If you have dogs then you know how important it is to be able to make your dog food and treats last. You can save money by buying dog food in bulk or buying several bags of treats when they’re on sale, but only if you have a good way to store them.
If you like to bake for your dogs then it’s important to be able to freeze cookies and treats and know that they will be edible when you take them out of the freezer.
Here are some tips for keeping your dog’s food and treats tasty.
Dry Dog Food/Kibble Storage
If you have one small dog you may not worry too much about storing your dog food but if you have half a dozen Irish Wolfhounds then the issue of dog food storage can become a problem for you.
If you are buying large (approximately 37.5 lb) bags of dog food, then one of the best ways to store them is to put each bag in a large metal trash can. These cans are a great way to keep pests out of the food, whether you’re plagued by mice or bugs.
If you keep your food where your dogs can get to it, then consider a large rubber-type trash can. These containers usually have a lid that locks in place. This can keep your dogs (and other pests) from being able to topple the can or nose the lid off.
Because of changing weather conditions you may want to keep these cans in your garage, laundry room, pantry, or some place where they will be somewhat shielded from sunlight and other weather changes.
If you do have one small dog and you only buy a small bag of dry food that lasts for a while, consider using a large popcorn tin as a way to store the kibble. The tin will keep your food sealed and fresh and keep your dog out of it.
Storing Canned Food/Homemade Food
If you feed your dog canned food then you may have the problem of what to do with leftovers. It’s always annoying to try to dig yesterday’s crusted dog food out of a can that’s been sitting in the refrigerator overnight. You can buy rubber lids that fit over the tops of cans. You can find them in kitchen supply stores, grocery stores, or pet stores. Simply fit them over the dog food cans and they will keep the food fresh. It will be much easier to get the food out of the can and the food will be more appetizing for your dog.
If you cook for your dog at home then it makes sense to cook large amounts and store some for later use. It’s easy to dish up some of the food into plastic containers and freeze for later, the same as you would the food you cook for your family. Make sure that you label the food with the date and what it is — especially noting that it’s your dog’s food. You don’t want your kids grabbing it out of the freezer and heating it up for lunch.
Tip: Use lids of a certain color to indicate that things belong to the dog to prevent confusion.
If you cook for your dog and you’re going to be feeding him the same food for two or three days, then you may simply want to dish up the food into containers and place them in the refrigerator, ready-to-use. Just put a lid on them so they will stay fresh.
It’s usually more economical to cook large amounts for your dog and feed the portions over several days, so this is a good way to save money. You can save money by buying 10 pounds of hamburger meat and finding a good recipe for your dog’s meals.
How to Preserve Dog Treats and Cookies
If you like to bake for your dog then it’s also easy to bake a recipe that calls for two or three dozen cookies and store them. After all, your dog probably doesn’t need to eat that many cookies at one time. If they are actual cookies you can use a cookie jar that’s set aside for your dog. If they have any moisture in them you will need to use an airtight container. A metal cake or cookie tin works fine. If you make dog treats with any meat or other ingredients that need to be refrigerated you can keep the treats in a plastic container in the refrigerator.
If you make a lot of cookies or treats it’s a good idea to divide them up and bag them in freezer bags and keep them in the freezer. That way you can bring out a bag whenever you want to and they can last a long time. Again, make sure you label them so your family won’t be confused.
In most cases you can handle storage for your dog’s food, treats and cookies the same way that you would your own food. Do a few things to plan ahead and your dog should be very happy.