We don’t like to eat spoiled, rotten food, and neither does your dog. If you think about it, a dog’s meal is fresh when living in the wild because they have to kill to eat. They weren’t made to eat foods that have been sitting out for months.
Depending on the dog food and the type of packaging it comes in, some can last longer than you might think. It’s good to look for a date stamped on the dog food you purchase, typically on the bag’s bottom or can. Consider the food best if used by the date marked by the dog food producer.
An unopened bag of dry food should be used within twelve to eighteen months of the best buy date or purchase price, whichever comes first. A can of dog food can last a couple of years from the manufacturer’s date.
After you open a bag of dog food, it is only good for six weeks. After that, it can spoil or become stale. When a bag of food sits too long, it also loses the essential nutrients intended to keep your pup healthy. There are ways to keep your dog food fresh.
Seal It Up
Don’t leave your bag of dog food open where the air and other external influences could contaminate your dog’s dinner. You should put away canned food unused in a sealable container and store it in the fridge just like human food.
If you open your bag, be sure to reseal it with a clip. Experts say it’s best to keep dry dog food in the manufacturer’s bag because they are created to keep the contents fresh for as long as possible. Rolling up the top and applying a clip is fine.
Containers with sealable lids are okay. Just be sure to put the bag in the container instead of pouring it out of the bag into the container directly.
Keep It Cool
Exposure to heat or humidity speeds up the aging process of the food, which means it can spoil faster. Keep your dog’s food in the dark place, off the floor, and sealed well.
How to Know the Food Has Spoiled
Just like the food in your fridge and pantry, there are clear indicators that the food has spoiled and should be disposed of before someone gets sick. Here are signs that your dog’s food has gone bad.
- It smells. If you get a horrible whiff coming from the bag of dog food sitting on your back porch, it’s probably time to throw it away.
- You see bugs. This is a clear indicator that it’s time to get rid of the food.
- Excess moisture or signs of mold. If you notice either, it’s time to toss it.
- Exposure to heat and humidity. Both heat and moisture will speed up the aging process of your food, which is why it’s important to reseal the bag.
- It’s expired. If the date on the bag has passed, then it’s time to throw it away.
- Your dog won’t eat it.
Alternatives to Store-Bought Food
Like us, dogs like variety, and there is a bevy of healthy natural foods that you can give them along with their kibble to mix it up a big. The kibble is essential because the manufacturers create them with health and nutrients in mind, but you can add flavorful fruits and veggies to make their diet more exciting and diverse.
Here is a list of fun fruits and vegetables you can feed your dog. WARNING! Fruit pits contain poison and can cause blockage in your dog’s system. Don’t let your dog eat any seeds.
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Fruits and Veggies For Fido
You can always read more about food that provides proper nourishment for your pets. But here are some food items to get you started.
- Apples. Contain vitamins A & C and are high in fiber. Low in fat and protein. Be sure to remove the core and seeds.
- Bananas. Contain amino acids, potassium, vitamins C & B6. The sugar it contains will give your dog a little extra pep, and it will improve their heart health and keep their blood pressure sound.
- Blueberries. Contain antioxidants and are low in calories.
- Broccoli. Contains vitamins A, C, & D and folic acid, fiber, beta-carotene, calcium, and chromium. While broccoli gives your dog a lot, you should only give it to them once in a while because it will cause excessive gas.
- Brussel sprouts. Contains vitamins A, B1, B6, K, and G. Are also excellent for fiber.
- Cantaloupe. Full of fiber but also sugar, so give sparingly.
- Carrots. Contains vitamins A, C, D, E, and K and beta-carotene, iron, magnesium, potassium, and fiber. They are great for your dog’s skin, vision, teeth cleaning, and promotes healthy gums.
- Celery. Contains vitamins A, B, and C. This snack is great for your dog’s health and helps fight cancer. It also aids with bad breath.
- Cucumbers. Contains vitamins C, B2, and K. They’re great for dogs looking to shed a few pounds because they are low in calories and carbs.
- Green beans. Contains tons of vitamins and minerals essential for good health, including fiber.
- Oranges (no peel). Contains vitamin C, potassium, and fiber.
- Peaches. Contains fiber and vitamin A. Do not give your dog canned peaches because they are full of sugar.
- Pears. Contains copper, fiber, and vitamins C and K. Be sure to remove the pit and seeds.
- Peas. Contains vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B6, C, and K. They also contain thiamin, phosphorus, manganese, fiber, and folate. Do not serve canned peas.
- Pineapple. Contains tons of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and bromelain.
- Strawberries. Contains vitamin C and fiber. They can also help keep your dog’s teeth white.
- Watermelon. Contains vitamins A, B6, and C and potassium. Be sure to remove all the seeds.