How to Store Your Dog's Dry Food

Keep your dog food fresh with these 6 easy steps.

By | Posted: November 18, 2014, 6 a.m. PST

Sometimes dog owners seem to think that dry dog food lasts forever. People often buy kibble in bulk, pour it into a storage container, and scoop what they need for a few days at a time. This is a big mistake, says Terri Grow, pet food expert and owner of PetSage in Alexandria, Va.

Dog food 

Dry food is packed with oils that go rancid with exposure to air, Grow says. Rancid oil lodges in the pores of the plastic and if left uncleaned, contaminates the next bag of food, while chemicals can leach out of non-food-grade plastic into the kibble. Heat and light breaks down essential vitamins and nutrients, while moisture encourages mold growth that can be toxic.

To keep dry food fresh, nutritious, and safe:

  1. Buy only the amount of food your dog eats in a month.
  2. Check the bag’s "best by” date, and write down the date you open the bag.
  3. Keep the food in its original packaging, because it’s engineered to retain freshness and protect nutrients. This also will be useful if there is a recall and you need to check the lot number.
  4. Roll the top of the bag down as tight as possible, and clip it shut to minimize air exposure.
  5. Put the whole dog food bag into a container with an airtight seal for added freshness and protection against pest infestation.
  6. Store food in a cool, dry place under 70 degrees. A dry basement is a good choice; garages tend to be subject to more extreme temperatures. 

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