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Healthy Cells is a local health magazine with most of the articles written by local professionals. People love to read about healthcare from their local health professionals. Each month includes a wide variety of articles on various topics.
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Tips for Storing Pet Foods

It’s frustrating to research pet foods, find the best one for your pet, purchase it, and bring it home, and then find that it goes bad far too soon. Not only is this a waste of your money, but it can also threaten your pet’s health. Unfortunately, even the best food, if stored incorrectly, can go rancid, develop bacteria or mold, or become infested with insects or rodents. Thankfully, storing the food isn’t difficult once you know how.

There are three things that most commonly cause food to spoil:
1. Air. Exposure to air also means exposure to bacteria. Keep the food storage container closed and as airtight as possible.
2. Moisture. Too much will lead to mold.
3. Temperature. Don’t store pet foods (even unopened bags or cans) in the garage or shed where temperatures can go above 100 degrees. Most manufacturers recommend storing kibble and canned foods in a cool, dry place. The kitchen pantry or an inside closet work great.

Keep kibble foods in the bag
    Although it may be more convenient to open a bag of kibble and dump it in a metal or plastic trash can for storage, discarding the original bag isn’t a good idea. The bags are designed to keep the foods good, without spoilage, for quite a while. The original bags also keep the fats in the food from soaking through and thereby turning rancid. Plus, if there’s a problem with the food later, you’ll want the information that’s on the bag, especially the lot number. Once the bag is opened, roll the top to close it, and use a clip or clamp to keep it tight. You can still place the entire bag in a storage container. For small bags of food, a kitchen canister works great. For larger bags, a plastic or metal trash can is fine. No matter what you use, make sure the lid is replaced tightly after each meal to keep insects and rodents out.

Canned food
    Unopened canned pet foods have a long shelf life. Depending on the ingredients and canning methods, sometimes these foods can be good for five years. It’s important to keep an eye on the “use by” dates, however, so each time you buy more food, move the older cans to the front of the shelf and put the newer ones in the back. Once a can has been opened, you can transfer the unused portion to an airtight storage container and refrigerate the food for up to five days.

Protect dehydrated foods from moisture
    Dehydrated or freeze-dried food offers all the benefits of a raw food diet, but has a longer shelf life and can be more convenient. These foods need to be protected from moisture. Too much moisture before the food is used will lead to the development of mold. The food can remain in the original packaging which should be tightly reclosed after each use, or it can be transferred to a canister with an air tight lid.

Raw food
    Many veterinarians and pet owners consider a raw diet to be the very best type of food for your dog or cat as it most closely resembles the diet they were born to eat and naturally provides the perfect level of protein, fat, and carbohydrates. It’s important to choose pure raw food with no additives, preservatives, or harmful by-products. Commercially prepared raw pet food has storage instructions on the packaging which includes how long the product can be frozen or refrigerated. Keep raw meat and poultry products frozen until use, then thaw raw meat in the refrigerator or microwave. Keep raw foods separate from other foods and food surfaces and throw it away if not eaten within two hours.
     Nilla’s Tub DIY Dog Wash and Health Food Store for Dogs and Cats, located at 211 Landmark Dr. in Normal, has everything you need to bathe and groom your furry friend in a fun, relaxing environment. They also carry a large selection of dietary supplements, treats, and the highest quality dog and cat food, including raw and dehydrated raw from Honest Kitchen. No appointment necessary, call 309-451-9274 or visit them online at NillasTub.com.

    This article was printed with permission from The Honest Kitchen, a pet food company that believes man’s best friend deserves honest meals from real, wholesome ingredients you’d find in a health food store. It’s people food, made especially for pets. Visit their website www.TheHonestKitchen.com for more information.


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