When you buy treats for your pup, chances are, they go through them quicker than you can say “want a treat?”
But that’s not always the case. Maybe you like to keep a variety of treats on hand for your pup and rotate them (different treats for different moods, amiright?). Maybe you stash a bag of “emergency treats’ in the back of the cupboard. Or maybe you bought a bunch of treats at once and it’s taking longer for your pup to get through them than you planned.
Whatever the case may be, there might come a time where you find yourself with an old bag of treats in your hand wondering “how long do dog treats last?”
So—how long do dog treats last? Do dog treats expire (like milk or meat)—or is it fine to feed your pup the treats you buy today six months from now, a year from now, or beyond?
How Long Do Dog Treats Last?
So, when it comes to “how long do dog treats last?” the answer is—it depends.
Dog treats are just like any other food; they have a shelf life, but that shelf life depends on the type of treat, how it’s made, how it’s packaged, and what ingredients are included in the recipe.
So, for example, if you bake a homemade batch of peanut butter treats for your pup, they’re going to have a much shorter shelf life than a highly processed dog biscuit that’s packed full of preservatives. If you buy dog treats that are packaged in an airtight container, they’re going to last longer than treats that aren’t sealed in their packaging.
The point is, there’s no singular answer to how long dog treats last—it all depends on the treat.
Finding The Right Balance
That being said, in an ideal world, you want to find a balance. You don’t want dog treats that are going to expire in a week (and before your pup can fully enjoy them). But you also don’t want to feed your pup something so packed with preservatives, you could leave the treats in your cupboard for 20 years—and they still wouldn’t go bad.
As a general rule of thumb, dog treats should have a shelf life between six months to three years. Before you feed your dog a treat, check the “best by” date on the packaging. While this won’t tell you exactly when the food was made, it will give you an idea of its shelf life—and when you might start running into issues like mold, spoiling, or loss of nutritional value.
Now, if you’re nearing the bottom of your bag of dog treats and it’s a few days past the “best by” date, don’t worry! Typically, dog treats are safe for consumption for at least a few months after the best buy date. But if it’s past that few-month mark, it’s time to trash those treats and restock your supply with something fresher.
So, what are the different kinds of dog treats you might want to consider adding to your stock (so you have plenty of fresh dog treats to keep your pup happy and healthy)?
Soft-baked treats are not only delicious, but because they’re so easy to chew and digest, they’re a great option for puppies, older dogs, or pups with digestive issues. Try soft-baked treats that pack a flavorful punch, like the Barklyn Bacon Bagels or the Coney Baloney Beef Hot Dog, to get the most bang for your buck.
Freeze-dried treats (like Stink, Steak, Stunk!) not only pack a ton of flavor into a small package, but they have a long shelf life—so they’ll last a long time without losing any of their flavor (or going bad in their packaging).
Why worry about your dog treats expiring when you can replenish your stock every month? With BarkBox, you’ll get a carefully curated selection of chews, toys, and two bags of high-quality treats that your pup will devour long before their expiration date. And the best part? We deliver them straight to your door every month.