Repacking of dog food has always been a contentious issue in the pet industry. The root of which largely stems from the scarcity of knowledge and information on the perils of repacking dog food for pet parents to educate themselves on. This article is written with the purpose of arming our fellow pet parents with critical insights to help you make informed decisions when it comes to your dog’s food.
Before delving straight into why repacking is not encouraged, it’s important to understand what happens once a bag of food is opened first:
High-quality dog food usually come in bags that have an extra lining to protect the food from oxygen and moisture. Once that barrier is broken (i.e. bag is opened or food is packed in a permeable bag) - oxygen, moisture, mites, and many other contaminants can enter and accelerate rancidity in food.
Why repacking is not advocated:
An example of a repacked bag of dog food
During the repacking process, food is packed into the cheapest bags out there - low quality LDPE (low-densitypolyethylene) plastic bags. These bags are not only permeable but are also not food-grade (not cleaned and not sterilized).
Furthermore, the entire process is unregulated i.e it’s handled by staff, who are not trained and/or certified by the AVA Singapore, under unsanitary conditions. This means an increased risk of contamination on top of the unsterile bags used.
Many pet parents opt to repack their food with the intention of retaining the freshness of food. But with the extent of compromisation on the quality of food even before your pup gets to eat it, you’re definitely better off leaving it in the original packaging.
Granted, antioxidants (could be in the form of Vitamin E or other natural sources) are added to slow the oxidation process. However, with food packed into new bags that are 100% permeable, the first line of defence will be obliterated fast; leaving fats to be the next target of attack. The more fragile ones - omega-3 fatty acids - go bad particularly fast, resulting in the growth ofinvisible mould. Consumption of oxidized fats will contribute to a multitude of health problems, and have also been known to cause cancer.
With food repacked into permeable plastic bags, it’s a sweet invitation for moisture to migrate into the bags. The absorption of moisture leads to the growth of mould, especially if left in a humid environment. Low levels of mould is not visible to the naked eye, nor is it detectable by our dog’s tastebud. This is extremely dangerous as the toxins in mould suppresses their immune system slowly which has long term health repercussions.
How to properly store dry food:
It’s advised by the AVA that all pet food should be consumed within 2 months of opening. If your pup takes more than 2 months to finish the food, then you might want to consider getting them in small bags to keep the optimal level of freshness.
Use a food bin
We get that purchasing bigger bags of food is more economical, but instead of opting for a repacking service (I’m sure we’re well aware of the consequences by now), use a food bin. Placing the bag of food in its original packaging into a food bin likeStefanplast’s will help to preserve freshness and keep the rodents away. Store the container in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight.
Purchase food with low fat content
You could also purchase dry food with low fat content (tryFromm Family's!), and add your own fresh source of natural fats fromZeal Hoki Fish Oil to the mix! This way, the loss of wholesomeness and freshness of food is reduced significantly.
When in doubt, toss it
It may seem like a waste, especially if you’re throwing away a large quantity but it’s always better to be safe than sorry. We’d hate for Fido to be bearing the aftermath of a bad meal.
When to toss:
(i) If your dog says no to the food, do not force them to eat it. It could be a sign that the food has gone bad.
(ii) Food starts giving off a pungent smell
(iii) Food looks moist
Kim is an avid dog lover, serial guac and chips eater, and thrill seeker - all in one body. Currently chillin’ with her dogs.