food or water.

Water is poured into one, dry or wet food in the second, and the third one is needed for broth or milk etc. A dog’s bowl should be washed immediately after feeding with wet food, as bacteria develop afterwards.

With a dry type of feeding, it is best to clean it daily.

The bowls for feeding must be made of durable materials; when cracks and chips appear, replace them.

How Much Dog Food to Buy?

Choose the package size based on the size of the dog. It is expected that packaging should be used up in about 1 month so to always keep the food supply as fresh as possible.

Canned food is bought portionwise so that the pet eats the package at a time or during the day. It’s reasonable to keep up to 1 – 3 months’ worth of canned dog food.

Storage Conditions for Food of Different Brands

Most dry food is stored for more than a year, wet food in a sealed package – for more than 2 years. Timing varies depending on the composition and preservative used by the manufacturer.

The production date and expiration date are always indicated on the packaging.

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