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How Long Does Raw Dog Food Last? Does It Go Bad?

Raw dog food diets have become increasingly popular among pet owners due to their health benefits and nutritional content.

However, like all perishable foods, raw dog food has a shelf life.

In this article, we will answer the question, how long does raw dog food last?

Does it go bad?

Raw dog food typically lasts up to five days once it’s defrosted and opened, but it can last longer if it’s kept frozen. Raw dog food has an expiry date on its packaging, so you should always check this before feeding it to your pet.

Proper storage and handling are key to ensuring the safety and freshness of raw dog food.

What is Raw Dog Food?

Raw dog food consists of raw meat, bones, organs, fruits, and vegetables that are uncooked, untreated, and unprocessed. It’s often sold frozen or in a freeze-dried state.

Raw dog food is believed to be a more natural and nutrient-dense food for dogs, as it mimics what they would eat in their natural habitat. Feeding raw dog food can help improve your dog’s digestion, reduce allergies, and improve overall health.

How Long Does Raw Dog Food Last?

It’s crucial to understand the shelf life of raw dog food to ensure its freshness and safety for your pet. The shelf life varies depending on several factors such as storage conditions, type of meat, and packaging.

Unopened Packaging

Raw dog food purchased in a sealed package often has a long shelf life, anywhere between six months to one year if kept in a freezer. Always check the expiry date before feeding your pet.

Opened Packaging

Once you’ve opened the raw dog food package, it’s best to consume it as soon as possible. Raw dog food lasts up to five days if kept in the refrigerator at a temperature between 1°C and 4°C. Don’t let it sit outside of the fridge for an extended period as it can quickly go bad.

Freezing Raw Dog Food

Raw dog food can be frozen to extend its shelf life. If you purchase a large package of raw dog food, you may want to freeze it in smaller portions for convenience. When frozen, raw dog food can last up to six months to a year, depending on the storage conditions. You can defrost frozen raw dog food in the refrigerator or by placing it in a bowl of warm water.

Signs of Spoiled Raw Dog Food

Raw dog food that has gone bad should never be fed to your pet. Signs of spoiled raw dog food include a sour smell, slimy texture, and discoloration. If you notice these signs, get rid of it immediately and don’t feed it to your pet.

How to Store Raw Dog Food?

Proper handling and storage of raw dog food are essential for maintaining its freshness and safety.

Keep Raw Dog Food Cold

Raw dog food should always be kept in the fridge or freezer to prevent bacterial growth. It’s best to keep it at a temperature between 1°C and 4°C to prolong its shelf life.

Separate Raw Dog Food

Raw dog food should be kept separate from human food to avoid cross-contamination. Always use different utensils and wash your hands after handling raw dog food.

Store in Airtight Containers

To prevent bacteria from entering, store raw dog food in an airtight container or package. It’s best to freeze raw dog food in an air-tight ziplock bag or freezer container to avoid freezer burn and to maintain freshness.

Clean and Sanitize

Thoroughly clean and sanitize your countertop, utensils, bowls, and storage containers after handling raw dog food. This will prevent bacterial growth and keep your pet safe from contamination.

Precautions When Handling Raw Dog Food

Raw dog food can contain harmful bacteria, so it’s essential to take precautions when handling it.

Avoid Contact with Raw Dog Food

Try not to touch or contact your face or other food items while handling raw dog food. Always use gloves, clean utensils, and wash your hands after handling raw dog food.

Frozen vs. Fresh Raw Dog Food

Both frozen and fresh raw dog food can be safely consumed by dogs. The main difference is the shelf life and convenience. Frozen raw dog food lasts longer than fresh, but fresh is easier to serve. Always remember to handle both types of food with care and cleanliness to prevent bacterial growth.

Choose Quality Raw Dog Food

Choose raw dog food from trusted brands, and avoid cheap or low-quality products. High-quality raw dog food is made from human-grade ingredients and follows strict safety protocols during production and packaging.

Conclusion

Raw dog food has become increasingly popular among pet owners as it provides significant health benefits to dogs. Understanding its shelf life and proper storage is essential for ensuring its freshness and safety. Raw dog food typically lasts up to five days once it’s defrosted and opened, but it can last longer if it’s kept frozen. Always check the expiry date before feeding your pet and avoid feeding spoiled raw dog food. Remember to handle raw dog food with care and cleanliness to prevent bacterial growth and contamination. Choosing quality raw dog food from trusted brands is also crucial for your pet’s safety and health.

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Jenny has always been passionate about cooking, and she uses her platform to share her joy of food with others. Her recipes are easy to follow, and she loves giving tips and tricks to help others create their own unique culinary creations.