As a pet owner, you might be wondering how long can you leave wet dog food out before it goes bad. This is an important question because leaving wet dog food out for too long can cause it to spoil and may make your dog sick.
The type of wet dog food you have, the room’s temperature and how it’s been stored all affect how long wet dog food can sit out before spoiling. Reviewing food safety guidelines and understanding how to properly store your dog’s food can help prevent your dog from getting sick from wet food.
How Long Can I Leave Wet Dog Food Out?
Wet dog food has a high moisture and protein content, providing a complete and balanced diet for dogs. However, this increased moisture makes wet food for dogs more prone to bacterial growth, which leads to spoilage.
Wet dog food is an excellent source of nutrition and is easier to digest than dry kibble, so most dogs will eat their entire bowl in one sitting. But if you serve too much or your dog doesn’t have their usual appetite, you can leave the remaining food in the bowl for up to 4 hours.
Can I Leave Wet Dog Food Out Overnight?
Never leave wet dog food out overnight and avoid leaving it in your dog’s bowl all day. Prolonged exposure to air and temperatures over 40°F speeds up bacterial growth, causing your dog’s food to go rancid.
Keeping your dog’s food available for a short period during the day also prevents overeating, which can contribute to obesity and digestive problems in many dog breeds, including Golden Retrievers, Cocker Spaniels and Pugs.
How to Store Wet Dog Food
Pet food manufacturers typically recommend how long their products can be stored before they spoil. These guidelines can vary depending on the ingredients and packaging of the wet dog food.
For example, some manufacturers recommend that wet dog food in cans be consumed within two to three days of opening, while others suggest it lasts up to five days. Wet dog food with a high preservative content is typically more shelf stable and may last longer; however, excessive preservatives and fillers can harm your dog’s health.
At Open Farm, our wet dog food products come in small, single-serve batches and are shelf stable due to natural antioxidants like turmeric and coconut oil, ensuring your dog always has a fresh meal.
To keep wet dog food fresh and prevent it from spoiling, it is crucial to store it properly. Here are some tips for storing wet dog food:
Store unopened cans or pouches of wet dog food in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight.
After opening a can or pouch of wet dog food, transfer any unused portion to an airtight container and refrigerate it for no longer than three days.
Always check the expiration date on the wet dog food before feeding it to your dog. It should be thrown out if it is past its expiration date.
Check for signs that the food is spoiled. Fresh wet dog food should have a pleasant smell and a moist, meaty texture. If the wet dog food smells sour, has a slimy texture or has changed color, it may have spoiled and should be immediately thrown away.
Always wash your dog’s bowl before putting fresh food inside. Residual wet dog food can harbor bacteria and contaminate your dog’s fresh food.
Manage Your Dog’s Health
Ensuring proper storage and handling of wet dog food is crucial to keeping your dog healthy and avoiding potential health risks. Pet owners can ensure their furry friends receive high-quality and safe nutrition from their healthy, wet dog food by being mindful of the type of wet dog food, room temperature and storage time.