How can you tell if dry dog food is rancid? Here’s What to Do Next

How Long is Dog Food Good For?

It’s important to understand the shelf life of dog food both before and after it has been opened. This will help you better track if your dog’s food is still good without looking for any other signs of problems.

Unopened kibble is good for up to 18 months, but it should be kept in a cool, dry location to prevent mold and bacteria growth. Once opened, dry dog food is only good for around 6 weeks. After 6 weeks, it can become stale, lose nutrients, or begin to grow mold or bacteria.

Try To Keep The Dog Food Fresh For As Long As Possible

Containers for storing dog food help keep food contained and out of the way. Food spilled out of its bag and into a bin, on the other hand, can degrade more quickly because oils and fats collect into the bin’s walls and bottom. Experts advise keeping dog food in its original bag. Bags for dog food are designed to protect food from air and humidity, both of which can hasten the decomposition of pet meals (source).

But that doesn’t rule out the possibility of purchasing one of those ingenious dog food buckets. Toss the bag in the trash! Food should be stored in its original bag, in an airtight bin, to keep fats from oxidizing. The lipids and oils in the kibble begin to oxidize as soon as they contact the walls of your pet food containers (especially in the plastic ones).

Unopened canned dog food should be kept in a cold, dry place. Canned dog food can be kept in the refrigerator for a few days once opened. Any unused canned food should be carefully covered with plastic wrap or a reusable lid, such as one of these can covering lids.

#4: It’s exposed to hot and cold temperatures

This is a result of improper food storage.

And it happens when the dog food isn’t stored in a place that has a consistent temperature.

Or it’s not temperature controlled, such as basements.

This exposes the dog food to fluctuating:

This compromises the nutrients in the dog food. And as a result, the dog food gets bad faster.

The FDA recommends these storing rules to prevent feeding your dog bad food.

For unopened cans and bags of kibble:

  • Store in a cool dry place.
  • The temperature should be less than 80°F (26.6°C).
  • Don’t throw away the dog food bag.
  • You can put the bag inside a clean, dry container with a fitted lid.
  • When handling opened canned food here are the precautions to take:

  • Refrigerate or throw out promptly if your dog can’t finish it.
  • Set refrigerator temperature to 40°F (4.4°C) or lower.
  • Don’t let your dog eat food from cans that are swollen or leaking.
  • Watch this video for more information on storing dog food:

    How Long Does Dry Dog Food Last (5 Ways to Keep Dry Dog Food Fresh)

    As dog food ages, the oils in the fat turn bad and the nutrients degrade. Not only does your pup receive less nutrition than if he ate fresh food, he may become sick. If you suspect the food has turned, dont force your pet to eat it.

    Sniff the dog food. It develops an off smell that indicates the food has aged poorly and may have gone rancid. Dog food may not smell wonderful on a normal day, but if it smells downright bad, toss it and find fresh food.

    Inspect the kibble. Does it look moldy or appear to be coated in dust? If yes, then the food is not fresh and may have gone rancid.

    Look for changes in your pals bathroom habits. Diarrhea can be a sign the food is rancid.

    Watch your pup for other clues. If your dog normally eats his food, but suddenly becomes reluctant to eat or outright refuses, he may be trying to tell you its gone bad.

    A successful website writer since 1998, Elton Dunn has demonstrated experience with technology, information retrieval, usability and user experience, social media, cloud computing, and small business needs. Dunn holds a degree from UCSF and formerly worked as professional chef. Dunn has ghostwritten thousands of blog posts, newsletter articles, website copy, press releases and product descriptions. He specializes in developing informational articles on topics including food, nutrition, fitness, health and pets.