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Pet Food Safety Tips

August 1, 2017

Does your furry friend come running when it’s time for dinner? If there’s one thing our four-legged buddies have in common, it’s an appreciation for good food. Making sure that your beloved pet is eating a nourishing, nutritious diet is very important. Read on as a local vet offers some great pet food safety tips.

Choosing The Right Brand

Reading pet food labels can be both tricky and frustrating. With so many different brands to choose from, how do you choose the one that’s best for your furry pal? Reading the ingredients label is key. There are a few things that can help make this a bit easier. Since pet food labels list ingredients according to proportion, the first ingredient listed is the one that the food contains the most of. Look for brands that list meat as the first and most numerous ingredient. You’ll also want to look for ingredients you can actually identify.


Just like human food, pet food can spoil quickly if it isn’t kept properly. Dry food lasts longer than kibble, but even dry foods can grow dangerous mold and bacteria if it is damp or stored incorrectly. Keep your furry buddy’s food in a clean, dry area. While you can refrigerate leftover wet food, if you leave it in the can, it may not taste very good. Storing your four-legged friend’s food in glass or Tupperware containers can help keep it fresh. If you buy Fido’s kibble in bulk, you can use a storage tote, but be sure to choose one that closes securely, and replace it when it starts to look worn. Plastic cracks as it ages, and those tiny crevasses can make very inviting homes for harmful bacteria.

Pet Food Recalls

Recalls are, unfortunately, not uncommon in either pet food or people food these days. While there is no way to completely protect against the chances of picking up a bad product, you can stay on top of things by monitoring pet food recalls.

General Tips

Always pay attention to your pet’s food. If it smells or looks off, don’t take chances: discard it, and give Fido or Fluffy something else.

Our Advice on Pet Food Safety Tips in 2024

How do you choose a high-quality pet food brand?

To select a high-quality pet food brand, scrutinize the ingredients label. Opt for brands listing meat as the primary ingredient, ensuring it’s identifiable. Ingredients are listed by proportion, so the first one holds the most weight. Look for recognizable components to ensure nutritional value. Store food properly in clean, dry areas to prevent spoilage, especially for wet food. Consider glass or Tupperware containers for freshness. Stay vigilant for recalls and promptly discard any questionable food. If unsure about your pet’s diet, consult your local veterinary clinic in Brampton, ON, for guidance on optimal nutrition and pet care.

What’s the best way to store pet food to keep it fresh?

To maintain pet food freshness, store it in a clean, dry area. Dry food lasts longer but can spoil if damp or stored improperly. Transfer leftover wet food from cans to glass or Tupperware containers for freshness, as can retain odors. Use secure, airtight containers for bulk kibble storage, replacing them periodically to prevent bacterial buildup in aging plastic. Regularly monitor pet food for any signs of spoilage, such as unusual smell or appearance, and promptly discard if in doubt. Following these practices ensures your pet enjoys safe, nutritious meals.

How long does opened dry food typically stay fresh?

Opened dry pet food usually stays fresh for about 4-6 weeks if stored properly. However, factors like humidity, temperature, and exposure to air can affect its shelf life. It’s essential to seal the bag tightly after each use and store it in a cool, dry place to prevent moisture and bacterial contamination. Regularly inspect the food for any signs of spoilage, such as unusual odor, texture changes, or insect infestation. If any abnormalities are detected, it’s best to discard the food to ensure your pet’s safety and well-being.

What should you do if you think your pet has eaten contaminated food?

If you suspect your pet has eaten contaminated food, it’s crucial to act promptly. Contact your veterinarian in Brampton, ON, for guidance and assistance. Monitor your pet for symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, or refusal to eat. Provide your vet with details about the food your pet consumed, including brand, type, and any symptoms observed. Follow your vet’s instructions, which may include monitoring your pet’s condition at home or bringing them in for evaluation and treatment. Remember, early intervention can help mitigate potential health risks for your furry companion.

Do homemade or raw pet food diets have different safety considerations?

Homemade and raw pet food diets carry unique safety considerations. Raw diets may expose pets and their owners to harmful bacteria like Salmonella and E. coli. Homemade diets require meticulous attention to nutritional balance, as deficiencies can arise. Both should be prepared with high-quality ingredients, and consult a veterinarian to ensure they meet your pet’s nutritional needs. Cooking raw meat reduces bacterial risks but alters nutrient availability. Proper handling, storage, and hygiene are crucial for both types of diets to minimize health risks for pets and their owners.

Do you have questions about your pet’s health, care, or diet? Call us! As your local animal clinic in Brampton, ON, we are here to serve all of your pet’s veterinary care needs.