Once upon a time, there were few dog food brands on the market. Today, there is a plethora of various types. You can find natural, organic, premium, maintenance, special diet, and too many variations to recount. There is soft dog food in cans and packages. You can purchase semi-moist dog food. There is also the ever popular dry. However, whatever your favorite brand, you need to consider just a few basic elements when you go to the store to purchase your favorite or a new brand of dog food.
The first thing you need to consider – besides why am I paying more for my dog’s food than my partner’s, is expiration date. When does the shelf life of the food you are purchasing end. You do not want to purchase food that is going to be stale before you have a chance to use it. This is particularly necessary with dry dog food. With canned food, the chances of you using it at a faster rate are higher than that of the dry food. This is particularly true if you buy dry food in bulk.
You also need to consider what type of dry food you are purchasing. Some people are opting out of the commercial market. They are buying dog food products containing less preservatives. If this is your preference, you need to be aware of this reality. Natural products have a shorter shelf life than those of the more commercial brands. Organic versions also have a restricted period of viability. Check the expiry date before you spend your money.
If you buy whatever brands are on sale, you might want to reconsider. Know the nutrient requirements of your dog. If you have a puppy, its nutritional requirements vary in quantity and type than those of a senior dog. Active dogs like Cattle Dogs, passive dogs, and so-called normal dogs all have varying needs. Talk to your vet, talk to the pet store owner or manager and read the labels. Be a conscientious consumer. Know what your dog needs and how much. Do what you should be doing in the grocery store for your family. Read the labels, note the content and compare. Make a list of what your dog needs, before you go to market and check it off as you go along.
Another consideration in dog food buying is amounts. Some people buy their dog food in bulk. This is wise if and only if you can use it all up within the required period of time. If you know the food will still remain after the expiration date, do not buy so much. The food will become less palatable. The food will also decrease in nutritional value. Your dog may or may not eat it. Either way, your pet loses.
The storage of pet food may seem obvious to some. Nevertheless, it bears repeating. If you have an opened can, cover it with a lid and refrigerate it. Use it as son as possible. Some recommend it be gone within 24 hours. Others say use it within a few days.
Dry dog food requires a dry, cool place. Ideally, you should reseal it after you open it. This insures it retains some of its freshness. Sealing it also decreases the probability of contamination. You can use a clip to keep the bag shut. Alternatively, you can find and use a large container.
Some pet food companies sell or provide large metal cans. There are also plastic containers of a suitable size. Whatever you pick, make sure it is clean and dry. This will prevent your pet from grazing. It also stops mice and other creatures from sampling and contaminating it.
One other thing you need to consider is do not mix new and old food lots together. If you do, you can cause premature staleness, decay and possibly a build up in bacteria. Wait until the container is empty before you add the new lot. Yet, before you do so, make sure you clean the tin.
One final note to consider if you have cookies, do store them in a cookie tin or metal container. It will help them stay fresh and crisp longer. Do not, however, mix crunchy cookies with those that are semi-moist. The hard cookies will absorb the moisture from the moist ones. It is sometimes better to leave the semi-moist cookies in their own package, particularly if you can reseal it.