Does Dog Food Expire? Feeding your dog goes a long way to understanding the shelf life and the expiration date of the dog’s food.
Most dogs’ food stays a long time, but they do not last forever. If you fail to store your dog’s food properly, it will spoil.
Here is everything you need to know about dogs’ food storage and its expiration.
Best By vs Expiration Date
Most people think that “best by date” and expiration date are the same thing, but they are not. To properly store your dog food, you should ensure you understand these two terms.
An expiration date shows the date that the food has turned and has stopped being safe for use.
On the other hand, a best by date indicates when the dog food nutrition has significantly decreased. However, the food might still be safe to feed your dog.
The best by date depends on the preservatives used on the food. These preservatives are essential because they ensure the dog food is safe and nutritious to use.
However, after the best by date passes, the preservative will start to degrade, making the food unsafe for use.
Moreover, the micronutrients in the food will also diminish, making the food lack any nutritional value to your dog.
How to Store Dog Food
Air, moisture, and excessive heat are the number one drivers of your dog food spoilage. Therefore, you should ensure that you keep your dog food away from those elements as you can.
The best way to store your opened bag of dry dog food is by keeping it in the bag that it came in and try to use a sealing clip for long-term storage.
It is because the design of the dog food bags keeps away air and humidity. Thus, put the original dog food bag in an airtight bin since an airtight container prevents the oxidation of the fats in the food.
As for the canned dog food, ensure that you tightly cover them with plastic wraps and store them in the freezer.
How to Tell If Dog Food Has Gone Bad
At first glance, it is hard to tell if dog food has gone bad. That is why you should pay close attention to the reaction of your dog when you are giving it food since it might help you know if the food has gone bad or not.
For example, if at the first time the dog gets excited when it sees you making its break first, runs up to the bowl, stops, and sniffs the food, then it walks away without eating, know that there is something wrong with the food.
Apart from observing your dog’s reaction when giving it food, some signs can also tell you that the food has gone bad.
- The food might have a noticeable sour odour
- You may see signs of moulds or bugs
- The expiration date has passed
- Your dog shows signs of discomfort or gets ill after eating the food
Is It Still Safe for Dogs to Eat Expired Dog Food?
The effect that expired foods bring when humans and dogs consume them is different. Dogs have better tolerance than humans as far as digestion is concerned.
Humans might get very sick when eating an expired food that is even one day past its expiration date.
Dog foods past their expiration date are still safe for your dog to eat, depending on how well you store the dog food.
You should also note that it can be consumable when the food is a few months past its expiration food.
It should not go for many months. However, it is not advisable to give your dog expired food.
Dog food manufacturers add several ingredients and integrate them into nutrient-dense formulas that ensure your dog is safe even when it consumes expired food.
They also use preservatives to prevent the growth of moulds and bacteria. The problem is that after the expiration date, these ingredients and preservatives begin to degrade slowly.
Therefore, before giving your dog the expired food, be keen to notice any mould on the upper layer of the food or any foul smell.
If the expired food does not have the mentioned things, it is safe to give it to your dog.
You can look for mould on the food or any foul smell to tell if the food is bad for your dog or not. Your dog can also guide you by looking at its reaction.
If you store your dog food properly, it will be safe for your dog to consume even after its expiration date.