You want the best for your pets, that’s why you buy the best dog food your budget allows. Make sure that you get your money’s worth by storing your dogs’ food and snacks in containers that keep the taste in and the uglies out.
Follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines to cut out disgusting surprises like rancid or moldy food. Store dog kibble in its original bag inside a clean container with a lid. Fold the top of the bag closed between uses and keep food in cool dry rooms with temperatures of less than 80 degrees F. Leftover dog food from cans or pouches should be refrigerated promptly in proper storage containers. Veterinarian Jennifer Coates of Pet MD recommends that you pay attention to expiration dates when purchasing dog food. Also, if the food looks or smells bad or your dog turns up his nose at it, replace the food and contact the manufacturer.
If your kitchen is large enough, store bags of dry dog food in a roll-out cabinet designed to hold waste bins. This provides easy access to the dog food while keeping it out of sight. For smaller kitchens, store small bags of dog food in a spray-painted metal popcorn canister labeled with stencils or vinyl letters that blend with your kitchen’s décor. To prevent mix-ups in your cabinets, reuse canned soft drink boxes for storing canned dog food. Reinforce the box with self-adhesive vinyl and clearly label it. Insert the dog food cans into the box so that they roll to the bottom for removal one at a time. Keep dog treats in well labeled glass canisters and store food packets in baskets on kitchen shelves.
Because this room is less frequented by guests, inexpensive storage containers work well. Three drawer plastic storage units provide a lot of space for small dog food bags, packets and canned food. For large bags of dog food, use wheeled plastic trash cans. Another idea is to convert an old chest of drawers into a dog feeding station for large dogs. Place food and water bowls into the bottom drawer, but put something under them so that they are nearly level with the top of the drawer for easy access by your dog. Be sure you can close the drawer when you want the bowls out of the way. Double bag kibble, and place the bags horizontally into an upper drawer. Slit open only the inside bag so the outer bag can be closed to keep in freshness. Food packets and cans can also be stored in the remaining drawers.
Basement or Garage
Don’t give rodents, bugs and other unwanted pests a free meal. Basements and garages are not always well sealed or critter-proof, so place bags of dog food in tightly sealed containers such as metal trash cans with tight-fitting lids or in plastic or rubber storage containers. Use decorative duct tape to create colorful bands around the containers and make them easily distinguishable from other trash cans and storage boxes in the room. Because these rooms are not climate controlled, buy smaller bags of food that will be used up before they go bad. Use over-the-door hanging shoe bags to store canned food and packets if you do not have shelf space available. Be sure to have a can opener available, too.
Jenny Newberry, a former teacher with 25 years of experience, is a professional writer and photographer and holds a B.S. and a M.Ed. in elementary and special education from the University of South Alabama. She is also a history buff, praise and worship pianist, pet enthusiast, avid crafter and hobby gardener.