Pet Food: The Effect of Heat, Humidity and Bugs

Guest Post: Elliot Harvey’s Natural Health Column:

Many consumers have been sending in questions from various states in relation to their pet food. I will answer the most frequently asked questions.

Question: I keep my pet food in a plastic container in the garage. Recently, I noticed a rancid smell and was worried if I should feed this to my dog. The garage gets extremely hot.

Answer: Thank you for your question. A plastic container for in your garage for pet food storage can not only turn the food rancid but also the plastic may “sweat” and cause a mold situation. I would remove the product from garage and put in a cool location.

Question: I live in Florida in an apartment that is not air conditioned, is it okay to leave the food in the packaging and in the kitchen?

Answer: The humidity and heat in Florida is extreme during the summer- without an air conditioner you are faced with trying to find a cool closet to put the food in. Some dog food bags have a re-sealable closure which can work fine, others may need to be placed in a re-sealable enclosure. Keeping pet food cool is mandatory.

Question: How fast can bacteria grow on my pet food when the bag is opened? Written on pet food bags are the expiration dates, usually one year is stamped. Some food companies have now put expiration dates as long as 18 months on their bags. Which concerns me, what is the amount of preservatives they using to obtain this length of time? One must be aware of what these terms actually mean- expiration date means the amount of time a product can stay fresh in storage, or use by or best if used by me, these terms are only good as long as the bag is unopened. When a pet food bag is opened, the elements (air, moisture, light, bacteria and bugs) start degrading the food.  Use food as soon as possible- the fresher-the better. Food will start losing potency and the benefits of such items as Vitamin A, C, pantothenic acid and certain B-vitamins. Fats will start to oxidize which can lead to health problems. Mold- within 40 days in humid, hot weather a dog food bag may have spawned a myriad of micro toxins which can be deadly to a dog. If a dog shies away from eating their normal meal, they may be telling you that something is wrong with the food. Remember, mold is tasteless, dogs consuming this will develop weakened immune systems that can lead to serious health issues. I suggest not buying pet food with less than 6 months left on expiration date and make sure you use it within 30 days. Many consumers are buying smaller bags and buying them more often.

Attackers of our pet foods: Mites, ants and mice.  An opened bag of pet food is a feeding frenzy for these unwelcome guests. They love pet food and offer in exchange an allergic reaction to your pet. Many times the cause of a bad reaction is the presence of these unwelcome guests or what they left behind-keep pet food tightly sealed.

Water: This is another crucial element. I have been informed that some pet owners leave a bowl of water out all day without any circulation. A dog needs fresh cool water throughout the day. There are many water fountains, water circulation systems available. A dog needs to access to clean, fresh water throughout the day.

Don’t buy ripped and re-sealed pet food bags

Keep food in a cool, dry area.

If food smalls bad, throw it away. Don’t force-feed your pet.

If you have any additional questions, please e-mail me at

Share this article with your pet-loving friends!

This post was written by Elliot Harvey MH of (Pet Assure customers receive a 15% discount on products at by entering coupon code PA-03.)  Author of “The Healthy Wholistic Dog,” Elliot has years of experience in animal health and wellness. Pet Assure is not affiliated with and does not endorse Great Life Performance Pet Products. Pet Assure is presenting this guest post for the benefit of its readers and retains no financial interest in any future transactions.

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