Shelf Life Guide: How Long Does Dog Food Last?

How Long Does Dog Food Last?

As a pet owner, you should always be aware of how long your dog food lasts before it’s time to toss it.

Whether it’s dog kibble you’ve stashed away or a can of wet dog food that you’ve just cracked open, keeping your pet food fresh is crucial for their health and for your peace of mind.

The longevity of your dog’s food can vary substantially based on the type of food it is, how you store it, and how long it’s been open for. Have you checked the expiration date on your dog food lately? Do you know the signs when dog food goes bad? These are all questions you should be asking yourself if you’re wondering whether or not you should toss out any food.

Learning how you can store dog food for the long-term, as well as recognizing when your pet’s food starts to expire, can help prevent feeding your dog any non-fresh food. Nobody wants their dog to eat something that could harm them, which is why it’s essential to know how long dog food can last.

By following these best practices for dog food storage, you’ll be able to preserve the well-being of your pooch and guarantee that every meal is as nutritious and fresh as it should be.

Key Takeaways

  • Review expiration dates and make sure to store dog food properly to maintain its freshness.
  • Unopened food can last up to 18 months, but opened bags should be used within 6 weeks.
  • Wet dog food has a different shelf life compared to dry kibble, with a much quicker expiration after opening.
  • You can preserve the freshness by storing your dog’s food in its original packaging.
  • Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines when storing your pet’s food to prevent nutritional loss over time.

Understanding Dog Food Expiration and Freshness

Knowing how to store your pet food is essential for your dog’s health and to maximize its longevity. Dry dog food typically comes with a “best by” date, which indicates when the ingredients are at their peak in terms of nutrients and taste.

But what happens after the expiration date? While the food may not spoil right away, its nutritional value can certainly degrade, which could potentially affect your dog’s health.

When you store your pet’s food, it’s best to follow tried & true practices to make sure that it stays fresh. Ideally, your pet’s food (especially dry food should be used up within two to three months time after you’ve opened the bag. It’s also important to store it in conditions below 80°F to maintain its integrity.

Airtight containers are going to be your best friend when it comes to maintaining food freshness. By pouring the kibble into an airtight container, you can make the food last longer while also preventing ants and other bugs from getting to it.

When it comes to wet & canned food, however, it’s a race against the clock once you’ve popped the lid in to prevent it from spoiling. When it’s properly sealed and refrigerated, it can usually be consumed within three days. But make sure you’re using an airtight lid to cover the can or container — this will help to prevent the food from getting stale.

If you think your food’s gone bad, then trust your senses; if it smells off, looks weird, or if your dog suddenly turns its nose up at mealtime, it might be time to throw it out. Dry dog food can go stale if it’s exposed to air for too long, so always make sure to squeeze out any excess air before sealing it up.

How Long Does Dry Dog Food & Wet Dog Food Last?

Just like the food we eat, dog food nearly always comes with an expiration date, whether it’s wet or dry. As a reminder, the expiration date typically indicates how long the food can last before it starts to lose its nutritional value.

When you’re selecting food for your dog, it’s important to remember that the type of food you choose will have a significant impact on its longevity. For dry dog food, while an open bag can last 2-3 months, an unopened bag can last for about 12 to 18 months due to its low moisture content, making it a convenient option for long-term storage.

Wet dog food, on the other hand, has a shorter shelf life once opened. Make sure to refrigerate the wet food in a plastic or glass container and aim to use it within a 3-5 days to ensure that your dog receives fresh food every time. That being said, unopened cans of wet dog food can last up to two years! Just make sure to store it properly in a cool & dry area away from any direct sunlight.

Recognizing The Signs of Dog Food Deterioration

It’s imperative to be able to tell if your dog food’s gone bad. The most obvious signs of spoiled dog food includes unusual odors, mold, or any visible bugs/pests. Changes in the food’s moisture, such as a crumbly texture in dry dog food or any hint of dryness in wet dog food, can also be signs that the food has gone past its prime.

To wrap things up, if your dog refuses to eat their usual meal or starts to show any signs of health issues after they eat, it’s possible that the food might be compromised. If you find yourself in this scenario, you might be better off just throwing it away to keep your dog safe.

How Long Does Dog Food Last?


How long does dry dog food last?

The shelf life of dry dog food varies depending on the brand and type, but typically it can last from 6 months to 1 year if stored properly.

How can I tell if my dog food has gone bad?

Signs that your dog food has gone bad include a rancid smell, mold growth, or a change in color or texture. If you notice any of these signs, it’s best to discard the food.

How should I store dry dog food long-term?

To keep dry dog food fresh for longer periods, store it in a cool, dry place in the original bag or an airtight container. Avoid exposing it to heat, moisture, or light.

What is the expiration date of dog food?

Dog food usually comes with an expiration date printed on the packaging. It’s important to check this date and use the food before it expires to ensure its quality and safety.

Can I freeze my dog’s dry food to make it last longer?

Freezing your dog’s dry food may extend its shelf life, but make sure to follow specific storage instructions provided by the manufacturer to maintain the food’s nutritional value.

How can I keep my dog food fresh in a plastic container?

When storing dog food in a plastic container, ensure it is clean, dry, and airtight to prevent moisture and pests from reaching the food. Check for signs of deterioration periodically.

What should I do if my dog food has been opened but not consumed fully?

If your dog food has been opened, make sure to seal it tightly, store it in a cool, dry place, and use it within a reasonable time frame to maintain its freshness and quality.

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