Finding the right dog food storage containers is extremely important to the health of your dog, but unfortunately it's something that a lot of people overlook when it comes to buying dog food.
A good storage container should seal so that it is airtight, locking in moisture and preventing the food from becoming stale. Not only does spoiled or stale food cost you extra money, it can negatively affect your dogs health, because a lot of the nutrients are lost when the moisture evaporates.
Another big part of dog food storage containers is not what you put the food into when you bring it home, but what containers are used to package the food in the first place.
You may not realize it, but improper dog food packaging at the manufacturing stage can leave the food dry and lacking in nutrition before you even bring it in your front door.
First of all, always pay attention to the expiration dates on your dog food, the same as you would if you were buying milk or meat. Whether it's the best canned dog food or the best dry dog food, all dog food should have a “best by” date or expiration date.
If it doesn't, stay far away!
On bags this date is usually on the backside, and on cans it's usually on the bottom.
According to the accepted standards for dog food, the “best by” label should specify the approximate date when the nutrients have decreased, meaning that anything past this date is not going to be nearly as nutritious for your dog (this same concept applies for human food as well).
At the same time though, just because you have some food that has passed the expiration date doesn't mean that you can't still feed it to your dog. It's not going to make them sick; it just won't be as nutritious as it could be.
If you're making a habit of feeding your dog out of date food, you should definitely know some dog first aid or at least have the number for a vet around.
You'll very rarely see any sudden medical complications, but the cumulative effects of poor nutrition can certainly build up over time. You could notice an unpleasant smell coming from your dogs mouth, or outbreaks of dandruff on their coat, to severely impacted anal glands.
This is a bigger issue with dry dog food than with canned, and the dog food storage containers used by the manufacturer can play a large part in this.
If they don't use the right materials, or if any part of the bag is not sealed air tight, you're going to end up losing a lot of vitamins that would otherwise go into your dog.
Canned dog food will last up to 5 years past the canning date in theory.
In reality, in the right storage conditions, they may last much longer.
When the food is canned it is done so at very high temperatures, effectively creating a sterile environment inside the can with no living organisms or bacteria. This means that as long as the can is undamaged, you could feasibly keep it around for 10 years or more.
You can also read more about dog food containers here.