Being a pet owner comes with many joys, but with an all-too-common problem as well – how to store dog food, cat food or any kind of pet food in general, and where? These questions arise, particularly if you’re living in a smaller home or apartment, and if you have multiple pets. Dog owners confront this issue more frequently than owners of other pets, such as cats, hamsters, fish, reptiles, and so on. Dogs are generally larger and thus need more food – hence the need for storing said kibbles. And, as good quality dog food can be quite expensive, many of us tend to buy in bulk, to make the most of discounts or to have more than one bag delivered at once, in order to avoid multiple delivery fees. In other words, we definitely need storage solutions for dog food.

A self storage unit is not the right place for storing dog food

Before thinking about storing your dog food in a self storage unit, you should know that most storage facilities don’t allow storing any type of foods, including dog food. Food smells can attract rodents and insects, which could damage other belongings stored close by. Also, even in the rare instances when a storage facility allows it, it’s not very practical to store your dog food in a storage unit. Your furry friend won’t be happy if, at dinnertime, you realize you don’t have kibble at home and need to drop by the storage unit to pick up more.

bowl with pet food

Instead of putting dog food in self storage, use the unit for other unperishable items, thus carving up extra space at home for stuff you use on a daily basis. Things like seasonal clothing, holiday décor, tools, seldom used appliances and kitchenware or sport and hobby gear are the perfect candidates for self storage. Putting them in a unit will create more space around the home for the truly important items, such as your pooch’s food.

So, since self storage is not a solution when it comes to food items, here are some tips and tricks on how to properly store dog food, or any type of pet food, at home.

  • Pick a cool, dry place

The best way to store dog food is in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight. In other words, spaces such as your pantry, garage or a finished basement are ideal.

  • Keep the food in its original packaging

You might be tempted to pour the entire content of your bag of kibbles in a container that’s easier to maneuver. However, most experts don’t recommend it. If you pour the food inside a plastic container, the fats from the food leach into the plastic and they’re difficult to get rid of, even if you wash the container thoroughly. The new food will get a rancid taste from those fats. Instead, put the entire bag of kibble inside the sturdier container, to prevent cross contamination from one batch of food to the other. Also, it’s important to have the original bag that the food came in so that you have the necessary information for potential recalls or returns.

dog food bag with human hand and dog nose

  • Buy appropriately sized bags of food

Dog kibble is generally recommended to be consumed within four to six weeks after opening the packaging. Buy quantities that allow you to do that. It’s generally better to buy several smaller bags instead of a large one, as this strategy ensures fresher food for your four-legged friends.

  • Keep wet food in the fridge after opening it

Cans or pouches of wet dog food should be kept the same as the dry food, in a cool place, without exposure to sunlight. If you open the packaging but don’t offer the entire portion in one sitting to your pet, put the leftover in the fridge until it’s time for the next meal. However, don’t store it for longer than two to three days. If it makes sense financially to buy large cans of wet food, but it takes longer than a few days for your pet to finish one, you can portion it right after opening and freeze it for later.

  • Throw away the leftovers in your pet bowl daily

If your dog or cat doesn’t finish their meal throughout the day, throw the remaining food the next morning and wash the bowl. Adjust the quantity of food for the future, but don’t pour fresh kibble or wet food on top of old one.

Properly storing your dog food ensures that it stays fresh, safe, and tasty for your pet. It protects them from food-borne illnesses, and it saves you from potentially debilitating vet bills – so pay extra attention to it!


Maria Gatea is a real estate and lifestyle editor for Yardi with a background in Journalism and Communication. After covering business and finance-related topics as a freelance writer for 15 years, she is now focusing on researching and writing about the real estate industry. You may contact Maria via email.

Write A Comment