Ensuring the right nutrition for your pet dogs is crucial to guaranteeing their optimum health. Unlike their cousins in the wild, these domesticated canines are largely dependent on us to provide them with the right types and amounts of food. Equally important is the maintenance of the freshness of their food so that its nutrient quality is preserved. Storing dog food in appropriate containers also helps prevent the foodstuffs from going stale, making it more palatable to pooches every time they feed. Choosing an air-tight should help you lock in the flavors and freshness of canine kibbles. To get you started in the selection process, you may want to begin by taking a look at the 8 best dog food containers we have researched.
Best Dog Food Storage Containers Buying Guide & FAQ
Why Use Dog Food Storage Containers?
For most folks, getting a dog food storage container is not necessary since there are other storage solutions that can do the job of storing their pet’s diet. However, there are many reasons why you may want to use purposely-designed and built dog food storage containers. Here are a few of the more compelling reasons for getting one for your pet dog:
- Prevents moisture and spoilage
Any kind of food has an expiration date. Regardless of how ingenious or advanced the technologies are involved in food processing and packaging, pet food is still subject to degradation the moment it has been opened from its original packaging. The reason is quite simple. You are now exposing the pet food to the various elements present in the environment. The exposure of dog food to air alone can already initiate a series of chemical reactions known as oxidation which effectively undermines the quality and quantity of the nutrients contained in each kibble of dog food.
Not only is pet food at the mercy of air. It is also at risk for increased spoilage and the possible growth and proliferation of mold, mildew, and other organisms. This is because once pet food has been opened you are also introducing it to moisture or humidity. And if you live in a very humid environment you risk contaminating your dog’s food with these microorganisms.
- Protects against pests
Here are always pests to think about. Cockroaches, ants, rodents, flies, and other pests can have a heyday with your pet’s food if it is not stored properly. These organisms can contaminate your dog’s food by bringing with them various microorganisms as they feast on these kibbles.
Purposely-built airtight dog food storage containers can help address all of these problems. While there is no way to keep your dog’s food from spoiling, at least you will be able to prolong its lifespan. That way you don’t need to buy dog food more often than you should.
- Improved pet food supply management
Most dog food storage containers are designed with translucent walls. These are ideal for pet parents who may not be that very systematic or organized in the tracking or monitoring of their pet food supply. If you don’t use such systems, you will have to open the container every now and then just to check if Fido still has plenty of chow left or if it is already time for a refill.
While you can actually check the fed levels every time you feed your dog, there are some of us who simply overlook such simple things or we tend to forget. Having a clear- or translucent- walled pet food storage container can help you determine how much dog food is left in the container before you need to top it off with a fresh batch.
- Better organization
There are dog food storage solutions that are part of a system. This can be exceptionally useful if you have a multi-pet household or you wish to give a variety of diets for your pet dog. In such instances, you will benefit a lot from the organizational effectiveness of certain dog food storage containers, especially those that can be stacked one on top of another. If there is a way to organize your pets’ nutritional needs, why not, right?
How Long Can Kibble Last in an Open Bag?
One of the clear advantages of kibbles over wet or canned dog food is that they don’t spoil easily. Their lifespan, once opened is generally longer than that of the canned versions of dog food. Of course, if you refrigerate an already-opened canned dog food, this can last about a week or so. Still, it is no match for the lifespan of a kibble once its packaging has been opened. So how long do kibbles last once the bag has been opened?
It is now generally accepted that dog kibbles can last only up to 2 weeks, max, once the bag has been opened. If you can remember what we said above about oxidation, this is the main reason why kibbles can last only 2 weeks once fully opened from their packaging.
Dog food contains a lot of oils that are dehydrated together with the rest of the dog food ingredients. Once the dog food has been opened, oxygen rushes in and interacts with these oils leading to oxidation of the oils. This is what causes these oils to turn rancid and give your dog food the characteristic scent of rotten food.
It is true that the dry food manufacturing process also involves the addition of antioxidant preservatives such as mixed tocopherols. Unfortunately, every time you open your bag of dry kibble, these antioxidants eventually get oxidized, too. This can lead to molecular changes in the fats contained in dog food, especially omega-3 essential fatty acids. Rancid oil can bring more harm than what the essential fatty acid is supposed to provide. Omega-3 fatty acids protect your dog’s heart. A rancid omega-3 fatty acid can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease in your dog.
It is for this reason that pet parents have to be very vigilant about their pet food supply. Dog kibbles will only last 2 weeks once the bag has been opened. This should be remembered at all times.
Tips to Keep Your Dog Food Fresh
The way we handle the food of our pets can make a huge difference in the amount of time that these stay fresh. More importantly, how we handle and store their food can have a significant impact on the nutritional profile of these foodstuffs. And if you’re lost as to how to do it, here are some tips to keep your dog food fresh.
Always Keep Your Mutt’s Food In The Original Packaging They Came In
This may sound counterintuitive but it actually makes perfect sense. The whole point about putting dry kibbles into their respective packaging is that these are essentially protected from outside interference. Many of these foodstuff packaging comes with special formulations to help ensure the freshness of the pet food for the longest time possible. Not only are these designed to retain optimum freshness, they are also helpful in keeping out the elements.
You might think that once the bag or package has been opened, it already loses this particular protective function. To a certain degree, yes; but, not entirely. If you take responsibility for maintaining the freshness of these pet foodstuffs, you can still ensure their freshness. Just use appropriate gadgets or devices that will help you close and seal the opening of the package. There are also certain pet foodstuffs that come with resealable packaging. This can be a wonderful feature to look into.
More importantly, the original packaging contains information about the foodstuff such as the date it will expire, its batch code, and even its bar code. This is important because you will never know when there’s going to be a canine food recall. At least, you’ll have all the information you need.
Make It A Habit To Reseal Your Pet’s Food Pack After Every Meal
Don’t ever forget to close or reseal the packaging of your pet’s food after every feeding. This is to help prevent exposing the foodstuff to air and humidity. An increase in moisture content of dry kibbles can lead to a much faster degradation of the quality of the foodstuff. Moreover, moisture favors the growth and proliferation of harmful microorganisms like fungal species. Exposing it to air can also increase the risk of contamination with bacterial species. Together – air and humidity – these can lead to the contamination of the pet food with Salmonella.
Salmonellosis in canines often leads to gastroenteritis and spontaneous abortions, although pooches with significantly compromised immune systems can easily develop septicemia or massive infection in the blood. This disease is often characterized by fever, lethargy, vomiting, anorexia, dehydration, and weight loss. If it becomes severe enough such as when there is septicemia, shock may result.
Exposing your dog food to sunlight is also a big no-no as it can have the same effect as in exposing the foodstuff to air and moisture.
Always Consume Old Foodstuffs First Before Opening A New Bag
There is this somewhat unnerving behavior among some pet owners whereby they mix old dog food with a newly opened one. They think that mixing will help transfer some of the freshness of the new to the old and help lessen the stale flavor and scent of the old. Unfortunately, this line of thinking is not only illogical but also plain and simple stupidity. Mixing old kibbles with new ones can lead to tainting of the new kibbles. That is why it is recommended to completely empty the old bag first before you even open a new pack. Just make sure it is still not expired.
Store Your Pet’s Foodstuff In A Cool, Dry Place
Remember what we said about not exposing kibbles to moisture and air? To be more specific, you need to store your dog’s food in a dry and cool environment that has a temperature no higher than 100OF. This helps lock-in the vitamins and fats that are found in kibbles. If these are exposed to temperatures higher than 100OF, you are technically increasing the rate at which vitamins are destroyed and fats are oxidized. Unfortunately, not only is this going to affect your pet’s general health, it will not also be friendly to your nose as it will be very rancid. Do take note that if you store kibbles in areas where the temperature is higher than 120OF for at least 24 hours, you’re accelerating the destruction or degradation of vitamins.
If you have wet dog food or those that come in cans, you can store them in an area where the temperature is between 50 and 100 degrees Fahrenheit if you haven’t opened them yet. Don’t ever freeze your canned dog food because this changes the taste and texture of the pet food. If you’ve already opened them, there’s no choice but to consume all the content within 5 to 7 days. You can also store the leftover in the ref within the 5 to 7-day period but with a temperature of 40 to 45 degrees Fahrenheit. If you left it in the open with a temperature above 50OF, you only have 4 hours to have your pet consume all of it.
Use Airtight, Resealable Dog Food Containers
Only a container that has superbly airtight closure or lids will help prevent the exposure of your pet’s food to air and moisture. Choosing the best one for your pet should take into consideration the need for preventing moisture buildup.
Making sure our pet pooches receive only the freshest, most nutritious pet food is crucial to maintaining their optimum health. These 8 best dog food containers, while they come in various prices and designs, should be a great starting point to choose one that fits your needs.