Okay, so we all know the many ways spoiled food can go wrong. You don’t have to be a dog to know that spoiled food is bad for dogs. Would you eat spoiled food? Should you feed your pooch spoiled food? Shouldn’t you get dog food storage bins?
Now that we’ve answered the most obvious questions, let’s get to the meat, or should we say the kibble?
Today, we’re talking about dog food storage bins. So, naturally, we will be talking a lot about kibble.
We all know that buying anything in bulk is just pure common sense.
But then, there the problem lies, how do you keep this economical move from becoming downright dumb at the end of the day? Because if you bought the food in bulk for the sake of saving some money, and at the end of the day, it all gets bad… You get where we’re going right?
Your smart move is now a very not-so-smart, uneconomical move. So, you need to keep the kibble fresh whatever you do. And today, we will show you how.
So, without further ado, let’s get to it.
But first, quick pop quiz.
How Long Can A Bag Of Kibble Last Once Opened?
A. 2 weeks
B. 10 years
C. 100 years
D. A gazillion years
Well, if you’re one of the few weirdos in the world that went with “a gazillion years”, then you might actually be right!
Actually, even we don’t know the answer to that. For all we know, kibble can remain the same way in appearance for a gazillion years.
However, this is what we have on solid authority:
Kibble can only preserve its nutritional integrity for 14 days tops. And that’s it!
“But hey, there’s a best before date on the pack and it says it’s till XYZ number of years”. Well, while that’s true, Steve Brown, a pioneer pet food formula developer of renown has big news for you. And he explains this in an article on dog kibble on dogsnaturallymagazine.com.
Now, here’s something you must always keep in mind. The best before date does not refer to all the time the kibble exists. That date is only valid as long as the bag is unopened. Once, the kibble is exposed to air, whatever happens to the kibble, your guess is as good as mine.
So, why does kibble not last as long after it’s opened? Well, it’s because it’s exposed to air. But to be more specific, it’s due to a process known as oxidation.
What is Oxidation?
So, we will just give you the dictionary definition because the science definition is, you know… A little too “sciencey” for what we’re trying to achieve today. So, according to the Collins Dictionary, oxidation refers to the process by which a chemical substance changes because of the addition of Oxygen.
(the sciencey one was going to talk about movement of electrons).
To explain oxidation in the most recognizable way, we can look at rust. When iron gets exposed to the elements, over a period of time, it begins to take a reddish-brown hue. This hue is known as rust. And this rust is formed through the interaction of iron with oxygen.
Well, that reaction is similar to what happens with oil – fish oil, for instance. When oil gets exposed to Oxygen, a chain of chemical reactions follow. These reactions lead to a situation known as oil rancidity. A reaction that also happens in fish as well.
And you know the thing about oxidation in oil? It begins from the very moment the oil is exposed to the atmosphere.
Now, think about it, dog foods contain a lot of fats and oils. Several of these fats are quite sensitive to air (oxygen to be precise). So, once you pop that bag open and those babies get exposed to air, you guessed it… oxidation begins in earnest. It will only be a few days before everything goes south in there.
But I Thought The Manufacturers Put Some Form Of Antioxidants into Kibbles?
In all fairness to them, they do but nature will always take its course. Pet food brands actually put in something called mixed tocopherols in their kibble. Mixed tocopherols are antioxidants and are supposed to help slow down the oxidation process.
Now, here is the problem… Even with the presence of these antioxidants, every time you pop open the bag and expose the kibble to air, they get a little weaker. So, eventually, the antioxidants crumble altogether. And you know what happens? Problems start.
For one, the fats begin to get damaged. And the first victim is usually the omega 3 fatty acids. They are pretty fragile and that’s why they crumble and get rancid first.
Dr. Karen Becker sheds more light on oxidation in pet food. She says that once a bag of pet food is opened, chemical reactions begin immediately. We already know that the fats begin to go rancid. But that’s not all that happens.
The rancid fats also begin to interact with synthetic metals in the bag. Some mycotoxins and opportunistic bacteria join the party. And the food bag just becomes a literal death bag. This reaction gets worse if you leave the bag of food open or left in a hot environment for a long time.
The Dangers Of Consuming Oxidized (Rancid) Fats In Dogs
According to Quackenbush, studies prove that when rancid fat is consumed by dogs, it could cause a deficiency in other important nutrients such as fat, vitamins, and proteins. Also, sciencedirect.com gives an even scarier prognosis: rancid fats could lead to the development of cancer and several chronic diseases in animals.
And this is really a matter of concern because the numbers are climbing higher daily. More and more pets are coming down with cancer. In fact, the stats peg it at one in every two pets.
Now, it seems like there’s no way to avoid consuming poisons because once the bag is opened, oxidation begins at once. So, what can be done? Well, thank heavens for food storage bins.
Benefits Of Dog Food Storage Bins
If you intend to keep your kibble straight and healthy for as long as possible, then you need a food storage bin. Below are a few of the major advantages of a dog food storage bin.
1. It keeps kibble fresh for as long as possible.
2. It’s more convenient than kibble bags, especially if the bag is really large.
3. Food storage bins keep the moisture and air out of the kibble — factors that could contribute to oxidation and microbial proliferation.
4. It protects kibble from pests, insects, small children, and other animals.
5. It keeps the kibble in the same texture and taste condition as when you first bought it. Or, at least, close to it.
6. Some dog food storage bins not only store food, but they can also help to dispense food as well.
Now that you have all the information on why you should have gotten a food storage bin yesterday, here are the types of dog food storage bins you could select from.
Types Of Dog Food Storage Bins
Dog food storage bins come in a wide range of sizes as well as shapes. Choosing one should depend on your specific needs. And of course, it should depend on the amount of kibble you’re looking to store. So you know what you’re up against, here’s a list of all the types of dog food storage bins that there are.
1. Plastic Dog Storage Bins
These are about the most common options when it comes to dog food storage bins. These bins come in varying sizes – a major reason they are popular. Plus, they also often come with lids that fit very tightly. We all know why that’s good, don’t we? It will help to keep the air and moisture out.
In fact, there are some of this kind of dog food storage bins which come with two separate compartments. One of the compartments can be used to store kibble, and the other can be used to store some treats. Two items for the price of one? We want!
2. Wheeled Plastic Dog Food Storage Bins
Bins like these come with wheels. They are super convenient because they move around really easily. There’s no need to heave a heavy container from place to place. The wheels make transport a lot easier. So, from pantry to your dog at mealtimes won’t be such a trouble.
This type of dog food storage bins also comes in a wide range of sizes and shapes as well. Whether it’s a tiny bag of treats or a giant bag of dog food, these bins can store them conveniently for you.
3. Metal Dog Food Storage Bins
If you want to store a quite substantial quantity of dog food at once… Maybe you have a whole litter of dogs that you need to keep nourished, then go for a metal storage bin. They are a more economical option than plastic.
However, when getting metal dog food storage bins, it is more difficult to get something that comes with a lid that fits tightly. So, make it a point to look out for bins with lids that fit tightly.
4. Plastic Storage Vault
This is just like the plastic storage bin, but it’s just a tad bit different. The plastic storage vault would usually come with a circular cover on the top. This cover can spin open or close, depending. Plus, it always creates a seal that’s airtight so that your dog food remains fresh.
They are a wee bit more expensive than regular plastic storage bins – understandably, but they are very effective. Plus, you can find them in different sizes as well.
5. Glass Jars
You probably already see all the dangers with going for this kind of dog food storage container. It’s really fragile and any small provocation could send the jar shattering to smithereens. Using a glass jar is very tricky and not advised if you have small kids. But if you must, ensure that it is always kept out of their reach, and out of the reach of your pets too.
Aside from that, glass jars are a great place to store dog treats. Ensure that their lids form an airtight space of course. And don’t forget to keep them out of the reach of pets and small kids.
How To Store Dog Kibble in Dog Food Storage Bins
When storing dry dog food, there are some steps you must take to ensure that kibble remains fresh. It doesn’t rise and fall on the bin, you know? You have to play your part as well.
1. Always store the food in its bag in the storage bin. You need to do this because these bags are also specially treated for the purpose of keeping air and moisture away. So, it’s like double protection at no extra cost to you. Take it!
2. Always look out for the “use by” or “best by” date. Of course it won’t be possible to keep the food until that date, but still, it beats buying an outright expired product. Remember, 14 days! But some other schools of thought agree that you can still manage the kibble till about 6 weeks. However, once that is past, the kibble is no longer good or food for your dog.
3. Ensure that you keep your bin in a cool dry place. Keep the temperature at 70 degrees Fahrenheit and the humidity at 15% max.
4. The fact that your storage bin isn’t a food bowl doesn’t mean that it can’t be washed. It can and should be washed. This will prevent bacteria from festering and causing spoilage. Of course, keep your pup’s food bowls (as well as his water bowls) spotlessly clean too.
How Not To Store Dog Food
1. You shouldn’t pour out the food from the bag and into dog food storage bins. We already explained why.
2. You must never mix the old with the new. If you mix the new food together with the old food, you’ll cause the fats and oils to settle at the bottom. And then guess what would happen? They’ll remain there and begin to get rancid together. It’s a pretty ugly situation that’s best avoided.
3. Never store dog food in a place where there’s high temperature or high humidity or direct sunlight. If any of these factors come into play, it could cause food spoilage or the growth of mold.
4. Never buy from those bulk bins you find at a pet store. Those kibbles have already interacted with the air in the atmosphere for heaven knows how long. Plus, there’s no way to be sure just how old they are.
5. If it looks funny, feels funny or smells funny, don’t feed it to your dog. It’s probably spoiled.
6. Even if you keep your dog food in dog food storage bins, you must never leave it outside. Pests can get to it and the temperature outdoors is not great for the food either.
7. Buying in bulk is really sweet and all but it’s not very safe. No matter how well you try to store a large bag of dog food, if it’s going to last several weeks, it’s going to be a problem. But here’s a tip though, why not divide that large bag up into smaller, sealable bags? Pretty nifty, huh?
Other Creative Alternatives To Dog Food Storage Bins
So, before we round off this article… we know that money isn’t always easy to come by. And then, there are so many people working on a strict budget. This next section is dedicated to you. You can get your very own dog storage bin for $0. Yes, you heard right – for zilch (or, at least, dangerously close to it)!
1. Try A Trash Can
You can turn your trash can into a makeshift dog food storage bin. This is especially great for really large bags of food.
If you choose to use a trash can, make sure it’s something that your dog can’t open on his own. The lid should also be protective enough to keep the container airtight. You might even decide to decorate the bin a bit so it matches your home décor.
Of course, it goes without saying, ensure that the trash can is thoroughly washed before putting food into it.
2. Cover Any Random Plastic Container
If you can’t afford an actual dog food container, then any random plastic would do. Of course, size depends on the amount of kibble you’re storing. Just cover it with a fitting lid. You can also use some adhesive tape to make the seal super tight too.
3. Old Furniture
You can get old dressers or cupboards at garage sales close to you. When you get it, just do the minor repairs that are required. Once that is out of the way, especially for drawers, you can line them with tin. Or, if that’s not your thing, you can just put some plastic containers into them and that could serve too.
4. Hide The Bag Of Food
With this one, just get crazy. Do whatever you can to keep the bag in a cool, dry place. Of course, we do have some ideas that could help. You can put it in a hamper or in a wicker basket. Whichever one you go for, ensure that they are sturdy and won’t buckle under pressure.
Burlap bags are also another good idea. Whatever you do, though, do not take the food out of its bag.
5. Upcycle Tins And Cans
You can redecorate cookie cans, tins, and other similar containers to form a great food storage bin. Since these cans are mostly metal, you could try painting with Rustoleum. Wallpaper, fabric, stickers, and decoupage could also help make your can look fly.
And how about all kinds of cut-outs? Those work for you as long as you can glue them on! This could give you the perfect opportunity to personalize your new food storage bin with your kids.
So far, we’ve learned a lot about storing dog food and the different ways we can do that. However, to drive the message home further, let’s explain the dangers of feeding your dog spoiled food.
What To Do If Your Dog Consumes Spoiled Dog Food
Because dogs are scavengers, a lot of people think that they can eat just about anything and get away with it. Unfortunately, this is very far from the truth. Just like us humans, dogs can get really sick from eating spoiled food. So, you see why you must keep your pooch’s food properly stored and discard them if you suspect that they are bad?
Now, if you think that your dog might have consumed spoiled food somehow, then the first thing you should think of doing is to call your vet.
Usually, your vet will attempt what is called a gastric lavage. In simple English, it means that they will try to rid your pup’s stomach of all the food in it. Afterward, your vet will also prescribe some drugs as well as activated charcoal. Activated charcoal will help to absorb whatever toxins are left that haven’t been removed.
To help your dog recover his strength, he will also be given some IV fluids as part of supportive care.
Now, don’t forget, when going to your vet, you might want to take the offending food along with you. The food can be tested for toxins, and this way, your vet will be in a better-informed place to treat your pooch.
Now you know keeping your dog’s kibble fresh is not an option. Your dog’s health depends on it. Thankfully, money doesn’t have to be a hindrance. Even if you can’t afford an actual storage bin for now, you can always steal some of our ideas for brilliant makeshift dog food storage bins! No need to thank us!
Now, let’s go store some kibble!