5 Dog Food Storage Mistakes You DON’T Want to Make


PetMD Editorial

Updated Oct. 13, 2020
Image: Michelle D. Milliman / Shutterstock

How to Safely Store Dry Dog Food

“How you handle [dry] dog food once you have it at home can make a big difference in how long it remains fresh and maintains its ideal nutritional profile,” says Dr. Jennifer Coates. The following are five mistakes you don’t want to make in order to best keep your dog safe.

Image: Monkey Business Images / Shutterstock

1. DON’T Throw Away the Original Packaging

High-quality dog food bags have been designed to keep out the elements and maintain its freshness for as long as possible. Keeping the dog food bag also has the added benefit of retaining the dog food’s barcode, expiration date, and batch code – all of which are important information to have, especially in the event of a dog food recall.

2. DON’T Expose Dog Food to Air

Sealing the dog food bag after every feeding helps prevent unnecessary exposure to air and humidity — both of which speed up the rate at which pet foods degrade and increase the risk of bacterial contamination like Salmonella.

3. DON’T Store Dog Food in Sunlight

Exposing the dog food bag to sunlight can elevate temperatures and humidity inside. This will also speed up food degradation and increase the risk of Salmonella contamination as well as other bacteria.

4. DON’T Keep Dog Food Past Expiration Date

Dog food expiration dates (sometimes known as “best by” or “use by” dates) are established to ensure the safety of your dog. Don’t take the risk by feeding your pet expired dog food.

5. DON’T Mix Old with New Dog Food

You may be tempted to transfer that last bit of dog food from the old bag to a new bag. Don’t! You may be unknowingly tainting your brand new bag of dry dog food.