Friday, May 1, 2009

Proper Storage of Dry Foods

Proper storage of dry pet foods is important. No matter what type of preservative is used in your pet's food, it can quickly turn rancid if exposed to oxygen and hot temperatures. Pet food is supposed to be stored "in a cool, dry place." (That's not the garage.) Pet food bags were designed to prevent anything from either entering into or exiting from the food.

Many people keep their pet food in plastic containers. Keeping the food in the wrong type of plastic (non-food-grade) can actually speed the decay of the food. Some plastics can actually absorb much of the vitamin C out of the food; it leaches out & gets sucked into the plastic material. This effects shelf life as it causes the fat to oxidize and accelerates spoilage. If you keep your pet food in a food-grade plastic container, be sure to wash it out and dry it thoroughly before putting new food in. If you dump new, fresh food on top of remnants of old, rancid food, those remnants of oxidizing old food can spread the oxidation of the new food.

Using metal containers (such as trash cans) to store pet food doesn't necessarily cause spoilage, but they can effect the taste of the food.

The best way to store your dry pet food is to keep it in it's original bag, in a cool, dry place. If insects are a concern, keep the bag of food inside an airtight plastic or metal container.

Another good reason to keep the pet food in it's original bag is so you have the expiration date and the product code in case you ever need it. If your pet ever becomes sick and you suspect the food, you will need the codes when reporting it to the manufacturer. Considering the recent pet food recalls, I'd say that's a very good idea!
Resource: Handbook of Dog & Puppy Care & Training by The Whole Dog Journal, 2008