• Lura Keogh
  • Dog Nutrition and Member Service Specialist

  • 3 mins read time
  • The Best Way to Keep Dog Food Fresh

    <"p> Whether you feed raw or cooked food, dehydrated, canned, or even dry kibble, you want that food to stay as fresh as possible for as long as possible. Keeping your pup’s food fresh is important because if the molecules are allowed to oxidize, the food can actually become rancid. This depletes the nutritional value of the food, and can also allow mold to grow! This can happen with any form of pet food, however, fresh food is much harder to keep fresh due to the lack of processing and preservatives. That being said, it is just as important to keep your pup’s kibble and canned food fresh as it is their raw or cooked food.

    Raw and Cooked Food

    Raw food is relatively easy, depending on how you choose to prep your pup’s meals. Some will prep weekly, while others may prep monthly or daily. If you decide to prep monthly or weekly, you’ll likely want to look into meal prep containers. These containers are like a flimsy version of the tupperware you would normally buy for yourself. They are great if you buy or cook your dog's food in bulk, since you can store these in the freezer. It’s a great way to maximize freshness, as you can thaw out one or two just a day prior, instead of letting it sit in the fridge for days at a time. Premade raw and fresh food specifically, is meant to just thaw and serve. So making sure it stays frozen until time to feed is best! If left out, it can oxidize and go rancid throughout the day!

    Freeze dried, Dehydrated, Air Dried, and Kibble

    Typically these foods come in resealable bags, but I do have to say that I prefer keeping my food in either an airtight container or sometimes even the freezer. If you have excess freezer room, this will help keep your food a lot longer than if you left it in just the container it comes in. Obviously, for kibble, it is more realistic for you to keep it in an airtight container. But if you have the room, you could also stick it in the freezer. The Simple Human container also has an insert you can remove and clean, or line with a plastic bag if you are worried about contamination or cleanliness. This helps keep bacteria at bay, and pests away. Over time, leaving your pet food in the bag it comes in can cause oils to escape which will lead to it becoming rancid, and moldy. The airtight containers come in many different sizes so you will be able to find one no matter the size of your dog. It should go without saying to use up all the food before storing more in the container, and clean it between uses so there isn’t rancid food sitting at the bottom!

    Canned

    Canned food cannot be frozen, but it can be refrigerated! If you mix your dog’s food, or you don’t finish a whole can in one sitting, then can covers will be your best friend. Try and get the silicone ones as they don’t hold bacteria and are usually higher quality and last a bit longer. The silicone ones can also fit multiple sized cans! Can covers are important because canned food is notorious for attracting bugs and molding very quickly. You shouldn’t be leaving canned food outside of the fridge or uncovered for more than 4 hours. Generally, canned food can last about 5-7 days in the fridge without issue. Any more than that and I would recommend tossing it. Alternatively, you can use small airtight containers, similar to these baby food containers.As long as the food is sealed, then it shouldn’t mold or attract any pests. It’s normal for real food to go bad, so kibble will always surpass fresh/raw food in keep time, due to the lack of preservatives. Regardless, whatever you feed, making sure it stays fresh is important. When the food goes rancid, or stale, it loses vital nutrients your pup needs. Keep this in mind when choosing the right container for your pup’s diet!