How to Store Dry Dog Food? [Veterinarian Explains]

If you’re like most pet owners who use Bully Max, you’re already well aware of how important it is to nourish your dog with high-quality dog food.

But many pet owners tend not to know how to store dog food:

Just like any other food, dog food gets stale and can even go bad over time.

And because we aren’t the ones eating it, sometimes it can be hard for us to realize when our dog’s food is no longer fresh…but your dog knows!

And of course, the most important thing is to make sure that you are never feeding your dog food that is expired or rancid.

So to help make sure that never happens, we’ve put together this list of our top 7 best storage practices to keep your dog food fresh:

Tip #1: Store the Food in Its Original Container

You’ve probably noticed that dog food tends to come in thick bags with a resealable top.

And you should always keep the food in that original container!


First of all, because those bags are made specifically to store dog food for a long period of time.

Most pet owners don’t realize it, but if you move your dog food into the wrong container, the fats in your dog food can soak through the bag—exposing them to the outside air and causing them to turn rancid much more quickly.

The second reason to keep your dog food in its original container is because you won’t lose the original instructions and expiration date—information that you should always keep an eye on.

It’s also a good idea to know the lot number or batch code of your dog food just in case there’s a recall by the manufacturer. If the recall involves specific lot numbers, you’ll know for sure whether your food is included in the recall or not.

Every time you close your dog food up again, make sure to roll it tightly shut. And if the bag does not have a resealable top, use a clamp or clip to keep it closed.

Tip #2: Put the Bag in a Can

We’ve just established that you should leave your dog food in its original bag—you should NOT be transporting it into a different bag.

But you can put that original bag inside a secondary container made of (preferably) glass or stainless steel.

This way you get the benefit of the original bag, and you get the benefit of a second airtight container. This will help ensure that your food stays fresher, longer.

Tip #3: Store the Food in a Cool, Dry, Dark Place

When storing dog food, always remember that bacteria is your enemy.

And where do you find bacteria? In places that are humid.

That’s why it’s important to store your food in a cool, dry place—and avoid places where the food could get wet (like under a sink) or too hot (like in a garage without A/C).

Storage at temperatures of 120°F for more than 48 hours can accelerate the normal degradation of the vitamins.

You should also avoid sunlight as much as possible, since light will increase the speed at which the food degrades.

Given these tips, a kitchen closet or pantry makes a great storage place for dog food. Just run the A/C in the summer to keep the food from spoiling due to the heat.

Tip #4: Use within 45 days after opening

Just like human food, dog food has an expiration date on it. 

Bully Max Dog food has a 1 year shelf-life from the time of purchase. This is the standard shelf-life for a dog food that is preserved naturally with Vitamin E.

Once you open the bag of food, the expiration date marked on the bag is no longer valid.

Opened bags of dog food have a shelf-life of 45 days—this rule is true for all dry dog food brands.

Tip #5: Wash Your Pet Food Container

In tip #2, we mentioned that you should ideally put your bag of pet food inside a hard container made of glass or stainless steel.

Just make sure to wash and disinfect the inside of that container from time to time. It’s a good idea to do this whenever you replace the food with a new bag.

Otherwise, fat reside from the food could seep out of the bag and into the container, making it a breeding ground for bacteria.

Tip #6: Do Not Give Your Dog Food That Is Discolored Or Smelly

You wouldn’t drink milk that smells funky, would you? Of course not!

And you shouldn’t feed bad-smelling or discolored-looking food to your dog, either.

That’s why it’s never a bad idea to give your dog food a quick whiff before giving it to your dog, especially if it’s has been opened for longer than 60 days.

If you can train yourself to get in this habit, then you’ll know what the food is supposed to smell like…and you’ll be able to tell if that odor starts to change.

Tip #7: Never Mix Old & New Food

Let’s say you’re down to your last few bowls of old dog food, so you buy a new bag. Is it OK to pour that old dog food into the new bag?


That old food is more likely to contain some bacteria or germs, and if you add it to the new bag, then you’ll be tainting the new food with additional bacteria.

It’s best to use up the old food first before you even open the new bag. This way the new food will be completely sealed as long as possible before being opened, keeping it fresher, longer.

Feed Your Dog 5-Star Food

Now that you know how to store your dog food, the next question on your mind might be:

What is the best type of food to feed your dog?

There are a handful of great dog foods out there, along with many, many bad ones.

If you really love your dog and want to feed them nothing but the best, then we can recommend our 30/20 High Performance Dog Food highly enough.

It’s packed with healthy ingredients, making it the only performance dog food with a 5/5 star rating from Dog Food Advisor, and is an all-life-stages formula perfect for puppies & adults alike. 

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Neomi on May 18, 2023

I truly treasure your work, Great post.

Doc Kirre on May 18, 2023

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Matt Stephenson on May 18, 2023

Lovely Tips. Really thanks for sharing.