Can I Make and Sell Dog Treats? (Solved & Explained!)

It’s definitely within the realm of possibility to make and sell dog treats. But, you will have to get a license to do it since most states within the USA require it. Some states will have other requirements as well, like a designated kitchen that’s not your home.

Plus, there’s an initial investment of ingredients, supplies and promotion before you make a dime. It’s also a good idea to get insurance in the event something would happen to someone’s dog as a result of eating your vittles.

Is There a Big Demand for Homemade Dog Treats?

Yes, dog treats are in huge demand. Especially now since it’s come to light that there are nefarious ingredients in many commercially-produced dog treats. These things contain items like salt, high fructose corn syrup and other chemical additives that can destroy a dog’s health.

People need treats for training, rewards, birthdays and other special occasions as well as something to offer for daily consumption. So, there’s definitely a market for homemade dog treats and you can try to cash in on your piece of the pie.

How Do You Know If Making & Selling Dog Treats Is Right for You?

If you already make treats for your dog at home, doing it on a grander scale might be right up your alley. Alternatively, if you’re surrounded by people with dogs and you have a culinary knack, making and selling dog treats might be a perfect career for you.

Can You Make a Significant Profit by Selling Dog Treats?

If you have a quality product that dogs go batty over, you can make anywhere from $500 to $1000 per month as a beginner. However, as you grow and expand while getting your brand name out there, this could increase to as much as $5,000 to $10,000 per month.

How Do You Get Started Making & Selling Dog Treats?

The very first thing you have to do to get started making and selling dog treats is looking up your state’s laws about it. Some states require a diploma or certification for making dog treats along with a special establishment that isn’t your home. Yet other states simply require you to register your business.

Then, you have to find out what people look for or want in a quality dog treat. Talk to the dog lovers you know and do your research online. This means perusing through online forums about other brands of treats to see what people love and hate about them.

You can also look through ones already selling on places like EBay and Etsy. Check out what a particular store owner’s ratings are and how people’s dogs like the food. As you undergo this evaluation stage, ask yourself the following:

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  • Are there any flavors, textures and styles that dogs seem to prefer over others?
  • Are there any flavors, textures and styles of treats that dogs avoid?
  • What kinds of treats do you think will fill a gap or hole within the dog treat market?
  • Should you start with one type of treat and see how it goes or offer a few different ones?
  • What is your mission statement? What is the purpose of your treats and how will they stand out?
  • What kind of budget do you have to initially invest in things like supplies, ingredients and advertising?

What Is the Minimum Investment Amount to Start Selling Dog Treats?

Depending on what kind of cooking equipment you already have, your initial minimum investment could be as little as $100 or as much as $300 or more. But, if your area requires you to have a kitchen and licensing, this may be $500. So, the startup prospects are promising at the very least.

If you are on a serious budget crunch, then going for one type of treat and seeing how that goes for you might be best to start off with. However, in the event you’re already making treats for your dog, then all you’re going to need to pay for will be the ingredients. Then you can try out a few selections to get started.

What Kind of Equipment Will I Need to Get Started Making & Selling Dog Treats?

Study the checklist below to see if you have any of the following items on hand and what you’ll need to get:

  • Cookie Cutters
  • Cooling Rack
  • Ingredients (flour, eggs, meat kidneys, veggies, fruits and etc.)
  • Large Cookie Sheets
  • Measuring spoons and cups
  • Mini Muffin Tins
  • Mixing Bowls
  • Rolling Pin
  • Spatulas & Mixing Spoons  
  • Stand Mixer
  • Storage Containers & Packaging (including labels)
  • Trustworthy & Reliable Oven

What Is the Average Price for Homemade Dog Treats?

The typical homemade dog treat sells for anywhere from $10 to $30. However, base your price on total expenses. This includes the cost of ingredients, energy usage, packaging, your labor and etc. You want to ensure you get at least 30% over the total cost. This means parsing out the cost per measurement of ingredients, package, kilowatt of power and etc.

How Do You Advertise Your Dog Treats?

Start promoting your brand by getting friends, family and neighbors onboard. Hand out free samples to see what the response is. Use their input (both good and bad) to improve your recipe and finalize your technique. Remember, word of mouth is the best advertising you don’t have to pay for.

Also, you can open a free blog on something like Wix or WordPress and sell them through your own mini market. But, make them fresh to order. This is because homemade dog treats have a brief shelf life and you want to make yours as fresh as possible.

Then, set yourself up on social media sites like LinkdIn, Pinterest, Instagram and etc. You also want to try making a shop on Etsy as well as Ebay or even PoshMark. You could try posting a sign outside your door promoting your dog treats or ask to leave a business card at the local dog groomer.