How long does it take for dog food to go 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.

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Barked: Wed Apr 4, '12 4:41pm PST 
We keep our dog's dry food in a big rubbermaid container. We buy 35 pounds of it at a time. While this is a pretty new food for her (about a month), she was initially enthusiastic. Recently, the pup hasn't seemed as thrilled with the food. She takes her time getting over to the bowl when before she would jump before it hit the floor. She then proceeds to eat very very slowly. We used to have issues where she ate too fast, so this is a big change

Because she was spayed a week and a half a go and the behavior started after that, we assumed that was why, but the vet said her recovery is going fine and she shouldn't have any impact to her appetite. She suggested the food could be going bad. We just bought this food less than a month ago, so it seems too soon to go bad.

I'm wondering if it could be because her activity level is so much lower due to "staying quiet" due to the spay or if she just doesn't like the food anymore. Her bathroom habits are normal and her energy level is also normal.

If it matters, the food is 4health's Large Breed Formula. We don't have the bag anymore.
Phoebe, CGC

I'm a Brussel- Sprout!
Barked: Wed Apr 4, '12 5:38pm PST 
Without the bag to reference for a "best by" date, it's hard to say, but it's certainly not outside the realm of possibility. When you visually assess the food, or smell it, do you notice anything "off" about it? If the food was still in the bag, most retailers would allow you to return it for a refund or exchange it for another bag, but in your case I don't know what you can really do besides toss it.
Bruno CGC

Honorary Kelpie
Barked: Wed Apr 4, '12 7:33pm PST 
Yeah, unless it got wet, it should be fine in a sealed container. I would guess she's just tired of it. Sometimes dogs (and people) also stop liking a food if they eat it while sick, or get sick after eating it, maybe she had an upset tummy from the pain meds after her spay or something?

Member Since
Barked: Wed Apr 4, '12 11:43pm PST 
But according to me 7 to 10 days is more than enough.Longer then that spoils the food......

Edited by moderator Thu Apr 5, '12 7:32am PST

Edited by forums moderator

I'm triple- superior MAD- now!
Barked: Thu Apr 5, '12 9:36am PST 
The fat in the kibble goes rancid exposed to air. Pouring it out of the bag exposes it more than leaving it in the bag and putting the bag into the plastic. Putting it into a plastic tub can cause plasticizers to leach into the fat of the kibble so it isn't a good idea to dump kibble into plastic.

Kibble can be contaminated by all sorts of bugs, while the bugs might be tasty their poop might not be.

Buying a new bag of the same kibble and giving the old and new kibble a really good sniff might tell you whether the old kibble is stale or contaminated or not.
Optimus- Prime

Roll out!
Barked: Thu Apr 5, '12 1:49pm PST 
A long time - Be careful not to leave it outside because (tragically happened to me) many other critters find dog food to be very appetizing, and if you don't want your dog to be eating baby flies, pincher bugs, centipedes, and mice droppings, then make sure to keep it inside (the garage?) and on a raised surface!

Im just a little- guy
Barked: Thu Apr 5, '12 2:58pm PST 
It's better to keep it in the bag and place it in the tub. You want less air exposure to the food. Best way to do ensure freshness is to roll up the bag tightly and clip it closed. Pot smokers all know this.

Different brands will have different shelf lives since they use different preservatives. The sell by date is not a good indicator if the food is bad. The Sell by date counts only if the food is unopened.

I don't know how long it takes for dog food to go bad. I know it depends on the storage method and brand. I buy small bags, like 6 pounds to insure my dog gets fresh kibble. Bigger bags will take months for my dog to eat. My food lasts a little over a month opened before Milton eats it all.

Barked: Thu Apr 5, '12 5:43pm PST 
This is all very helpful.

First, she did get sick twice in the first day after the spay (which the vet said was normal with the anesthesia), so it could be that she sees the food as what made her sick or it just doesn't have the same appeal.

I thought I was doing the right thing with the plastic tub, but I never considered keeping the bag and leaving the food in it inside the tub. We'll definitely do that in the future, though I might need a much larger tub. I can definitely see the possibility that the plastic smell could be lessening its appeal.

The food doesn't seem to smell off and because she's still eating it and not having any stomach issues, I'm thinking it isn't bad.

The possibility that she's just sick of food is also a good one, but I'm hoping it is not what is happening. We've switched her food twice in 3 months (she came with really crappy food from the shelter and our vet recommended a food that made her shed like crazy), so I'd rather not transition again, as it does take her a week or so for her stomach to stabilize and her overall health and appearance did seem improved.

Thank you for the perspectives! I appreciate your help.

Chloe's got Mom- wrapped around- her paws
Barked: Thu Apr 5, '12 6:28pm PST 
Miltonlaugh out loudlaugh out loudlaugh out loudlaugh out loudlaugh out loudmeditatekissing

45 Mile Per Hour- Couch Potato
Barked: Thu Apr 5, '12 10:07pm PST 
Hi Bella, sounds like you have had a little reaction to the anesthesia. As in humans anesthesia can upset your digetion and can leave you with a loss of appetite for a short period of time. Sometimes bloating can occur also.

4Health Pet Food has really good ingredients and most dry food products are good for a year if properly sealed. I like the idea too of keeping the food in the original bag, clamping it closed and placing it in a sealed container to keep it fresh.

Mom might add some canned green beans or shredded carrots, a little pumpkin or yogart to the top of your dry kibble to entice you to eat more.

Take care.

Edited by author Thu Apr 5, '12 10:09pm PST

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