Pet Food Safety Tips

Pet food safety is just as important as human food safety. Pets can get food poisoning too. Practicing safe pet food handling techniques is the first step in keeping health pets. There are a variety of tips to ensure a pet’s food is safe and ready for consumption.

Five Pet Food Safety Tips

1. Food Storage
2. Food Handling
3. Food Bowl Cleanliness
4. Food Spoilage
5. Leftovers

1. Food Storage

Food storage is often overlooked by many pet owners. They don’t realize how important it is to store foods in cool dry locations. A bag of dog kibble many not have to be refrigerated, but it still needs to be stored properly. It is so important to keep dry foods out of moist conditions. Moisture can lead to mold and bacterial growth. Both of these things can make pets and people seriously ill. If food ever smells moldy or foul it should be thrown out immediately. Bad smelling food should never be fed to one’s pet.

2. Food Handling

Safely handling food is important for dogs and cats too. It is important to wash one’s hands before and after feeding pets. This can reduce any potential bacterial outbreaks. Pet owners should always be cognizant of the cleanliness of their hands. Hands can pick of a variety of germs that can be passed on to pets. In addition, it is also important to wash one’s hands after feeding pets. This ensures a high level of food handling safety is achieved.

3. Food Bowl Cleanliness

Food bowls are great at harboring germs. Bacteria can easily grow on water dishes too. They should be cleaned with warm water and soap regularly. This is a great way to make sure pets are always eating out of clean bowls. Most people prefer to clean their food and water dishes at least once a week. Savvy pet owners may wash their dishes daily. This is an important way to keep areas clean.

4. Food Spoilage

Being aware of potential food spoilage is so important. It isn’t enough to keep foods in dry cool environments. Foods should be checked regularly for signs of spoilage. Does the food appear fresh? Are there any strange smells that could indicate mold or bacteria growth? It may be necessary to check for expirations dates as well. Freshness is critical for pet food safety.

5. Leftovers

Proper treatment of leftovers is important for ensuring one’s pet doesn’t get sick. Canned food should always be refrigerated or thrown away after opening. In addition, there are great covers available that fit over larger dog food cans and small cat food cans. So many cat owners like to feed wet food. In families with only one cat, a single can may be too much for one meal. Owners will typically want to use the can in a following meal to avoid being wasteful. Refrigerated canned food should be used swiftly. It is important to check the label on canned foods for shelf life expectancy.

Taking Care of Your Pet’s Teeth
Just like the humans who love them, pets require good dental care. As many as 4 out of 5 dogs over the age of three may have some sort of dental problems, including periodontal disease. Of course, the first step towards good cat dental health and good dog dental health is to begin a healthcare routine with your pet. Here are some tips to help keep your animal companion’s pearly whites shining bright.

Cat Dental Health
While it can be a little bit more difficult to perform dental care on your kitty, good cat dental health is important. If the cat gets gingivitis, it could lead to inflammation of the gums or even tooth lost.

It’s important to know the signs of dental problems in your cat. Signs can include:

Extreme bad breath

Swollen or red gums


Bleeding from the gums or a receding gumline

Reluctance to eat or difficulty in eating

To provide your cat with dental care and to help improve cat dental health, consider regularly brushing kitty’s teeth. You will need to obtain a special “cat” toothbrush and toothpaste. Make sure to never use human toothpaste.

Feed your cat raw pieces of beef, the chunkier the better. The cat will really need to chew on these chunks which will help to clean his or her teeth. Another common food to feed cats to promote dental health is raw chicken necks or bones. This is somewhat controversial, however, so check with your vet before doing so and find out what he or she thinks about it.

Dog Dental Health
Good dog dental health can start with a good brushing as well. Again, there are special toothbrushes made for cleaning dogs’ teeth. Also, do not use human toothpaste, as the fluoride can be poisonous. Dog toothpaste often comes in flavors like chicken that dogs find delicious.

Some dogs are very touchy about allowing you to brush their teeth. Don’t worry as there are still ways to take care of dog dental health. There are special rinses you can purchase, specially made for dogs. There are also special dental treats that can be purchased. It’s recommended that real bones be avoided for dental hygiene purposes. Real bones can cause tooth fracture and possibly stomach upset within your canine pooch.

Visit Your Vet
For both dogs and cats, visiting the vet regularly is an important step in good dental health. Regular vet check ups should include an oral exam, and if necessary the vet can perform a cleaning during those exams. Some animals require more frequent cleanings than others, so the exact number of times cleanings will need to be done will vary significantly based on the animal itself, diet and other factors.

Daily care of your pet’s teeth is important. In any case, should you spot any obvious dental issues such as cavities or loose teeth in older dogs, contact your vet.

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