Wet dog food is a popular dog food texture to feed canines, and it definitely has its share of nutritional benefits. If you have your dog on a wet dog food diet, you'll want to know all about the best ways you can store it.
After all, unlike dry kibble, it is not as easy to keep. Despite its low shelf life, you can keep it for several days when stored in the proper conditions. Here’s how!
How to Store Wet Dog Food - 7 Tips and Tricks
1. Consider Shelf Life
The most important thing you must consider before storing wet food is shelf life. On average, the recommendation is to keep wet dog food in the fridge up to seven days after opening.
Your dog should gobble up their portion in no time, meaning nothing gets tossed. But if they like to stretch it out or you use wet food as a topper to dry kibble, it might spoil before you have the chance to use it.
Spoiled food has risks, as it tends to go bad quickly, so knowing how far ahead your dog food will stay good is an integral part of the process.
2. Place Food Into a Separate Sealed Container
If you put wet dog food in the fridge, you'll need it to remove it from its original container. Wet dog food often comes in a can or a sealed pouch.
Even though these materials were sufficient to keep the wet dog food fresh before unsealing, you will need to put it in a sealable container. But do you have to use your good Tupperware for this? Definitely not. You can even use a sandwich bag, permitting it seals shut properly.
If your dog’s food is open in the fridge, it’s susceptible to oxygen exposure. Oxygen dries out and spoils food sooner. So, even if it's being refrigerated, uncovered food will go bad quicker.
3. Label the Food
Labeling the leftover dog food is super important. You can label the food however you see fit, whether it be the date you put it in or the date you need to remove it from the fridge. This will give you a direct indicator of how long the food is good and when you should discard it.
Either way, it's nice to have a written reminder. Then, you can make sure not to give your dog spoiled or old servings of dog food by mistake.
4. Make Sure the Lid or Zipper Is Sealed Tightly
If you store dog food in the fridge, you need to ensure it's airtight so it stays good as long as possible. As we touched on earlier, dog food left openly exposed can dry out or go bad quickly.
If you are using a zippable bag, make sure to press out any extra air to avoid oxygen exposure.
5. Store In a Refrigerated Space
Always store wet dog food in a fully refrigerated place. Coolers and cabinets are no good for this. You might try storing it away from your other food items, so your kids don't get the dog food mixed up with last night's meatloaf.
All wet dog food should be refrigerated at temperatures between 40 and 45 degrees.
6. Don’t Re-Chill Heated Dog Food
When you get the dog food out, it will be downright cold. So, you may be tempted to nuke it in the microwave for a few seconds—perfectly understandable.
However, after you have taken this dog food from the fridge to divvy it out, don't put the food back if you have heated it up. It's okay to get a dish of wet dog food and put a serving into a bowl.
But if you take out the entire package and heat it up, you should use it all, according to the Food Standard Agency. Simply give the dog the rest of the meal or discard it after heating.
7. Discard Leftovers After the Allotted Time
If you haven't used all dog food once the expiration date comes up, simply discard the dog food into your compost or trash can. Never give your dog wet dog food past the expiration date—seven days or less once opened.
If you feed your dog spoiled food, it can cause all sorts of trouble for your pet. At the very least, they will suffer some gastrointestinal upset. At worst, they could get seriously sick due to bacteria.
As you can see, storing wet dog food in your fridge isn't so hard. But you will have to make sure that you toss anything after seven days—or after it’s been reheated. Remember to label any food clearly so you can make sure your dog eats it up before it goes bad.
All of the storage information in this article is also applicable to fresh dog food.
Featured Image Credit: Sharaf Maksumov, Shutterstock