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Expired dog&cat food?....are they safe? opinions please?

April 30th, 2007, 06:42 PM
I have received a donation of dog and cat food. The dog food is Iams and Eukanuba, dry kibble, in sealed bags and also canned dog and cat food by Iams. I also received some cat food - dry in sealed bags by Royal Canin. All of these foods are all expired...i.e.assorted dates, but all from 2006, i.e. expired Feb.o6, some are June 06 etc...I opened the bags of Iams to smell them ....Poo, Yuck and the colour of the kibble was yellowish green! definitely EXPIRED! I am putting them in the garbage. But, the bags of dry cat kibble, by Royal Canin smell fine. I was wondering opinions about the IAMS cans that are expired.....even though they do not smell "off" - could they still be dangerous and unsafe? And the Royal Canin.....even though they smell fine and look good - what are your opinions? I would be feeding: a pregnant mother cat, and her previoius 3 teenage cats - all of them are feral, they survived the winter living outdoors in a shelter under the balcony at a neighbour's. I would appreciate any opinions about these expired foods. Thanks.

April 30th, 2007, 06:52 PM
personally, I wouldn't feed it. I wouldn't eat expired food, and thus wouldn't expect any animal in my care (feral or not) to eat it. I wouldn't want to be responsible for illness from feeding bad food. some things you cannot control - but you CAN control the choice of food that is fed.

Expired food, although it may smell ok to you, could make an animal ill. with a feral cat (or any cat for that matter), you may not notice the illness until it's very serious. Then another problem is catching the feral cat and having it treated at the vet. IMO, it's not worth the potential risk.

just my opinion.

April 30th, 2007, 07:04 PM
No. IMO, no.

If a dog food has expired by a day, it has still been sitting on the shelf for 8 months to a year.


April 30th, 2007, 07:06 PM
Yeah I agree with the others. Expired food can be dangerous. A deadly mold can grow on the food without affecting the look or smell of the food.

April 30th, 2007, 07:07 PM
We actually called a food manufacturer about this once, and the woman said that dry food was good up to a year after the exp. date, and canned food up to 2 years. However it does make me nervous to feed old food, we will use cans if they are less than 4 months past expiry date, dry food less than 2 months past. Making sure of course that it looks and smells okay. We would rather not feed expired food at all, but sometimes it is all we have.

April 30th, 2007, 07:25 PM
I think you should ask your vet., he would know the best. But I am sure that it is still good for a long time, but how long?

April 30th, 2007, 07:28 PM
SableCollie, I guess it depends which food because some food companies I've talked to are very adamant about not feeding their foods once expired.

April 30th, 2007, 07:35 PM
and we're not talking about good foods to begin with... nasty iams and pukanuba and RC.

trash-can.... safest place for the expired food IMO :sick:

April 30th, 2007, 09:07 PM
It was one of the natural foods...can't remember exactly which one. We figured the crappy foods had enough chemicals to last to the next millennium, but the better foods don't have the nasty chemical preservatives so we wanted to check. The woman we talked to said oh yeah, she had accidentally gotten expired food before and she still fed it to her cat. She was nice, but I didn't trust her 100%. Unfortunately at the shelter we do have to feed foods that are past the sell-by dates sometimes, we don't always have the resources to go out and buy more food. :sad:

I would never feed my own pets expired food though.

May 4th, 2007, 06:13 PM
Being involved with rescue, not every organisation has the luck or luxury of getting all its food from recently-produced, well-stored, unopened bags or cans.

If don't have to rely on expired food from unknown sources (how long was it stored and, especially, in what conditions), then don't

I agree with SableCollie that a good rule of thumb for mid-range pet food from well-stored, unopened bags is 12 months. I would say that 'better' food would not last as long (about 6-8 months) due to less processing and preservatives.

I have often encountered unusable Iams bags and scary looking and smelling Nutro samples but I'd venture they were stored in warm places and/or exposed to light. I've heard of some Nutro and Techni-Cal bags that were expired for more than a year and were reliable (no adverse effects on dogs). Better that than dusty food with Sam Walton's dog name on it or Scientifically Deficient ;)

In your case, I'd would probably throw out the February food and might give the June food a try. In doubt, compare with a non-expired bag of the same brand: if it looks and smells almost the same, you're probably OK. If you're not sure, throw away (compost if you can...). I'd trust a well-stored, recently expired bag over one that spent some time in the sun or the car...

With the spiked food scare, I try to get my hands on food that expires no later than July or August 07 for the special-needs dogs!