How Long Is Dry Dog Food Good For?

how long is dry dog food good for
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Stocking up on your dog’s supply?

In that case, one important question to ask is this: How long is dry dog food good for?

It can be easy to assume that it lasts forever, especially since it doesn't have moisture like wet food.

Yet, as with any dog food, it does expire, and it's essential to note when.

How Long Can Dry Dog Food Last?

Dry dog food is bound to last significantly longer than open wet and fresh dog food.

It's essential to pay close attention to the specific best-before-date on the bag you purchased.

This is particularly important if you've bought the food online, as the best-before-dates will vary significantly.

On average, most dry dog food can last up to 18 months without being opened. Once the bag's seal has been broken, the expiration date reduces significantly.

When you open dog food, moisture, contaminants, and oxygen can make their way into the kibble.

The combination of these elements can cause nutrients to degrade but can also cause spoilage.

Does dry dog food expire? It typically will within two weeks of opening the bag.

Still, there are several ways you can store dry dog food to keep it safe for longer.

How Can You Tell if Dry Dog Food Is Bad?

One of the most exciting features of dogs is that they have impeccable senses of smell, far beyond humans' senses.

Usually, the first indicator of dog food going bad is that your pet won't eat it or act adversely.

When you serve them their breakfast or dinner, they will often sniff the bowl and walk away or look confused.

If these signs occur, it often means there's something wrong with the food, or they notice something different.

It's also important to regularly check your dog's food before serving to prevent them from eating spoiled ingredients.

Several of the tell-tale signs of spoiled food you'll notice include:


If there's a particularly sour odor emanating from the bag, it means it has likely expired.

You might also find that it smells rancid or overpoweringly awful, especially if it's a meat-based kibble.


Some dry kibble will have a little moisture to help it stay fresh and easy to eat, especially for senior dogs and puppy food.

However, if you know the kibble you've bought is meant to be dry, signs of moisture could also mean spoilage.

You'll want to search for signs outside of the typical amount of fat and oil seeping out of the kibble while stored.

Mold and Bugs

One of the most massive issues with moisture in dog food is that it can cause mold, especially in warm environments.

Mold can also invite pests and bugs into the food, which aren't safe for your pet to eat.

If any of the kibble has signs of mold, it's time to throw out the bag and purchase new food.

Exposure to Humidity and Heat

As we'll discuss in more detail, exposing dog food to humidity and heat can cause premature spoiling.

For this reason, it's always best to make sure your kibble is stored in a cool and dry environment.

Pet Illness and Discomfort

The most straightforward answer to whether or not does dry dog food expire is to inspect how your dog reacts to it.

Have you begun to notice if they have significant discomfort after eating?

This issue could result from spoiled food, especially if they are vomiting or their stools have changed.

how long is dry dog food good for

How Do You Store Dry Dog Food Long Term?

There are multiple options available to pet parents looking for long-term storage solutions.

Some prefer to keep the kibble in its original packaging, while others like to purchase food storage containers.

It's crucial to find a more reliable solution to protect the kibble’s integrity for more extended periods.

There are several key ways to prevent food from going bad, thus protecting your pet's health.

Choosing a Container

The first thing you'll want to consider is the type of container you'll be keeping the food in.

It can be preferable to leave the food in its original packaging if it's from a reputable pet brand.

Most manufacturers create bags designed to keep the kibble fresh while ensuring moisture is kept out.

However, this isn't the case for every dog food type, which is where an alternative container can be preferred.

If you notice your kibble spoils quickly in its original packaging, separate dog food containers are an option.

They are typically made from heavy-duty plastic and come with resealable lids that prevent moisture and contaminants.

You'll appreciate how easy they are to keep clean to ensure your dog's food is always safe for consumption.

As long as you have an air-tight lid at your disposal, the kibble is bound to stay longer than expected.

Maintaining a Tight Seal

It’s not enough to just ask whether does dry dog food go bad or not.

For the best results, you have to make sure the dog kibble is sealed, too.

This is one of the more challenging tasks for pet parents that use the original dog food packaging.

When kibble is exposed to air, it speeds up the food's degradation, causing the proteins and fats to break down.

As this occurs, bacterial contamination is far more likely, which causes the food to spoil. Always make sure you have an air-tight seal to prevent the food from going bad.

Finding a Storage Space

So, how long does dry dog food last unopened?

It will last a long time, but keeping it cool and dry can help lengthen its lifespan even more.

You'll need to choose a space in your house where the kibble will be untouched by fluctuating temperatures.

Also, you'll want to ensure it isn't affected by humidity and high levels of heat.

When dog food is exposed to temperatures above 100 degrees Fahrenheit, it's going to cause rancidity.

The location you choose should have a temperature well below 100 degrees and be climate-controlled.

We highly recommend keeping your dog food in an indoor pantry or in the basement to preserve it for longer.

Considering Expiration Dates

Does dry dog food go bad? This question is easy enough to answer just by looking at the expiration date on the packaging.

Every manufacturer must put the date on the packaging; otherwise, you could be feeding spoiled ingredients.

It's essential not to take any chances with your dog's health.

Make sure that you use the kibble well before the expiration date to avoid gastric distress and discomfort.

Is It OK to Leave Dry Dog Food Out All Day?

Leaving your dog's food out all day may result in your pet developing diarrhea.

When in an air-tight storage container, exposure to fluctuating temperatures can cause the food to spoil.

Then, if it's in their food bowl and exposed to the elements, it's even more dangerous.

Exposed food can attract an assortment of bugs and pests, as well as dirt and debris.

Your dog's food should always be kept as safe and clean as you would keep your food.

Even if you put the food in their dog house, it can cause the kibble to spoil quickly.

How Long Is Dry Dog Food Good For?

How long does dry dog food last unopened?

This is an important question to ask before feeding kibble to your pets.

With an average span of 12 to 18 months, most kibble can last longer than expected when unopened.

Now, if you’re wondering how long is dry dog food good for, once opened, you'll have up to two weeks before needing new food.

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