How Long Can Raw Dog Food Be Left Out? An Expert Guide

Keeping your dog’s meals safe and healthy is essential for its happiness. Correctly storing its diet is a significant factor in the dog’s health. Your dog’s diet depends on how you preserve its meals because spoiling meals can negatively affect its health. Are you wondering how long raw dog food can be left out? It would help to store your dog’s meals healthily and adequately to maintain their nutrients and freshness. 

Based on my experience, I will make it easy by giving you all the tips to store your dog’s meal. Just as there are different types of meals, there are various methods of storing them, such as different methods for storing meat, fish, and other raw foods. So I will tell you different ways to store different types of meals.

1. Chances Of Improper Storage, Including Bacterial Contamination; 

Improper storage spoils the meal, leading to many diseases, such as diarrhea, vomiting, and an improper digestive system. 

Improper storage can lead to various types of germs and bacteria in the diet.

Meat has a high water content, and moisture causes bacteria to grow.

Ensure there is no access to air when storing minced meat, as aerobic microorganisms need oxygen to grow.

The diet’s nutrition and freshness are recovered if the storage method is correct.

If the meal is stocked correctly, it tastes better.

Because of improper storage, the meal starts to smell like Rotten Eggs.

2. Tips For Safe Raw Food Storage Practices

First, set the refrigerator’s temperature to about 5 degrees or below. Excessive cooling will inhibit Bacterial growth.

2: Always save meals in an airtight container or ziplock bag so that no air can enter them. This will prevent the juice from the raw meat from spoiling other foods.

3: Store raw meat, seafood, and poultry on the bottom shelf because they receive more cooling. The purpose of keeping meat and poultry on the bottom shelf is that they will not spoil as quickly. You can store cooked food on the top shelf of the refrigerator.

4:Before storing leftovers, check the label to see the expiration date and how long they can stay fresh.

5: Then clean the fridge thoroughly so bacteria cannot grow. Do not overload the refrigerator because air circulation is necessary to maintain a cool temperature.

3. Thawing Techniques To Maintain Food Quality

I will explain the methods essential to maintaining raw food’s nutritional value and safety.

Do not defrost food rapidly by placing it in a microwave oven or under running water.

Instead, shift it from the freezer to the refrigerator for 24 to 36 hours. The slow melting will keep it cool and prevent bacterial growth.

Do not let it warm up at room temperature; if you keep it at room temperature, after 15 minutes, it starts to grow bacteria.

If you have less time and want to defrost the food quickly, put the food bag in a bowl and fill the bowl with cold water. After every 30 minutes, you should change the water. In this way, you can melt food within an hour or two.

You can’t melt it in hot water because it will quickly heat the food and increase the risk of bacterial growth.

You should defrost the required food according to your dog’s diet because melted food cannot be refrozen.

4. Recommendations For Travelers Or Pet Owners On The Go:

Most people want to take their dog’s meals with them on trips and are worried about the storage process. While planning food storage, you should consider your destination because longer trips and hot-weather destinations require more planning to keep it cool. I will give you some tips for keeping dog meals safe and fresh.

The best way is to get a good-quality cooler according to the number of meals you take. You can keep the food excellent by helping with quality ice packs. Replenish ice packs as needed.

Freeze the food portion in the freezer before taking it. Use frozen food like ice packs, which slowly thaw into the required meals.

If you want a meal, you should choose a dry raw dog meal because it does not spoil quickly and can stay fresh even at room temperature.

To avoid spreading bacteria, bring clean utensils and bowls from home and wash your hands thoroughly before serving meals.

Use all the meals during the trip, as the melted food cannot be refrozen.

5. Is frozen raw dog food safe?

Frozen raw meat is also a safe option for your dog. Suppose you use suitable storage methods. It may be easier for dogs to digest. Frozen food can contain more nutrients than store-bought kibble. It is a well-balanced, healthy diet. 

Raw food may support nutrient absorption and keep skin healthy and shiny. Since raw food contains fewer carbohydrates than kibble, it helps with weight control. Raw, meaty bones clean a dog’s teeth and improve dental hygiene.


If you follow the healthy ways I have mentioned, you can store raw food in your freezer for a long time. You should stock food so that nutritional values and freshness are maintained. I have told you the risks of improper storage. If you don’t stock food properly and keep it in a warm place, bacteria can proliferate. Keep the freezer at about 5 degrees to prevent the growth of bacteria.

 I have told you to stock the meal in a zip-top bag or an airtight container. You should check the expiration date of the food before stocking it. I have also taught you how to melt a meal after freezing it. Refrain from defrosting frozen meals too quickly. 

I have given some valuable tips for people who want to take their dog food with them on their travels. I have given you details on storing meat and fish and informed you about some of the benefits and quality of a raw dog diet. The storage tips I have shared will be helpful for you, and you can stock your dog’s diet with nutrients. 


How Should Raw Dog Food Be Stored?

You should stock food in an airtight container or a ziplock bag so that air does not enter it because aerobic microorganisms need air to grow, which can spoil the food.

Can raw dog food go bad?

Yes, raw dog food can spoil if you keep it at a high temperature or use the wrong strategy; there can be a higher risk of spoilage.

How Do I Know If Raw Dog Food Is Bad?

You will know if food is spoiled by its appearance, taste, and smell. Spoiling food smells like rotten eggs. Check its manufacturing date.

What Temperature Should Raw Dog Food Be Kept At?

You should set the refrigerator’s temperature at 5 degrees when storing food because there is no concern for bacterial growth at higher temperatures.

How Long Can Raw Dog Food Be Left in the Bowl?

Raw dog food can stay fresh in a bowl for up to an hour or up to 30 minutes on summer days. However, it will spoil if left in the bowl longer than that.

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