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Unveiling the Hidden Dangers in Your Dog's Dinner

Here's your guide to the vital food facts every dog owner must know. Learn how proper storage can prolong the life and boost the quality of your dog's dry food.

The Inside Scoop

Most dog owners believe kibble has the longest shelf life. But once you've opened the bag, the 12 to 18-month use-by date on the package becomes irrelevant. Your bag of dry dog food should be consumed within four to six weeks of opening, even under optimal storage conditions. It's crucial to preserve the safety and nutrient quality of your dog's dry food.

As you know, I'm an advocate for fresh whole foods, over store-bought kibble, but if you do feed this to your dog, here are some storage and handling tips:

  • Don't feed kibble past its expiration date

  • Avoid large-sized bags unless you can finish it in 30 days

  • Opt for small bags for small pets

  • Avoid kibble with added essential fatty acids (like Omega-3), as they will begin to turn rancid once opened. Instead, add them fresh at mealtime—try throwing a sardine in your dog's bowl for a tasty treat.

  • Store most of it in the fridge or freezer, removing only one or two meals' worth at a time.

  • If you must keep kibble at room temperature, use an airtight container that is frequently washed with detergent and hot water.

  • Don't mix old and new bags of kibble to avoid potential contamination.

4 Sneaky Contaminants in Dry Dog Food

  1. Storage mites: These mould mites can cause itchy, inflamed skin, hair loss, and recurrent ear infections in susceptible pets.

  2. Opportunistic bacteria: Despite fears around raw pet food, most recalls for pathogenic bacteria and other contaminants involve kibble.

  3. Rancid fats: Dietary fats in kibble start to turn rancid as soon as the bag is opened.

  4. Mycotoxins: These toxic substances produced by certain fungi can be found in crops such as corn, wheat, barley, rye, sugar cane, and sugar beets, which are used in many commercially available pet foods.

Why Not Feed Your Pet Real Food?

The issues with kibble go beyond storage and feeding. Most kibble is biologically inappropriate and contains no identifiable real foods.

Consider switching to a minimally processed or raw diet. This could mean food containing high-quality animal protein, moisture, healthy fats and fiber, with little to no starch content. Consuming inappropriate food over time can lead to early disease, degeneration, and a decreased quality of life.

A balanced raw or gently cooked homemade diet is ideal, but only if you're committed to doing it correctly. And remember, even a partial switch to less processed food can benefit your pet.

Enhance your pet’s meals by adding a variety of fresh foods from your fridge as meal toppers or treats. Diversifying your dog’s intake can offer more antioxidants, polyphenols, and phytonutrients, benefiting their microbiome, immune system, and overall health.

For more fresh-feeding tips check out our Fresh Food Feeding web page.


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