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Can dry dog food go bad in heat? Dog food must be stored properly and protected from intense heat. While dry dog food won’t get easily spoiled in heat, it will become drier. Some will crumble to tiny pieces, while others will become stiffer, depending on the formula. Over time, exposure to intense temperatures will make the food go bad. Still, there are other factors that will affect the dog food’s freshness, which I discussed below.
Will dry dog food go bad if exposed to heat?
Unlike wet food, dry dog food is less prone to spoilage. However, it’s not invincible to a rise in temperature as well as bacterial growth and damage.
Exposure to heat will cause the fat content of the dry food to oxidize. This means that fat content gets deteriorated, and the nutritional value of the dry food dwindles. While it’s not going to poison your dog, the deteriorated fat content means your pooch won’t get its much-needed Omega fatty acids.
Also, as the dry dog food gets exposed to heat, it will shrink and dry up. Your dog will lose the hydration it could get from its food. Also, the heat will cause a chemical change to the food, which will affect its taste. In the end, your dog may not eat the dry food that’s been exposed to heat.
As much as possible, don’t store dry dog food near stoves, heaters, cookers, fire, and other heat sources. This is to retain the viability and taste of the food.
If your dog’s food got exposed to heat, make sure that you check it before feeding your dog. Any change in color and smell should be a cause of concern. It’s best to change the food, especially if your dog has a sensitive stomach.
Other factors that affect dry dog food quality
Aside from heat exposure, dry dog food will also go bad due to the following factors:
- Air exposure
Air exposure will make the dog food go stale. It will also increase the dry food’s decomposition as well as susceptibility to bacteria.
Once you open the dry food bag, it’s important to seal it off or transfer it to a sealed container. This will prevent air exposure that will make dry food go bad.
Remember that as the air gets in contact with the dry food, it allows bacteria to grow and proliferate. The dry food will be contaminated in the process and will cause digestive problems in dogs.
- Moisture exposure
Moisture exposure is one of the biggest enemies of dry dog food. It will make dry food crumble and cause mold growth.
Over time, dry food will go bad, and it will have an awful smell. Feeding it to your dog is a no-no since it can cause stomach upset. Picky dogs will not eat it either because of its bad smell and taste.
Signs of bad dog food
You should never feed your dog any dry food that has gone bad. Spoiled dry dog food will only cause stomach upset, which can end up in an emergency trip to the vet.
The following are the signs that your dog’s dry food has gone bad:
- A change in odor, especially a rancid
- Formation of molds
- Presence of bugs
- The food is past the expiration date on the bag
- Dried up due to heat exposure
- Dog refuses to eat
Your dog got sick after eating
If you notice any of these signs, you should dispose of the dry dog food right away. While it seems like such a waste, forcing your dog to eat it will just lead to a more expensive repercussion.
Make sure that you dispose of the spoiled dry food in a sealed container. Dogs can go dumpster diving and snack on the dry dog food that has gone bad.
What happens if my dog ate bad dog food?
A dog that has ingested bad dry food will experience digestive problems. The most common reactions are diarrhea and vomiting. Take note that diarrhea should be taken seriously as dehydration may set in and compromise your dog’s life.
If dry food has bacteria, it can cause food poisoning on your dog. Even if the dry food is just exposed to heat, it can still allow the proliferation of microorganisms.
Food poisoning in dogs will cause severe diarrhea, vomiting, lethargy, abdominal pain, and dizziness. You must bring your dog to the vet the moment it exhibited signs of food poisoning. This is to prevent any life-threatening effects as the symptoms progress.
What temperature should dry dog food be stored?
Dry dog food should be stored away from heat and in a temperature not exceeding 80F. Anything hotter than this will cause a nutrient breakdown. Eventually, it will make dry dog food go bad.
Also, you must store the dog food away from your pet’s reach. This will prevent overconsumption and exposure to bacteria.
I highly recommend that you get a dry dog food container (we bought it on Amazon for Sherlock very with that). These are airtight containers that will prevent the entry of air, bacteria, and other elements that will affect the food’s quality.
However, most dog food containers will not protect against direct heat. It’s your job to ensure that the location where you store the food is safe and has the ideal temperature.
Can you leave dry dog food in a hot car?
You should never leave a bag of dry food inside a hot car. First of all, the intense heat will melt the bag, which will damage the food inside. If you don’t know it yet, a hot car can have a temperature of as much as 130F to 172F. Even hard plastics will melt at this temperature.
Also, the intense heat will dry the dog food even more. This means that the nutrients on the food will also get damaged. It will also cause the oils on the dry food to go rancid, which will make it unappealing to dogs.
If you feed this dry dog food to your pet, it may cause sickness and stomach upset. It’s best to bring the dry dog food inside, just like how you’ll unload groceries upon arriving at home.
Is it normal for dogs not to eat in hot weather?
Eating less is a normal response among dogs during hot weather. Dogs are less active when the day is hot, which means they don’t burn a lot of calories.
However, it’s not normal for dogs to stop eating entirely due to heat. It’s possible that your dog is experiencing heatstroke or overheating. If refusal to eat is accompanied by drooling, panting, and lethargy, you must perform cooling down steps as your dog is experiencing heatstroke.
Also, if your dog keeps eating less even after summer, you should bring it to the vet. A potential health condition might be the culprit behind the change in your dog’s appetite.
During summer, it’s best to feed your dog moist food to increase its water intake. You should also provide cooling treats like ice cubes and frozen carrots.
Can dry dog food go bad in heat? Yes, the intense heat will affect the quality of the food. It will take out moisture from the food and damage the nutrients. Worse, it can cause bacterial formation that can poison your dog.