How long can you store dog treats?

As a pet owner, we want our dogs to be healthy. Giving them healthy dog treats is one way of supporting their growth. It’s also an excellent way to train your dog. Giving them treats when they’ve successfully done our commands.

You know that dog treats expire, so storing them properly is a must. It helps prolong their shelf life. This is even more important for homemade dog treats since there are fewer preservatives.

Are you wondering how long can you store dog treats before they expire? In this article, we’re going to talk about it. Let’s dive in.

Don’t forget, Dog Treats Expire

homemade dog treats

Like any other food, dog treats also expire. You can see their expiration date printed on their packaging. You usually see that near the bar code or beside the manufacturing date.

If you buy lots of dog treats to store in your cupboard, monitor their expiration dates. You can write their expiration dates on paper and pin that to your information board, or stick that to your fridge.

A good practice for storing is to place the ones soon-to-expire near the cabinet door front. That way, you can quickly grab what’s in front once you open your cupboard.

What’s the average shelf life of dog treats?

dog treat

Different brands of dog treats like treats from Vitapet Australia have their respective expiration dates. But on average, dog treats expire around nine to twenty-four months. This is for most commercial dog treats. For homemade treats, that’ll be shorter, so you need to let your dog consume them as fast as possible.

Now, let’s talk about the expiration dates of different kinds of dog treats.

Homemade Dog Treats

Dog homemade treats are made from natural ingredients. Because of that, you expect it to last between three days to a week. You will see that in the packaging of dog treats.

To make a homemade treat last longer, store them in a clean and cool space. You can store them inside your cupboard away from direct sunlight.

Dog Baked Treats

You can make your own dog baked treats from peanut butter or meat. After baking them, cool treats completely before putting them inside the freezer. This dog treat can last between three to four days.

A good example of baked goods are peanut butter dog treats. You can store them on your fridge and it’ll last for a week.

Frozen treats must be thawed before giving them to your dogs. You can’t feed your pet with frozen hard dog food.

Soft baked treats, when they are expired, they tend to be crumbly. In contrast, dry baked treats, when they are stale, they tend to be soft.

Dehydrated dog treats

Good examples of this kind of dog treat are chicken, dried sweet potato, dried fish, and beef jerky. These dog treats last longer because they are dry. There’s less moisture to cause spoilage.

For your storing option, you can use a Ziploc and place silica packets inside to help absorb moisture. The latter is the main cause of why dog treats spoil faster.

Milk Bones

This is a famous biscuit for dogs. Many pet owners use this for training their dogs. There are smaller sizes of milk bones you can use for rewarding your dog every time they accomplish a command.

If you go to pet stores, they’d recommend different sizes of milk bone based on your dog’s size. For instance, stores have a specific milk bone for dogs that weigh 6 to 25 pounds. If your dog is larger than 50 pounds, they also have a specific milk bone for that.

In terms of shelf life, if the milk bone is fresh and stored properly, the longest shelf life is 1.5 years. You’ll also see in their packaging the best by date for knowing their expiration.

Bully Sticks

Unlike other treats, bully sticks are made from one ingredient. They are easy to chew and can help clean your dog’s teeth.

Bully sticks serve both as food and treats for pets. There are many health benefits from them. Unlike other treats, they don’t splinter when crushed. You can expect no problem with giving this to your pet. These treats are good for your dogs since they have vitamin c and are easy to digest.

If you properly store them in a completely cool and clean space, they can last up to three months. On average, bully sticks can last around a year and a half. This if you store them in a cool and clean cabinet.

In terms of shelf life, this treat can perish as fast as a few days. That’s when you don’t store them properly. If you let them stay in open shelving, they can stay fresh for several weeks.

CBD Dog Treats

When your dog have health problems, you can give them CDB treats. This is a crunchy dog treat that contains cannabinoids (e.g. CBD, CBG, and CBN). These compounds have many health benefits for pets:

  • Improve heart health
  • Better digestion
  • Faster brain function
  • Promotes muscle growth
  • Boosts their immunity

The crunch factor of this dog treat is enjoyable for dogs. In terms of shelf life, you will see in their original packaging their best-before date. Their average shelf life is between nine to twenty-four months.

Do stale dog treats taste bad?

meat treats

Whether you have a DIY treat or frozen treats, they all have a specific shelf life. Once they reach their expiration date, expect that your tasty treats won’t be the same. Some of them may turn dry and crumbly. Others may turn out like soft treats.

Stale dog treats taste bad. This is natural since microbes and bacteria will be growing in them. If you accidentally let your dog eat a spoiled treat, it gives them health problems.

Can it cause diarrhea?

A pet food expert would tell you that letting your dog eat spoiled treats can harm their tummies. If your pet has a sensitive tummy, the more dangerous it is for them.

The nutritional value of a dog treat also degrades as it comes to its expiration date. That’s why most dog treats are placed inside airtight storage containers to preserve them.

A treat jar can be good storage containers for your store bought treats. Training treats, you can place them on your cupboard.

How to properly store homemade dog treats?

homemade dog treat

We understand that you want to save money and avoid the wastage of dog treats. Properly storing your homemade dog treats is a must to prolong their shelf life. Below are best tips for treat storage tips:


Place them inside an airtight container

Most homemade dog treats are best stored in an airtight container that is vacuum-sealed. You can also wrap them with aluminium foil. Do this before placing them inside your freezer. This is done to avoid freezer burn.

Removing air is a must to avoid spoiling your dog food. If there’s moisture inside, it promotes growth of molds. This can spoil your dog treats. Molds are not good for your pets. They can cause allergies and tummy ache to your pets.


Arrange them according to their expiration dates

Manufacturers intentionally made the best by date easily be seen for customer awareness. If you have a cupboard intended for storing dog treats, place those that have earlier best before dates near the cabinet door. Those that will expire later, or after a year, you can place deeper into the cabinet.


Homemade dog treats need to be stored in fridge

DIY dog treats need to be stored inside your fridge. They have a shorter shelf life than commercial dog treats. That’s because they have natural preservatives that help them last as long as a week or a month.

Homemade treats and baked treats both require cool storage. Once you let them completely cool off, that’s the time you can place them inside an airtight container before putting them inside the fridge.


Remove moisture by baking them at low temperature

You can extend the shelf life of your dog treats by removing moisture through slow heating. It could be baking your dog treat at low temperature for a longer time. That way, you’re not burning them, just removing extra moisture.

After baking and letting them cool, you can place them inside a jar with silica packets. The latter helps absorb moisture. But you have to place your dog treats inside a plastic before placing it inside the jar.


Cool them before storing

Whether you are baking or frying your dog meat treats, you will always need to cool them before storage. That’s because if you store them with little warmth, that will condense the steam and moistened your dog food. Moisture can cause bacterial growth that can lead to spoiled food.


Let’s Wrap Up

dog's treats

We hope we have given you enough ideas about the shelf life of dog treats. And how you can preserve them to stay fresh for a month or a year. As pet owners, we need to understand this process since we want to save money and food for our pets.

We also don’t want any food allergies in our pets, right? So giving them healthy fresh dog treats is ideal.

In case you have other questions about dog food safety, feel free to browse our blog especially if you have pugs. We are more than happy to help you.