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I've always heard that after a bag of kibble has been opened, it should be be used within six weeks, as quality starts to degrade. Keeping it in something like a Vittles Vault can help keep it fresh a bit longer, but it's probably a better option to only buy bags that will be used within the six weeks. Buying a smaller bag that costs more per pound is better than buying a huge bag that costs a lot less per pound, but having to throw half of it away because it's gone rancid and your dog refuses to eat it, or even worse, gets sick from eating it.
 

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Kibble has sell by dates on the packaging. So if you will use your bulk buy before that date you're fine. And of course your bulk buy needs to be in sacks of a size so that you will feed each sack in a reasonable time after you open it per what LeoRose said. You wouldn't want be buying a bunch of large sacks if you have one Chihuahua.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I've always heard that after a bag of kibble has been opened, it should be be used within six weeks, as quality starts to degrade. Keeping it in something like a Vittles Vault can help keep it fresh a bit longer, but it's probably a better option to only buy bags that will be used within the six weeks. Buying a smaller bag that costs more per pound is better than buying a huge bag that costs a lot less per pound, but having to throw half of it away because it's gone rancid and your dog refuses to eat it, or even worse, gets sick from eating it.

what's the difference with vittles vault? They claim it keeps it good for a long time
 

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I would assume that, at the very best, something like the vittles vault is still only going to keep the food fresh up to the expiration date on the original sealed food bag. In reality it'd probably be significantly less, because the food will still be exposed to fresh oxygen every time you open the vault - and the vault still should be kept in a cool, dry place for best results. It'll be better than keeping the food sitting in the open bag or in a non-airtight container, but it'll have its limits. I'd still only want to keep something like two months' worth of food open at any given time.

Freezing portions of an opened bag will help too, so you only have a few weeks sitting at room temperature at a time and just thaw out another lot when that runs out (wash and dry the container any time you add fresh food, of course! That greasy residue kibble leaves will go rancid and can contaminate even a new bag).
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I would assume that, at the very best, something like the vittles vault is still only going to keep the food fresh up to the expiration date on the original sealed food bag. In reality it'd probably be significantly less, because the food will still be exposed to fresh oxygen every time you open the vault - and the vault still should be kept in a cool, dry place for best results. It'll be better than keeping the food sitting in the open bag or in a non-airtight container, but it'll have its limits. I'd still only want to keep something like two months' worth of food open at any given time.

Freezing portions of an opened bag will help too, so you only have a few weeks sitting at room temperature at a time and just thaw out another lot when that runs out (wash and dry the container any time you add fresh food, of course! That greasy residue kibble leaves will go rancid and can contaminate even a new bag).

the original expiration date is very long - like 1.5 years


Is dry dog food good for 2 months without any containers?
 

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I'd aim more for 4-6 weeks with no containers (try to close up the bag with a clip or something, though). Older might not hurt your dog, but the nutritional value in kibble starts to degrade when exposed to air, so the more air exposure the less nutritious. And then eventually you'll have the fats go rancid, which can make your dog sick or just refuse to eat.
 

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The "best by" date on the bag is how long the manufacturer thinks it will be before an unopened, undamaged bag that haven't been exposed to temperature extremes starts to lose quality. An opened bag of kibble, whether it's in a sealed container or not, is, as DaySleepers mentioned, exposed to oxygen, which speeds the breakdown of nutrients and causes the oils in the food to go rancid. I've had bags go bad long before the best by date, probably from being improperly handled during transport and/or storage before I bought it.

Also, the longer food is allowed to sit around, the more likely the chances of insect infestation. And once you have pantry/flour moths in your house, they are the very dickens to get rid of.
 
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Discussion Starter #9
The "best by" date on the bag is how long the manufacturer thinks it will be before an unopened, undamaged bag that haven't been exposed to temperature extremes starts to lose quality. An opened bag of kibble, whether it's in a sealed container or not, is, as DaySleepers mentioned, exposed to oxygen, which speeds the breakdown of nutrients and causes the oils in the food to go rancid. I've had bags go bad long before the best by date, probably from being improperly handled during transport and/or storage before I bought it.

Also, the longer food is allowed to sit around, the more likely the chances of insect infestation. And once you have pantry/flour moths in your house, they are the very dickens to get rid of.

So what do you recommend? Just buy 1 month's worth of food then?

How to avoid insect infestation? If I keep the food up high on counter top, will they still get in?

Is that sealed airtight food container thing worth it??
 

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We buy a 33# bag and fill a 5 gallon bucket with a screw-on lid. We then use what is left in the bag first before opening the bucket.
 

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Yes, I recommend buying packages that will be used within six weeks or so. Based on my storage space, I usually buy 15-20 pounds bags, which last my two dogs roughly 3 weeks. Sometimes I will buy a 30-ish pound bag, which lasts them around six weeks. I have a plastic bin that I can put two unopened 15-20 pound bags in, as well as a Vittles Vault that I transfer it to once it's opened (actually, I have two, but one is usually empty unless I'm using a larger bag).

Leaving an opened bag of food sitting out makes them more vulnerable to bugs, but even an unopened bag can become infested if stored in an area where there is an insect problem. That's one reason I keep my unopened bags in a storage bin, to help control any bugs that might have come along with it.
 
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