There are tougher things in life than organizing a pooch’s kibble. For example, being charged with leading the next mission to Mars is challenging, as is entering the circus as a trapeze artist next week when you can barely pull off a somersault. Those are two things that are tougher than getting your dog’s food situation in order, but food is always an issue, and this article will finally put the storage part to rest.

Storing dog food might sound like a snap, but if you’ve chosen to go about it willy-nilly, your dog’s food can easily go bad, rot, and even put your pup’s health at risk. Nobody wants to go down that path, so we’re going to explain all the relevant information on storage containers, review some great ones, and put you on the path to storing that chow correctly and smartly in 2021. 

What Is The Proper Way To Store Dog Food?

What is the proper way to store dog food?

When it comes to storage, dog food is no different than human food. Yes, the thought of having to survive on dog food is downright depressing, but your pup couldn’t care less. She’s just jazzed to have you around and receive three assured meals per day. Once dog food is exposed to light or air, oxidation begins to occur. Because of this, dog chow can become rancid very quickly, which is why a storage strategy is critical.

With dry food, you’ll want to keep four things in mind – cool, dry, dark, and airtight. A perfect setting is a cooler environment in your home that is free of humidity as well as incoming light. While some manufacturers make really good bags, investing in a storage container (more on those to come) is the recommended route to take.

In terms of canned food, unopened canned pet foods will stay good for quite some time (2 to 5 years in many cases). Those packaged in plastic tubs, however, will not last as long as cans. Regardless of the packaging, keeping an eye on the “use by” date is critical. Like human food, these dates are published for a reason.

Once open, you can easily transfer canned food to an airtight storage receptacle. The food can typically be refrigerated for roughly five days, but that is highly dependent on the ingredients. Raw food is a popular pick for many dog owners, and some really go out of their way to provide the best cuts of beef in town. If this is your thing, a high-quality storage container is ideal, but do be sure to use raw food within one or two days upon un-packaging or thawing.

The great thing about storage containers is you can also use them to freeze food, and if you can count on a large freezer, a handful of containers can easily accommodate a month’s worth of food. 

How Do You Store Dry Dog Food Long Term?

How do you store dry dog food long term?

The first tip that you’ll frequently hear is storing food in its original container is a must, and airtight storage containers are great for this and fit well with this strategy. But simply removing food from the original packaging and plopping it in the container is a no-no. Most dog food manufacturers use packaging bags that are designed to lock out oxygen and moisture. The bags also include expiry dates, UPC codes, and other relevant information that you’ll want to have around in the event you need to reference it. If you simply toss the food into a container and dump the packaging, that valuable information goes down the drain.

As we’ll discuss later, the benefit of an airtight container is that food will be protected from oxidation. But more than simply having food go bad earlier, a container also prevents pests from getting into the food stash and causing health havoc that will end up costing you big bucks. As mentioned earlier, freezing dog food is growing in popularity. This not only frees up space, but it will also save you shopping time over the long-run. The only caveat with freezing is this could add moisture to the food.

Finally, if you’re going to store over the long-run, be sure to store your dog’s food in multiple containers instead of opting for just one. For example, if you’re storing up to 50 pounds, while 50-pound containers exist, if the food is not going to be consumed over the coming week, it’s best to get five 10-pound containers or a couple 15-pound ones. This will save you the hassle of unsealing and sealing the 50-pound container multiple times.

Can Expired Dog Food Make Dogs Sick?

Can expired dog food make dogs sick?

Expired dog food can make the most energetic pups downright grumpy, but this is entirely avoidable. Spoiled or expired dog food most frequently results in diarrhea or vomiting. Pathogens such as Botulism or E. coli are invasive bacteria and can even result in death if left untreated.

On the mold side, certain species are known to produce mycotoxins. The two most common mycotoxins that result from ingesting expired dog food are aflatoxin and vomitoxin. The former is quite serious, while vomitoxin is not deadly, but could result in a severe disease if not treated appropriately.

The most common ways food spoils is exposure to moisture, air, or excessive heat. Bacteria and mold thrive in these environments, and the easiest tip is the smell. Your pup may also balk at eating expired or spoiled food, so that should be another sign to watch for. If they aren’t eating it, don’t insist. 

The American Kennel Club has more helpful information on how to read dog food labels.

The Best Airtight Dog Food Storage Containers in 2021

Vittles Vault Airtight 10 Pound Dog Food Storage Bucket

Ten pound airtight dog food storage container by Vittles Vault Gamma 2.

Keeping food fresher, longer. That’s the mantra of the Vittles Vault and this airtight bucket does just that. With up to ten pounds of storage capacity, Gamma2 has done an exceptional job with this product. The handles are ergonomically molded for easy transport, and a scoop is attached to the top lid.

If ten pounds isn’t cutting it for your precious pooch, the Vittles Vault is also available in 30, 50, and 80-pound sizes. The largest Vittle measures an impressive 14” x 14” x 28”, and all buckets come in a mocha granite hue. This is not only a practical product, but a great looking one as well! 

To learn more, click here.

Buddeez 12 Gallon Roll-Away Pet Food Dispenser

Roll-away airtight dog food storage container by Budeez.

While there’s a lot to like about this dispenser, one of the best features is its transparency. That’s right, this is a transparent number, which is extremely convenient, especially if you have multiple pups with multiple diets and need to take a quick glance to see which dispenser you’ll be accessing.

Needless to say, the roll-away function is one of the principal reasons folks purchase this container, and with the capacity to hold up to 44 pounds of food, Buddeez keeps your buddy(ies) in great shape come chow-time.

Like it? Click here to buy now.

Heavy Duty 5 Gallon Food Storage Bucket With Lid

Airtight 5 gallon buckets with lid for food storage.

While keeping your dog’s food fresh is a must, a lot of folks online who reviewed this product were also using it for human food as well. Storing rice and beans was quite popular, so if it’s safe and recommended for the homo sapiens in the house, dogs are in great company.

This heavy-duty bucket measures 12 x 12 x 40 inches and can accommodate up to 42 pounds. It’s made of approved plastic 90 mil thick, which is about as sturdy as something gets without being considered an industrial product. The metal handle is also a value added for hauling this bucket around.

To read reviews, click here.

Vittles Vault Outback Stackable 40 pound Airtight Pet Food Storage

Stackable airtight dog food storage container by Vittles Vault Gamma 2.

Another solid product from Vittles, this stackable 40-pound vault is perhaps what most folks have in mind when they think about a doggie food storage receptacle. The screw-top is located on the side, and once stacked, these are a snap to open and store.

Perfect for homes with two or more furry friends, Gamma2 containers have also been proven to withstand the outdoor elements. We’re not talking super intense snow or rain storms, but  if your climate is moderate enough, housing these outdoors is certainly possible. That caught your attention, didn’t it!

To see pricing, click here.

5 Pound Dog Food Storage Container by Van Ness

5 pound airtight dog food storage container by Van Ness.

At first glance, this 5-pound container might appear to be no more than something to file old photos or files away; and in full transparency, you could do that. Photos from a first marriage that will never see the light of day again are apt for such a container. But the fresh-tight seal is pup-centric, and if you’re looking to reduce spoilage due to moisture and pests, then this is the container for you.

Believe it or not, the US Food and Drug Administration approves plastic for food contact. You see, little-known facts like this are what we bring you on this site, and that recognition has been made for this very product. Ideal for folks seeking maximum protection at a manageable 5-pound storage capacity, look no further.

Ready to buy? Click here.

Buddeez Roll Away 50-Quart Pet Food Dispenser

50 quart roll-away dog food dispenser by Budeez.

Buddeez is back at it again with a whopping 50-quart model. The 1-cup measuring scoop is a nice feature and fits snuggly in the flip lid, so you don’t need to worry about it getting lost in the proverbial puppy mix.

The lid on this number is gasket-sealed, and the extra-wide opening makes extraction a thoughtless process. After all, who wants to be wasting precious brain cells on how to effectively extract dog food everytime you’re feeding Sir Barks-A-Lot? Nobody, and Buddeez’s tall, slim design also gives you a range of storage options. 

To learn more, click here.

Buddeez 8 Gallon Extra Large Pet Food Dispenser

8 gallon dog food storage dispenser by Budeez.

Yet again, Buddeez rolls out a dispenser that is sure to be an instant hit. Transparent, easy to move, and with the capacity of up to 25 pounds of food (or 35 pounds of bird seed if that’s your thing), this container features a design that allows the original packaging to fit snuggly in the container with the top of the bag smartly positioned to the opening. Easy pouring couldn’t be any easier.

Like it? Click here to buy now.

Portable Dog Food Storage Bin Dispenser with Bowl by Minedecor

Dog food storage bin with feeding bowl by Minedecor.

The first characteristic that jumps out with this canine winner is the massive scooper hanging on the side. It’s a giant power scoop, which means that meal times will be that much more efficient and streamlined.

Fabricated from premium airtight BPA-free plastic, this bin also comes with a combo set for birds and a handy travel dog mug. All your home’s pets are covered with this bin from MineDecor. 

To read the latest reviews, click here.

35 Liter X-Large Pet Food Storage Can by Simplehuman

35 liter large dog food storage can by Simplehuman.

Ideal for bigger storage needs, this modern and sleek container is easy on the eyes while also being ideal for long-term use. Simplehuman makes amazing products, and this 40-pound wonder is no different.

The large ergonomic handle locks the lid tightly, preventing all food from spoilage and keeping the inside as airtight as humanly possible. On the inside, the BPA-free inner bucket is removable, which is a nice touch for cleaning purposes. Factor in the built-in wheels, and it’s hard to go wrong with this bin. 

To learn more, click here.

The Leonardo Collection Sweet Home Dog Food Storage Tin

Small dog food storage tin by Leonardo Collection.

There’s style, and then there’s the Leonardo Collection. If you’re on the hunt for a bespoke storage container, the kind of container that will have dinner guests talking more about your dog’s food container than your prized casserole (that still needs some work by the way), you’ve found your product!

Made of enamel with handles on each side of the lid, this bin measures 9.84” high x 7.25” wide x 6.5” deep. A scoop is included, and it rests seamlessly on the side of the bin, nearly out of view but perfectly matched to the one-of-a-kind design of the Leonardo Collection.

To see pricing, click here.

To Sum It Up

Chow time! Now that you understand how to store your dog’s food properly, mealtimes are going to be that much more enjoyable. At this point you have ten amazing products to choose from, understand the various considerations when storing food over the long-term, and also understand that not doing so properly can place your pup’s health at risk.

Dog food can be expensive, especially if you have a pooch with a special diet. Keeping that food from going bad is critical. Happy storage hunting!

Pssssst……Check out Outdoor Dog Run Ideas next!