Does Dry Dog Food Expire?

Pet owners are very well aware of the fact that dogs are the best type of companions, not only are they only extremely loyal, but they are also the perfect combination of fluffy and playful. However, like any other relationship, the one to come with a responsibility, as these little furry friends depend on us to provide them with a healthy environment and facilities to grow old in.

Dogs have a tendency to get sick or catching an illness very easily. These illnesses, in general, refers to high temperatures, malnutrition, or even different allergies, due to bacteria exposure or contamination.

Before adopting pets, humans should brush up on their knowledge about pet food companies and medical issues via different websites, articles, discussions, and guidance posts.


It is important that they have a healthy and balanced diet with everything in moderation for both humans and their pets. This is especially important for dogs as they are not only extremely picky eaters, but anyone who has been with them can tell that their stomachs are incredibly sensitive.


The best dry dog food is incredibly prone to spoilage, which is why it is important to use a high-quality airtight food storage container to keep their moisture intact, and if they are dry food variety, then to keep them away from mold spores. In some cases, you may have a mixing wet and dry dog food if this is the case be sure to do both. 


Most dog owners are attentive about digestive issues with their dogs and are always looking for signs of mold growth in their pet foods to avoid any health risks. 


Does dog food expire?


One of the questions that almost all dog parents always ask their vet or dog food manufacturers is how long does dog food last, or does dry dog food go bad? So to answer your question, the simple response to this is that they do have a best by date or expiration date. Their shelf life is usually one year long, even after the preservatives in canned dog food and dry food.


After expiration dates, the preservatives stop doing their jobs as they have reached their shelf life. So there is your answer to the query, “does dog food go bad,” it does once the preservatives in the canned dog food or bag of dry dog food stop working. A number of an affiliate advertising program and pet food manufacturers have addressed this concern multiple times.


According to information by a manufacturer (who was rights reserved on the brand), the pet food industry puts on the expiration date to inform the pet parents that it is best by that time (it is also called the best by date). However, if you store it in proper storage containers (in the fridge for canned food), then you might be able to use it for a little more time.


If seen from a pure safety perspective, dry dog food after expiration can sometimes cause digestive issues in dogs. Once the foods (canned food and dry dog food that comes in a bag) they tend to give off a pungent odor or smell. In the case of canned food, the fat may come upon the surface of the dog food. At times you may also see bugs or worms in expired dog food bags or wet foods post their expiration dates.


The shelf life or the expiration date on the dog treats usually refers to the best before date, but you should check the cans with full attention if for food spoilage of any kind.

The dog food companies put up the expiration dates based on the preservatives in the product.




However, the word preservatives has a negative image attached to it, but what most people don’t understand is that preservatives are important to increase the longevity of the pet food without compromising on the energy levels that it could provide.


That being said, the preservatives start to degrade after the best before or the expiration date, and that is not all. After the expiration date, the food starts to lose its effectiveness and also loses some of its nutritional value. The micronutrients, such as vitamins, minerals, fibers, and other supplements, also start to diminish after that date.


The best by date is to indicate that it’s shelf life is over and is moving towards spoilage.


The canned foods have a shorter expiration date than the dry dog food does. However, storing the treats and the contents of the bag in a different food container will increase its life and also stop it from growing mold or spoiling due to heat or excess humidity. There are many other ways to store the product and keep it safe for consumption. The dog kibble cookies or treats have a comparatively longer shelf life than any other dog food. They are also likely to cause any digestion issues or problems.


As you approach the expiration date, another way to ensure proper care to save the product is by storing it in airtight containers and getting rid of the packaging that it originally comes in. This way, you will be able to store the food for a longer duration without the dog food losing its effectiveness.


While storing the food, we would suggest you use food quality material and check for signs of discoloration. Another thing that we or any affiliates would advise you against is to keep the food in multiple layers of packaging. Layers can sometimes lead to contamination of food and harm their tendency to provide nutrition. Storing food in airtight containers prevents any excess air or moisture from entering the bag, which keeps it fresh for long and protects it from rancidity.


There are many brand stores out there that can help you with the storage options so that you can save the formula from going bad and losing all its nutrients. We would, however, recommend you to make sure that you pay as much attention to little pup food as you do to your human food. If you feel that the food is not good enough for human consumption, then it is best to throw it out, do the same with pet food, use your intuition. The next heading runs an entire analysis of this perspective.

How Can You Tell if Dry Dog Food Is Bad?


The second most asked query after “do dog food expire?” is “how to tell if your dry dog food has gone bad?”. So we have already discussed the storage options and the expiration date in detail in the heading above, now in this part of the blog, we are going to focus on how you can tell if the food is fit for consumption for your furry friend.


Most of the time, you can have an idea of how good the food is by just looking at it. The rule of thumb here is that if you think it looks disgusting and you would never want to feed that food to your dog that you should probably toss it away.


Most dry dog foods have an adequate amount of animal proteins in it; therefore, if you feed your dog spoiled meals, then their stomach and intestines are not going to be very happy about it. Feeding bad food to the dog can cause many side effects, for example, lethargy, indigestion, and diarrhea for your pooch.

Is it OK to use expired dog food?

Your dog is the responsibility of the dog owner. Whether it is about time you give them, the required medical attention that they receive, or the dog food product that is a part of their diet throughout the day. It is up to how you portion (three, five, or seven, etc.) their day’s food consumption across different times during the day.


Your dog should never be given dog foods that are beyond their expiration date. Regardless of what it is interpreted as that it is the best by date ( the foods can still be used after that), it is purely unethical to give your pet expired dog foods. The dog foods lose their nutritional value, the ingredients of the product (example tomato sauce or animal fats) have reached a point of degradation, and release fungi like aflatoxin or mycotoxins that make your pet quite sick or worse result in their death.


A dog food product that is beyond its expiration date has the possibility of triggering the salmonella virus in your dog. This can be very damaging for the gut health of your dog and can disrupt their lives to a very great extent.


Any product that you put into the bowl of your dog should come from a bag or a can that has not crossed its expiration or best by date yet. Whether you have adopted a dog from the animal shelter or have purchased them, they deserve the same amount of care as your own children. As humans, we would never consume anything from a bag of chips or a packet of biscuits that is past its expiration date because we know that the preservative in the product stops working, and that is a big problem. If we ourselves will not consume such a product, then the same rules apply to our pets as well.


How long can I keep an opened bag of dry dog food?

A dog parent should always buy a bag of dog food that is suited to the daily food intake of your dog and how much food is consumed in a week. This is because normally, an average-sized bag of dog food, once opened, can be kept for six weeks. After that, a decline tends to occur in the nutritional value of the food.


This does not mean that the food is expired, but it is not at its optimal level of nutritional value. Therefore if you only have one dog, it is better to buy something that is in a smaller sized package and not gets affected by promotional sized bags in the supermarket. A qualified vet can give you the best advice about the type and quantity of food for your pet.


Furthermore, there is always a natural substitute available for processed dry variants in case your furry friends are sensitive to them. You can use real meat, veggies, and fruits blended together with a bit of coconut oil (or other natural oils like olive oil) to make a yummy meal for your pawtner. The food consumed by your pet forms the basis of the type of life they will have, how long they will live, and the minimization of any digestive issues.


Every type of food, whether natural or processed, has an expiration date. Once the food has surpassed its best by date, it should not be made part of your pet’s daily food intake. This is because it can lead to the presence of pests, vomitoxin, and bacteria that can result in acute diarrhea and vomiting in your pet. These can be very weakening for them and can even become critical, leading to excessive weight loss. You should study the label of your pet’s food, be vigilant of any symptoms like increased temperature or upset stomach from spoilt food residue and not feed them any leftovers that have been cooked for your own consumption.


A dog parent needs to keep multiple things in mind when choosing the right dry food variant for their pet. They need to visit the company website to see if it is suited to their dog’s breed, see reviews about the experience of other users of this particular dog food and the flavor of the food that is liked by your pet.


Dog’s are very loving and faithful animals, and they deserve the best of everything from their dog parents. They stay loyal for their entire lives to their pet parents and the family with whom they live. Treat them well and take care of them in the best possible way, and you have a guaranteed life long, playful companion. They will be by your side when you are feeling lonely or sick, they are happy when you are happy, they grieve with you, and they will force you to take them out for walks which will get you some exercise as well, and they will guard you like no other animal.