Learning about dog treat storage may be the last thing on your mind when you first start baking for your dog. It is much funner picking out all those cute cookie cutters and finding the perfect recipe than thinking about how to store the biscuits. But you don’t want to go to the effort of making your first batch of dog biscuits to see a week later they are stale or have started growing mold. I have been there and done that, it is heart breaking to see all your Martha Stewart perfect looking heart biscuits gone to waste cause of mold growth.
There are three choices for storing your homemade dog treats: in a dog food storage container at room temperature, in the refrigerator, and in the freezer. Depending on the kind of dog treats, and how long you need to keep them will dictate how to store them. Why is this important? Proper storage of your dog biscuits will prevent the growth of mold and spoilage of your treats.
Safe Dog Treat Storage
Baking healthy homemade dog biscuits means that you are probably using healthy natural whole grains and oils in your homemade dog biscuits and cookies, there is a downside to using natural ingredients. They don’t stay “fresh” as long as store bought biscuits that contain chemical preservatives. Natural ingredients can support the growth of mold, they can decompose, and become rancid. Making soft biscuits or dog cakes biscuits with margarine makes the biscuits last much longer then butter or oils, also treats that are made with meat or meat juices will need to stay in the refrigerator and they don’t last as long as other treats.
So how can you naturally preserve the freshness of your biscuits and extend their life? Make sure the moist treats stay in the refrigerator, and dry your hard biscuits properly. Moisture in hard biscuits is your biggest enemy, any sort of moisture will shorten the storage life dramatically and increase the chance of mold growth. Make sure when you bake the biscuits they are firm to the touch, but not burned or over browned. When I am making biscuits for my clan, once the timer goes off I like to transfer the biscuits to a cooling rack, then put them back in the oven with the heat turned off. This lets the biscuits to finish cooling down while the moisture is still being absorbed out, remember drawing out the moisture is key to avoiding mold growth. In a few hours I come back and check on the biscuits making sure they are very hard and firm, usually I bake them at night so I can let them cool down over night. Another way you can draw out the moisture during the baking time is reducing the temperature and cooking them for a longer period of time. But make sure you check on the biscuits regularly to make sure you don’t over bake them!
Another method of drying out biscuits is using a dehydrator, make sure you follow the manufactures instructions for the dehydrator and check often to see if the biscuits are hard enough. I personally have never used a dehydrator, I find my method of leaving the biscuits in the oven till cool works well. But if you have a dehydrator go ahead and give it a try, I heard they work really well at finishing the drying process of the biscuit.
Before storing the biscuits you need to make sure they are completely cooled down. If you don’t and put them into the treat mar you could end up with a moldy jar due to condensation. This point applies to when we make biscuits for ourselves, it is a very important food safety tip to remember. Placing a lid on anything warm and storing it away is just inviting bacteria and mold to start to grow.
Sometimes you will see recipes that call for citric acid, vitamin c or e or Rosemary these are natural preservatives. You can add them if you’d like, however it’s not necessary if you are making biscuits for your household consumption and not retail. Properly dried biscuits can last several weeks in an airtight container, frozen biscuits can last up to 8 months properly stored.
Dog Food Storage Containers
Your choice of treat storage containers is also important and helps keep the biscuits fresh. A simple and cute cookie jar or treat canister works well for casual everyday storage of dried dog biscuits. Check out this DIY for an airtight option then keeps your biscuits fresh while looking cute sitting out on the counter. Amazon has quite a few cute decorative ones that are also great options, I think this one is my favorite, are awful cute too. Etsy is also a great place to find cute handmade option. Depending how humid your house will dictate how strict things need to be air tight, consider this, if you store your bread differently due to humidity in your house. You should probably use a proper airtight container with a seal for the biscuits too.
Now that you know the ins and outs of storing biscuits properly check out some of these great recipes to try them out with your furchildren.