Are Dog Treats Regulated and Who Regulates Them? (Explained!)

Yes, dog treats are regulated by the FDA, although pre-market approval is not going to be required in order to sell your dog treats. That said, that doesn’t mean that they don’t have some requirements that you will need to fill.

Your product must be completely free of all harmful substances and safe to eat. Also, you will be required to prepare your dog treats in a sanitary environment, as well, and you need to have an ingredient list that is completely accurate and honest.

Any deviation from this can get you in a lot of trouble, in the form of fines and possibly worse if you’ve really bent the rules and animals get hurt eating your treats, so be sure to make your packaging and products compliant to avoid and pitfalls down the line.

Today we’ve brought you a collection of some of the most popular questions that people just like you asking this week. Inside you’ll find important information, such as whether or not you need insurance to sell your treats, if it’s okay to market to Canada, and more.

Read on for useful tips for starting off your home dog treat business the right way – details are waiting below!

Do you need approval to sell dog treats?

Yes, most states will require a business license and some may even have special labelling requirements for your treats or even require a commercial kitchen. That said, usually you just need a business license and you can make your treats at home in a regular kitchen – it all depends on your state.

You will, however, need to be licensed in every state that you wish to market your treats in, so consider consulting a lawyer before you get started or marketing somewhere like Canada where you only need to be licensed in your home state.

Can I sell dog treats from home?

Yes, you don’t have to rent out office space, but may simply sell dog treats, toys, and even boarding or dogsitting services from your home. All you’ll really need is a business license and if you start selling your treats online, you’ll need a license for each state that you will be selling in.

You can advertise your home treats online, through places like Facebook and Google businesses, or simply set up shop at some local venues – local bazaars, flea markets, and farmer’s markets are a great way to start and if you have any small-business style pet stores in your area then you should talk to them about your treats.

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Do you have to have a license to sell dog treats on Etsy?

You’ll need a business license for the states you will be selling to and you may well need a commercial kitchen. While this is generally only required for vendors selling food intended for human consumption, some have reported that a licensed kitchen is required to sell on Etsy.

Depending on how your treats are made, this may or not be the case, so be sure to contact Etsy before posting your treats online in their stores.

Can I sell dog treats without a license UK?

No, you cannot sell your treats in the UK without a license, so what you will need to do is to visit your local Trading Standards office. They will provide you with the forms that you need and likely a small fee will be required so that you will be licensed to see your dog treats locally as you like.

Are dog treats taxable?

Taxation is where things can get tricky, as it’s going to vary a lot from state to state. Florida is a good example, as human food is not taxed but dog food and dog treats definitely are.

You will need to research this in advance when you are obtaining your licensing to ensure that you don’t get a nasty surprise from the IRS further down the line… unfortunately there is not a ‘blanket’ tax, as the decision is made on the state level as well as the federal.

Can I sell homemade dog treats in Canada?

Yes, selling homemade dog treats in Canada through your online shop is a great way to get started. Canadian laws will allow you to ship your treats there, all that you need is to be legally licensed to vend your products in your home state.

This is good, as registering state by state can get a little complicated and overwhelming for businesses that are just starting – this way you can market online immediately to Canadian clientele and expand to local states over time.

How do you market dog treats?

Local marketing is best done through venues such as ‘mom and pop’ pet stores, flea markets, bazaars, and the Farmer’s market. This lets you give out samples and charm a few new customers into trying your treats out, and word of mouth will do the rest.

Aside from this, take advantage of online options as well, such as Google business and local dog groups on Facebook. Just make sure with the latter that you check their rules first – not all dog groups will allow you to advertise and if you get reported you might get your account suspended for a few days!

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Do I need insurance to sell dog treats?

Yes, you are going to want to have insurance and, in most states, it will be legally required that you do. Professional liability insurance can help to cover attorney and possibly even settlement costs if a customer accused your treats of giving Rover a tummy ache or worse!

While your treats might be perfectly safe and yummy, frivolous lawsuits can and DO happen, so be sure that you protect yourself and your business with the proper insurance before you start.

Do I need a licensed commercial kitchen to sell dog treats?

Usually a licensed, commercial kitchen is only going to be required for food that is intended to be consumed by humans. That said, the reality is that it will vary from state to state, so you will have to check with your local health department.

The good news is that it is highly unlikely, but you’ll want to check to be absolutely sure and thus to avoid any potentially hefty fines.

Do I need USDA approval if I have meat in my dog treats?

No, USDA approval is only going to be in cases where you are marketing human food, not dog treats! The FDA handles approval for dog foods and treats, so that is the only governing entity that you will need to worry about other than your local city and state business license requirements.