Mold may be edible, but itís not suggested.

Itís frustrating to research pet foods, find the best one for your pet, purchase it and bring it home, and then find that it goes bad far too soon. Not only is this a waste of your money but it can also threaten your petís health. Unfortunately, even the best food, if stored incorrectly, can go rancid, develop bacteria or mold, or become infested with insects or rodents. Thankfully, storing the food isnít difficult once you know how.

3 Things that Most Commonly Cause Food Spoilage

The first is air. Exposure to air also means exposure to bacteria. Keep the food storage container closed and as airtight as possible. The second is moisture as too much will lead to mold. Last is temperature. Donít store pet foods (even unopened bags or cans) in the garage or shed where temperatures can go above 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Most manufacturers recommend storing kibble and canned foods in a cool, dry place. The kitchen pantry or an inside closet work great.

Keep Kibble Foods in the Bag

Although it may be more convenient to open a bag of kibble and dump it in a metal or plastic trash can for storage, discarding the original bag isnít a good idea. The bags are designed to keep the foods good, without spoilage, for quite a while. (Check the Ďsell byí or Ďuse byí date on the bag.) The original bags also keep the fats in the food from soaking through and thereby turning rancid. Plus, if thereís a problem with the food later, youíll want the information thatís on the bag, especially the lot number. Once the bag is opened, roll the top to close it, and use a clip or clamp to keep it tight.

Put the Bag in a Can

Although keeping the food in the original bag is important, that doesnít mean you canít place the entire bag in a storage container. For small bags of food, a kitchen canister works great. For larger bags, a plastic or metal trash can is fine. No matter what you use, make sure the lid is replaced tightly after each meal to keep insects and rodents out.

Canned Food Tips

Unopened canned pet foods have a long shelf life. Depending on the ingredients and canning methods, sometimes these foods can be good for five years. Itís important to keep an eye on the Ďuse byí dates, however, so each time you buy more food, move the older cans to the front of the shelf and put the newer ones in the back. Once a can has been opened, you can transfer the unused portion to an airtight storage container and refrigerate the food for up to five days.

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