Can Dogs Eat Expired Dog Food? The Pros and Cons of Feeding Your Fido Leftovers


Many of us are guilty of buying too much dog food and letting it sit in the pantry for far longer than recommended. Maybe you found an old bag at the back of the closet or forgot about a can tucked away somewhere. Now, you’re left wondering if it’s still safe to feed your furry friend.

Understanding Expiration Dates

First things first, let’s talk expiration dates. Like human food, dog food has a shelf life that is printed on the packaging. These dates indicate when the food will start to lose its nutritional value and flavor, but they don’t necessarily mean that it’s unsafe for consumption.

For dry kibble or canned dog food stored properly (in a cool, dry place), most experts recommend using it within six months to one year after purchase. However, there are some exceptions depending on how much processing has been done to preserve the ingredients.

The Risks of Feeding Expired Dog Food

While feeding your pooch expired dog food might not immediately harm them, there are potential risks associated with doing so. First off, as we mentioned earlier, expired dog food loses its nutritional value over time meaning your pet may not be getting all the vitamins and minerals they need from their meals.

Additionally, expired foods can go rancid which could lead to gastrointestinal issues like vomiting and diarrhea for your pup. If canned foods have been improperly stored or sealed then bacteria can grow causing botulism poisoning which leads ultimately leads death if left untreated.

What To Do With Expired Dog Food?

If you discover that you have old dog food lying around what should you do with it? While throwing perfectly good items away isn’t ideal either due to waste concerns or budget restrictions recycling by donation is always better alternative than risking any health hazards associated with feeding them past expiry date .

Many animal shelters and food banks accept unexpired dog food donations. Consider donating your expired bags or cans to these places provided the expiration date hasn’t exceeded 6 months from the current date.


In conclusion, feeding your dog expired dog food is not recommended because of risks associated with potential health hazards like bacteria growth or nutritional deficiencies but it doesn’t necessarily mean that it will harm them immediately. If in doubt about whether a specific product has gone bad – don’t feed it! Better to be safe than sorry when it comes to our furry friends’ health and wellbeing.