Despite being convenient and practical, plastic storage bins have been the subject of major controversy over the past few years. Pet parents may wonder what the best option is for their furry friend. The question comes down to this — is it bad to store dog food in plastic bins? Well, we have both good and bad news.
The bad news is that plastic bins can be unsafe for storing dog food. The good news is that not all plastic containers are bad, and several other safer alternatives exist. In this article, we will explore the potential dangers of using plastic bins to store dog food and show you safe, non-toxic, durable alternatives.
Is It Bad to Store Dog Food in Plastic Bins?
Storing dog food in plastic bins is generally considered safe as long as the bins are made of food-grade plastic and kept clean and dry. If you must use plastic bins, there are a few potential risks you should be aware of.
One of the major concerns of storing dog food in plastic bins is BPA (bisphenol A). BPA is used in the production of certain types of plastic, including polycarbonate and epoxy resins. These types of plastics are also commonly used in making pet food containers.
The problem with these plastic storage containers is that when they are exposed to heat, acidic foods, or high-fat foods, they can release small amounts of BPA, exposing your dog to harmful bacteria.
Studies have shown that exposure to BPA can lead to a variety of health issues in dogs, such as cancer, developmental problems, hormonal imbalance, behavioral changes, and reproductive issues.
Although not all plastic containers contain BPA, it’s always best to err on the side of caution and choose a food storage container made from safe, non-toxic materials, such as stainless steel, glass, or ceramic.
Additionally, plastic bins can trap moisture and bacteria, leading to food poisoning and spoilage. This is especially true if you’re storing wet dog food, as the food can easily become trapped in the crevices of the plastic, providing a breeding ground for bacteria.
How to Choose a Dog Food Storage Container
While plastic bins are a popular choice for storing pet food, they have several potential risks. There are several safer alternatives that you can use for proper storage of your furry friend’s food. Below are some better options.
Stainless steel is a safe, non-toxic option for storing dog food. It is also rust-proof and dishwasher-safe, making it easy to clean and maintain.
Another advantage of stainless-steel containers is that they are durable and can withstand the wear and tear of daily use. They are your go-to option if you want to keep food fresh as they seal tightly to prevent moisture and pests from getting in.
Glass is another safe option for proper dog food storage. It is non-reactive, so it won’t absorb odors or flavors from the food. Like stainless steel, glass containers are also easy to clean, and they can be used in the microwave and dishwasher. However, they are not as durable as stainless steel — a simple drop can shatter them.
Ceramic is a great alternative to plastic as it’s a non-toxic, food-safe material. Ceramic containers are also dishwasher and microwave safe. They come in various designs and sizes, making them a great decorative addition to any kitchen.
If you prefer plastic to the options mentioned above, go for those that don’t contain BPA. They are typically labeled as BPA-free and are a great option for keeping food fresh and safe. That said, be sure to check for any other plastic contaminants and industrial chemicals before use.
How to Store Dry Dog Food
Dry dog food is a convenient and cost-effective option for many pet owners, but it’s important to store it properly to ensure its freshness and safety. Here are some tips for storing dry dog food:
- Keep it in a cool, dry place: Store dry food in a cool, dry place, such as a pantry or cupboard. This helps to preserve the freshness of the food and prevent it from becoming rancid. Storing it in damp or humid areas like the garage or basement can cause it to absorb moisture, leading to mold growth.
- Use an airtight container: An airtight container helps prevent air exposure and keeps out moisture and pests, which can cause food spoilage and loss of nutritional value.
- Store in small quantities: If you have only one or two dogs in your household, it’s best to only buy enough dry kibble for a few weeks. This helps ensure freshness.
- Keep it in the freezer: If you need to store dry dog food for longer, keep it in its original bag and place it in an airtight container in the freezer. Not only does this help keep it fresh, but it also preserves vitamins and minerals for longer periods.
How to Store Wet Dog Food
In contrast to dry food, the key to storing wet dog food is to keep it refrigerated. Here are some tips for storing wet dog food:
- Always store it in the refrigerator: Once opened, canned dog food must be kept in the refrigerator as it can quickly go bad at room temperature. Ensure that the container has an airtight seal to prevent contamination.
- Use within three days: To ensure your dog’s safety, always use open wet food within three to four days. Any leftovers should be discarded to prevent contamination.
- Avoid freezing: According to Hill’s Pet, it is not recommended to freeze canned food as it can change its texture and flavor. In turn, your dog may not eat it.
- Keep an eye on the expiration date: Always check the expiration date on the can before using it. You only want to serve your furry friend nutritious food and not expired kibble.
So, is it bad to store dog food in plastic bins? No, it is safe if you choose a BPA-free plastic container and keep it clean. BPA is used in the manufacturing of many plastics and can be harmful to both humans and animals.
However, you might want to opt for safer options like stainless steel, glass, or ceramic containers. The key is to ensure proper storage of your dog’s food and keep it fresh, safe, and healthy.