The shelf life of dry dog food is approximately one year. Before buying dog food, pet owners should look for the "best if used by" date on the container to ensure food is not expired. Canned dog food products have a shelf life of about two years.
The types of preservatives used in dog food can also affect its shelf life. Dog food with natural preservatives may have a shorter shelf life than products that contain artificial preservatives. Another factor that can affect shelf life is the area in which a person stores pet food. Environmental factors, such as oxygen, high humidity, light and heat, can damage dog food. It is a good idea to store dog food where it has limited exposure to these factors.