How long is it okay to leave WET dog food out before it goes bad?

Discuss ways to improve the quality of your dog's life and longevity through proper nutrition; a place for all of your questions and answers about feeding your pooch!

Please keep discussions fun, friendly, and helpful at all times. Non-informative posts criticizing a particular brand or another poster’s choice of food are not allowed in this Forum. References to any brand of food as "junk," "garbage," or other harsh names will be removed.


Bella - Snob.
Barked: Sat May 23, '09 2:20am PST 
My Pom tends to not eat canned food when it comes straight from the fridge or is microwaved =/ I try and leave it out for a while. Sometimes I forget to throw it out the night before and in the morning she'll eat it!! ACK!!!!

So I would like to know how long it is okay to leave out her canned dog food before it starts to get spoiled??

She eat Science Diet Canine I/D from the vet.


King of- everything
Barked: Sat May 23, '09 5:42am PST 
Usually you can tell when its starting to go bad. The color has patches of slightly darker and harder texture to some of it. When Boston ate canned mixed with his kibble I fed it to him at 4:30 and usually 10 is when hed start eating all of what he will eat . Next day Id throw out any left overs. It usually spoils overnight. If your pooch doesnt like it right out of the fridge maybe try nuking it in the microwave for a little bit.

Princess and the- Pea
Barked: Sat May 23, '09 7:07am PST 
It really isn't safe to leave it out at all. I would be leaving it down for 15 minutes and picking it up until the next mealtime. It is better for dogs to eat at meal times than throughout the day anyway. I hate throwing out uneaten food but sick dogs are more expensive than spoiled dog food. I would cut down the food fed until it is all eaten right way and increase it a little bit at a time so the dog learns to eat when it is offered.

Tanuk CGC

Sherpa Tanuk of- Everest
Barked: Sat May 23, '09 2:11pm PST 
It should be left out for 30 minutes maximum. That's what I've always been told. And if you watch it, it starts to dry out after that, and generally the pets don't want it after it's dried out anyway.

Barked: Mon May 25, '09 4:02pm PST 
Taser's bowl is never left down for more than 5 minutes but then he has a food command and strict rules as he is a service dog and we must practice consistency. And I only float kibble I don't feed canned.

In the case of a companion animal such as yourself I would not leave the bowl down for more than 30 minutes. Look at it this way, make yourself a bowl of something like nice thick oatmeal, set it on the counter for 30 minutes then come back to eat it. How appetizing do you think that would be? Now consider your dogs food has meat in it and your leaving it out for hours at a time so maybe a better example would be leaving canned tuna or salmon on the counter for hours before you eat it. Not only gross but can potentially grow bacteria like salmonella and other nasties. As Sassy said in her post you should train your dog to eat at meal times not free feed especially when eating canned or floated kibble.