You want to feed your pets the best you possibly can. You spend time researching and deciding to purchase the best quality food that is right for your pet. Once you get your pet food home, if you don’t store it correctly, you can diminish the quality of your pet’s food and can even cause your pet harm.
Once you open a bag of food, oxygen, moisture, light, mold spores, storage mites, and other potential spoilers enter the bag – Vitamins and other sensitive nutrients are diminished.
Pet food companies use antioxidants (sometimes vitamin E and other natural sources) to forestall oxidation. Every time the bag is opened, oxygen enters. Eventually, the antioxidants are all oxidized (used up) and some of the fats are damaged, starting with the more fragile omega –3 fatty acids, which the better pet food companies now add to their foods.
If you open your bag of food on the first of the month, by the end of that month your food will be considerably less nutritious then what you are fed your pet when you opened the bag. Every time your food is exposed to air, vitamins are oxidized and damaged. Some of the vitamins that are most sensitive are vitamin A, thiamin, most forms of folate, some forms of the vitamin B family and vitamin C.
Moisture and warmth are the culprits that promote the growth of mold. To prevent this, you must store your dry foods at a temperature of fewer than 70 degrees F and at less than 15% humidity.
Some of the waste products of these molds (mycotoxins) are increasingly being implicated as long-term causes of cancer and other health problems in humans, poultry, pigs and other animals. Dogs are particularly susceptible to these toxins.
When dry pet foods absorb moisture from the surrounding air mold can grow.
Here are some tips on what you can do to provide the freshest food for your pets:
1. Start with a quality premium food that uses quality oils to preserve your food. Do not buy foods that preserve with Ethoxyquin
2. Buy the smallest bag possible. A week’s worth of food is ideal (not always practical or cost effective)
3. Do not pour your food into another container. It is best to keep your food in its original bag and set the bag in the container. The pet food bags are made to help keep your food fresher. Plastic can leach chemicals into the food. If you pour your food into a plastic container but never wash it, the oils will go rancid on the inside of the container and contaminate any new food. Mites and molds also are increased.
4. Store in a cool place – a pantry is ideal if you have one.
5. Use a marker and date your food when you open it to see how old your food is from the time you open it.
6. If your pet food changes color or smells bad, do not feed it to your pet.
You’re buying the ultimate food for your pet; keep it as fresh as you possibly can to keep your pet as healthy as you can.