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Pet parents don't ever want their dogs to run out of food, so that's why they prepare it or buy it in bulk. But they also have to find ways to store pet food properly so that they won't go to waste. Is freezing a good idea? How do you do it? We asked the experts and here's what we found out.
You can freeze dry, wet, or raw dog food to make them last longer. Just put them in an airtight container or freezer bag. Don't forget to put a label on the container before placing it inside the freezer.
Hang on because we'll tell you more tips regarding the proper storage of pet food. We'll also share with you how to thaw it safely so you can serve it to your beloved pets.
Freezing Dog Food
There are different kinds of dog food. There's dry kibble, wet food, and raw food. No matter what kind of diet you feed your dog, you'll be glad to know that all types of dog food can be kept in the freezer. Here are the ways to do it:
- Put dry kibble in an airtight container or freezer bag. It's best if you can separate it into serving sizes.
- Remove excess air before sealing the freezer bag.
- Put a label outside of the container. Indicate the contents and date of storage.
- Place inside the freezer.
canned and raw dog food
- Transfer the contents into an airtight container.
- You can also separate them into smaller sizes enough for 1 meal then put each meal in a freezer bag.
- Make sure there's no excess air inside the bag.
- Label with the content and date of storage.
Can fresh dog food be frozen?
Fresh dog food is made with natural and human-grade ingredients. It can contain meats, vegetables, and fruits. Pet parents can personally prepare this or they can order from fresh food delivery services.
If you prepared or bought fresh dog food in bulk, you can definitely store it in the freezer. Transfer it to an airtight container or freezer bag according to serving portions. Make sure you remove any excess air before sealing the bags. Don't forget to put a label on them as well as the date of storage. They should last for 6 months in the freezer so you always have delicious and nutritious food on hand for your furry pals.
How long does homemade dog food last in the freezer?
Some pet parents prefer to make large batches of dog food and just store them in the freezer. This is actually a good idea as homemade dog food lasts for up to 6 months in the freezer if it is stored properly.
Here's a tip for you. Follow your trusted dog food recipe. Then, put it in freezer bags or airtight containers according to the portions that you need per feeding. This will help you avoid wasting food because once thawed, it should be consumed right away.
How do you store large amounts of dog food?
It is common for pet parents to buy dog food in bulk so that they're sure that their fur babies won't run out of food anytime soon. It also removes the hassle of having to go to the pet shop frequently. However, it is necessary to know the proper storage of pet food so that they will maintain their best quality.
Storing Unopened Dog Food
The best way to keep dry kibble and unopened canned food is in a cool, dry, and secure place. The temperature shouldn't be more than 80 degrees Fahrenheit. When there's excess moisture or heat, this can cause the nutrients inside the dog food to break down and the quality will deteriorate. You should keep them in their original packaging so that you have all the important information that you need.
Storing Opened Dry Food
But if ever you've already opened the dry food package, you can reseal it and put it back in a cool and dry place. If you want to store it in another container, make sure that it's clean and dry and has a lid that seals it tightly. You can still keep it in its original packaging and put everything inside the container. Or you can just tape the important info outside of the canister so you still have pertinent details on hand.
Storing Opened Canned Food
If the canned food you opened is more than what your dog can consume in one meal, you should transfer the rest of the food to an airtight container and put it in the fridge where it'll stay good for 7 days. Make sure the temp is set to 40 degrees Fahrenheit or lower to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria.
How Do You Store Homemade Dog Food?
Since homemade dog food doesn't have preservatives that'll help make it last longer, it is important to store it properly. Divide the freshly prepared food into serving sizes and put each portion inside an airtight container. Those that can be consumed within 3 days can be placed in the fridge while the rest can be stored in the freezer to extend their shelf life.
Can you freeze Freshpet dog food?
Freshpet has become a favorite among pet parents because of the quality of the food that they prepare for fur babies. They make sure that their pet foods are made from fresh and natural ingredients. The meats they use are beef and chicken that have been raised by their partner farms. They also strive to maintain the essential nutrients of their ingredients by doing very minimal processing.
All Freshpet dog food has been steamed and pasteurized before being stored in the refrigerator to make sure that they are fresh, safe, and ready to serve to your beloved pets. The producers recommend that you serve their pet food fresh from the fridge. But they also say that you can store unused portions in the freezer for later use. You can keep them in their original packaging then just cover them with plastic wrap and aluminum foil to seal in their freshness. Put a label before you place them inside the freezer.
Freshpet reminds pet parents that they might notice some changes in the color and texture of their products after thawing. But this shouldn't be a problem as they assure buyers that the taste and nutritional value of their dog food would be retained as long as they are stored in the freezer properly.
How do you thaw frozen dog food?
Dogs don't like to eat food that's too cold or too hot. Experts say dog food should be served at room temperature or even a little warm to increase its palatability for your furry pals. You need to thaw your frozen dog food before serving it to your pet and there are 3 safe ways of doing it:
In the fridge
This is the safest way to defrost your dog food. However, it might take a full day or even 2 days to fully thaw frozen dog food depending on its size. For your reference, it takes about 24 hours to thaw 5 pounds of dog food. This is why experts recommend that you store your pet's meals in small serving sizes so that they'll be easier to thaw. To defrost, just transfer the container to the fridge and wait for it to thaw completely. You can also safely refreeze the portions that you won't be using when you defrost their meals in the refrigerator.
In cold water
This is a faster way of thawing your dog's food. Just make sure it is in an airtight container or sealed bag as you submerge it in a bowl of cold water. Change the water every 15 to 30 minutes to make sure that it thaws continuously. The length of time it'll take for a 10 oz meal is less than an hour while it'll take 3 to 5 hours for a 72 oz package to be completely defrosted.
Be advised that you cannot refreeze dog food that's been thawed using the cold water method and make sure that it's consumed immediately.
Using the microwave
This is the fastest way to thaw your dog's meal. Transfer the frozen food to a microwave-safe dish and place it at the center of the microwave. Use your microwave's defrost setting or 30% of its power. Thawing time will depend on the weight of your dog food. Check every 60 seconds to see if it's completely defrosted.
Dog food that has been thawed using the microwave should be served and consumed immediately to prevent the possible growth of bacteria. Discard any unused portion.
It's not only us who can benefit from storing our foods in the freezer. We can also keep our dear pet's meals in the freezer to extend their shelf life. Make sure you store them properly in an airtight container so that you'll always have their favorite meals on hand.