Is your pet food storage making your pet ill?

Tuesday 10th November 2020

If your cat or dog has already experienced issues relating to sensitive skin or digestion, it is especially important to take extra care in the storage of their food.  But why?

The answer lies in storage mites!

Don’t panic, it is highly unlikely that your pet’s food will arrive in your home containing these microscopic organisms. It is likely that our pets, and us, will have ingested some form of these relatively harmless mites in our lifetime and been none the wiser!

However, high sensitisation rates to the Tyrophagus, Acarus, and Lepidoglyphus species of storage mites have been reported in atopic (sensitive) animals. This may result in previous symptoms of sensitivity (such as dry, itchy skin, recurrent ear infections or digestive upsets) reappearing or seeming to increase in severity and place extra pressure on the immune system.

While food may not arrive with storage mites, they can take up residence when the pack is opened.

Environmental conditions can certainly influence food contamination and mite development, so taking special care with the storage of dry food can make a significant difference.

Here are some top tips to help keep your food free from storage mites:

  1. Keep unopened packs and cans in a cool, dry place away from condensation, other sources of moisture, direct heat and sunlight.
  2. Store cans with care to avoid dents and store unopened dry food packs flat, on a level surface, and away from sharp or rough objects/edges to avoid damage to the bags.
  3. Invest in a container to keep your open bag of dry food in. Make sure all containers have secure lids to keep out contaminants, vermin or greedy pets!
  4. Decant unused wet food from an opened tin and store in the fridge (for a maximum 72 hours) or freezer.
  5. Our dry food can be also frozen in portions too (defrost before use) and it can also be vacuum packed.

Storage mites seem to favour cereal-heavy, dusty food, so selecting a high quality product such as Arden Grange with a moderate carbohydrate content comprised of potato or high quality whole grains, a sensible fat content and a generous portion of protein may minimise the risk of mite contamination.

If your cat or dog is experiencing sensitivity we would love to help.  Browse our library of information on the topics of dietary sensitivity or environmental sensitivity in cats and dogs or get in touch for more personalised advice.

Excerpts from fact sheet ‘Storing Arden Grange food’s' by Ness Bird – Nutrition Adviser and RVN CertCFVHNut ©

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