Why do my pooches get bored of their food?
My Pooch is bouncing around my legs as you lean in and scoop a nice big cup full of it’s favourite kibble and fill up the bowl - but then I notice breakfast isn't even finished yet and it's dinner time. “Strange one thinks” but thinking no more about it, I top up the bowl. It's then I notice that instead of the head dropping into the bowl, slurping and crunching, there's just a lot of curious sniffing going on around the rim, then just a look up at me, tail dropped and those eyes! Almost pleading with me. I can’t understand what's happening - “oh well this bag of kibble is nearly done, probably bored of it now - i’ll try a different brand next time”
Well, the truth is most dogs don't get bored of the same food like humans do. If you put it into perspective, us humans have 9000 taste buds and dogs only have 1700 taste buds so their taste preferences are far simpler than us humans and don't like salty or bitter foods the same way we do.
So what's wrong then, why didn't the food get eaten this time?
Well to be frank, dog food goes bad and goes bad quicker than you may realise. So this may well be the problem. Although dogs' taste buds are less than ours, their sense of smell is incredible! They can very quickly detect when food is bad. An open bag of kibble really only lasts approx 2 weeks according to Steve Brown, author and a world-renowned pioneer in the development of formulas for pet food.
How often have we purchased the biggest bag – it makes sense right? Don’t have to go to the pet store as often, the bigger the bag the better the deal, if you buy the smaller bags the price difference doesn’t make sense and anyway the “Best Before Date” says at least 12months so why not?
What does the expiry date really mean?
You need to be aware that those expiry dates and best before dates indicate how long the food will stay fresh unopened…not opened! So without proper storage or some other option for your dog food, it's only normal for your dog to get bored of that big cumbersome bag. But as mentioned, it's most likely not that it's bored, but the food has gone bad.
Because. There is this big, scary, unseen enemy to dog food and ironically it is needed to keep both us and our pets alive……but just destroys the heck out of the goodness in the food. Oxygen!
You know that fresh loaf of bread you bought yesterday, how good is it when you pick up a loaf so fresh it's still warm, yeah well now think about how quick that bread goes stale if it is left sitting on the bench? The same goes for that bag of dog kibble, and oxygen is the enemy of both products.
What bad does Oxygen actually do?
Oxygen and oxidisation (the thing that happens when kibble is exposed to oxygen) is the destroyer of so much goodness when let into that big bag of “fresh” kibble! .…the oxidisation starts quickly getting to work to sap out all the goodness and nutrients within the bag.
Oxidisation is when the oils of the food get exposed to oxygen and with kibble being packed with an array of fats and oils that can be sensitive to the oxygen, ta-ta Freshness, goodbye Goodness, out you get Flavour.
Now, your kibble would normally be packed with a great range of antioxidants (especially premium kibble) which do their part to slow this oxidisation, but like anything as overpowering and cumbersome as Oxygen these antioxidants soon give up the fight and will quickly become oxidised.
As the fats and proteins become broken down, due to being exposed to this air & moisture, they then become rancid, and are at risk for bacterial contamination.
According to a study from Science Direct, research shows that frequent consumption of oxidized fats may cause cancer and contribute to many chronic health problems.
“Rancid fish oil may increase your dogs risk of heart disease, atherosclerosis and blood clots. When you consume rancid fish oils, your dog's body must use its stores of antioxidants such as vitamin E to neutralize the rancid oils, leaving fewer of these resources available to your dog's body for cellular repair and disease prevention.” – Livestrong
According to www.petinsuranceaustralia.com.au, one interesting and scary thing to consider is “Over the past four years we’ve seen an increase from around 7,000 claims per year to over 17,000 for canine cancer.”
So was my dog really bored? Or is it just that I should be more thoughtful in the handling of my pooches food, Considering my dog is a family member…. like, I wouldn't even consider drinking a bottle of wine that's been open for a few days because of this same oxidisation thing… and here I was never contemplating that the same thing is happening to that big bag of kibble in the corner of the laundry!
How can I slow down or even stop this from happening to my dogs food?
There are 6 ways you can help, or try to help, prevent this oxidisation from happening:
- Once a bag is opened, consume contents within 7 days. Consider a smaller bag option.
- Store food in a cool, dry environment – ideally in a climate-controlled area, such as laundry or kitchen. Store under 38°C
- Store the bag inside a storage container – but make sure you don’t pour the content into the container as sometimes the plastics also spoil the kibble with fats and oils settling into the walls and the bottom of the bin… that’s this oxidisation thing again.
- Do NOT buy damaged or ripped bags – where they could already be at risk of air and humidity exposure
- If your dog turns its nose up, don’t force them to eat. It could be trying to tell you something. Don’t risk it, dispose of that bag
And the last but not least
- Consider Fetched PawPacks. These are the freshest way to feed your Pooch their kibble. They are in small portioned packs, with no exposure to air until feed time and with a calculated feeding plan to suit your dog, the perfect amount of packs get delivered to your door in perfect timing so you don’t run out.