What to do with expired dog food?

When we think about the things that can harm our pets, the last thing to come to our mind is their food. It is essential to have the knowledge of how to store our dog’s food properly to prevent it from harming them by going bad.

Dog food does not generally come with an expiration rate, instead, the packaging mentions the’ best by’ date. Most people think that the two dates are the same thing. Therefore, as a pet parent, you want to ensure that your dog consumes an adequate amount of nutrition so it’s important to learn the difference between the two terms.

An expiration date is a date after which the food is no longer safe for your pet. However, a ‘best by’ date is a date after which the food begins to lose its nutritional value and it is no longer as nutritious as the label suggests. Although the dog food is not hazardous if it crosses the ‘best by’ date but the company mentions it so that the pet parents know that the pet food is no longer nutritious. If you continue to give your dog the food that has passed its ‘best by’ date for an extended period your dog will most likely experience signs of malnutrition like weight loss, low energy, or muscle loss.

Moreover, if your dog consumes expired dog food you may notice signs of gastrointestinal problems like diarrhea, nausea, or vomiting. In this article, we will help you understand what you can do with expired dog food. 

It is a common belief that dog food is safe for dogs even after it passes the expiration date. However, to avoid any unfavorable circumstances you must check for the foul smell and the growth of mold and bacteria.


Dogs have far better tolerance levels than us. The effect of expired dog food is more detrimental on humans but in the case of dogs, the expired dog food does not have the same detrimental effect. However, once the mold starts to grow on the dog food it produces a foul smell that a dog cannot handle. However, if your dog does not act out on a strange smell then the food is most likely safe for consumption. Hence, make sure to check the dog food for foul smell.

Mold Growth

Once the expired food gets exposed to moisture, the preservatives in the dog food cause the growth of bacteria and mold. Bacteria and molds have a deteriorating impact on the health of dogs. Therefore, if you decide to feed your dog the food that has passed its expiration date you must first check for signs of mold and bacteria.

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Even if the dog food is properly packed, does not contain a foul smell, and shows no sign of contamination but it is important to understand that the food that has passed its date is a food that is low in its nutritional value.

If there is a storm outside and the grocery stores are not accessible then it may be a sensible option to feed your dog the food that lacks the essential nutrition. Otherwise, you should be on the lookout for other top-notch and good-quality dog food options. The food should not trigger your dog’s deficiencies and result in chronic health risks in the long run.

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