The Ultimate Dog Food Storage Australia - An Overview
Our #1 Pick
The Best Value for Money
Vittles Vault Airtight Dog Food Storage Container
Stop me if this has happened to you.
You buy a bag of dog food that purports to have a magical plastic sealable closure that zips or clips together.
You think, great! I can keep the food in the original bag and just keep using it.
Within the week you have had some sort of disaster, like an ant infestation or your dog tipping over the bag and breaking into the “magic seal”.
In my case, it was the latter, which is when I decided to invest in dog food storage.
Storing food properly is extremely important so we are going to break it all down today. We’ll talk about why food storage is important, the qualities of a good vessel for dry dog food and finally, wrap up with the best dog food storage containers Australia has to offer.
If you are searching for a new way to store your dog’s dry food, you are in the right place.
The Importance Of Good Dog Food Storage
Dog food must be kept:
- Out of sunlight
- In impenetrable containers to your dogs or insects
As I mentioned in my intro, you do have some dry dog foods that come in sealable bags, they rarely stand up to a rummage from your dog or insects who want to get at the goods inside.
Therefore, it is worth investing in an airtight container that can keep your dog’s food in the 4 optimal aforementioned conditions.
I am not saying you should throw out the original packaging for your dog’s food.
I am saying put the whole thing - the food and the bag - into an airtight sealed container that your packaged dog food should be stored.
Why shouldn’t you throw out the original packaging? The packaging is a bit vulnerable after it has been opened but it is not completely useless.
For dry dog food, the packaging often has an oil-free lining and has a dark interior that shields the food from the sun’s rays. This is worth hanging onto and makes the food last for longer.
Another factor is that the packaging has important information on it.
“Keeping the dog food bag also has the added benefit of retaining the dog food’s barcode, expiration date, and batch code – all of which are important information to have, especially in the event of a dog food recall.” - PetMD (1)
For example, say you were to decant every bottle of milk you bought from the supermarket into vessels at home and throw away the original bottle. All of the use-by-date information and nutritional information are gone. That information is certainly useful should anything go awry.
Can you store open canned dog food?
I want to highlight this point briefly as we are mostly going to focus on dry dog food storage in today’s article. Is it possible to store opened wet dog food?
Yes, you can but with great care. If you have opened a can of dog food and want to store it for later, it is best to put it in the fridge.
“Once opened, canned food should be stored in the refrigerator for no longer than seven days. If you do not think you will use the whole can in that amount of time, freeze single-serve portions and thaw them on an as-needed basis.” - Dr Jennifer Coates, PeTMD (2)
An extra note that I would like to add is it is best to put the opened pouch or can in an airtight plastic container before putting it in the fridge. This is to prevent the odour of your dog’s food from affecting other items in the fridge. It is also to shield the wet food from spoiling in the air in the fridge.
What To Look For In A Dog Food Container
To keep your dog’s food fresh, it must be kept away from oxygen.
“Leaving food unsealed is a big mistake, as oxygen causes the fat in the food to go rancid, which ruins the flavour and, in the worst-case scenario, could even make dogs sick.” - Dr Joanna Woodnutt, Great Pet Care. (3)
Imagine leaving a pack of perfectly good biscuits out in the open to be spoiled by the air around it. Not good for you. Not good for them.
Size & Height
There are a few levels to the size/height thing.
I mentioned that it is best to keep your dog’s food in its original packaging then further seal with an airtight container. However, I understand if that all sounds a little… bulky and cumbersome to you. Often the dry dog food you’ll purchase will be up 10 kilo bags. It may be a bit of a hassle to keep a big bin of dry dog food if the area that you feed your dog in is small or if the large dog food container ruins your aesthetic in some way.
We are fortunate to have a huge kitchen, so we keep the dry dog food bin in the kitchen where it is handy. You may decide to store the big bag of dog food and its container in another part of the house but purchase a smaller airtight container to be kept nearer to where your dog is fed every day.
With this system, you would decant about a week’s worth of food into the smaller airtight container and keep that wherever you feed your dog. There are extra steps involved here but it may just be more convenient for you if you don’t want the large food container in your way.
Another side to this is the capacity. If you want it to hold a 10kilo bag of food, it has to be pretty big! Luckily it is not too difficult to find, and we have some decent options for you in the reviews below.
Is your dog a fan of tipping over the rubbish bin for scraps?
Or are they just a bit clumsy and heavy-footed in general? (I have an elderly Flat-Coated Retriever that knocks over everything)
Durability is important when it comes to a food container as you will likely keep it near where your dog eats for convenience. This means that it is more vulnerable to knocks or even being jumped on by your dog. Sometimes out of pure clumsiness. Sometimes out of your dog’s will to get at the goods inside.
Most dog food containers are plastic as these are easier to keep airtight. The best way to know if the product you are considering is well constructed and stands up to daily use is to read the reviews carefully. If someone finds the product to be sub-par or falling apart within a few weeks, they’ll be sure to notify the masses about it!
Ease of cleaning
Although your dog’s food will likely still be in the original bag (or not, if you don’t follow my advice - you do you), it is important that your dog’s food container is easy to clean.
You’ll want to clean the container at least once a month or whenever you change the interior contents. Keeping it clean prevents the risk of bug infestation contaminating your dog’s food. It also helps reduce the odour buildup of food and maintain freshness once it is airtight and sealed.
Best Dry Dog Food Storage Containers 2021
So now we know why you need a food storage container and the properties you should look out for. Let’s have a look at the best options out there on the Australian market today. We have collated a list at all price points and different sizes so you can use a system that works best for you.
Vittles Vault creates a great range of pet food storage containers to suits all capacities you may need.
As the name suggests, these containers are made to be heavy-duty vaults. They are made of BPA-free plastic but have a weightiness to them that ensures complete protection of the food inside. They pass the durability test with flying colours.
But do they seal properly? Yes, yes, yes! The Vittles Vault range have airtight seals to maximise the freshness of your dog’s food for longer.
They have a wide range of sizes for the big bags of food. The three larger sizes in the “Outback” range can hold capacities of 13kg, 22kg or 36kg.
They also have a small version - the Vittles Vault Jr - that can hold up to 2.5kg of food. This is ideal if you want a smaller vessel to keep by your dog’s feeding place and for the larger container with the full bag of food to be kept elsewhere.
It is not the most exciting design for a large airtight dog food container, but it is not an ugly one either. The “vault” look and neutral cream/grey colour are quite charming in a way. It’ll likely blend with any surrounding furniture.
The one caveat here is design based. The vaults have a very specific shape to them that could make it more challenging to fit some bags of dog food. Be sure to refer to the measurement sizes to make sure the food bag you are intending to house will fit snugly.
This is certainly not the cheapest option on the market, but it is the most practical, well-reviewed and well-loved by those who use it. We don’t mind paying a little more for something that is going to last. Huge thumbs up from us!
Verified Review - 6/03/2021
Best Pet Food Storage You Can Get
"Keeps dog kibble food fresh and great seal to ensure no little bugs creep in.
Not the cheapest on the market but you get what you pay for - built to last!"
For the cheap and cheerful option that does the trick well, our pick is the Pet Basic dry food container.
We like this one because the capacity is quite decent. It holds 36litres of dry dog food. (Note: this is a litre volume and not kg weight so be sure to double-check that the bag of food you are putting into it will fit!). The measurements are 55 x 42 x 25cm. Not too big and not too small.
The standard rectangular shape of the storage bin makes it a more compatible fit with most dog food bags out there.
As for the airtight quality, this food container passes that test. It has a lock and a good seal to keep your dog’s food fresh inside.
The design leaves much to be desired. It is quite...well...basic, but it does what it says on the tin in that regard.
We love that the manufacturer includes a handy scoop with your purchase as a little bonus. For the low cost of the product, it is a pretty good all-rounder.
Is this a vanity pick? Absolutely. But for those, like me, who like to surround themselves with beautiful things, this is not a bad option at all as a small vessel for dry dog food.
The Hemobllo is a plastic dog food storage bin that screams premium. It has a gorgeous deep green colour and sleek design that make it a perfect addition to your space while also serving a vital function.
Measuring 38.2 x 24.7 x 23 cm, it is on the smaller side out of the options on this list. It is not tiny though. I would recommend this one if you intend to have a large airtight container to house the dog food in its bag in another part of the house or garage. You can then use the Hemobllo as a smaller weekly container to keep by your dog’s feeding ground.
The Hemobllo isn’t at all style over substance. It is insect-proof, moisture-proof and provided a reliable airtight seal. The plastic is heavy duty and durable. The mechanism to open is easy too with a simple push of the top button.
One thing to note is that the capacity to best for small dog kibble rather than extra large pieces. It is probably best suited for puppy food or smaller dry food options.
It is not the cheapest option here, but it is a pretty sight in the dog food storage realm.
Blesiya’s food storage container is a great option for 10kg dog food bags. It holds large quantities of dog food beautifully.
This durable eco-friendly, BPA-free plastic container is completely fit for its purpose. It has a sealed lid with a clear window so that you can see how much food is left inside at any given time.
This is the only food container on this list that has wheels which makes it super easy to move around. This can be handy if you want to conceal your dog’s food bin under a table or in a food closet after you are done with it.
The shape is a little unorthodox which could cause some issues if the shape of your dog’s food bag fits awkwardly, so do keep this in mind before purchasing. Is it going to work best for the food you habitually buy?
But for the incredibly low price and ease of use, this is a great option to consider if you are after a large dog food storage container.
The Final Verdict: Best Dry Dog Food Container
If you are interested in purchasing a dry dog food container for your pup’s food, the best overall range is the Vittles Vaults. These vaults are heavy-duty, imperishable and eco-friendly.
They have a good range of different sizes and shapes to choose from. Hands-down the best option for most situations.
However, the Vittle Vaults are not cheap, I’ll admit. If you want a cheaper option that will still serve you well, the Pet Basic model is the one for you! It is easy to use, easy to clean and has a good airtight seal.
All in all, we hope this article has helped you find the container that will best suit you and your home.
Yes, dry dog food does expire. But it is important to realise the difference between expired food and the “use by” date.
Liz Waynick, RVT, writes for The Spruce Pets, “An expiration date denotes when the food item has 'turned' and is no longer safe to eat. A best by date, on the other hand, is the date in which a pet food item isn't as nutritionally complete as the label may say”. (4)
If your dog’s food is expired, you should throw it out. It could make your dog very unwell. If it is past the use by date, it is not the freshest but it is still consumable. The preservatives in the food will keep it fresh for as long as it can.
It very much depends on the brand of dog food you choose and what preservatives are used to maintain freshness. Not all preservatives are made equal and you may opt for dry dog food that has little preservative content to be healthier for your dog. In that case, however, it is likely the food will expire more quickly - particularly if not stored correctly.
his is a contentious question in the dog community and well worth researching for yourself. We do not judge you here for opting to buy dog food with preservatives in them. They do serve a purpose and it is often the more budget brands that have higher preservative content. It is not necessarily fair to shame those who buy cheaper brands if that is all they can afford. We believe you should buy the best dog food that your budget will allow.
That being said, there have been some concerns in the Australian dog community about the dangers that some preservatives carry. Australia’s pet food industry is largely unregulated and this can cause all sorts of problems.
Sulphites are often used in Australian dog food which can cause Thiamine deficiency.
“Thiamine deficiency causes severe neurological symptoms and can be fatal. For decades, sulphite preservative induced thiamine deficiency has been frequently recognised by the Australian Veterinary profession.” says the ASPCA. (5)
So it is extremely important that you read your labels fully when purchasing dog food in Australia. These are the main nasties to watch out for:
- sulphur dioxide 220
- sodium sulphite 221
- sodium bisulphite 222
- sodium metabisulphite 223
- potassium metabisulphite 224
- potassium sulphite 225
- potassium bisulphite 228
- “5 Dog Food Storage Mistakes You DON’T Want to Make”. October 13, 2020. PetMD Editorial. Retrieved June 1, 2021. https://www.petmd.com/dog/centers/nutrition/slideshows/dog-food-storage-mistakes-you-dont-want-to-make#slide-2
- Coates, J. March 12, 2018. “How to Keep Your Dog’s Food Fresh”. PetMD Editorial. Retrieved June 1, 2021. https://www.petmd.com/blogs/nutritionnuggets/jcoates/2012/apr/how_to_keep_dog_food_fresh-13975
- Shortsleeve, C. June 25, 2020. “7 Mistakes to Avoid When Storing Dog Food”. Great Pet Care. Retrieved June 1, 2021. https://www.greatpetcare.com/dog-nutrition/7-mistakes-to-avoid-when-storing-dog-food/
- Waynick, L. March 9, 2020. “Does Dog Food Expire? Learn the difference between a best by date and an expiration date”. The Spruce Pets. Retrieved June 1, 2021. https://www.thesprucepets.com/does-dog-food-expire-4797904
- “How is the pet food industry regulated in Australia?”. RSPCA. Retrieved March 28, 2021. https://kb.rspca.org.au/knowledge-base/how-is-the-pet-food-industry-regulated-in-australia/