best dog food storage

Everyone knows you are what you eat. Not literally, of course, but the sentiment behind the phrase is simple and true. What goes into a body has a huge effect on how a mind functions, and dogs are no exception to this rule.


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While there is a wealth of expert information available on choosing the right dog food, there is less on how to store that dog food once chosen—which is just as important.

Dry dog food is a cost effective and convenient option for many dog owners. However, when it is improperly stored, it will not only lose freshness and be vulnerable to small animals and insects, but will also actually begin to rot if left open for long enough. Like most foods, dog food is perishable, and has a “best by” date.

Since so little definitive information exists on the importance of dog food containers, we have created this guide to offer some clarity, as well as give our picks for the best dog food containers available in a number of categories.

If you had no idea that there was a right or wrong way to store your dog’s food, you’re not alone! Read on for all the dog food container information you could possibly want.

Different Types of Dog Food Containers

Like anything else for your pet, you will have plenty of options to sort through when choosing the right dog food container. To make matters simpler, we have broken down some of the main types of dog food containers, and explained what exactly they are.

  • Stackable — The name of this type of container says it all: stackable containers are a great space saving option. This type of container is particularly helpful if you have multiple pets, as you can keep their food separate and easily stack the containers. Stackable containers could also be helpful for those who have one pet, but would like to ensure that their treats, as well as their food, remain fresh. Alternatively, this kind of storage container allows for one of the components to be a dedicated travel container. Some stackable containers will come with wheels as well, designed to make it as simple as possible to feed pets, and making the containers more mobile. Depending on your dog’s size and personality, a food storage with this kind of mobility may, in fact, be useful, but it could also prove to be an issue for persistent pets when hungry.
  • Vault — This system of storage is good enough for protecting money, so it should be good enough to keep dry dog food fresh and safe. These types of containers feature lids that thread on and off, ensuring that the food is safe from both the elements and from nosy dogs. These containers are often made with a thick, opaque plastic that neither humans nor dogs can see through. This can be helpful for young dogs that need food to stay out of sight, but can prove a pain point for owners who need to determine how low they are running on food. Another benefit of vault style food containers is that they completely trap the dog food odor within themselves, eliminating any smell from the home which will help keep pests from being attracted, and will surely keep owners happier as well.
  • Wall Mounted — Another self explanatory name, wall mounted dog food containers are great for owners who can’t stand the look of a cluttered house. These containers are especially good for disciplined dogs who owners are confident will not eat more than they ought to if given some freedom.

These containers are generally meant to be mounted over a dog’s food bowl, and come equipped with a dispensing lever. This creates a great ease of use for owners, as you can just press this lever and fill your dog’s bowl in a matter of seconds. Of course, the container can be mounted anywhere that is convenient for the owner.

Most dogs pick up on cues rather quickly, so once they see this action a few times, they will probably know how to fill their own bowl. For older dogs with some self discipline, this is an incredibly convenient option, but for puppies who want to eat constantly, it could be trouble.

Once we get to our list of our top picks for dog food containers, you will see each of these types featured at least once. Be sure to take what we’ve listed here into account, as well as the benefits and drawbacks stated with the specific product before choosing a dog food container for your own home.

What to Look for in a Good Dog Food Container

While the features of different types of dog food containers are certainly important to take into consideration, there are certain universal qualities that you should look for in a quality container, and we have outlined them here.

  • Airtight — This is the most important quality of a good dog food container, as it is basically the whole point of having one. An airtight container preserves dry dog food for as long as possible after opening the bag. Airtight containers affect aspects of dog food like taste (they prevent staleness and rancid flavor), safety (they prevent food from rotting, and keep out insects and small animal intruders), and odor emission (which keeps dog owners happier).
  • Food Grade Plastic — If you were thinking about saving a few dollars and using just any plastic household container for dog food storage—don’t. While it is likely that you have some airtight containers sitting around, they are likely not safe for your dog’s food, as many large containers are not made of the right kind of plastic for food storage. Only certain kinds of plastics are FDA approved as being safe to store food in, other types may be too porous (allowing air and moisture to seep in) or contain dangerous chemicals that could be absorbed into your dog’s food. A dog food container must be both compliant with FDA standards and very sturdy.
  • Proper Size — This consideration will change on a case by case basis, but the appropriate size of dog food container is something to think about before purchasing one. It is also important to consider that max volume does not necessarily translate exactly to the same size of dog food bag, try to size up in container when you can.

You don’t want to buy too large a container that will cost extra money when the space isn’t necessary for a small dog’s food (don’t forget: dog food expires even when stored properly, so stocking up on food isn’t always a good idea), and you don’t want to buy too small a container that won’t hold your dog’s whole bag of food.

A high quality container should be available with all of these important features, so do not be afraid to dive into the specifications and look for assurance that the dog food container is airtight, made of food grade plastic, and available in the right size for your dog.

Our Top Picks for Best Dog Food Containers

Now that we have walked you through the different types of dog food containers and what constitutes a good one, we’ll give you our top picks and let you know why they rank so high on our list!

IRIS Airtight Food Storage Container & Scoop Combo

Key Features:

  • Two stackable, airtight containers included
  • 35 pound total max capacity
  • 2 cup food scoop included
  • Available in 7 color combinations
  • Plastic is BPA free and Acid free
  • Containers are on wheels

Overall Best Dog Food Container — This food container system really has it all. It not only comes with two containers in two different sizes, but also with a food scoop, and the whole system is on wheels to add another level of convenience. At 35 pounds of max storage capacity (25 pounds and 10 pounds respectively for a total of 35), this container offers plenty of space to keep a medium bag of dry food fresh. The smaller container can either be used as extra storage, a container for another pet’s food, or as a travel container.

The containers are made with BPA and Acid free plastic, meaning that they are safe to house your dog’s food. What’s more, the sleek and efficient design is available in seven different color combinations, making it incredibly easy to make the dog food container mesh with your home’s aesthetic. This dog food container has so many conveniences and perks that it ranks at the very top of our list, across all of the categories.

Pros:

  • Checks all of the safety boxes (airtight, correct type of plastic)
  • Many color options
  • Cost effective
  • Scoop and wheels included

Cons:

  • Clear plastic is easier to crack
  • Not big enough for very large bags of dog food
  • Locks that keep containers airtight can be damaged somewhat easily

Gamma2 Vittles Vault Stackable Pet Food Storage

Key Features:

  • Vault style container
  • 40 or 60 pound max capacity
  • Stackable, airtight containers made of heavy duty plastic
  • Measuring cup included
  • Container designed to fit on top of one another

Best Stackable Dog Food Container — These stackable containers are the real deal: durable and heavy duty while maintaining a high level of convenience.  Not only are they vault containers (meaning the lock is very secure and runs little to no risk of breaking unlike some other locking mechanisms), but they are also made of a BPA free and FDA approved heavy duty plastic adding extra security.

The containers come equipped with stacking notches, making them easy to simply sit atop one another, but it should be noted that this does not lock the containers into place. The system also includes a measuring cup so you can be certain you are not over- or underfeeding your dog. The ease and simplicity of this space saving design, along with the affordability, make it our favorite stackable dog food container.

Pros:

  • Sturdy material that is safe for dog food
  • Vault style means little concern over locking malfunctions
  • Measuring cup allows for precise feeding
  • Two sizes available to accommodate large bags as well

Cons:

  • Stacking system can be unsturdy
  • Molded handle is not easy to grab, makes it difficult to move
  • May not be able to fill to max capacity without some spillage

Gamma2 Vittles Vault Pet Food Storage

Key Features:

  • Vault style closure
  • Comes in 30 pound or 5 pound max volume
  • Heavy duty, food safe plastic
  • Includes measuring cup
  • Good for outdoor storage

Best Dog Food Container 30 lbs & 50 lbs — This next dog food container from Gamma2 is very similar to their stackable system listed above, but it is not equipped with stackable capabilities. Instead, this container features a vault that opens directly from the top, and has more pronounced molded handles for somewhat easier movement.

This dog food container is perfect for outdoor storage as the vault closure is quite secure, and the heavy duty plastic ensures that no air or moisture will seep into the dog food, even in wet conditions. With two sizing options, this food container should accommodate most any size of dog food bag, and will safely keep it fresh so your dog is not stuck with stale kibble, and you are not startled by unwelcome visitors looking for a meal in the container.

Pros:

  • Comes in two sizing options
  • Secure closure and high quality plastic make it a strong container
  • Can be stored outdoors
  • Measuring cup takes the guesswork out of feeding

Cons:

  • Trying to fill to absolute max volume may cause spillage
  • Large dogs may be able to damage containers if they try hard enough
  • Lid can be difficult to unscrew if left closed for a longer amount of time

Van Ness Pet Food Storage Container

Key Features:

  • Comes in four sizes: 5 lb, 10 lb, 25 lb, and 50 lb max volumes
  • Larger sizes come with wheels
  • Made with plastic safe for storing dog food
  • Locking lid closure
  • Very affordable for the sizes available

Best Airtight Dog Food Container — This stand alone container is extremely versatile, and while all dog food containers should be airtight for maximum effectiveness, this one is especially so. Since the seal comes from an entire locking lid rather than just a partial closure, there is less chance of the seal being damaged or compromised.

This container comes in a range of sizes so it is perfect for small or large dogs, and the design allows for the bag of food to be placed directly in the container rather than poured out if you would like. The container is made of a safe, BPA free plastic and larger sizes contain both handles and wheels for easy mobility.

Pros:

  • Many sizing options make it a versatile choice
  • Seal has great longevity
  • Easy to maneuver around the home
  • Simple design is great for inconspicuous storage

Cons:

  • Lid can be removed by persistent dogs
  • Clear plastic is thinner and easier to crack
  • Can be difficult to put together

Bergan Wall Mounted Pet Dispenser & Storage

Key Features:

  • Comes with storage container and mounting hardware
  • Easy dispensing handle
  • 40 pound max volume
  • Affordable for the convenience it offers
  • Airtight top closure

Best Wall Mounted Dog Food Dispenser — This dog food container is unlike any other on our list; the convenience of this container is totally unmatched. Once the container is attached to the wall (using the provided hardware), all you have to do to feed your dog is pull the handle and the food will dispense into the bowl.

Since it is mounted on the wall, this container is a great option for dog owners looking for a space saving option. If you are concerned about your dog figuring out the handle system, you can mount the container higher on the wall where your dog cannot reach.

Pros:

  • Creates valuable extra floor space
  • Makes the feeding process incredibly simple and convenient
  • Less expensive than you would imagine
  • Includes mounting hardware

Cons:

  • Dogs can figure out the handle and feed themselves
  • Food dispenses quickly, so it is difficult to measure precisely
  • Airtight seal not as secure as other containers

3 More Top Rated Dog Food Containers

Being such a useful tool, there are many more dog food containers available on the market than just the ones that rose to the top of our list. If you are not quite sold on any of the containers we have discussed so far, don’t worry! Here are 3 more top rated containers that didn’t quite make it to our favorites, but that are still great options.

Buddeez Roll Away Pet Food Container with Scoop

Key Features:

  • Comes in two sizes: 50 and 80 quart
  • Recessed wheels allow container to be rolled
  • FDA approved, food grade plastic
  • Simple, slim design

This clear, airtight container is classic and simple. With a lid that opens all the way and a taller, slim container, this system is perfect for dropping the bag of food directly into the container and calling it a day. Since it comes in two sizes (the larger of which holds 65 pounds max volume), this is a versatile and easy to use container for any size of dog.

The scoop and wheels included with this container provide a touch of added convenience, and the slim design means storage will not be an issue.

Pros:

  • Recommended by 99% of reviewers
  • Excellent sturdy sealing lid
  • Large amount of space in container
  • Wheels and scoop are added benefits

Cons:

  • More expensive than comparable containers
  • Some users have difficulty with latching the lid
  • Crafty dogs may be able to get the lid off

Gamma2 Vittles Vault Plus Pet Food Storage

Key Features:

  • Vault closure
  • Heavy duty plastic material, BPA free and FDA approved
  • Four size options
  • Good for indoor or outdoor storage
  • Includes measuring cup

You may have noticed this is the third Gamma2 Vittles Vault container included on this list, and that is because these containers are high quality and effective. This container comes in four sizes ranging from 15 to 35 pound max volume, so it is ideal for holding smaller dogs’ food.

The vault closure is a great airtight system, and the heavy duty plastic doubly ensures that no moisture or unwanted visitors will get into your dog’s food supply.

Pros:

  • Durable design makes outdoor storage possible
  • Multiple sizing options
  • Measuring cup allows for precise feeding
  • Vault closure keeps odor inside the container

Cons:

  • All available sizes are quite small
  • Some people have difficulty screwing on the lid
  • Lid can be difficult to get off if left on for an extended period

IRIS Airtight Pet Food Storage Container

Key Features:

  • Very affordable compared to other containers
  • Four sizing options ranging from 8 to 65 quarts
  • Larger sizes come on wheels
  • Locking lid closure system
  • Made of clear, FDA approved plastic

This container looks and functions much like many of the others on our list, but it comes at a fraction of the price. It is available in four sizes, the largest of which holds 50 pounds max volume. Additionally, the larger sizes come on wheels to ensure easy movement.

This simple container has a wide closure to allow for easy scooping, and the simple design lends itself well to storage.

Pros:

  • Very affordable for the quality
  • Good range of sizes to choose from
  • Made of safe products
  • Simple design for use and storage

Cons:

  • Lid comes off easily
  • Clear plastic is easier to crack
  • Some users have issues with the wheels falling off

4 FAQs About Dog Food Containers

Since dog food containers aren’t necessarily something everyone knows they need, it’s only natural to have some questions. Here we have answered four of the most common questions about dog food containers!

  • Are plastic dog food containers safe? Yes, but not all of them. Some plastic is not approved for food storage, and contains chemicals that are harmful to your dog. The plastic used to make dog food containers should be BPA free and in compliance with FDA standards. When choosing a BPA  free container, make sure to look for something that states that the plastic used in it is safe. If you are unsure, don’t be hesitant to reach out to the manufacturer for clarification.
  • How long does dry dog food last? Once it is opened, dog food should ideally be eaten within six weeks. Storing in an airtight container will help to slow the process of the food going bad, but it’s still a good idea to be mindful of the expiration date on the bag, as that is the point at which the preservatives will disintegrate and the food will begin to rot. Unopened food can last between 2 and 6 months, but even an unopened bag is not safe from abiding by the “use by” date. This is the most important indicator of how much time is left before dry dog food will go bad.
  • How many pounds of dog food are in a gallon? There is no hard and fast rule as to how many pounds of dog food will fit into a gallon since dry dog foods come in all different sizes and densities. The best way to get a definitive answer to this question is to perform an experiment with your dog’s specific brand of food. For estimation purposes, you can take a look at this chart and decide which item is closest in size to your dog’s food. For example, if you think your dog’s kibble is comparable in size to macaroni, then about 4 pounds per gallon is a safe estimate.
  • Can you vacuum seal dog food? Sure, but only in small amounts. If you have the time and patience to vacuum seal individual servings of dry dog food, then you will be able to prevent moisture from creeping into your dog’s kibble. If you’d rather take care of the whole bag in one step, a large airtight container is a better option.

Hopefully these answers put to rest some of your burning questions about the best way to store your dog’s food, but any lingering concerns can always be brought up with your veterinarian!

Conclusion

Anyone who takes the time to educate themselves on the subject of properly storing dog food is obviously a loving owner. We hope that this guide has given you the information you need to make an educated choice about the best storage option for you and your dog. Now that you know all the relevant information and have our recommendations, we hope you will make the right choice for your dog’s health and buy a food container today!

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