Dog Food Expiry
Dog Food Expiry

Dog Food Expiry

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As a pet parent, do you find yourself wondering, does dog food expire? If so, you’re not alone! In this blog, we will take you through everything you need to know about dog food expiry.  

Dogs require a balanced meal every day. As a pet owner, you can choose between dry and wet foods. Dry dog food usually resembles a biscuit or kibble. On the other hand, wet dog food combines meat products or other protein sources with a gravy that incorporates grains, minerals, and vitamins. Whatever your dog finds palatable, make sure their nutritional requirements are met.

Diets that are high in protein are good for dogs. A significant source of energy is found in dietary fats, which are either derived from plant seed oils or animal fats. They offer essential fatty acids, like omega-3s, that are necessary to preserve the health of your dog's skin and coat. Additionally, carbohydrates support your pet's digestive health and provide energy for them to continue with their regular activities.

While it is important to focus on your pet’s daily nutritional intake, you should also make sure that the food packets are still fresh. So, to answer your question, ‘can dogs eat expired food’, the answer is certainly no! It’s because serving expired dog food will deprive your canine companion of the key vitamins and minerals, they need to keep healthy. Hence, it is important to examine the labels and expiration dates before making a purchase.


Understanding Shelf-Life Vs Expiry Date

The amount of time a product is useable and suitable for consumption is referred to as its shelf life. In contrast, expiry date is the last day that a perishable product, like food, will be at its highest quality. 

If you are pondering does dog food expire, the answer is a yes. In fact, the contents and types of preservatives used do affect the shelf life of a food item. So, to guarantee your dog's safety, pet food producers set expiration or best by dates. Unopened canned foods have a shelf life of two years from the date of manufacturing, whereas unopened dry pet foods typically have a shelf life of 12 to 18 months. Plan to open and use the dog food before the expiration date. You can usually find this date on the bottom of the can containing dog food.


Effects Of Eating Expired Dog Food

Now that you know dog food expires, let’s examine the effects of serving expired food to your pet:

  • Gastrointestinal issues

After consuming spoiled food, dogs generally exhibit the same gastrointestinal symptoms as people do. These symptoms could include vomiting, diarrhea, and passing wind. Spoiled foods can also contain bacteria that can disturb the equilibrium in the gut and intestines, causing the body to excrete more fluids in an effort to wash them out. What’s more is that moldy dog food can contain mycotoxins like vomitoxin, which can cause serious gastrointestinal disorders.

  • Botulism

Dogs can become paralyzed from botulism. It is a rare condition occurring when canines consume contaminated food. The poison gets absorbed in the intestines and passes into the bloodstream, thus paralyzing dogs.

  • Other health issues

Another consequence of feeding your pet spoiled dog food is malnutrition. Before turning moldy, spoiled foods usually lose their vitamin and mineral value. This suggests that even if the food doesn't upset your dog's stomach, it is still not giving your pet what they require. Your dog may become lethargic if daily nutritional demands aren't met. This can eventually result in bone issues and organ failure, if not recognized as early as possible.


Best Practices For Storing Dog Food

Even if you have a food item that is still within its best by date, improper storage could lead to early contamination and food degradation. Here are some steps you must take to prolong the shelf life and maintain food quality:

  • Shop frequently

Purchasing multiple boxes of treats may save you from making repeat visits to the shop. However, keeping so much stock might increase the likelihood that your dog's food goes bad before it gets completely consumed. Therefore, shop frequently if you don’t want your dog’s food to expire.

  • Refrigerate wet dog food

The shelf life of fresh, wet items can be increased by keeping them in the freezer. Any unopened canned food should be sealed with plastic wrap and stored in the refrigerator.

  • Use clips to store dry food

Use chip clips to seal the food bags and keep moisture out. You could also store your pet’s food in its original packaging and stack it in a cool, dry place with little exposure to heat and light. Avoid keeping dry dog food open.


What To Do With Expired Dog Food?

Dog food that has expired needs to be tossed out right away. There are also waste management facilities that compost used pet food.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Dog Food Expiration Dates

  1. Is it okay to use expired dog food?
  2. The short answer is no. When dog food expires, you should immediately throw it out. Such meals are not only unpleasant to eat but also harm your pet's health, causing vomiting or diarrhea.

  3. Where is the expiration date on dog food mentioned?
  4. Typically, you will find the expiration date on the bottom of your pet's food bag. To avoid wasting the food, make sure to finish it before the expiry date.

  5. How long does it take for dry dog food to expire?
  6. Dry dog food can often be kept for up to 18 months after production if stored appropriately. Nevertheless, you should try to utilize dry dog food within six weeks of opening the packaging.

  7. How long does it take for wet dog food to expire?
  8. You may be surprised to know that even wet dog foods have an expiry date. The typical shelf life of wet dog food is two years after the date of production.

  9. What happens when a dog eats expired food?
  10. When your dog eats expired food, you might notice general gastrointestinal distress symptoms like vomiting or diarrhea.