Storing Dog Food, Is It A Good Practice?

Storing Dog Food

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Maintaining the quality and safety of your dog’s food and treats is important for their health. How you store their foods can significantly impact their nutritional value and, ultimately, your pet’s overall health. Think of it like this, you’re saving your pet’s life just by being organized, and ultimately organizing their pantry.
Making sure proper storage is not only about convenience, It is a way to be prepared for any unexpected circumstances. For example, having important information readily available in case of a product issue or recall can be a lifesaver.

The importance of storing dog food extends to preventing your pet from inadvertently overindulging in their food or accessing another pet’s specific diet. Dogs and cats, just like humans, have their dietary requirements and restrictions. If your pet ends up eating more than their fair share or gets into another’s specific food, it could lead to discomfort, digestive issues, and potentially severe health problems. This could range from an upset stomach, vomiting, and diarrhea to more critical conditions that require immediate veterinary attention.
It’s not only about organizing and storing their bags of kibble or treats, it’s a responsible way to maintain your pet’s health and make sure they receive the proper food they need.

Storing Dog Food Safety Tips

Storing Dry Dog Food

Storing dog food in its original bag or container is extremely important. And again it’s not just about being organized, it’s a way to help you be alert and informed, ready for any unexpected situations.
The FDA ( U.S Food And Drug Administration ) advises keeping the UPC, lot number, brand, manufacturer details, and the “best by” date accessible, it’s a really good strategy in case of product defects or recalls.
If a problem or something is worrying about the product, having these details at the ready and available can make all the difference. Experts, like William Burkholder, a respected veterinarian and pet food expert at the FDA, stress the importance of this information when raising concerns or filing complaints. These details we mentioned earlier such as the lot number, “best by” date, and full product name are critical details to provide. They can help in investigating and addressing any potential problems swiftly and efficiently.

Storing Dog Food In Different Containers

If you prefer using a different container for storing dry dog food, it’s better to keep the whole bag inside that container instead of emptying the food directly into it.

If you’re storing dry dog food in a different storage container, it’s important to either clean or make sure the other container is clean, dry, and closed with a lid that fits. The lid is not just saving how fresh the food is or how tasty it is, it actually stops your dog from eating too much if it finds the container. 

Remember to keep all the important details mentioned earlier accessible. You can tape a notepad onto the container’s exterior for easy reference, but you have to update it when you switch to a new bag of kibble just to be extra safe.

When storing dry dog food in sealed cans or bags, find a cool, dry spot to store them in, somewhere that’s under 80 degrees Fahrenheit. It helps preserve all those important nutrients. And if your dog is a bit too smart for their own good, storing dog food somewhere they can’t find it or somewhere that’s too high for them is a better practice.

Storing Dog Food

Storing Dry Dog Food Leftovers

When there are leftovers, what you should be doing is to refrigerate them pronto or toss them out. Keep the fridge cool, set it to 40 degrees Fahrenheit or lower to make sure everything stays fresh.

Now, after each mealtime, make sure to wash and dry your dog’s food bowls and scoops thoroughly. It’s important to keep them clean after each use. It’s a hygiene thing that keeps everything clean and tidy. Oh, and make sure to freshen up the water bowl daily, too.

Now as for treats, make sure to keep them hidden away somewhere safe. You wouldn’t want your dog to accidentally be munching through the entire stash in one go, would you?


Storing Dog Food Properly Prevents Contamination and House Mites

House dust mites, those tiny bugs we often associate with allergies, are not only a problem for humans but out pets as well. These small bugs have been linked to many allergic reactions in our dogs . While we usually think of breathing as the only route of exposure to these allergens, a study in 2000 by veterinarian dermatologistsDouglas J. Deboer; Terri A. Schreiner ) have highlighted a curious connection between house dust mites and certain food items.

This study found out that regular human foods, such as flour and breakfast cereals, can become a haven for these mites once they’re brought into our homes. This phenomenon poses an intriguing question: Can our dog’s food be susceptible to the same issue?

As it turns out, dry dog food shares a similarity with human food items when it comes to housing house dust mites. In controlled settings, those researchers found that these mites thrive and reproduce quite well in dry dog food. This raises concerns about potential health implications for pets consuming mite-contaminated food.

This begs the question: Could mite-contaminated pet food serve as a source of allergens for our pets? Exposure to these allergens through ingesting contaminated food might sensitize an animal initially or worsen allergic symptoms in already sensitive pets.

The researchers did a big study looking at lots of different brands of dry dog food. They aimed to detect any presence of Dermatophagoides mites by assessing the foods for Dermatophagoides group II allergen, A sign that shows there might be mites in the food from when it was made or stored.

Knowing about the possible dangers of dust mites in pet food is really important for us pet owners. It helps us choose the right food for our dogs, making sure they stay healthy and happy.

Storing Dog Food

Uncovering The Risks

The researchers got their hands on 30 bags of commercial dry dog food from different stores in Wisconsin. These bags were a mix of premium brands from pet stores, standard ones from supermarkets, and more affordable generic brands.

But here’s the interesting thing, They also collected 50 samples of stored dry dog food from pet owners who brought their pets to the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital. The pet owners were asked to grab a sample from the food they had at home, tell a bit about the food brand, when they bought it, how they stored it, and so on. These samples were collected between March and July, covering both warm and cool weather periods.

Now, why the freezer? Well, all these samples were immediately frozen at –20 °C to stop any mites from multiplying. They were later checked for mite allergens within two months of freezing.

As part of the study, they also grabbed some dust from household vacuum cleaners, stored it at –20 °C, and then processed it within a month. This dust was used as a comparison to see if there were any similarities in allergens between the household dust and the dog food.

The researchers went through a process to extract any allergens present. They ground the food, sifted it, and then mixed it with a solution. This solution was then spun in a machine to get rid of any leftover food bits. What was left was the liquid that contained potential allergens, which was then tested for mite allergens using a special ELISA method. They were checking for something called Dermatophagoides group II (Der II) content, which can indicate the presence of these mites.

To be sure about the accuracy of their findings, they did various tests under different storage conditions. Some food samples were intentionally infested with live mites, some were frozen and thawed a couple of times, and some were stored for different durations before testing to see if the storage conditions impacted the results.

The Result Of The Research

Storing Dog Food

Their findings suggested that contamination of this dog food with Dermatophagoides mites, either during its production or storage after purchase, is quite rare, at least in the specific area they studied.

When it comes to detecting mites in food, there are a couple of methods. One is through directly spotting the mites under a microscope, while the other involves detecting specific mite components within the food. This latter method is more sensitive as it can identify even tiny amounts of proteins from mite fragments or droppings, even if no complete mites are visible. In this study, they focused Dermatophagoides group II (Der II) because it’s more stable during food processing and is common in two types of mites that bothers humans. This allergen is different from the storage mite allergens found in some foods.

Although there’s a possibility that these allergens were present but at levels too low to detect using their method, previous findings suggest that concentrations of Der II in contaminated foods usually fall within the detection range of their assay. Clinical issues related to mite-contaminated foods typically occur at allergen concentrations way higher than what their test can detect.

The study also examined the impact of freezing and thawing or short-term storage at -20°C on the Der II concentrations in dog food. Their results didn’t consistently show any significant detrimental effect on these concentrations due to freezing or short-term storage, but it’s essential for future studies to test extracts soon after collecting them to avoid any potential degradation during storage.

The absence of evidence for Dermatophagoides mites in dry dog food doesn’t rule out the possibility of contamination by other types of mites. Storage mites, for instance, can also pose problems and might sensitize dogs. Most reports of HDM contamination in foods come from warmer regions, unlike the relatively colder areas studied in this research, hinting that mite contamination in dog food might be more common in warmer climates.

Storing Dog Food FAQs

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