How Long Do Pet Treats Last?

Indulging your furry friend with tasty treats is a surefire way to make their day, and yours too. Seeing them wag their tails in excitement is truly priceless. But have you ever wondered how long those treats last? Or maybe you’ve stumbled upon an old stash of pet treats and questioned if they’re still safe to feed your pet.

Well, fret not. I was just as curious as you are, so I dug deep into the matter and discovered some interesting facts about pet treats. The truth is, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer when it comes to their shelf life. It depends on several factors such as the type of treat, storage conditions, and brand quality.

But don’t worry, in this article, I’ll be sharing everything I’ve learned about how long pet treats last and how to store them properly. From determining the average lifespan of different types of pet treats to identifying signs that it’s time to toss them out – we’ve got you covered.

So whether you’re a seasoned pet owner or a newbie looking for some guidance on keeping your furry friend healthy and happy, read on for all the juicy details on how long pet treats really last.

Types of Pet Treats

With a wide range of pet treats available in the market, selecting the right one can be a daunting task. Not only do you have to consider the flavor, but you also need to think about the shelf life of the treat.

Dry treats are the go-to pet treat for most pet owners as they are readily available and have a long shelf life of up to six months when stored correctly. These treats come in different shapes, sizes, and flavors, making them ideal for training or rewarding your pet. They’re perfect for busy pet parents who need to stock up on treats that last.

Semi-moist treats are soft and chewy treats that usually come individually packed. They have a higher moisture content than dry treats and have a shorter shelf life of up to three months. Although they tend to be more expensive than dry treats, they’re an excellent option for pets who prefer softer treats.

Soft treats are similar to semi-moist treats, but they have a lower moisture content, and they come in different textures like chewy or crunchy. These treats usually come in resealable bags, making them easy to store. Soft treats also have a shorter shelf life of up to three months.

If you’d like to make homemade pet treats, you should know that they don’t contain preservatives, so their shelf life is shorter than commercial pet treats. Homemade pet treats can last up to two weeks when stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Not only are homemade treats healthier for your pet, but it’s also a great way for you and your furry friend to bond while baking together.

Dental chews are designed to promote dental health by reducing plaque and tartar buildup on pets’ teeth. These chews can have a long shelf life of up to one year when stored correctly in an airtight container in a cool and dry place. They’re not only a tasty treat for your pet, but they also help maintain good oral hygiene.

Factors Affecting Pet Treat Shelf Life

The storage environment, ingredients used in production, and packaging materials all play a role in determining how long a pet treat will last.

The storage environment is a critical factor affecting pet treat shelf life. It’s essential to store pet treats in a cool, dry, and dark place to prevent humidity, moisture, and sunlight from causing spoilage over time. An airtight container or bag is also necessary to prevent air from getting in and accelerating the spoilage process. By following these tips, pet owners can ensure their furry friends get fresh and tasty treats every time.

Another significant factor that affects the shelf life of pet treats is the ingredients used in their production. Treats made with natural ingredients and no preservatives have a shorter shelf life than those made with artificial preservatives. Natural ingredients are more prone to spoilage and bacterial growth compared to synthetic ones. Therefore, it’s crucial to check the ingredient list and expiration date before purchasing pet treats to ensure they are fresh and safe for consumption.

Lastly, packaging materials also affect the shelf life of pet treats. Manufacturers often use different types of packaging materials like plastic, paper, or metal. The type of packaging material used determines how much air and moisture can penetrate the package and affect the product’s freshness. Plastic packaging does not allow air to escape leading to condensation inside the bag, which can spoil the product faster than other types of packaging.

Dry Treats: Biscuits and Jerky

This includes their treats. Dry treats like biscuits and jerky are popular among pet owners because of their convenience and shelf life. However, it’s important to understand that not all dry treats are created equal when it comes to their longevity.

Biscuits are a crunchy delight for pets and typically have a longer shelf life than jerky due to their lower moisture content. If kept in a cool, dry place, most biscuits will last for several months. But don’t forget to check the expiration date and storage instructions on the packaging, as some biscuits may begin to lose their freshness and flavor after a few weeks. To keep them fresh and tasty, it’s recommended to store them in an airtight container or ziplock bag to prevent moisture and air from getting in.

Jerky, on the other hand, has a higher moisture content than biscuits, making it more prone to spoiling quickly. Most jerky treats will last for several weeks to a few months if stored properly in a cool, dry place. However, once the package is opened, it’s essential to consume or store the jerky properly within a few days. Otherwise, it can quickly go bad due to bacteria growth. Keeping opened jerky in an airtight container in the refrigerator is the best way to maintain its freshness and safety.

It’s also crucial to note that homemade pet treats may not have preservatives or additives to extend their freshness like store-bought treats do. As a result, they may have a shorter shelf life. It’s best to follow a recipe from a trusted source and store homemade treats in the refrigerator or freezer if they are not consumed within a few days.

Moist Treats: Soft Chews and Fresh Meat-Based Treats

Moist treats such as soft chews and fresh meat-based treats have gained immense popularity among pet owners in recent years because of their mouth-watering taste and nutritious value. But it’s crucial to know how long these treats last to make sure they are safe and healthy for your pet.

Soft chews, made with a blend of protein, fat, and carbohydrates, can last up to 18 to 24 months if stored correctly. Keep them in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight or heat sources. After opening, consume them within a few weeks to ensure maximum freshness.

Fresh meat-based treats like jerky or dehydrated meats have no artificial preservatives, making their shelf life shorter than other treats. These scrumptious treats typically last around three to six months if kept in an airtight container in a cool and dry place. Check for any signs of spoilage before feeding them to your pet, such as mold or an off odor.

Some soft chews and fresh meat-based treats may have expiration dates or best-by dates, so always follow guidelines to ensure that your pet enjoys fresh and safe treats.

Checking Expiration Dates

But while it’s easy to get caught up in the fun of treat time, it’s crucial to remember the importance of checking expiration dates. After all, just like with human food, expired pet treats can be harmful to your pet’s health.

So why is checking the expiration date on pet treats so crucial? Well, for starters, expired treats can harbor harmful bacteria and lose their nutritional value over time. This can lead to a whole host of digestive problems for your pet, from uncomfortable vomiting and diarrhea to costly veterinary bills. Yikes.

Avoiding these issues is easy when you know what to look for. Most pet treats will have an expiration date printed on the packaging, making it simple to determine whether or not they’re still safe to consume. And while some treats may have a “best by” or “use by” date instead of an expiration date, it’s still best to err on the side of caution and avoid feeding your pet treats that are past their prime.

Of course, it’s not just about checking the dates – proper storage of pet treats is also key. By keeping your furry friend’s snacks in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight and moisture, you can help prevent spoilage and extend their lifespan. Because let’s face it – no one wants to waste a perfectly good bag of treats.

Signs of Spoilage

It’s important to keep an eye out for signs of spoilage in these treats to ensure that what we’re giving them is safe and healthy. Just like human food, pet treats can go bad over time and lose their nutritional value.

One of the first things you should look out for when checking if a pet treat has spoiled is a change in appearance. If the treat looks discolored or moldy, it’s best to throw it away immediately. Additionally, if the texture has changed from what it was originally, that’s another sign that the treat may no longer be safe for consumption. Always check for any visible signs of decay before giving your pet a treat.

Another way to tell if a pet treat has spoiled is by using your sense of smell. If the treat has a foul odor or smells off, it’s best not to give it to your pet. Similarly, if the treat tastes off or has an unusual flavor, it’s best to discard it. Trust your senses when it comes to checking for spoilage in pet treats – they’re usually right.

It’s important to note that some treats have a shorter shelf life than others. Treats made with fresh ingredients or those that are soft and moist tend to spoil faster than harder and drier treats. Always check the expiration date on the package and follow any storage instructions provided by the manufacturer to extend their lifespan.


In conclusion, pet treats are a perfect way to pamper our furry friends and show them some love. But, it’s crucial to understand how long they last and how to store them correctly to keep them safe and healthy for our pets. The shelf life of pet treats depends on various factors like the type of treat, brand quality, and storage conditions.

Dry treats such as biscuits and jerky have a longer shelf life than moist treats like soft chews or fresh meat-based treats. It’s essential to store pet treats in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight or heat sources. Checking the expiration date on pet treats is crucial as expired treats can harbor harmful bacteria and lose their nutritional value over time.

Spoilage signs include changes in appearance, foul odor, or unusual flavor. Before giving your pet a treat, always check for visible signs of decay. Treats made with fresh ingredients or those that are soft and moist tend to spoil faster than harder and drier treats.

By following these tips, we can ensure that our furry friends get fresh and delicious snacks every time. So go ahead – indulge your pets with their favorite snacks.