1. DON’T LEAVE YOUR PET’S FOOD UNSEALED
To prevent unnecessary exposure to air and humidity, which can rapidly degrade food and increase the risk of bacterial contamination like Salmonella, pet food should be sealed in the original packaging. If you want to store in a plastic container, the best option is to use the original bag and place it in a plastic container. If you must pour it into a container it is best to use an air-tight, food-grade container. It must be cleaned and dried very well when the container is empty. The oils and food will expire and could cause issues with palatability and GI upset when stored in a non-food grade container. Dry pet food should be consumed within 6 weeks of opening the bag.
2. DON’T LEAVE PET FOOD SITTING OUT TOO LONG
Dr. Fleck does not recommend “free feeding”. We recommend offering food for 15-30 minutes. If your pet doesn’t eat their canned food, it should be put in a sealed container and placed in the refrigerator until the next mealtime. If your pet doesn’t eat their dry food, it should be put in a sealed container or Ziploc bag until the next mealtime.
3. DON’T FORGET TO CLEAN FOOD BOWLS REGULARLY
How often do you wash your pet’s food bowl – Every week? That’s not bad, but the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends washing pet food bowls, dishes, and scooping utensils with soap and hot water after each use. This is to prevent infectious agents such as Salmonella or Listeria from accumulating on the items.
4. DON’T KEEP PET FOOD PAST ITS EXPIRATION DATE
Pet food expiration dates (sometimes known as “best by” or “use by” dates) are established to ensure the safety of the food for your dog or cat. These dates are often found on the side or the bottom of the pet food package. Can’t find the date? Call the pet food manufacturer. Don’t take the risk by feeding your pet expired food.