How to Keep Dog Treats From Getting Hard? (Practical tips)

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We’ve all faced the frustration of reaching for a dog treat only to find it rock-hard and unappealing. But don’t worry, there’s a simple solution to this common problem.

The Short Answer

To keep dog treats from getting hard, store them in airtight containers, maintain proper humidity, and use them within their shelf life.

In this post, we’ll explore practical tips and techniques to ensure your furry friend enjoys soft, delicious treats every time.

a close up of two pieces of dog treats on read surface

Why Do Dog Treats Become Hard Over Time?

Dog treats can become hard over time due to moisture loss, exposure to air, and changes in temperature.

When treats lose moisture, they become dry and brittle, making them less appealing to your dog. Additionally, exposure to air can cause treats to oxidize, which can alter their taste and texture

Lastly, fluctuations in temperature can affect the treats’ consistency, further contributing to the hardening process.

How Can I Choose the Best Storage Container for Treats?

Selecting the right storage container plays a crucial role in keeping your dog treats fresh and soft. 

Look for airtight containers made from materials such as glass, BPA-free plastic, or stainless steel. These containers help to maintain proper humidity levels and protect the treats from air and temperature changes.

Consider the size of the container, ensuring it’s large enough to hold your treats without overcrowding them. A tight-fitting lid or seal is essential to preserve freshness and prevent hardening.

One excellent option for storing dog treats is them OXO Good Grips POP Container. Made from BPA-free plastic, it features an airtight seal that locks in freshness.

Additionally, opaque containers can help protect treats from exposure to light, which may further extend their shelf life.

What Are Some Practical Tips for Preserving Treat Freshness?

1. Store Treats in Airtight Containers

As previously mentioned, airtight containers are crucial for preserving the freshness of dog treats. By keeping air out, these containers prevent moisture loss and oxidation, which can lead to hardening and spoilage.

The Tightvac Pawvac Pet Food storage container is another great choice for preserving treat freshness. This BPA-free container has a unique vacuum-sealed system that keeps air out, ensuring your dog’s treats stay fresh and soft.

2. Keep Treats in a Cool, Dry Place

Storing dog treats in a cool, dry location can help maintain their texture and taste. Avoid placing them near sources of heat or humidity, such as stoves, heaters, or direct sunlight.

I once left a bag of treats on the windowsill, and poor Charlie had to deal with tough, unappetizing snacks for a week! Hey – I couldn’t throw them away, they were expensive, but Charlie still loved them.

3. Use Treats Within Their Shelf Life

Pay attention to the expiration dates on treat packaging. Using treats within their recommended shelf life ensures optimal freshness and flavor.

If you have a large number of treats, consider splitting them into smaller portions and using them gradually.

4. Properly Seal Treat Bags

If you’re using bagged treats, make sure to seal the bags tightly after each use. You can use clips, rubber bands, or even a vacuum sealer to keep the air out and maintain freshness.

5. Rotate Treats Regularly

Regularly rotating your dog’s treats can help prevent them from becoming stale or hard.

Keep older treats at the front of your storage area and move newer treats to the back. This way, you’re more likely to use older treats before they lose their freshness.

6. Consider Dehumidifiers or Silica Gel Packs

If you live in a humid environment, using a dehumidifier in your treat storage area or adding silica gel packs to your treat containers can help control moisture levels and prolong freshness.

Transform your damp, humid space into a comfortable haven with the highly efficient and whisper-quiet NineSky Dehumidifier, while these color-changing silica gel packs are excellent moisture absorbers. You can use them in a litter box as well if you live in a highly humid area to help absorb moisture. 

7. Monitor Treat Quality

Keep an eye on the quality of your dog’s treats. If you notice any changes in texture, smell, or appearance, it might be time to replace them. Remember, your dog’s enjoyment and health should always be your top priority, no matter how much they like milk bones.

a single piece of a dog treat cookie on wooden surface

Can I Soften Already Hardened Dog Treats?

Yes, you can soften already-hardened dog treats! While most dogs like dry food (either kibble or treat) they often like them soft. One simple method is to wrap the hardened treats in a damp paper towel and microwave them for 10-15 seconds.

This helps reintroduce moisture and soften the treats. Be sure to let them cool before giving them to your dog, and do not microwave for more than a few minutes, as paper towels can catch fire in a microwave.

How to Select Long-Lasting, High-Quality Dog Treats

When selecting long-lasting, high-quality dog treats, look for the following:

  • Natural ingredients. Choose treats made from wholesome, real ingredients without artificial preservatives, colors, or flavors. For a high-quality, long-lasting dog treat option, consider Zuke’s Mini Naturals. These treats are made with real, wholesome ingredients and contain no artificial preservatives, colors, or flavors.
  • Limited fillers. Opt for treats with limited or no fillers, like corn, wheat, or soy.
  • Suitable for your dog’s dietary needs. Consider any allergies or sensitivities your dog may have and choose treats that accommodate their needs. The Zuke’s Mini previously mentioned is also free of common fillers like corn, wheat, and soy, making them suitable for dogs with dietary sensitivities.
  • Trusted brands. Purchase treats from reputable brands with a history of producing safe, high-quality products. Once again, we mentioned Zuke from above because it is a trusted brand known for producing safe and delicious treats for dogs.

For a full guide on choosing the right training treat for your pup, follow this guide.


Can I store homemade dog treats with store-bought treats?

It’s best to store homemade and store-bought treats separately, as homemade treats often have different moisture levels and shelf lives compared to commercially-produced treats.

Should I refrigerate my dog treats?

Refrigerating dog treats can help extend their freshness, especially for homemade treats or those made with perishable ingredients.

Can I freeze dog treats to extend their shelf life?

Yes, freezing dog treats can be a great way to extend their shelf life, particularly for homemade treats or those made with fresh ingredients. Just make sure to thaw them before giving them to your dog.

How long can I store open bags of dog treats?

Open bags of dog treats can generally be stored for a few weeks to a few months, depending on the type of treat and storage conditions. Always follow the manufacturer’s guidelines and use your judgment based on the treat’s appearance and smell.

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