Freeze-dried pet food has gained popularity among pet owners in recent years due to its long shelf life, nutritional value, and ease of storage. But to make the most out of these benefits, it’s essential to know how to store and handle freeze-dried pet food properly. In this article, we will share practical tips for maintaining maximum freshness and ensuring that your furry friend enjoys all the benefits that freeze-dried pet food has to offer.
Storing Freeze-Dried Pet Food: The Basics
First and foremost, always store freeze-dried pet food in a cool, dry place. Avoid direct sunlight, as it can cause nutrient degradation and reduce shelf life. The ideal storage temperature is between 50-70°F (10-21°C), with humidity levels below 60%.
When you receive a new batch of freeze-dried pet food, it’s a good idea to check the expiration date to ensure you’re providing your pet with the freshest and most nutritious meal possible. Most freeze-dried pet food products have a shelf life of up to two years, but it’s crucial to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for the specific brand you’re using.
Sealing and Airtight Containers
According to Pet Food Institute, one of the critical factors in maintaining the freshness of freeze-dried pet food is keeping it sealed and airtight. Exposure to air and moisture can cause the food to spoil or develop mould. Use the original packaging, which is often resealable, or transfer the food to an airtight container. Make sure to close the bag or container tightly after each use.
For added protection, consider using vacuum-sealed bags or containers with airtight seals. These can help extend the shelf life of the food and keep it fresher for longer.
Portion Control and Resealing
To minimize the exposure of freeze-dried pet food to air and moisture, consider portioning out the food into smaller, airtight bags or containers. This way, you only need to open a small amount of food at a time, keeping the rest fresh and sealed.
Remember to reseal the original packaging or your chosen storage container after each use. Investing in a bag clip or a container with a secure lid can make this process more manageable and help you avoid any accidental spills.
Keep It Clean and Pest-Free
Maintaining a clean and pest-free environment is essential for preserving the freshness of freeze-dried pet food. Store the food away from areas where pests such as rodents or insects might be present. Regularly check your storage area for any signs of infestation and clean it thoroughly as needed.
Monitoring for Spoilage
Even when stored correctly, freeze-dried pet food can still spoil. Regularly inspect the food for signs of spoilage, such as off smells, mould, or discoloration. If you notice any of these signs, discard the affected food immediately to avoid potential health issues for your pet.
Rehydrating Freeze-Dried Pet Food
Some freeze-dried pet foods are designed to be rehydrated before serving. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for the proper water-to-food ratio and rehydration time. Using lukewarm water can help speed up the process, but avoid using hot water as it may damage the nutrients in the food.
Once the food is rehydrated, it should be consumed within 30 minutes to maintain optimal freshness. Any leftover rehydrated food should be refrigerated and consumed within 24 hours.
Introducing Freeze-Dried Pet Food to Your Pet’s Diet
When introducing freeze-dried pet food to your pet’s diet, do so gradually to avoid digestive upset.
Start by mixing a small amount of freeze-dried food with their current food, gradually increasing the freeze-dried portion over a week or two until you reach the desired ratio. Monitor your pet’s reaction and adjust the transition period accordingly.
Rotate and Track Inventory
To ensure you’re always providing your pet with the freshest food possible, it’s essential to practice good inventory management. Rotate your freeze-dried pet food stock by using the “first-in, first-out” method. This means that you use the oldest products first, ensuring that no food goes past its expiration date.
Keep track of your inventory by labelling each package with the date of purchase and the expiration date. This way, you can quickly identify which food to use first and avoid any confusion.
Traveling with Freeze-Dried Pet Food
One of the advantages of freeze-dried pet food is its portability, making it an excellent option for pet owners on the go. When traveling, pack the food in airtight containers or resealable bags to prevent exposure to air and moisture. If you plan to rehydrate the food during your trip, bring a suitable container and a source of clean water.
Educate Yourself on Proper Handling
Finally, it’s essential to educate yourself on the proper handling of freeze-dried pet food to ensure maximum freshness and safety. Read the manufacturer’s guidelines and recommendations for storage and handling, as well as any specific instructions for rehydration.
Proper storage and handling of freeze-dried pet food are crucial to maintaining its freshness, nutritional value, and shelf life. By following these tips, you can ensure that your pet enjoys all the benefits that freeze-dried pet food has to offer. Remember to store the food in a cool, dry place, use airtight containers, practice portion control, keep a clean storage environment, monitor for spoilage, and introduce the food gradually to your pet’s diet. By taking these steps, you can provide your pet with a nutritious and delicious meal that stays fresh for an extended period.
At Fureeze, our packaging comes with a zip lock, simply close the zip lock after feeding your pets.