Wednesday, March 14, 2018

How You Store Kibble Matters

 I am not a proponent of dry food to begin with (the more I've learned, the less I like it), but some of the ways in which I see people storing dry pet foods are less than ideal. How you store your pet's dry food does matter.

Dry pet foods (which by the way, is technically and legally considered feed not food) are highly processed. Because they are highly processed and use preservatives, they are packaged and stored in bags that are intended to keep them as fresh as possible until the expiration date or shelf life, which can be between one and three years. (Always check the expiration or "best by" date.)

Some of the dietary fats in dry kibble -- fats that pets require -- are very sensitive to air, heat and time. As soon as a bag of kibble is opened, those fats begin to go rancid. Pouring the kibble from the bag to a container, or into a bowl accelerates the process as the kibble is exposed to more air each time. The more exposure to air or heat, the quicker the fats will go rancid.

In addition to that, in the final step of the kibble production process, palatability enhancers are sprayed on the food (because few animals would eat it otherwise), which consist of metal oxides and sulfates that promote the oxidation of fats.

Most bags of dry food have either a plastic or foil liner on the inside of the bag for this reason. The packaging is protecting the food from air (oxygen), heat and moisture. No matter what type of preservative is used in your pet's kibble, it can quickly turn rancid if exposed to air and hot temperatures. Dry pet foods are supposed to be stored in a cool (under 80 degrees), dry place, which (especially here in the South) does not mean the garage.

Sometimes there is the issue of bugs getting into the food which is why people began putting the food in other containers to store it. But instead of pouring the food out of the bag into a container, it's much better to leave the food in the bag and put the bag in the container. It will stay fresher this way. Remember, each time you expose the food/feed to air, the quicker the fats become rancid.

I have seen dry pet food stored in all kinds of containers. The most popular is plastic of course. What most people don't think about is whether or not the plastic your storing the food in is even food grade plastic. The food items we buy for ourselves as well as pet foods, are stored in food grade plastics. Are you using food grade containers to store your pets' food? 

Even so, most (if not all) plastics can leach toxic chemicals into the contents of the container. (Which is why after learning this I stopped using plastic for food storage altogether.) Also, some plastics can actually absorb much of the vitamin C out of the food; it leaches out and gets sucked into the plastic material. This effects shelf life as it causes the fat to oxidize and accelerates spoilage. Another reason to leave it in the bag.

Bisphenol A (BPA) is a chemical that can be found in many plastic containers, including food-grade plastics. BPA has been shown in several medical studies to be harmful and may even cause cancer. BPA has been linked to thyroid and neurological problems. 

And if you think you're out of the woods by getting BPA-free plastic, better think again. Studies have found that some BPA-free plastics have similar estrogenic activity as plastics with BPA, which cause adverse health problems.

Another reason to leave it in the bag.

Another two important reasons why keeping it in the bag is a good idea: One is that the bags, which were made specifically to keep the food fresh as possible for as long as possible, would likely keep the food fresher longer than it would after being poured into another container (letting air in), which is likely to allow for more space (air) as the food level gets lower. A bag you can roll down to keep the air out!  Two: In case of a recall of the food. If your pet ever gets sick and you suspect the food (or treats), you will need the product information code and expiration date on the package. Or if there is a recall on the food you buy, you will need to know the information on the packaging. This is important! Pet food recalls happen on a frequent basis.

You can follow Cozy Critters Facebook page to get notices of pet food or treat recalls.

Buying too much dry food at a time might save you a few dollars or a few trips to the store, but it may also be causing your pet's food to go rancid quicker. Just how long does that bag last? (More than seven days?) Does it last so long it's most likely stale or rancid once you get to the bottom of the bag because it's been opened and exposed to air so many times? You might want to consider buying in smaller quantities so it's always as fresh as possible. If not, be sure to at least keep the bag closed tightly after letting the air out. 

If you ever notice that the food looks or smells funny, don't feed it to them. Better safe than sorry. You may not even notice anything different when a food has actually turned rancid. If your pet refuses to eat something, don't make them. Animals can sometimes smell when there is something "off" with the food and know not to eat it. We forget sometimes to give more credit to the animals.Their sense of smell is much more powerful than ours! 

If you continue pouring your dry pet food in a plastic container, at least be sure to wash it out and dry it thoroughly before putting a new refill of 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 to the new food. 

We need to be more conscious of how we store our pets' food in order to help them stay healthy. How you store their kibble matters. 

Monday, March 5, 2018

Professional Pet Sitters Week

This week we are celebrating Professional Pet Sitters Week!

I do what I love & love what I do!

Being a Professional Pet Sitter is not just a job, it is a passion!

Professional Pet Sitting provides a wonderful & much needed service to the community.

It provides pet guardians with the freedom to travel worry-free knowing their pets are loved & cared for by an experienced professional in their absence.

It enables pets to remain as stress-free as possible while their guardians are away, in their own comfortable surroundings, sights & smells. There's no place like home!

Most Professional Pet Sitters also provide mid-day dog walks during the week while pet guardians are at work, enabling dogs to get much needed physical exercise as well as mental stimulation, which is also important. Not to mention they receive a friend who comes just to spend time with them!

Professional Pet Sitting also provides crime deterrent measures for your home while you're away.

Professional Pet Sitters are Insured & Bonded for your protection.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Celebrating 16 Years in Business

Cozy Critters Pet Sitters is

Proud to be Celebrating 16 Years in Business!

Caring for Pets is our Passion!

T H A N K    Y O U ! 

for choosing us as your 


Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Food Intolerances and Sensitivities

Does your pet have itchy skin, rashes, hot spots, chronic ear infections, diarrhea, or gas and you just can't seem to find the root of the problem?

Did you know that although actual food allergies are rare, food intolerance is the third most common sensitivity condition in dogs and cats? The difficulty has always been figuring out what foods are the culprits though -- until now.

NutriScan is the most accurate food sensitivity and intolerance test on the market. It is the only clinically predictable veterinarian diagnostic test for dogs, cats and horses. Developed by world renowned veterinarian Dr. Jean Dodds, this patented test, which can be done at home or at your vet's office, looks at particular antibody responses for 24 of the most commonly ingested foods by dogs and cats (or horses). Again, this is not an allergy test, but a sensitivity and intolerance test, which is looking at different antibodies than you would an allergy test.

You can find out more about this wonderful new alternative to food elimination trials, skin patch testing and serum-based food allergy testing by going to .

Check out some of the case studies and see if they don't sound familiar; and find out what a difference this test made for the lives of these pets!

Dr. Dodd's scientific report on NutriScan, which was published in the AHVMA Journal is available to read here:

My favorite holistic veterinarian Dr. Karen Becker discusses NutriScan with Dr. Dodds in these short videos, as well as sharing some very exciting news on a new veterinarian diagnostic tool Dr. Dodds has been working on. 

Wednesday, January 3, 2018


In a previous post I wrote about an excellent book that was a real eye opener when it comes to animal shelters in this country, called Redemption by Nathan Winograd. This book won five national book awards and redefined the animal protection movement in this country.

Nathan is the founder and director of No Kill Advocacy Center. He brought to our attention and awareness the truth about why there are still 3 to 4 million animals that are killed in our animal shelters every year. And as you'll learn, it's not because there aren't enough homes for them all, like we've been told. 

Nathan and his non-profit No Kill Advocacy Center have been doing great work since 2004 in helping to change our sheltering system to No-Kill shelters. Check out the animal shelters that have been reformed in our own state of Texas! We need them all to be like this! (Not in Texas? Look up your state by going here.)

Please check out No Kill Advocacy Center's website and consider supporting them!

And now Nathan's book Redemption has been made into a movie! You can watch it here:

Redemption from No Kill Advocacy Center on Vimeo.