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Dog food storage: Is a food container useful?

border collie with brown eye and blue eye eating dry dog food out of a dog food container

Keeping your dog's food fresh is paramount to their well-being

© Michelle D. Milliman - Shutterstock

Have you wondered whether you should be using a container to store your dog’s food? Here we look at the best methods of storage- the answers may surprise you...

By Greta Inglis

Updated on the

When it comes to our dogs, we all know that the right nutrition is essential to their health and wellbeing. But have you ever considered that the way you store your dog’s food may have an impact on the quality of the food itself?

With so many options on the market, knowing how to store food and choosing a dog food container requires a bit of research. Many of the options out there are marketed well, but do they really keep your dog’s food fresh and safe to eat?

Should I put my dog’s food in a container?

The short answer to this question is yes, dog food keeps better when stored in an airtight container. When a bag is left unsealed, it comes into contact with the air, and harmful bacteria can subsequently form. Humidity can also affect the safety of the food. In severe cases, this bacteria can cause bacterial infections, so it’s really important that care is taken to properly store your dog’s food.

With increasingly more focus being put on the quality of food and the nutrient value of what our dog’s eat, we all spend time and money choosing the diet we feel works for our dogs.

Shockingly, storing dog food incorrectly can affect your dog just as significantly as being fed the wrong diet. In the case of containers, it's all about the one you choose.

Mistakes to avoid when storing dog food: Why shouldn’t I use a plastic container?

In addition to keeping your dog’s food away from humid and damp spaces, the way in which you choose to seal the food is also very important. As valuable as a dog food container is to the preservation of the food you feed your dog, plastic dog food containers can cause more harm than good.

On visiting any pet shop, we’re presented with a myriad of different options: large dog food containers, plastic storage boxes and snap and seal plastic boxes. These are often nicely decorated and nestled proudly in the pet food section. Plastic is always best avoided when it comes to food containers, and here’s why:

Some plastics have been found to leak chemicals into the food it stores. Your dog eats this food, and the chemicals are then entering their system. This can be harmful to their health.

Over time, in direct contact with the plastic, the fats and oils of the food end up touching the walls of the container, which then oxidize. This can become rancid, even building up invisible mould in severe cases.

What is the best way to store dog food?

Having covered why plastic containers are to be avoided, and why food must always be sealed, you may be wondering what alternatives are out there for best practice?

Experts recommend making sure the dog food container is stored somewhere dry and temperate, not too hot or too humid.

To avoid any contamination, dog food should be placed into the container in the original bag from the manufacturer, which stops any oils and fats from the food coming into contact with the sides and causing a reaction.

The dog food container should be closed immediately after use, to limit the air coming into contact with the food. There are lots of metal container options on the market, as well as others made from materials that avoid the use of harmful plastics.

Storing your dog’s food correctly will ensure your dog is receiving the best possible diet.  Using the right dog food container will prevent waste through spoilt food being discarded on a regular basis, and ensure the food we feed our dogs is safe for them to consume. As our dogs don’t have the option of choosing what they eat, it’s up to us to ensure they’re receiving the right diet, and that every care has been taken to store it safely.

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