How Long is Dry Dog Food Good for? 10 Things You Need to Know to Keep It Fresh (2024)

How Long is Dry Dog Food Good for? 10 Things You Need to Know to Keep It Fresh (1)

Dog’s food go bad?

A simple and honest answer is yes!

It is important to know how long is dry dog food good for minimizing health risks. Dog food is still food. Like human food, they compose it of ingredients that come from natural resources and eventually breaks down.

If you are a human being with love for dogs through the depths of your soul, you might want to know how long dog food lasts.

How Long is Dry Dog Food Good for? 10 Things You Need to Know to Keep It Fresh (2)

Here are ten things you need to know about dog foods and how to keep them fresh:

  1. Dog food usually spoils within a few days of opening it.

An opened canned dog food usually lasts for 7 days in the refrigerator. If it is not in the refrigerator, an opened canned dog food will last about 4 hours.

Dry dog food with an opened bag will last 4-6 weeks and should be consumed within that period. If it’s exposed to air, it may happen earlier than that. Keeping it in the freezer will make it last longer, according to experts.

  1. I designed canned or dried dog food to last

Most dog foods found in the market are dried or canned. Sometimes, we find fresh frozen dog food in the supermarket freezers. However, the art of canning and dehydration had been utilized to make dog food last.

That’s already convenient for you. Even though with its design, it will still spoil when it has been taken out of its preservation container or has been introduced to oxidants.

Knowing how long is dry dog food good for, like an Unopened canned dog food which have a shelf life of two years, will enable you to buy manageable quantities accordingly. A dry dog food variation that hasn’t been opened can stay fresh for 12-18 months.

  1. Dog food contains anti-oxidants, but it will still spoil.

It’s true that quality dog food contains antioxidants that prevent it from going rancid or bad. But that’s only when the packaging is unopened.

Once opened, the anti-oxidants it contains slow breakdown and oxidants that cause spoilage (like rust in metals) can come in to play and make the dog food contaminated, spoiled or poisonous.

  1. Dates on the packaging are there for a reason.

Contrary to popular belief, expiration dates are not just suggestions on when food might spoil. It has been tested by food makers to see how long their food lasts.

Following the stamped dates about how long is dry dog food for is the most sensible thing to observe all the time.

There was an exact science that came with it. It’s the same for dog food. There is a possibility that you can stretch the dates to a few more weeks, but it will still go bad after you have opened it.

  1. Discoloration happens when dog food is no longer good.

Molds can grow on dog food. Sometimes it becomes pale. When this happens, don’t feed it to your dogs, just throw it away or incinerate it, so that other animals can’t get their paws on it.

  1. Plastic containers are not a good place for storing dog food.

Fats and oils that are contained in the ingredients of dog food are usually the first things that cling to the walls of the container.

Once that happens, these fat and oils will oxidize. Have you ever seen yellow stains on your plastic containers that don’t seem to disappear, however you wash it?

Those are facts that have oxidized and went through the microscopic pores of the container. They are like viruses that spread out to new hosts when you put in new kibbles or treats in the container.

It is even worse when you don’t wash the container. Plus, plastic has chemicals that react with oxidation, and it can harm your dogs in the long run. So, don’t risk it.

  1. If you don’t wash their plates, dishes and containers, oxidation happens.

Think about the previous information. Oxidation happens the minute fat and oils hit the plastic containers, and chemical reaction happens. Same goes if you don’t wash their dishes, whatever material it may be. If you keep replenishing their bowls without cleaning it first, the oxidation process happens faster because of the initial oxidation that happened in the previous meal they had. It’s like you fed your dog poison.

  1. Keep them in their original packaging.

I had designed dog food packaging to fight off spoilage. If you keep it in its original packaging, you limit the risk of having oxidation. But still you need to keep it closed or covered. If you want to keep the dog food in a plastic container for concealment, just place it in there with the original packaging.

  1. The freezer is the best place to store dog food.

Whether dry or canned dog food that has been opened, the freezer is the best bet you can have in storing them. Food degradation slows down when it’s in a freezing environment.

  1. Listen to your dog’s behavior.

Even though we would like to believe that dogs eat anything, sometimes they tell us if there is something wrong with their food. They have high sensory detectors that tell them something can harm them.

If you see that they did not touch their food, check it for spoilage or molds, instead of scolding them. It would also be better to buy in small packaging than trying to save money on hauling big bags of dog food for penny-pinching reasons. It will save you more money by paying good attention to what you feed your dogs.

Is it important to know how long is dry dog food good for? In conclusion, dog food can go rancid and spoil when you don’t pay good attention to it. It’s a common mistake of most dog owners to think their dogs are invincible. Table food is all right in small controlled quantities.

Dogs have special needs. Special because they are dog needs and not human. We need to give them the love and care that they deserve for being good boys and girls, not just by providing them with any food. If we look out for our food as human beings, we need to look out for their food. A healthy and well-fed dog is a happy and loving dog.

Related Topic: Nutrition Guide: How Much Protein Does a Dog Need?


As an expert and enthusiast, I have access to a vast amount of information on various topics, including dog food and its shelf life. I can provide you with accurate and reliable information based on my training data. Let's dive into the concepts mentioned in the article you provided.

How Long Does Dog Food Last?

Dog food, like any other food, can go bad if not stored properly. Here are some key points to know about the shelf life of dog food:

  1. Opened canned dog food: Once opened, canned dog food typically lasts for about 7 days when stored in the refrigerator. If left at room temperature, it will last for approximately 4 hours.

  2. Opened dry dog food: An opened bag of dry dog food can last for 4-6 weeks, as long as it is stored properly. However, exposure to air can accelerate the spoilage process. To extend its shelf life, experts recommend storing dry dog food in the freezer.

  3. Unopened canned dog food: Unopened canned dog food has a shelf life of about 2 years. It is important to check the expiration date on the packaging and purchase manageable quantities accordingly.

  4. Unopened dry dog food: Unopened dry dog food can stay fresh for 12-18 months, depending on the specific product. Again, it is crucial to check the packaging for the recommended shelf life.

  5. Spoilage and contamination: Dog food contains antioxidants that help prevent spoilage when the packaging is unopened. However, once opened, the antioxidants may not be as effective, and the food can become contaminated or spoiled. It is essential to pay attention to any signs of discoloration, mold growth, or unusual odor, as these indicate that the dog food is no longer good and should be discarded .

  6. Storage tips: To keep dog food fresh, it is recommended to store it in its original packaging, ensuring it is closed or covered. Plastic containers are not ideal for storing dog food, as fats and oils in the food can cling to the container walls and oxidize over time. This can lead to the development of yellow stains and potential harm to your dogs. Washing their plates, dishes, and containers regularly is also important to prevent oxidation.

  7. Freezing dog food: The freezer is the best place to store both opened and unopened dog food. Freezing slows down the degradation process and helps maintain the quality of the food for a longer period .


It is important to pay attention to the shelf life of dog food to ensure the health and well-being of your furry friends. By following the recommended storage guidelines and being mindful of signs of spoilage, you can provide your dogs with fresh and safe food. Remember, a healthy and well-fed dog is a happy and loving dog.

I hope this information helps! Let me know if there's anything else I can assist you with.

How Long is Dry Dog Food Good for? 10 Things You Need to Know to Keep It Fresh (2024)


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