It may seem like something harmless, but the way you store your dog's food could be causing them to get sick. If you notice your dog is a little under the weather, it's worth checking to see how you're keeping their food and if that could be the cause.
Dog food, like people food, requires certain storage requirements to keep it from going bad. Just because it's (hopefully) not something your or I would eat, that doesn't mean it's not perishable.
Take a look at these common dog food storage mistakes and see if there's anything you need to change in your home.
1. Don't leave the top of the bag open.
This isn't just because it will go stale. Exposing food to air and humidity, you increase the risk of salmonella. Dog food should be sealed at all times. You can keep it in a bag, just make sure the top is folded over securely. If you are going to use a plastic storage container, ensure it's a food safe one.
2. Not all food can be left out
It can often be a habit of dog owners to keep dog food out all day when they're at work. But certain foods can only be left out for a couple hours before they start to turn. It's recommended to do some research or contact the manufacturer to ask what the exposure times are. Canned food is different, only have a 2-4 hour period to be left out before expiring.
3. Yes, you need to wash the bowl.
It may seem like a tedious task, but the FDA recommends you wash pet bowls every day. A lot of people think that because it's the same food going in every day, the dishes can be washed less frequently. But diseases like listeria and salmonella can accumulate on the dishes.
4. Young kids aren't in charge.
Asking your kids to feed the dog is a good idea in theory, but kids are less reliable in terms of sanitary habits. This can make both your dog and your child sick. Supervising them while they feed the pet is a great, but don't let them fly solo until you're sure it's the right time.
5. Look at the expiration dates
Yes, pet food has expiration dates. They're not just there for suggestion. While this may seem like common sense, a lot of people choose to ignore the dates because they don't want to shell out more money for food. Your dog deserves the best, just like you do!