How To Store Wet Dog Food – 4 Tips To Know

Ensuring your furry companion receives the best nutrition and care is a top priority for any pet owner.

While dry kibble is popular for its convenience and longer shelf life, many pet owners opt for wet dog foods to provide their pets with a tastier and more moisture-rich diet.

However, knowing how to store wet dog food can be a bit trickier than its dry counterpart.

Proper storage is crucial for preserving its flavor and maintaining its nutritional value. This article will explore the essential tips and techniques for the storage way.

How To Store Wet Dog Food 

how to store wet dog food

Keep unopened cans or pouches in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. Once opened, use an airtight container to prevent spoilage.

You also need to make sure the lid or zipper is sealed tightly. Refrigerate or freeze it to ensure it remains palatable for your furry companion.

Use An Airtight Container

How to store opened wet dog food?

An airtight container is a highly recommended way to store opened packages.

These containers help preserve freshness and quality by preventing air and moisture from coming into contact with it.

Canned food is highly susceptible to spoilage due to its high moisture content. Air and humidity can promote the growth of bacteria and mold, leading to spoilage.

Airtight containers create a sealed environment that keeps these harmful elements out.

Properly sealed plastic storage containers keep the uneaten food’s aroma and taste intact. This is important because dogs are often very sensitive to the smell and taste of their meal.

This method also prevents the strong odor of canned dog food from permeating your refrigerator or pantry.

This can be particularly useful if you store your dog’s food alongside human foods.


How to keep wet dog food fresh?

Refrigeration is essential for preserving the freshness and safety of wet dog food, especially once it has been opened.

Putting the food in the fridge slows down the growth of harmful bacteria and microorganisms that can quickly multiply at room temperature.

This minimizes the risk of spoilage and keeps the wet dog food in fridge safe for your pooch to consume.

The food’s texture, flavor, and nutritional value are also well-preserved using this method. It prevents the food from becoming rancid or developing an unpleasant odor.

Moreover, refrigerating deters insects and pests from accessing the food, which can be a concern if you store it in a pantry or at room temperature.


Freezing can significantly extend the shelf life of wet dog food. When properly frozen, the pet foods can remain safe for several months to even a year or more.

By freezing, bacteria and other microorganisms that can cause spoilage will find it challenging to thrive.

This storing tip will come in handy when you have a large quantity of wet dog food you won’t use within a few days.

This effective method can also be convenient if you want to prepare larger batches of homemade, wet dog food in advance.

It’s best to portion it into smaller containers and freeze them for future use.

However, over time, some nutrients will lose due to freezing and thawing, particularly if the food is stored for an extended period.

Yet, the impact on nutrient loss may be minimal if the opened can is properly packaged and stored.

Make Sure The Lid Or Zipper Is Sealed Tightly

An airtight seal ensures no exposure to air within the container. This is important because oxygen can hasten the oxidation and spoilage of wet dog food.

Oxidation will alter the taste and quality of the food and potentially end up with nutrient degradation.

Proper sealing of the plastic bags also minimizes moisture ingress.

Wet dog food is made with a high moisture content, and additional moisture can create an environment conducive to bacterial growth and mold.

An airtight seal helps maintain the food’s moisture content and the freshness of the wet dog food.

How Long Can Wet Dog Food Be Stored For?

How Long Can Wet Dog Food Be Stored For

The storage duration of wet dog food depends on several factors, including the type of food, how it’s stored, and the manufacturer’s recommendations.

How long can wet dog food stay in the fridge?

The storage duration changes once you open a can or pouch of wet dog food. It’s important to refrigerate wet dog food and use the unused portion within 2-3 days.

This short time frame is because exposure to air and moisture paves the way for the growth of mold and spoilage.

As mentioned, transferring the leftovers to an airtight container can help extend its freshness within this limited window.

Unopened cans or pouches typically have a longer shelf life.

You can find the “best by” or “use by” date printed on the packaging, indicating the date until the food is expected to remain at its best quality.

As long as the packaging stays intact and the food is preserved in a cool, dry place, it should be safe to use until this date.

If you prepare homemade dog food, following safe food handling practices is essential. But again, it should typically be consumed within 2-3 days when stored in the fridge.

Be sure to refrigerate it promptly and discard any leftovers that exceed this timeframe.

How To Tell The Wet Dog Food Is Going Bad

How To Tell The Wet Dog Food Is Going Bad

Sour Odor

If wet dog food has a sour or foul odor, it is a strong indicator that the food has likely spoiled, and feeding spoiled food to your dog is generally unsafe.

Gastrointestinal issues and other health risks are to be expected.

The unusual odors may represent a reduced nutritional value. Spoilage may cause a breakdown of nutrients, potentially making the food less beneficial for your dog’s health.

To ensure your dog’s safety and well-being, discard any wet dog food that exhibits a sour or unpleasant odor.

Damage To Packaging

Packaging is designed as a barrier to air and moisture.

However, microscopic pores or imperfections in the packaging material can allow small amounts of air to seep in over time.

Unlike dry food, wet food contains moisture, making it an ideal environment for microbial growth. Bacteria, yeasts, and molds can thrive in such ideal conditions.

Over time, these microorganisms produce gas and byproducts that may exert pressure on the can, causing it to bulge or even burst.

Temperature changes, particularly when the packaging is exposed to freezing and thawing cycles, can also force the packaging material to expand and contract.

This can stress the packaging, potentially leading to damage or leaks.

Color Changing

One common reason for color changes in wet dog food is oxidation.

When the fats and oils in the food come into contact with oxygen from the air, they can react and break down, often resulting in a darker or more discolored appearance.

Spoilage microorganisms such as bacteria and molds can proliferate in wet dog food over time.

These microorganisms produce pigments and compounds that alter the product color. Mold growth is associated with discoloration, often appearing as green, blue, or black spots.

Additionally, natural ingredients in wet dog food, such as meats and vegetables, can also change color as they degrade.

For example, meat will turn brown as it oxidizes and loses its freshness.

Thus, significant or unusual color changes suggest that the food has been past its prime and should not be fed to your four-legged friend.


Wet dog food typically has a high moisture content, often around 75-80%. This moisture creates a breeding ground for molds and bacteria.

You should examine the food carefully before feeding your pets. Mold can appear as fuzzy or powdery growth on the surface.

It may be white, green, blue, or black in color, depending on the type of mold.

Mold also alters the texture of the food. If you notice any lumps, clumps, or changes in consistency that are not typical of the product, it could be a visible sign of mold growth.

It can produce mycotoxins, which are harmful if ingested. It’s important to prioritize your dog’s health and well-being by avoiding any food that shows signs of mold or spoilage.


Knowing how to store wet dog food properly is essential for maintaining its freshness, safety, and nutritional value.

You should always follow the right storage conditions. This way, your furry friend can enjoy their meals without risking their health.

Remember, a little extra care in storing their food can go a long way in ensuring a happy and healthy life for your beloved pet.


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Hi I am Mitchell. Dog Growth is a blog about dog caring and training where I share my experiences to my community. Hope you enjoy it!

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