When it comes to pet food, proper storage is essential to maintain its quality and freshness. Where you store your cat and dog food can greatly impact its taste and nutritional value. Here, we provide you with some frequently asked questions and recommendations for optimal storage of Hill’s dry and canned cat and dog food.
Storing Dry Food: The Do’s and Don’ts
Keep it Cool and Dry
Bags of dry Science Diet and Prescription Diet cat or dog food should be stored in a cool and dry environment, preferably under 100°F (38°C). This helps to prevent the loss of vitamins and the oxidation of fats, which can lead to rancidity. To ensure the best flavor, it is recommended to store the food in its original bag, as it provides a barrier against fats. Extreme temperatures of 120°F (48°C) or higher for more than 48 hours can accelerate the degradation of vitamins.
Say No to the Garage
Storing your cat or dog’s canned food in an uncontrolled environment like the garage or outdoors is not recommended. Extreme temperatures and exposure to the elements can negatively impact the quality of the food.
Canned Food: Keep it Fresh
When it comes to canned cat and dog food, it’s important to store the cans in a place where the temperature is between 50-100°F. Freezing canned food is a no-no, as it can alter both the texture and taste.
Once opened, it’s crucial to store opened cans of Science Diet or Prescription Diet cat or dog food in the refrigerator. This helps retain moisture, minimizes exposure to air, and prevents transfer of odors to other food. To maintain freshness, consider using a plastic pet food lid or plastic wrap to create a barrier against moisture, air, and odors. Zip-to-close bags can also offer a good moisture barrier but may not provide sufficient protection against oxygen and odors.
Storage Containers: The Good and the Bad
While some pet owners prefer to transfer their pet’s food to another container, it’s important to choose the right one. Storage in a variety of plastic containers, such as garbage cans, zip-to-close bags, or kitchen bags, may impart unwanted odors and tastes to the food. However, storage in clean metal containers, like small metal tins or metal garbage cans, is acceptable.
A Word of Caution
If you do decide to use a storage container, it’s best to keep the food in its original bag within the container. This ensures an ideal storage location while minimizing the risk of unwanted odors and tastes.
Leftovers: What to Do?
Dry food can be left in your cat or dog’s bowl indefinitely as long as the bowl is kept in a cool, dry area away from direct sunlight and potential contamination from insects and vermin. However, it’s recommended to wash the food bowl and provide fresh food every day.
For canned food, it’s important to remove any leftovers not consumed by your pet within four hours if the ambient temperature is above 50°F. Opened cans should be stored in the refrigerator at temperatures between 40-45°F for a maximum of 5-7 days. Any leftover food beyond that time should be discarded.
Ensuring Freshness: Checking Expiration Dates
To determine if an unopened bag of dry cat or dog food is still good, check the datecode located on the packaging. The datecode is typically found on the left gusset near the SKU number or on the top of medium and large bags. If the date is past the best before date, which is usually a few years after the manufacturing date, it’s advisable to discard the unopened bag.
For canned cat and dog food, refer to the best before date stamped on the bottom of the can. If the date has passed, it’s time to bid farewell to the unopened can.
Remember, the food you feed your furry friends plays a crucial role in their health. However, where you store their food is equally important. By following these tips, you can ensure optimal pet food storage. For more information on pet care, visit Katten TrimSalon.