How To Safely Handle Dog Food

Bowl of dog kibble and a scoop

In order to keep your four-legged friends fit and healthy and enjoying their food, you need to make sure that you handle their food properly.

But why is it so important to handle your dog’s food correctly? How can you ensure it stays safe and as fresh as possible?

In this article, we’ll answer your questions and more.

This article will primarily focus on the safe handling of dry kibble. For wet food or raw food, please follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

Why is it important to safely handle dog food?

First, we need to take a look at why it is so important that you handle and store your dog’s food properly.

The number one reason should be obvious, and it is for the health and wellbeing of your dog.

Failing to store your dog’s food properly can lead to contamination, mould, and the breakdown of essential nutrients, all of which could potentially make your dog sick.

You run the risk of invalidating the use by/best before date, as the food will not reach the date if kept in poor conditions.

Poor storage conditions also reduce how palatable the food is to your dog, losing its flavour and making it less appealing to eat.

At best, the food won’t taste as nice. At worst, your dog could be seriously poorly.

By handling and storing your dog food properly, you can ensure it stays fresh and free from contamination, retaining all of the helpful nutrients and flavour, providing your dog with a healthy and balanced diet.

How can I safely prepare dog food?

Before opening a new bag of dog food, you need to check for any damage such as holes or tears, and make sure that it is completely sealed.

When preparing your dog’s food, it’s important to begin and end with clean hands.

You need to make sure their food bowls and any utensils needed have been washed beforehand using hot, soapy water. It’s also important to note that you shouldn’t be using the food bowl as a scoop, opting for a dedicated clean scoop, spoon, or cup instead.

Feeding cups can be a great way to reduce mess and ensure that your dog is receiving the right portions for their meals.

If preparing the food on the counter, ensure that it has been cleaned with a pet safe cleaner beforehand. If your dog receives their food or treats through a toy, give them a clean between uses using the methods recommended by the manufacturer.

Make sure you are also providing your dog with fresh, clean water whenever possible.

How can I safely store dog food?

Ideally, dog food should be stored in its original packaging, or specific containers from the manufacturer (if possible).

Dry kibble needs to be stored in cool, dry conditions, kept away from direct sunlight (and hungry doggos!). By doing so, you help prevent the food from spoiling quickly and maintain its quality. Bags should also be sealed after each use to keep the food fresher for longer.

If you decide to store the food in a container, make sure to clean and dry it out before re-filling. This can help to avoid any stale food collecting at the bottom.

When purchasing the food, check the best before date and the quality of the packaging itself. This is especially important if you are buying in bulk. If the best before date is unclear or the packaging is damaged, return the food.

Any efforts you make to store the food properly will be in vain if the food is already compromised to begin with.

To keep the food in the best condition possible, we recommend following the manufacturer’s storage instructions, found on the packaging.

What should I avoid doing?

In general, it’s best to avoid storing open food containers in areas such as garages, sheds, or greenhouses.

If this is the only option, make sure to store the bags in a sturdy container, and reseal the bags after each and every use. You should also be aware of any other items stored near the food, such as DIY tools, paints, and chemicals.

All of these can produce strong aromas that will have a negative impact on your dog’s food.

Some dog owners prefer to transfer the food into containers for better storage, but there are a few things to consider when doing so. Many plastic containers can actually impact the quality and taste of the food, with the transfer of harmful toxins and odours from the plastic.

If you really want to store the food in a plastic container, make sure it is BPA-free, food grade plastic, such as the ones used in restaurants for storing food.

If you believe that your dog’s food may be spoiled, don’t take the risk and just get rid of it. Signs that the food has gone bad include unusual smells, discolouration, or the presence of pests.


With these helpful tips, you should now be well equipped to handle your dog’s food safely and confidently.

It may have added some additional steps to your routine, but your dog will be that much better off for it.

As a general rule of thumb, it is important to always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for storing and handling food, as detailed on the packaging.

If you have any questions, please feel free to get in touch. Our friendly team is here to help! If you’re looking for a quality complete working dog food, consider switching to Squires & Beaumont today.