How Long Does Dog Food Really Last?

As a top Life’s Abundance distributor, I often get asked about the freshness of Life’s Abundance Premium Dog Food.  Well, first, let’s take a look at how “fresh” most commercially produced dog food really is.

Many people who sincerely love their pet, do their best to find the best, most nutritious dog food available. Yet, what many do not always realize is the bag of food they are purchasing from the local “box” store has been sitting around for 9-10 months. Unfortunately, many dogs become sick by eating this stale or possibly rancid food and unknowing few people ever suspect it’s the food that is making their pet ill.

dogfoodshelflifeFreshness is just as important to human food as it is to dog food. Just as bread starts to go stale once it is baked, the ingredients and nutrients in dog food begin to deteriorate as soon as it is manufactured. When exposed to air, moisture, and light, food will begin to break down through the natural process of decay and eventually becomes stale, moldy, and rancid. Stale or moldy food will make your dog sick just as it will you.

How Long Does Dog Food Really Last?

That is great question but with no easy answer. There is no straight answer about how long the shelf life is. Although not required by the AAFCO (American Association of Feed Control Officials), many manufacturers will put a “best by” date somewhere on the label.

Since there is no standard measure to determine when dog food goes stale or bad, the actual shelf life of dry dog food varies from manufacture to manufacturer. Some manufacturers have a “best by” date as short as 4 months while others can be as long as 3 years.

Now to make this even more confusing, the ‘best by’ date often found on dog food bags does not tell you how old the food is. It does not give you for any real indication of when the food was made. It is a date that the manufacturer determined the food no longer provides the nutrition as claimed in the Guaranteed Analysis. So, in other words, once the ‘best by’ date has passed, the food is not necessarily expired, it just no longer provides your dog with proper nutrition.

Of course you have to pay attention to the ingredients as well, unfortunately the label won’t help you much either. Read this important article – Do You Know What Your Pet Food Label Really Says?

dog and plateSo how can you be sure your dog is eating only fresh food and getting the best the product offers?

The best way to find out the shelf life is to contact the manufacturer. If the company tells you that the shelf life of their product is 12 months, then by using the “best by” date you can make an estimate  of how old the product is. For example, if today is July 1st 2014 and the “best by” date is December 1st, 2014 and by knowing the shelf life is 12 months, then you know that the it was manufactured around December 2013. So, now you know that the dog food is about 7 months old which is not fresh at all.

Dry dog food should be less than 4 months  old when purchased and used within 6 weeks of opening. If you find you still have food left over after 6 weeks, I would seriously consider throwing it out. Don’t risk the good health of your dog just to save a few dollars. Of course, it’s better to use it sooner if you can.

Also consider buying smaller bags of dog food which will provide a quicker “turn time” for the food so it does not sit around too long.

DryDogSmBy the way, Life’s Abundance maintains strict inventory control to ensure the quality and safety of their Premium Dog Food.  From the time their food is cooked, it’s approximately four to six weeks old when it reaches a customer’s door. This, quite possibly, makes it the freshest dry dog food on the market.

One other note to consider. If you generally pour your dog’s food into a storage bin or other container, keep the original dog food bag. If your dog’s food is ever recalled, you are going to need the bar code, batch code, and expiration date to get a refund or make a claim against the manufacturer. Did you know that Life’s Abundance Premium Dog Food has NEVER been recalled? Learn more about Life’s Abundance here.

You want the best nutrition for dog and are willing to pay for it. A fresh, high quality product from a reputable manufacturer will provide that . Get into the habit of looking for the “best by” date before you purchase a pet food. By paying attention to this small yet important part of the label, could save you from the experience of an extremely sick dog and a trip to the vet.

John & Deirdra

John and Deirdra Houck
Life’s Abundance Field Representative




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