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Best pet food containers: Keep pet food fresh for longer

pet food containers
(Image credit: Pission)

Getting one of the best pet food containers will save you time and money, while keeping your pet’s food fresh. Whether it's the best dry dog food or the best dry cat foods, many pet owners will know the trouble of storing multiple bags of kibbles. This is especially true if you have a greedy cat or dog in the house who will happily scratch open a bag to get their dinner early! Pet food containers also keep food fresher for longer, allowing you to buy in bulk - simply decant your chosen dry food into a container, seal it up, and you can prevent it from going soft for weeks and even months.

Choosing the best pet food container for you really comes down to your specific needs. Obviously, size is a major concern, and the larger your pet the more food you’ll need to store. If you’re looking to tidy your pet’s food away inside a cupboard or on a shelf, a stackable or standing container is best. However, if you’re storing a large amount of food in a pantry or shed, for example, you can opt for a larger ‘trashcan style’ option.

The best pet food containers are made of specific materials too. Plastic containers are the most common option, and they work because they’re easy to seal air-tight, and you won’t get any chemicals leaching in from the plastic itself if you get something free of PBAs. If you opt for metal, make sure you get something in stainless steel or lead-free carbon steel, which doesn’t use a base-metal body, as this will rust or degrade over time and with moisture, and start to leak nasties into your pet’s food.

(Image credit: IRIS)

IRIS Airtight Food Storage Container With Scoop

Best pet food container overall

Capacity: 25lb + 10lb | Dimensions: 16.5 x 10.8 x 18.6 inches | Material: Plastic | Airtight?: Yes | Includes Scoop: Yes

Large capacity
Comes with wheels
Takes up plenty of space

The IRIS airtight storage container is such a versatile piece of equipment, it’ll cover you for pet feeding scenarios you probably hadn’t even thought of before. It’s a large plastic trolley, and has wheels on the bottom so you can easily move it around. Because its maximum capacity is 35lb, if you fill the bottom and top containers it gets quite heavy, so the wheels are necessary if you store your pet food away from their feeding area (which most of us do).

It’s made of sturdy plastic, and the lids on both the top and bottom containers are airtight, so it will keep either dog or cat food fresh for a long time. The seals are effective, and the lids are firmly shut, so they can’t be forced open by pets or young children. The multi-layer stacking system means you can store two types of food in a single container, which means that you can mix regular kibble with other, more specialized diet types. If you have a cat and dog, the IRIS works for both - put the dog food at the bottom and the cat food at the top.

This model includes a scoop, which is very handy. However, it is a single scoop, so if you’re using the two compartments for different pet foods, you may need to buy a separate scoop to cover both. And while this container is a great way of getting the most storage from the minimum of space, it’s still very large, so you may struggle to include it in a smaller kitchen or apartment. Overall, though, the IRIS airtight container and scoop combo is practical, space-saving, and robust, which is why it’s our top pick. It’s also available in a variety of colors, to suit most spaces.

PetsRadar's pick of the best pet food containers

(Image credit: Van Ness)

Van Ness Pet Food Storage

Best budget dog food container

Capacity: 5lb-50lb | Dimensions: 12.5 x 14.5 x 16.25 inches (25lb version) | Material: Plastic | Airtight?: Yes | Includes Scoop: No

Large, simple design
Has wheels
Pretty ugly

While pet food containers are far from the most designed and sleek accessories, the Van Ness pet food storage box is very, very utilitarian. It’s like a Doctor Who villain from the ‘70s, that somehow stores dog food. Okay, all joking aside, this is a great container even if it isn’t a looker. You can get it in a range of sizes, from 5lb to 50lb, but we recommend the 25lb unless you have several large dogs.

It’s very simple - there are wheels on the underside at the front and back, so you can wheel it to your dog’s feeding area (handy if it’s full and heavy). The lid opens right up from the front with an easy catch mechanism, exposing a large area from which to scoop your dog’s kibble while they dance around you excitedly. The lid seals airtight, and remains so for years. While this lid is easy to open, it can’t be forced by pets or smaller kids (although - fair warning - older children will be able to access it) and it snaps shut satisfyingly.

The plastic that Van Ness uses has been approved as safe by the US Food and Drug Administration, so you know it won’t leak harmful chemicals or colorants into your dog’s food. Most of the more popular containers are, but it always pays to check. It’s cheap too, and you get a lot of dog food storage for your money.

(Image credit: IRIS)

IRIS Airtight Cat Food Container

Best budget cat food container

Capacity: 12.5lb | Dimensions: 13.8 x 8.3 x 14.8 inches | Material: Plastic | Airtight?: Yes | Includes Scoop: No

Easily stored
Well priced
Made of safe plastic
Smells a little

The smaller, 12.5lb container from IRIS is perfect for keeping cat food fresh. It’s small, compact, and can be stored in a cupboard or on a standard shelf. It’s designed to be a similar size to a cereal box, and can be stored alongside all kinds of similar-shaped items. The container itself is made out of safe, BPA-free plastic, and is sturdy enough to withstand being dropped, should you trip over kitty during feeding time. 

One downside noted by many users is that this IRIS container does have a distinct smell of plastic when you first purchase it, so we recommend thorough washing before putting any food in there, and perhaps being prepared to throw out a first load of kibbles a little sooner than expected, to get rid of the smell. 

The lid is airtight, and fits the tub well. It has a handy clip that allows you to lift off the lid and break the seal, giving you a large area for either scooping or pouring food direct into your waiting cat’s bowl. We always recommend a scoop if your cat is on any kind of diet, and we note that at the top of this storage container is a wider rim with enough space to fit a scoop, even when it’s near-filled. It’s also relatively inexpensive for such a reliable container. Obviously, you can go cheaper with an off-brand item, but we think this is a good price for the quality you get.

(Image credit: Pission)

Pission Pet Food Container With Measuring Cup

Best for pets on measured diets

Capacity: 5.5lb | Dimensions: 5.91 x 3.54 x 8.66 inches | Material: Plastic | Airtight?: Yes | Includes Scoop: Yes

Comes with measuring cup
Easy to store
Handy shape to grip
Not as sturdy as some

If your pet is on medication you’ll know how tough it can be to regulate their diet. The Pission container with measuring cup helps with this, as it integrates a feeding cup that you can use to measure the exact amount of kibbles your cat or dog is getting. This means you don’t need a separate measuring cup, and therefore it saves you money and comes as a single storage option.

The Pission container has all the other features you’d expect to see in a top-rated piece of pet equipment. It’s made of safe plastic, which can be recycled when you eventually decide to dispose of it, and it is airtight when you’ve clipped the lid on. The measuring cup sits on the top of the lid, and fits nicely, so it won’t rattle or fall off when you store it. We like the shape of the container too, as it has grooves at the rear, making it easier to grip when you’re pouring food into a bowl or the cup.

It’s well priced too. The only issue is that it’s smaller than some other containers, so you can’t fit as much kibble in there and may have to decant into it several times per bag. It comes in a variety of colors, and for some reason these cost a little more than the plain white one. All the containers are see-through, so you know how much kibble is left in there, and when it’s time to top-up.

(Image credit: Gamma2)

Gamma2 Vittles Vault

Best exterior pet food container

Capacity: 40lb | Dimensions: 21 x 12 x 17 inches | Material: Plastic | Airtight?: Yes | Includes Scoop: No

Easily stackable
Handy screw-lid
Large capacity
Tougher to move

We appreciate the name of the Gamma2 Vittles Vault, purely because it makes some attempt to make food storage sound exciting. We also appreciate the sturdy build quality here, and the fact it maximizes your space when it comes to storing dog food. The Vittles containers can easily be stacked too, which means the only limit to the amount of food you can store is the height of your ceiling. 

The Vittles is so hardy that you can store it outside too, as the weather is unlikely to penetrate the circular, sealed lid that sits on the front of the container. The airtight seal on the Gamma2 is really impressive too, and you’re unlikely to get any moisture or other particles inside the container, which - again - makes it perfect for exterior storage if that’s what you need. The plastic is BPA free, and is FDA approved, so you know it won’t degrade and leak any harmful chemicals into pooch’s kibble.

We like that it’s stackable but, while there are handles for moving the container, this is a static solution for storing food. You bring the bowl to the container with the Gamma2, and not the other way around. It entirely depends what your particular situation is here, and you may not want to move your food around much. The Gamma2 Vittles Vault comes in 40lb and 60lb sizes so is perfect for mass storage too. No extra colors, though, and the design is one you either love or you don’t.

(Image credit: Bergen)

Bergen Wall-Mounted Container

Best wall-mounted pet food container

Capacity: 40lb | Dimensions: 15.75 x 11.25 x 26.13 inches | Material: Plastic | Airtight?: Yes | Includes Scoop: No

Saves on floor space
Very sturdy
You have to wall-mount it
Tough to regulate food dispensing

If you’re feeling brave, and want to save floor space, try the Bergen Wall-Mounted pet food container. It has a large capacity and you mount it to the wall yourself, using the metal plate provided - a little like hanging a TV in your living room. It’s easy enough to install, and has a decent 40lb capacity, so you won’t need to fill it too often. Kibbles can be poured into the top, and you dispense them at the bottom via a handle.

There are big pros and cons that come with a wall-mounted dispenser. Obvious advantages include space saving and the fact that rodents can’t burrow underneath it or chew it, so you know you can keep it completely pest and insect free. It is airtight too, so moisture shouldn’t seep in either, and you won’t get any coming up from the ground either if your floor is cold or prone to damp. If you struggle with bending down to scoop from a regular pet food container this can save your back or knees too. The downside is that you have to mount it and do a damn good job, because it’s heavy when full. You’ll also need to get confident with dispensing via the handle, which does take some getting used to. You’ll likely spill and overfill bowls until you work out how fast the food actually comes out.

While you can detach it from the wall easily enough, it’s tougher to clean because of this. And while it’s well-enough made, you will need to replace it with the exact same model if parts do break down beyond repair. Overall, we like the idea of a wall-mounted pet container, but it’s really up to you to decide whether the space and convenience benefits are worth the effort of installing it.

How to choose the best pet food container

Selecting the best pet food container really comes down to the space you’re working with, and the pet you have. Smaller spaces and smaller pets will require less space, but you may want something a little larger so that you can store several months’ worth of food in a single place. Equally, larger pets may require more food, so you should look for something big and stackable, unless space really isn’t an issue. Certain pet food containers can be stored outside but you need to be confident that they are sturdy enough to withstand the elements, and their airtight seal is strong enough to not degrade quickly.

In terms of materials, we would always suggest plastic, and always recommend that you check it is PBA-free and comes with some kind of assurance from a government agency. While you’re unlikely to get chemicals leaking into your pet’s food, it just isn’t worth the risk, and while you may save a few bucks on a cheaper container… you’ll spend big when it comes to veterinarian bills if your dog or cat does get sick.

If you want metal, always make sure that you’re storing it in a cool, dry area (because few come with airtight seals) and that you get a steel container with no harmful chemicals or elements that can rust. Rusted iron or lead in your pet’s food really, really isn’t good for them. Metal bins are often more attractive and expensive, so be sure they suit your practical needs when you buy one.