Whether you’re feeding your pet kibble, wet food, or homemade meals (or some combination thereof), or even if you have pets that need a more specialized diet, you’ll want to ensure that whatever goes into their system is healthy, fresh, and free of contaminants like bacteria, mold, and bugs. And while most people are content to simply leave the food in its original bag, sometimes open to the elements, this is almost assured to result in disaster at some point. Even if all that gets in is dust, do you really want your best friend ingesting it? The truth is, it could be something a lot worse. So unless you want to end up with a sick pet and an astronomical vet bill for food poisoning, here are a few ways to ensure that your pet’s food stays fresh.
For one thing, you can look for food that comes in a resealable bag. Many dog, cat, and bird foods now come in heavy-duty plastic bags (rather than paper) that have a Ziploc-like seal on the top so that you can keep your pet food as fresh as the day you bought it. Another nice feature is that the plastic is more difficult to penetrate, so your pet will likely not smell the food and attack the bag, and bugs and bacteria can’t sneak in through the seals as with paper feed bag. If you prefer a brand that comes in a paper bag, you can simply transfer the food to gallon-size Ziplocs when you open it.
However, you might be better served to get a sealing container to keep food in. While you could use the same type of Tupperware that goes into your own fridge (you know the seals work), you will likely find that you have trouble securing a large enough receptacle (especially for those 30 pound bags of dog food). However, you can make life a little easier by going to the hardware store and picking up a couple of 5-gallon paint buckets (with lids) on the cheap. Or if you have multiple large dogs and need a lot of food at once, try a plastic trash can. You can probably find similar solutions at pet stores, but you’re going to pay a lot more for virtually the same thing. The best part about using large plastic containers for storage is that you can keep them out of sight in your garage without the worry of larger pests (like mice or rats) breaking into them.
But that’s all dry food. What about wet? You may not want to feed your pet an entire can of wet food in one sitting. Luckily, there is a solution. While you can certainly transfer the rest to a Tupperware and save it in the fridge, why not just get a flexible plastic can-lid? They are often available at grocery and pet stores and usually cost about 1-2 dollars. They are dishwasher safe (top rack) and conform to two standard sizes of canned food. Plus, they seal perfectly. And of course, homemade foods that are cooked should also be refrigerated. By utilizing proper storage, you can keep your pet’s food fresh and free of contaminants, ensuring their ongoing good health.