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How Long Can Wet Dog Food Sit Out? The Surprising Answer!

Dean Eby

By Dean Eby

wet dog food

There are many ways to feed your dog. While the vast majority of people simply purchase a commercial dry kibble to feed their pooch, others opt to cook everything fresh and ensure their dog is eating as well as most people. Somewhere in between these two methods is wet dog food.

Wet dog food is far different from dry kibble and must be stored under different conditions. Of course, the main difference is that dry kibble can be left out in the bowl for most of the day with no issue. Wet dog food cannot. So, how long can you leave wet dog food out? How long can you leave dry dog food out? And how can you store leftover wet dog food from a can?

You can safely leave wet dog food in a bowl for 4 hours. If you store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator, wet dog food will last 5-7 days. Dry dog food can safely sit out for up to 8 hours. In this article, we’ll answer these questions and more to cover all of your questions regarding wet dog food.

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How Long Can You Leave Wet Dog Food Out?

The answer to how long can dry dog food sit out is simple: it should be fine for about 8 hours. When you put dry kibble into your dog’s bowl, you can generally leave it for the rest of the day without worrying. It doesn’t contain any moisture that might invite mold or mildew. But canned dog food is wet and can’t be left out in the air all day the same way that dry kibble can. Instead, it can only be left open for a short time before going bad.

Once you put wet dog food out for your dog, all of the food needs to be eaten in four hours. After four hours, it’s no longer good and must be thrown away. This applies to all wet canned pet foods.

dog wet food pixabay
Credit: Pixabay

How Long Will Wet Dog Food Stay Good Once It’s Open?

Once you open canned dog food, it’s got a four-hour life while exposed to the air. But if you store it properly, you can keep it for up to 5-7 days. To store it properly, the food must be kept air-tight and refrigerated. The food must be kept between 40-45 degrees Fahrenheit.

To keep the can air-tight, you can get a plastic pet food lid that covers the can. Alternatively, you can put the can or its contents in a plastic container with an air-tight lid. The last method is to store the can inside of a zip-lock bag in the fridge. However, zip-lock bags aren’t the best oxygen and odor barriers, so plastic containers or lids are preferred.

Storing Canned Dog Food

While still sealed, canned dog food can be stored quite easily. They should be kept in a dark, dry place with a temperature between 50-100 degrees Fahrenheit. If the temperature is too high, it can cause the contents of the can to go rancid. On the other hand, if you keep them stored at too low of a temperature, you could freeze the food and alter its taste and texture.

cans of wet dog food
Image By: Pixabay

How to Tell if Canned Dog Food is Good

Just because a dog food is stored in a can doesn’t mean it stays good indefinitely. If you offer your dog expired canned food, it could potentially result in health problems, including vomiting, diarrhea, and more. Luckily, it’s quite simple to tell whether a can of dog food is still good or not.

Look at the bottom of the can in question. There should be a date stamped on the can labeled as a “best before” date. Only use the can if the best before date has not yet passed. If the best before date has already passed, then you should throw away that can of food and refrain from feeding it to your dog.

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So how long can wet dog food sit out, and how long can you leave dry dog food out? Dry dog food is easy to store and keep. It can be left in your dog’s bowl all day without consequence. You are also less likely to deal with mold and mildew issues with dry dog food. However, canned food requires more care. You can only leave canned food in your dog’s bowl for four hours maximum. Once opened, canned dog food can be stored for up to seven days in an air-tight container between 40-45 degrees Fahrenheit. And always check the best before date on any can of dog food before you feed it to your pooch. Failing to do so could result in health issues for your canine.

Featured Image Credit: Sharaf Maksumov, Shutterstock

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