As a pet owner, you never want to run out of dog food and so you tend to buy it in bulk because doing so lets you plan ahead while saving money.
But sometimes, you may end up buying way too much and are unsure how to store the dog food properly so that it doesn’t get spoiled.
And if you’re wondering whether you can freeze dry dog food, in this guide we’ll discuss all there is to know about freezing dry dog food so that it remains fresh longer.
The short answer to this question is “yes.” Dry dog food can be frozen and in fact, it is probably among the best methods of storing dry dog food while keeping it fresh and also preserving the nutrients for a longer time.
But you must ensure that you store the dry dog food in an airtight container so that the moisture does not degrade the dog food and spoil it.
Many dog owners prefer freezing dry dog food because it allows them to buy large bags of dry dog food at discounted prices, which allows them to save money. You can save on the delivery costs and also the time and effort of buying dog food frequently.
The shelf-life of dry dog food and how long it will be good depends on whether you have opened the bag or not. Typically, if the bag of dry dog food has not been opened, it can last for up to 12 to 18 months.
But if the bag has been opened, then the food will last from a few days to a few weeks. How long the food will last will depend on the brand, as well as the ingredients in the dry dog food.
Most often, dry dog food comprises a blend of carbohydrates, fats and proteins and when exposed to the temperature, air and moisture, the fats in the dog food causes it to turn rancid.
Also, when the fats start to react with the heat and moisture, mold can start growing, which can cause the dry dog food to get spoiled. So, it is always recommended that once you open the bag of dry dog food, it is best to store it in an airtight container.
How to Store Dry Dog Food
Dry dog food lasts much longer compared to wet dog food, but it is still perishable and must be stored properly. Here are some steps on how to store dry dog food to ensure that it remains fresh for a very long time.
- Seal the Opened Bag: If you have opened the bag of dry dog food, check that it is sealed properly before storing it to prevent any air or moisture from getting in. Roll the sides of the bag and, using a bag clip, seal the bag tightly.
- Store In an Airtight Container: If the dry dog food is exposed to the air, the oxygen will break down the fats in the dog food and it will get spoiled quickly. You can prevent this by storing the bag of dry dog food in an airtight container.
- Leave the Food in Its Original Packaging: Simply place the entire bag along with the dry dog food into the airtight container instead of emptying the food of the bag into the container. This will keep the food protected from air and moisture by adding a barrier.
- Clean the Container Often: Before placing the bag of dry dog food in the airtight container, ensure that you wash the container with hot water and soap or with white vinegar. Rinse the container and dry it properly. Avoid mixing the contents of the new bag of dog food with the old one. When refilling the container, make sure to rewash the container and dry it to prevent the fats from building up and turning the dog food rancid. This will also help to prevent mold from growing because of excess moisture.
- Store the Food in a Dry Place: Make sure you store the dry dog food in a cool and dry place such as your pantry, where the temperatures are less than 100°F. This will prevent the high temperatures and moisture from breaking down the nutrients in the dog food. Avoid storing the food in sheds or garages, which can be much hotter.
- Freeze the Food: If you want to store the dry dog food for a much longer time, then it is best to freeze it.
How to Freeze Dry Dog Food at Home
It is extremely simple to freeze dry dog food at home. The only challenge you may face is having enough freezer space. Here are some tips on how to store dry dog food in the freezer.
- Use Airtight Containers: Just like when you freeze any other types of food, even when freezing dry dog food, place it in an airtight container. You can either use glass containers or Ziplock bags to preserve the freshness of the food for a long time.
- Label the Containers: Label the dry dog food containers when you store them in the freezer so that you don’t mistake them for something else. You use label stickers for the containers and a permanent marker for the Ziploc bags. Label the container, the date of freezing and the amount of food. This will enable you to use the food that you have stored the earliest first.
- Defrost and Thaw: If you want to use frozen dry dog food, you need to defrost and thaw it first, which can take up to 6 to 12 hours. So, you can do it the night before you want to use the food.
How to Tell If the Dry Dog Food Has Gone Bad
Generally, dry dog food has a longer shelf-life compared to wet or canned dog food. But it won’t stay fresh forever and will go bad whatever steps you take to preserve it.
So, it is important to know the signs that your dry dog food is spoiled so that you know whether it is safe to feed it to your pooch or not.
Some of the common signs that dry dog food is spoiled include:
- The dog food is a bit warm
- There is a rancid or foul smell coming from the dog food
- There are little specks of moisture or mold in the food
- Your dog is reluctant to eat the food
- Your pet experiences discomfort or shows signs of unease or illness after consuming the food
If you notice any of the above, then it means that the dry dog food is spoiled and you should not feed it to your pet. It is best to throw the dog food away, lest it makes your pet very ill.
Also Read: What Happens If My Dog Eats a Frog?
In conclusion, if you have bought dry dog food in bulk and want to store it for a long time, then an excellent, practical option is to freeze it.
This will ensure that the dry dog food remains fresh for a longer time and does not get spoiled and you will never run out of your precious pooch’s food.