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Dog Food Prep, Storage and Safe Handling

That hard to wipe off, slimy film on pet food bowls is Biofilm, a variety of different bacteria bound together in a thick substance that acts like a glue. While biofilm is a breeding ground for both good and bad bacteria, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) revealed that among all microbial and chronic infections, 65% and 80%, respectively, are associated with biofilm formation.

Tips for Preparing Pet Food

  • Begin and end with clean hands. Both before and after handling pet food and treats, wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and hot water.

  • Wash food bowls and scooping utensils with soap and hot water after each use. Rinse thoroughly with the hottest water possible. Wipe with a clean paper towel.

  • Use a separate sponge, dishrag or J Cloth designated to only cleaning your pet food bowls and water buckets. I love absorbent paper towels as it works well to remove the thick, slimy biofilm stuck to the surface. Avoid the use of your regular dish/kitchen sponge.

  • If using a dishwasher to disinfect, rinse and wipe out all food bowls and utensils with hot soapy water first.

  • Do not use your pet’s food bowl as a scooping utensil. Instead use a clean scoop, spoon, or cup. Use the scooping utensil only for scooping pet food.

  • Don't forget to also wash water bowls and buckets with soap and hot water daily. Rinse thoroughly with the hottest water possible and wipe with a paper towel before refilling.

  • Puzzle feeders such as kongs and snuffle matts as well as chew toys should also be thoroughly cleaned. Soft feeders and toys can be washed with laundry on the highest temperature setting.

Tips for Storing Pet Food

  • Promptly refrigerate or throw out unused or leftover canned and pouched pet food. Tightly cover refrigerated pet food.

  • Store dry pet food in a cool and dry place. The temperature should be less than 80 F. Excess heat or moisture can cause the nutrients to break down and go rancid.

  • Store dry pet food in a food grade, air tight container with a tight fitting lid big enough to include the original bag. Do not empty the bag into the container. This reduces spoilage, and allows you to have the UPC code, lot number, brand and manufacturer, and “best by” date easily available in case of a product defect or recall.

  • Keep pet food in a secure location to prevent your pet from eating an entire supply at once.

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