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Discussion Starter #1
I'm stocking up on some dry dog/cat food. Both are packaged in a tough plastic packaging (need a knife or scissors to open it). Although more expensive, I'm buying smaller bags so the open bags are used up in a fairly short period of time, and I keep the open bags in Tupperware type containers.
I have extra freezers so am thinking it would be better to freeze the pet food for longer storage. Are there any problems associated with freezing it for a year or two? Zeke has me kind of spooked over the rancidity issues :D: and I'm wondering if the food would go rancid faster after being frozen that long and then thawed. Would mold be an issue after thawing? Would it keep longer if repackaged in vacuum sealed bags before freezing?
 

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Crazy Cat Lady
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I would worry about it becoming moist.

If it is something like an Iams bag I wouldn't be worried, though.
 

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What is the "best by date" stamped on the bag? Dry dog food varies so much because the fat content varies - the more fat, the shorter the fat content. Most of the dry dog foods I have seen have more than a year shelf life, as stated on the bag, which (probably) means a longer shelf life than that. In a SHTF scenario, why not feed your dog common dry food? Is it that picky? or mix it?
 

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Someone said 1/3 each starch (rice), meat, and vegetables made a decent dog food. That stuck in my head.

My cats brought me a worm last night so pretty sure they will be OK. :rofl:
 

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Discussion Starter #6
BB date on bags I have now is Dec 2020. I'd like to keep it fresh for as long as possible.

Neither dog is picky. One dog has allergies, haven't found any food other than this one brand and one flavor that doesn't cause problems, anything from severe itching and hives to severe abdominal distress and diarrhea. Not fun. I feed the same food to both dogs so the one with allergies doesn't get into the wrong food. The other dog would likely adjust quickly to another food but it's just easier for me to buy and feed one type of food.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
No, my vet said the run of the mill testing was a waste of time and specific testing would get very expensive. I have found one brand/flavor of dry food and one canned food that she doesn't react to, both are fish based, grain free. She definitely reacts very badly to the beef and chicken. I got her from the local shelter and 2 days later she was horribly sick...hives, red hot ears and belly, chewing on her legs, dripping diarrhea and stinking to high heaven. I thought she was going to die on me, then realized it was likely allergies and immediately changed her beef dog food. She improved but it took months of trying different foods before I found one she could tolerate pretty well. It's not perfect but the best I've found so far.

The odd thing is I can feed her home cooked chicken or beef and she's fine. Chicken or beef based dog food makes her very sick but don't know if it's the meat they use or other ingredients. She eats fruits and veggies with no apparent problem and I honestly don't think grain is the problem either. It appears to be the proteins and/or other ingredients.
I don't believe extremely limited diets (home made) are healthy long term, plus I am now too disabled to be able to do the bulk cooking required to make all her food.
Anyway, she does pretty well on her current foods so it's a case of "if it ain't broke, don't fix it." I'd just like to find a way to store her food for a fairly long period of time.
 

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Zeke has me kind of spooked over the rancidity issues :D:
LOL, is that why you posted here instead of the food board? :D:


So the comments about moisture above are very relevant. Maybe a repack with food grade diatomaceous earth in the bottom of the bag would help the moisture risk. I don't thank a vacuum pack will help much. A bit of DE in a gallon ziploc and fill with kibble. I think that would freeze fine for some years. Packed this way you van easily check how it fares too. As long as it's stays crispy you should be good.

Things needs to be said about pets and oil rancidity.

Their lifespan is such that rancid oils are less of a concern, especially as they get older. Large dogs with the shortest lives are borderline immune because they also have the legendary dog's gut. Smaller long life dogs and cats would have a bit more concern, especially when they are young. Rancidity is a chronic, not acute, toxic issue. Big 8 year old dogs won't lose any lifespan if they have some rancid oil.

Also remember that fat is even more critical in pet diets. So any rancidity issues are being offset by getting more fats in their diet when they are in short supply after disaster starts. Rabbit starvation could be a real problem with post disaster pets.

So in general you can dial down, but not eliminate, rancid oil fears in pet food needs.

That big slobbering lug doesn't have to hold out 80 years like you do. You losing several years is a big deal, but a few months for the dog at the end of life isn't that important weighed against loss of fat nutrition, because that will definitely cut deeper into their lifespan.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Well, I'll confess I was hoping you might weigh in on this topic. 😄 (And thank you.)

I was hoping that dogs having a shorter lifespan than humans would make the rancidity not that big a deal. Good to know that i don't have to lose too much sleep over it, though she is a small dog and with a bit of luck can be expected to live to 18 yrs. or so. Since I live alone, she and the bigger dog are not just pets but are also my early warning security system. I depend on them to let me know if anyone sets foot onto my property, so I consider them essential and well worth the money I put into them.

Thanks to everyone who responded. :)
 

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Turtle'sPace,

I've never tried to freeze dry dog food.

My dog has several 35# bags of Science Diet dry food stockpiled; she likes chicken and barley. Looking at the best before dates, they are all July and August 2021.

That would fit your desired time frame, so my suggestion would be to look to see if you can find better best before dates.

.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
The bags I just bought had just arrived at the store. I wonder if the brand of dog food has anything to do with how far out the BB date is? Now I'm curious, I'll have to do some internet research or maybe email the company to find out why they have a relatively short BB date.

Well anyway, I just spent several hundred dollars on pet food this afternoon , will try to get it repackaged and in the freezer this weekend. By packaging in smaller bags (gallon size) so only a little is thawed out at a time, it should be ok.
 

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Several years ago we were having a bad problem with pantry moths. We have a large plastic, with lid, container that we were dumping the bags of dog food into. I noticed that there were a lot of the moths near the container so we started freezing ,-10 degrees, the bags of food for a week before putting into the container. After a few months the problem went away. We did allow the bag of food to come to room temp before we opened it and the outside did get damp.
 

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Several years ago we were having a bad problem with pantry moths. We have a large plastic, with lid, container that we were dumping the bags of dog food into. I noticed that there were a lot of the moths near the container so we started freezing ,-10 degrees, the bags of food for a week before putting into the container. After a few months the problem went away. We did allow the bag of food to come to room temp before we opened it and the outside did get damp.
Remember that you removed the food from the pantry when you froze it.

Freezing is beyond tricky. There are dozens of pantry moth species and each needs a very specific freeze method to work the best. Extension agencies are quite willing to say freezing is known to work, but then they never put out an instruction guide. They can't. You would need to identify the exact species of moth first, which is impossible in a home setting, before written guidance would help.

The point being that trying does no harm and its worth a shot, but don't pin your hopes on it.

It's a hail mary pass, not a trustworthy plan.
 
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I buy & rotate through a large amount of the better grades of dog food kibble, so none gets more than 5 or 6 months old.

For longer term dog food I store a couple cases of good quality canned dog food.

Every fall, when we butcher steers, elk, deer, pigs etc. I save all the organs & borderline trimmings in plastic bags & freeze them.

Then, as my time allows, I thaw the meat, dice it up, mix in some pork lard, skillet brown it, along with diced dog compatible vegetables, rice, barley, trace minerals, etc.. Then pressure can it in quart mason jars for longer term storage.

LOL, the pressure canned dog food I make looks like a hearty thick meaty stew, smells good enough to eat myself & could easily be mistaken for human food. So I label it IN BOLD - AS DOG FOOD.

The dogs absolutely LOVE to gobble it down.
 

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Considering that my dogs (all four of them) eat each others' poop and dead birds, voles, etc., I not too worried about stale dog food. I used to worry about that stuff, but I gave up.;)
 
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