Are You Making These 4 Pet Food Mistakes?
Mistake #1: Emptying Pet Food into a Plastic Tub
Where do most of us dump that big bag of pet food when we get home from the store? A plastic tub, of course!
You need to know pet food bags are ideal for long-term storage. The original bag will not impart a flavor or leave an odor like zipper bags or plastic containers can. The original bag will also keep out moisture and pests if properly sealed after opening. Finally, the bag is a good barrier to keep the fat in the pet food from seeping out.
When you transfer pet food into a tub, the fat in the food leaves a residue inside the container. This fatty residue turns rancid over time. Who wants to dump fresh food into a container with nasty tasting greasy sides?
Next time you buy dry pet food, keep the food in the original bag. You certainly can stick the original bag in a tub for extra protection or easier storage.
If you use a smaller container inside the house for everyday servings, be sure to wash this every time it is empty to eliminate any residue from forming. Same with any scoops or cups used to measure the food.
Mistake #2: Storing Pet Food in the Garage or Freezer
Mistake 1 and 2 often go together because most of us leave the big tub of food in the garage. Heat, humidity, and temperature fluctuations are not good for the ingredients in the food. We recently learned storing food in a deep freeze is not ideal as the cold can destroy some of the nutrients.
Find a spot inside your house that has a constant temperature (hopefully under 100 degrees!) for storing your pet’s food.
Mistake #3: Not Washing Pet Food (and Water) Bowls
We’ll go out on a limb here and assume you ate your dinner on a clean plate from the cupboard. What about your pet? He probably had breakfast and dinner in the same bowl. From yesterday. And last week. Could even be from last month, he’s lost count.
You wouldn’t reuse the same dishes meal after meal without washing them—neither should your pet! Lots of slobber and kibble bits remain in the dish. This means bacterial haven.
Still not grossed out? Remember your pet grooms his entire body. Head to tail and all parts in between. That’s in the food dish, too.
Clean your pet’s food and water dishes DAILY. Don’t want to wash every day? Get several stainless steel bowls and change them out each day. Throw them in the dishwasher and your pet will thank you with unconditional love and devotion for clean bowls.
If mixing your dishes and their dishes grosses you out (bet you don’t kiss your pet then either), a good scrub with soap and a hot water rinse will suffice.
If you use an automatic feeder or waterer, the same rules apply. They must be cleaned daily.
Mistake #4: Using Plastic or Ceramic Bowls
Plastic and ceramic bowls (yes, we know, those are the cute ones they sell) are often too porous and will allow bacteria to seep in or retain odors. Plastic bowls are often the reason cats get feline acne (little blackheads on the chin).
We encourage you to use stainless steel or porcelain bowls. Stainless steel is durable, will not absorb anything, can handle frequent washing, and most are inexpensive ($5 on Amazon). Your pet won’t miss the cute paw prints and bones on his food dish.