What we feed our pets makes a huge difference in their health and lives. However, did you know that where you store it can also impact their lives and health? Appropriate pet food storage is essential to maintaining your pets health and the integrity of your pet’s food. From preventing bacterial growth to prolonging the fresh taste, proper pet food storage is absolutely necessary. We are often asked about food storage in the summer heat, so we’re here to help!


While many people don’t give much thought to how they store their pet’s food, improper storage can make your pet sick. Pet food is perishable and can go rancid just like human food. Some guidelines for proper pet food storage are:


Store pet food at the proper temperature - Even dry pet food needs to be stored indoors, to prevent the oils in the food from becoming rancid or to prevent mold from forming. Even though kibble is dry food, it contains moisture. When moisture is combined with heat, it’s a perfect environment for mold growth which can make your dog quite sick. Never store your pet food outside, or in a garage, shed, trailer, or anywhere else that temperatures can get above 80 degrees F.  If you are using wet pet food, keep opened containers or bags in the fridge, set below 40 degrees, and discard any unused opened canned food after 5 days.


Store pet food in the original bag - Pet food bags are designed to preserve the important oils in your pet’s food. In addition, each bag of pet food has essential information in the off chance you need to check to see if your pet’s food has been recalled, including the UPC code, lot number, brand and manufacturer, and “best by” date. If you are using an airtight a container, place the entire bag of pet food inside of it. You still want to make sure to clean it often because plastic storage containers can be a breeding ground for bacteria. In addition, they are often not actually airtight and this can cause your pet food to go stale. Plastic containers can also release chemicals from the plastic into the food.


Store pet food in the right spot - In addition to storing your pet food in the original bag, you will also want to put it somewhere cool and dark, to prevent oxidation. Oxidation can cause the oils in the food to become rancid, spoiling it. A kitchen cabinet is ideal, however, avoid putting your pet food under the kitchen sink, which is often moist, causing mold and mildew to develop on the pet food. Under the kitchen sink is also where many people store cleaning supplies and chemicals, which could also contaminate your pet’s food.


Don’t mix food - Some people will pour their old bag of pet food into a new bag of pet food when it becomes low. This practice should be avoided, as it can cross-contaminate food, and the old oils will be mixing with the new food.


While storing pet food may seem like something you don’t need to think about, proper handling and storage are essential to keeping your pet healthy. Avoid common mistakes so that your pet’s food doesn’t make them ill!