How long does a bag of dog food last?
Today, many are the caregivers who choose to feed their dog with food. It is not strange, since we can find a lot of varieties that adapt to all specimens, whether they are puppies, adults, the elderly or have some particularity, such as being sterilized or with a few extra kilos. Just looking online, for example through the Costco catalog, we can see the large number of options available for our dog. In addition, I think its success is since it is a relatively inexpensive alternative that is very easy to administer. Of course, when choosing it is essential to opt for a quality one, whose composition is based on raw materials with high nutritional value. Regarding its storage and conservation, in this article we will focus on explaining how long a bag of dog food lasts and how to maintain its quality all this time.
How long does an unopened bag of dog food last?
Feed is a food that is manufactured by subjecting the ingredients to different processing techniques. There may be differences in production depending on the brand, but they all have in common that they offer a final product with low humidity, between approximately 8 and 10%. In this way the feed is kept free of pathogens. Higher humidity would also increase the rate of activity water, which favors the proliferation of germs that could alter the food. In its original container, hermetically closed, it can be preserved without losing its properties for months. Check the expiration date indicated by each manufacturer on the bag before buying. Outside that date, the brand can no longer guarantee that the product will remain unaltered.
How long does the dog food last once it is opened?
Even with the container open, the feed, due to its characteristics, can be kept in good condition for months, provided, of course, that we keep it closed and follow the instructions that we will give in the next section. Even so, a good measure is to calculate the quantities that our dog needs to buy, approximately, a bag a month or every month and a half, since it is better not to leave the container open for much longer. That is, if your dog is a mini breed, it makes no sense to buy him a 20 kg bag that will have to spend months open until it is finished.
The main problem with an open bag is that the feed ends up losing its freshness, which could make some specimens, the most scrupulous with food, reject it. In addition, if the container is not well closed, it can be contaminated with microorganisms such as bacteria or fungi, capable of causing disorders, for example, at the digestive level. An open feed can also become damp to the point of forming mold. In this case, it must be discarded, as the mold could potentially cause poisoning in our dog. For all these reasons, the recommendation is to finish an open feed bag as soon as possible to prevent problems such as those mentioned and buy the appropriate amounts for our dog’s intake so as not to have the bag open for so long that it spoils. Finally, finish the feed in the open container before starting the new one. You can mix both in the feeder, but not in the bag so that no pellet of feed remains for too long without consuming.
In summary, although there are exceptions, in general, a bag of dog food lasts between one and two months when open. How to preserve the dog food? To guarantee the freshness and preservation of all the properties of the feed that we buy, it is necessary to know how to store it properly. The first recommendation is to leave it in its original container. Many bags include a zip- type closure system, which allows you to open and close as many times as you want. On the other hand, it is best to keep the bag inside a piece of furniture or closet, avoiding contact with the ground and direct sunlight, which can degrade the food, causing it to lose vitamins and modifying the flavor due to the deterioration of fats when lack these vitamins that preserve them.
In addition, the feed must be in a dry place so as not to increase its humidity, but away from direct heat sources and cleaning products. It is convenient that neither dogs nor children have access to it. The most gluttonous dogs could gobble up several kilos at once. If the bag of feed purchased does not include a closure system, another option is to introduce the feed in a hermetic closure container. For sale you will find different containers or cans of various sizes to adapt to the number of kilos of feed you must store. A good closure is important, both bag and the place where we keep it, not only to keep the food in perfect condition, but also to prevent insects or even rodents from accessing it, especially if we are going to store it in garages or in country houses. Mice can be attracted to feed, break the sac with their teeth and enter it, contaminating the food with their stools. In this case, it will have to be thrown away, as rodents can transmit diseases to dogs, such as leptospirosis.
On the other hand, when serving the feed, it is better to resort to a measuring cup or similar exclusive container for that use rather than putting your hand or the feeder directly into the bag. In this way we avoid, as far as possible, the introduction into the food of microorganisms such as bacteria. Withdraw the amount your dog is going to eat. If you have left over, we can give you that feed in the next shot, but it is better not to put it back in the sack with the rest, since it will have been in contact with the dog’s mouth and saliva, so it will also be already a potential source of pathogens, in addition to being wet. Now that you know how long a bag of dog food lasts and how to keep it in perfect condition during that time, we recommend you consult our guide on How to choose a good dog food.