When moving aboard our 42′ sailboat almost a year and a half ago, it was critical to find a safe place to store dog food right away before we untied the lines and left the dock for good.
With not one, but two large dogs, we go through a fair amount of dog food every month and we needed a creative storage solution. We searched high and low for air tight/water tight/bug tight containers. We searched even harder for containers that would fit in the odd-shaped storage areas we have on our boat. With roughly 360 square feet of living space, storage comes at a premium. Granted, every square inch of the design was carefully thought out, storage is still very limited.
The most important part to me was finding a well-sealing container that wouldn’t serve as a smorgus board for bugs. I’m absolutely terrified of getting an infestation after reading several warnings from other boat owners about making sure every crumb is accounted for.
I found a company online that has several of the best solutions for storing dry pet food, Gamma2. They also happen to be based out of Carlsbad, San Diego! We love to support local businesses from our home town 🙂
We were so excited when our (4) SoftStore 30 bags arrived. The SoftStore bags are exactly what I was envisioning when searching for a storage solution. They can mold into any area where a rigid container might not fit. These bags are lined with a food-grade plastic and the lids have the patented Gamma Seal design to make them totally air tight.
On average, we can carry two 40lb bags worth of dog food and have fit it all into the 4 SoftStores. They hold 30-35 lbs (8.0 Gallons) if stuffed full, but we like to leave a little room on top so the bag is more malleable. That way we can save our precious storage space and the bags fit into all the odd size nooks and crannies of the two cabinets we have chosen for them.
It’s much easier to fill the SoftStore bags with two people, but it’s not too difficult for just one person either.
Gunner is not the free-feeding type of dog. If we left food out for him, he would keep eating until he throws up. It’s actually kind of a good thing that we don’t free-feed the dogs, so we don’t have to worry about bugs feeding on the dog food at night.
The SoftStore 30’s are stored under the settee where we can access them with little trouble twice a day.
There are two compartments with 12″x12″ openings and we can fit two SoftStore bags in each one.
To fit them way back underneath we needed to leave a little air in the bag with the lid partially unscrewed. If you press all the air out, it’s harder to adjust the bag. Once we got them in there, we screwed the lids down all the way.
The front-most compartment is where the filters are for our water maker and this is where it was a little more tricky to find containers that will fit while still utilizing the entire area.
To access the food, we lift up part of the wood board covering the compartment with one hand, unscrew the Gamma Seal lid with the other hand, and then grab a full scoop of food. SOO easy!!! I had been really nervous about how difficult it might to be to store the dog food inside the boat AND be able to access it without a hassle. Turns out its one of the easiest things we do everyday.
Now that we have them, we simply CANNOT imagine storing our dog food any other way. If we didn’t have our SoftStore bags, we wouldn’t be able to stow away the dog food anywhere else and it would still be sitting in the original bag on the couch next to us every day. Oh, and we’d probably have cockroaches too!!
How do you store pet food in your tiny house?