Friday, 28 July 2017

Pet Food Storage And Serving Tips For Cat And Dog Owners

Many of us are much more informed and interested in our pet's dietary needs these days and I'm often asked for tips regarding pet food storage. Below are some good practices that will help pet owners keep their pet's food and water in a good condition.

Make sure that your pet's dry food is sealed after opening.  

Exposing food to air leaves it vulnerable to airborne bacteria such as Salmonella and also leads to rapid degradation of the food itself.

A good tip is to store kibble in its original packaging in a food safe air-tight container which ensures a lower risk of your pet's food degrading. Another good reason to keep the kibble in its original packing is in the unlikely event of a recall you have the batch number available.

Be mindful of how long your pet's food is left out at feeding time.

Although many dry foods are mixed with natural and artificial preservatives to delay degradation, if the food becomes damp there can be an increased risk of degradation and exposure to airborne contaminants. 

A regular feeding time with a planned exposure time can decrease this risk.Wet food should be left out no longer than four hours when the temperature is around 50 degrees Fahrenheit and above. The unused food should be sealed and placed in a refrigerator.

Which type of bowl should I use?

As a rule, the 'harder' the bowl that you use the safer it is. Plastic bowls can get scratched and harbour germs more easily than ceramic ones. I personally advocate using stainless steel bowls when feeding and watering cats and dogs as ceramic ones can crack and go on to harbour bacteria that can be dangerous to pets.

How often should bowls be cleaned?

Unless there is a more obvious reason to clean a bowl, daily washing of food bowls in hot soapy water and a weekly disinfect with a bleach solution followed by thorough rinsing and drying is a good routine.

Water bowls washed every couple of days in hot soapy water unless containing an obvious contaminate such as food or insects is quite adequate. Weekly disinfecting followed by a thorough rinse and dry as above is a good idea.

Don't overlook the simple act of washing your hands before and after feeding a pet to minimise cross-infection.

You may be surprised to learn that soap and those inexpensive antibacterial hand sanitizers that seem to be sold everywhere are designed to kill only mild to moderate bacteria that live on the surface of our skin. Sanitizers like this are only effective for a short period and do not target the more major bacteria and viruses that can exist within our bodies therefore it's a great idea to wash your hands literally just before and just after feeding pets.


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