Many pet parents stocked up on their pet’s food this spring, like they did toilet paper and other necessities. We understand! But unlike toilet paper, how you store your pet’s food is an important factor in maintaining the quality of its ingredients and nutrients.
There are many ways to safely store pet food, and we’d like to share some tips for how to make sure it stays fresh as long as possible. While these tips are recommended for storing Freely recipes, many can be applied to other pet food brands as well. Check your pet food packaging to ensure you’re following their recommended guidelines.
Many people choose to feed dry kibble because it’s economical, easy to store, and easy to serve. While some pet parents pour kibble into a separate container, the best place to keep dry food is actually in its original bag in a cool, dry location. Freely’s dry food packaging was designed to keep your pet’s food fresh for 18 months if stored properly. Our bags are resealable so you can open and close them at mealtimes without worrying your pet’s food will lose freshness over time. Our packaging also contains the best by date which indicates the age of the product. Other pet food brands may vary the placement of these dates, so examine the packaging to find them.
If you choose to store your pet’s food in a separate container with a tight seal, we recommend placing the entire bag inside the container instead of pouring in the food and discarding the packaging. This helps provide an extra layer of protection to maintain freshness but also keeps out unwanted critters, including pets looking for a midnight snack!
What are some other good-to-knows? You should store your pet’s food in a cool, dry spot that’s out of direct sunlight. Avoid damp locations that could expose the food to moisture as this can lead to mold growth. We also recommend a temperature range of 50-80 degrees Fahrenheit. Temperature is important: when it’s too hot it can lead to degradation of vitamins as well as rancidity which causes a foul smell and taste. This is important for all pets, but especially for those who are picky eaters since they’ll smell changes in their food before humans do. We also do not recommend freezing your pet’s dry food because it pulls moisture out; when the food is brought back to room temperature, it could sweat, which leads to spot molding.
Dry food can sit in your pet’s bowl for a day. After that, it should be discarded because it can lose its tasty aroma, making it less appealing to your dog or cat.
Freely’s wet recipes are full of flavor and can be served as a meal or a tasty topper to make mealtime even more enjoyable. Our wet foods can last up to 3 years when unopened, but you should be sure to use before the Best By date marked on the bottom of the can. Similar to dry kibble, unopened cans should be stored between 50-80 degrees Fahrenheit to maintain quality and freshness. Cans should not be frozen as this may alter the texture and taste of the food. Once opened, wet food should be well-covered and can be stored in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
To ensure food safety, we recommend removing and discarding any uneaten wet food in your pet’s bowl after two hours.
Freely’s Beneficial Broths are designed to give a splash of extra flavor, moisture, and nutrients to your pet’s bowl. Our broths have a shelf life of 18 months when unopened, and the Best By date is printed clearly on the lid of each bottle. Once opened, you can store the broth bottle in the refrigerator for 30 days. We do not recommend freezing broth as it does not prolong the shelf life and may impact the nutrient content and flavor of the broth. And as tempting as it might be, don’t let your pet lick the rim of the bottle or the lid; this can contaminate the broth and shorten its shelf life.
Dry food with Beneficial Broth added should only be left in your pet’s bowl for two hours. After that, any remaining food should be removed and discarded (but we doubt there will be much left in the bowl!)
Food and Water Bowls
To keep your pet healthy, we suggest washing your pet’s food bowl after every meal and their water bowl daily. The FDA also recommends people wash their hands in warm, soapy water before and after touching pet food and feeding dishes.
Still have questions?
Our pet nutrition team is here for you. Send us an email, give us a call, or connect with us through LiveChat. We’d love to talk through your pet’s unique nutritional needs!