Does Dog Food Expire?

Dogs are man's best friend, and that can be said for the humans in their lives too. We love them, feed them, and take care of them. The same goes for their food. As a dog owner, you might have different questions about what you should feed your pup, including how to store it. Is dog food safe to eat after a certain period of time? Can I store it in the freezer? The answer is yes! When deciding whether or not to purchase frozen or canned dog food at the grocery store, here are some factors you should consider first.

Does Dog Food Expire?


Does Dog Food Go Bad?

The answer is NO, but that doesn’t mean you should let your dog eat it. Dog food can last a lifetime if it is stored properly. The proteins and fats in the dog food will start to break down after a while and could be harmful to your dog. It is important to check the expiration date on the back of the can of dog food before you purchase it. If you have any left over from last year, it is best to throw it away or donate it to your local animal shelter. 

The ingredients in the dog food may change from one year to the next as well which means even if you are feeding your dog last year's food, they might not be getting all of the nutrients they need for their current needs. All of these factors make determining how long a bag of dog food lasts difficult to answer without taking into account other factors such as temperature and humidity levels. 

There are many ways for a pet owner to keep tabs on their dog's diet


Ever wonder if the food you feed your dog can expire?

Dogs have a lower metabolism than humans so they don't need to eat as often. And it's not like they're cooking the food themselves either. There are many factors that determine how long a dog's food will last, such as the type of food and how it is stored and handled. This article will cover everything you need to know about how to tell if a bag of dog food has expired, including some tips for maintaining its freshness for as long as possible.


As a dog owner, you know how important it is to feed your dog the best diet possible. But do you know if dog food expires? In this article, we’ll answer all of your questions about dog food and its expiration date. Does dog food expire? What are the signs that tell you that it has expired? How should I store my dog’s food? What are good alternatives to store-bought pet food? And more!


It is important to feed your pup the best quality food you can afford.

does dog food expire? The answer is yes and no. Many pet foods will have a "best by" date on them. This is usually 1-2 years from the time of production. However, if an animal's food has been frozen, it may be safe to eat up to 3-5 years after its date of production.

Pet owners should also remember that they should not give their pets people food or human-grade treats as these are not meant for animals and could contain ingredients that are unhealthy for dogs. Lastly, don't forget to check for any recalls on the type of dog food you're feeding your pup!


Expiration Dates

Dog food is typically not considered "expired" until it has been open and unrefrigerated for over a month. That being said, there are some exceptions. Manufactures will have an expiration date on their packaging, which is usually between one and two years. However, if the food was refrigerated or frozen before that period of time, you may be able to keep it for longer than the expiration date.


Dog Food Storage Best Practices

Dog food can be stored in the refrigerator or freezer. The best way to store it is by placing it in an air-tight container and placing it in a dark, cool location. The general rule of thumb is to place the food back into its original packaging if at all possible. This will help preserve the food longer as well as protect your pet's food from any outside contaminants.

The expiration date on dog food varies by type of product, but there are a few general rules you can follow to know when the food will expire. For instance, canned dog food typically has a shelf life of two years while dry dog food can last for five years due to its higher fat content. Check the packaging for specific date guidelines!


How to tell if dog food has gone bad

Pets can't tell us when they don't feel well, so we have to be mindful of their needs. If you're worried about your dog's food, here are some ways that you might notice if it has gone bad.

  • You open the container and it smells musty, moldy, or rotten
  • The color is off and it looks unnatural
  • There are clumps in the food that shouldn't be there
  • There are particles in the food that shouldn't be there


What to Do with Expired Dog Food

One of the first things to know about dog food is that it doesn't expire--it just gets less palatable. When stored in a cool, dry place, both canned and frozen dog food will last at least 12-18 months past its expiration date. The quality of the food, of course, will also deteriorate over time.

Canned dog food is a better option if you find yourself with an expired bag because the expiration date on the can might be more accurate than frozen dog foods. Canned foods are usually sold in smaller batches and usually have a shorter shelf life than frozen ones.

Freezing is one way to preserve your pup's food for longer periods of time. If you purchase your canned or frozen dog foods from a grocery store that has a policy on dating these products, they can still be safe to eat after their "best by" date--just don't expect them to taste as good as they would when bought fresh.


How to Keep Dog Food Fresh

Sell-by Dates: Canned dog food does not have a sell-by date. It will last for 12 months from the time it was canned.

Freezing Dog Food: If you choose to freeze your dog’s food, then it is more important to rotate your supply. Unfortunately, freezing large quantities of dog food could affect its quality and freshness. It's best to freeze smaller portions of meals that don't contain vegetables or fruits, because they would be more likely to spoil quickly in the freezer.

Cans vs. Packaged Dog Food: Generally speaking, cans are more expensive than packaged food, but canned dog food is better for your pup because canned foods are less likely to get moldy or develop harmful bacteria like e-coli. The cost difference is worth it in the end!

Product Freshness: There are many factors that can affect the freshness of any pet food product, including how often you open the package and store it at room temperature. For example, if you keep it stored in an airtight container and in a dark place away from sunlight or heat sources, then it should last up to 6 months after opening before being rotated out.

Perishable Ingredients: Frozen dog foods contain ingredients that may go bad over time and need to be used sooner rather than later. For example, carrots can only stay fresh for a couple of weeks in a refrigerator before they become wilted and begin to spoil while green beans will last a little


Does Dry Dog Food Expire?

The answer to the question of how long dog food can last is, it depends on the type. If you're feeding your pup dry food, then the shelf life of the food is one to two years. This is because dry dog food has a longer shelf life than wet food, which typically expires around six months after opening.

Dry dog food can last up to two years while wet food lasts about six months. You also want to make sure that you're storing it properly as well. It should be kept in a cool and dry place away from humidity and oxygen for it to stay fresh for a long time. But if you're still not convinced about what kind of dog food you should buy, read on!


Does Wet Dog Food Expire?

Wet dog food does expire, but it doesn't need to be thrown away. You can use it as an incentive to get your dog to eat their dry food and then discard the wet food. Dogs don't always like looking at their own vomit, so you could also offer them a treat and wait for them to eat it before giving them the canned wet food.


Do dog treats go bad?

It is not uncommon for dog treats to go bad. The good news is that it's not an issue of safety; it's simply a matter of quality. It may be difficult to tell if the dog food you have in your cabinet has gone bad without opening the can or bag, but there are a few signs you can look out for. For example, when a dog food container is left open, the inside will dry out and become hard. This is because air will cause oxidation, which breaks down fatty acids and causes rancidity. If the food smells off to you, then it probably has gone bad--even if it still looks fine on the outside.


What about those expiration dates?

Expiration dates are included on canned or packaged foods because they must be rotated in order to maintain freshness and quality. The date usually refers to how long after packaging will have the best taste and texture. The expiration date does NOT mean that your dog's food has gone bad or that it cannot be consumed past this date. Dog food should last at least as long as canned foods from your cupboard--usually, six months to one year past their "Best By" date before needing replacement (or augmentation with the fresher product).


Is Expired Dog Food Safe?

You might be wondering if your dog food is safe to eat after the expiration date. The good news is that many factors determine whether or not your dog's food will be safe or not.

For starters, canned and dry dog food usually have an expiration date on them (usually 2-3 years from the manufacture date). Canned food can last for about 2 years, while dry food lasts for about 3 years before it expires. If you're purchasing frozen dog food, keep in mind that it will last for a year before it goes bad.

Expired cat food is another story altogether--never feed expired cat food to your pup!

If you're still unsure, you can always call the company who manufactured the dog food and ask when they recommend feeding their products by.


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