It’s true that dogs can eat virtually everything – they don’t even care if that stuff is edible or not. Your little furball can nibble things from random rocks to your most expensive wallet. That is why it is your duty to be aware of your dog’s diet and the food that comes into his stomach. You might as well be giving him kibbles as daily food. But do you know how long does dry dog food last?
What is kibble?
This is one of the many questions of first-time dog owners. Kibble is the most popular dry dog food to date. This type of food is processed and cheap (to be blunt) but don’t worry – kibbles are composed with a nutritional value that closely resembles natural raw diet.
Kibble is composed of pulverize ingredients like grains, meats, oils, binders, and other essential items that vary depending on the brand of kibble you are using. They process these multiple ingredients and is compressed into bite-size pieces and then baked to dry. And voila! Affordable yet beneficial food for your beloved doggo.
How long does dry dog food last like kibbles?
Now here’s the question. A conventional dry kibble product is carefully formulated to have a shelf life of about a year. But just how long does a bag of kibble last once you open it? The answer, honestly, is two (2) weeks tops.
You have about fourteen (14) days before the oils contained in the kibble food become rancid – the state of being spoiled. After that period, it has the tendency to start tasting unpleasant due to air exposure. The oil will turn old and stale due to the food’s reaction with oxygen – hence being oxidized.
After two weeks, your dog can still eat that kibble though. But the food will not be able to deliver important fats and other essential elements that are supposed to make your dog’s diet balanced.
Rancid kibble will lead to multiple deficiencies – from fats to vitamins and proteins. The dangerous part is your dog will be at risk of a heart disease.
Aren’t there any preservatives in kibble?
If you deeply analyze the matter, we should be all thankful that kibble will only take two weeks to turn rancid. Otherwise, it could mean massive preservatives in the food that our dog eat. And it doesn’t take a genius to know the consequences of too many preservatives. In almost all cases, the faster the food turns stale, the healthier it is.
But let’s get honest, manufacturers do blend some antioxidants referred to as “mixed Tocopherols” that aid in slowing down oxidation. The main adversary of those antioxidants is the act of constant opening and closing of the food-bag. The antioxidants will eventually succumb to the air levels, leaving the food vulnerable to oxidation.
The first component to get damaged is the fat, particularly the omega 3 fatty acids, which will eventually lead to the food being rancid.
How to enhance the life of dry food
If you’re a budget conscious person but still want the best for your little furball, there are actually tips on how to enhance the life of dry food for your pet. Consider the following and incorporate them as soon as you can.
1. Avoid fat; Add fresh ones instead
Take a look at the ingredients of different kibble brands. You might find a product or two that doesn’t have fat in them. Purchase dog food that does NOT contain fat ingredients.
It would be better if you will add your own fresh fat sources the moment you serve the food to your dog. For instance, prepare the kibbles in your dog plate and add some fish oil on top.
Not only do you manage to buy kibble that will last long, you are also able to add a fresh and healthier ingredient with it.
2. No big sacks; Buy small bags instead
It’s probably time to stop your habit of buying kibbles in large sacks or packages. You already know the nutritional value will deteriorate just after two weeks of being opened.
A better thing to do is to buy dog food in smaller bags; each bag must be just large enough for your dog to consume within seven (7) days. That way, you don’t have to expose the other kibbles in the air especially when it’s not the time for your dog to eat them.
3. No damaged packaging
Treat dog food like actual human goods. The rule “Do not accept if seal is broken” must be applied even to purchasing dog food. Before grabbing some bags into your shopping cart, make sure you are not picking bags that are damaged or torn (no matter how small).
4. Freezing can help too
If it happens you just purchased a large bag of dog food just recently, the best way to deal with the situation is to store it in the freezer. This will keep the dog food from reacting with atmospheric oxygen, consequently preventing oxidation.
5. No contact with plastic containers
Never store your dog’s kibble in plastic containers. If you ever want to freeze them or store them somewhere else, it’s advisable to keep the kibble in their original bag; then place that bag into the plastic container. The moment kibbles come in contact with the plastic material of the container, the moment oxidation will start.
6. Do not force your pet
If your little furball refuses to eat his kibble, he must be telling you something! It could be that the food starts to taste sour and smell bad – something only your dog can tell. With that in mind, do not force your pet to eat that kibble meal and dispose of the food right away even if it still looks okay.
Surely dog food such as kibbles is sensitive to oxidation just as how actual raw food is; though the latter can spoil faster than the former. So how long does dry dog food last – around two weeks, tops. It may seem like a problem at first but there are actually ways on how to enhance the life of dry food. And they’re pretty easy to do!