Does Wet Dog Food Spoil?

Does Wet Dog Food Spoil?

Wet dog food can spoil if it is not stored properly or if it is past its expiration date. The main cause of spoilage in wet dog food is the growth of bacteria, mould, and yeast. These microorganisms can grow on the surface of the wet dog food and produce toxins that can be harmful to your dog if they eat the spoiled food.

Wet dog food usually spoils if it is not refrigerated or if it is opened and not used within 7 days. Also, once opened, it should not be kept out for more than 4 hours (only for ideal weather), as moisture affects wet food and causes mildew.

Here are some factors that can contribute to the spoilage of wet dog food:


Wet dog food should be stored in the refrigerator to keep it fresh. If the food is left out at room temperature for too long, bacteria can grow, leading to spoilage.


Wet dog food is usually come in airtight containers to keep oxygen out, which can cause spoilage. Once the container is opened, the food is exposed to oxygen, which can cause it to spoil faster.

Water content

Canned dog food has a higher water content than dry food, which means it can spoil faster if not stored in a refrigerator.

Shelf life

Wet dog food typically has a shorter shelf life than dry food, so it is important to check the expiration date on the package and use it before it goes bad.

Simple Ways to Preserve Wet Dog Food to Avoid Spoilage?

To keep wet dog food from rotting, store it in the refrigerator, seal the container or pouch firmly after each use, and use it within a week after it is opened.

Even though the expiration date is longer than one week, once the canned food container is opened, it is exposed to all of the climatic commodities that threaten its existence.

If your dog’s food has a strong smell or appears to have changed colour after a few days of use, it is likely spoiled and should not be fed to your dog.

Don’t Freeze Wet Dog Food

Wet food should not be frozen because it can cause the flavor to change and the food to degrade quickly when thawed. It is better to store wet dog and wet cat food in the fridge, before serving, and you should not freeze the food after it has been served, as this can introduce bacteria, and result in spoilage.

To properly thaw frozen food before cooking, it should be left at room temperature and then cooked. A microwave can be used to cook the food. It’s important to note that dry dog food should not be frozen or stored in the refrigerator as the presence of moisture can cause the food to spoil quickly and become unhealthy.

Expiry Dates for Dry vs. Wet Dog Food

Dry dog food, also known as kibbles, tends to have a longer shelf-life compared to wet or canned dog food. This is because dry food is formulated with added preservatives and has a lower moisture content, which helps it stay fresh for longer periods after it is unpacked.

However, it’s important to note that both dry and wet dog food has the same expiration duration, which is typically around 2 years from the manufacturing date. The main difference between the two types of food is their freshness and moisture content.

It’s worth noting that if you leave dry dog food out for a day, it may become spoiled if it comes into contact with water or other contaminants, so don’t leave it out in the rain.

How Long is Wet Dog Food Safe to Leave Out?

According to the United States Department of Agriculture, the bacteria “danger zone” is between 40°F and 140°F. This temperature is critical for dog food to go spoil if not careful. Which is the reason wet dog food should not be left out for more than 2 hours in warm and humid conditions, which can cause wet dog food to spoil more quickly. However, in normal condition it can be up to 4 hours.

If you accidentally leave wet dog food out for too long, it is important to throw it out and not feed it to your dog. There are a few signs that can indicate that wet dog food has spoiled and it is best to throw it out and give your dog fresh food.

  • The wet dog food has an off odour or a sour smell.
  • The wet dog food has a strange colour or appearance, such as a grey or greenish tint.
  • The wet dog food has a slimy texture or appears to be covered in mould.

What Happens if My Dog Eats Spoiled Wet Food?

You should be worried if your dog consumes spoiled wet food. Bacteria and germs that can create poisons can be found in rotten wet dog food. These toxins can induce vomiting and diarrhoea, as well as lack of appetite, tiredness, and gastrointestinal pain in your dog. In severe situations, it can result in renal failure and other major health issues.

If you feel your dog has eaten bad wet food, take them to the veterinarian for an examination. This will save their lives, and depending on the severity of the sickness, your dog may receive treatment. Medication to manage vomiting and diarrhoea, fluids to avoid dehydration, and other supportive care may be used in the therapy. The veterinarian may need to hospitalise your dog for further treatment.

Alan Martin
Alan Martin is a pet lover and writer with a passion for penning heartfelt pet memoirs. He is the proud owner of a dog named Joy, a cat named Milo, and a raccoon named Furby. Alan has mastered the art of pet nutrition and cares for all kinds of furry friends from his work at Pet Science. As a contributor to BestB, he's sharing his expertise with the world. His years of experience in the field have allowed him to develop a deep understanding of pet care and nutrition, and he is committed to providing reliable guides with good and bad points for each pet food and accessory so that you can make an informed decision when it comes to your furry friend's needs and care.