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6:22 AM   April 18, 2014
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Best if Used By...
While whole foods are the rage with many companion animal owners, too much of a good thing where small mammals are concerned can result in health problems, including vitamin deficiencies, increased energy and gastrointestinal upset.

Formulated, extruded diets for small mammals, many of whom have very specific needs, offer complete nutrition in a convenient form. For that reason, the pellet category for small mammals remains a popular choice for consumers.

In-store display and at-home storage play a big role in protecting the vital nutrients in pellet formulas. Over time, the nutrients in pellets degrade, lessening the effectiveness of their ingredients – especially vitamins.

Packaging often advises use within a certain time frame after the “milled-on” date, which can range from three months to one year after purchase. Time windows, though, are based on ideal storage conditions.

Store in a cool, dry place – as is often printed on small mammal pellet diets, requires retailers and consumers to pay special attention to these products at every stage of their use, to ensure the optimal nutritional value is retained.

Make sure your back room, warehouse store display and customers’ storage methods fit the products, or the foods you sell may have little nutritional value by the time they are offered to the family pet.

Pellet Storage Guidelines
In the warehouse, moisture and heat often play a role in damage to small mammal food stock. Without the controlled conditions of the sales floor, hot and cold temperature swings easily destabilize binding agents and vitamin ingredients in food – prematurely degrading vitamins and minerals. Moisture brought into the back room from a leaky roof or open overhead door can quickly break down pellets in soggy, worthless stock.

On the Floor, direct sunlight is your biggest enemy where small mammal pellets are concerned. Clear packaging allows consumers to inspect the product, while putting it at risk of spoilage. Most vitamins degrade quickly with direct exposure to UV rays. Your high-visibility location near the front window may be rendering your product ineffective by leeching out these delicate nutrients.

At Home, anything can happen. Consumers store their pet food in any number of locations. Most of which may not be ideal for preserving the freshness of the pellets they feed their animals. Recommend storage in a plastic, opaque bin with a sealed lid, out of direct sunlight or extreme temperature variations. <HOME>


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