Can I Mail Homemade Dog Treats? (Solved & Explained!)

Yes, you can mail homemade dog treats, but there are rules if it’s a commercial venture rather than sending dog treats to a friend. For a friend, just vacuum seal them and let the post office know what you are sending.

With commercial treats, you’ll need a local license to sell them in your state and the state that you are sending them to – who may also have special labelling requirements, so check in advance.

We should note that Canada is a popular market, especially for new businesses, as they only require that you are licensed for the pet treats in your home state. If so, you can ship them to Canada with no additional licensing required.

For the remainder of this article, we’ll address questions trending this week from people just like you, who are considering selling their dog treats locally or online. Read on to find out important information about things like natural preservatives for your treats, how they should be packaged, and more!

Is there a good market for dog treats?

Most definitely. In the United States alone in 2020, the Pet Treats market was valued at a whopping 5.7 billion dollars! Japan and Canada are also big consumers when it comes to pet treats and Canada will let you ship them as long as you meet local requirements in your city and state.

It’s a lucrative market if you are willing to put in the work to take advantage.

Do homemade dog treats need to be FDA approved?

While they will not need premarket approval, your pet treats are still FDA regulated. You’re going to need to ensure that no harmful substances are part of your treats, that they are produced in sanitary conditions, and that your labelling is clear and honest.

You can find out more but visiting fda.gov or by simply Googling ‘dog treats’ and ‘FDA requirements’ and this is recommended, as not all ingredients are considered to be safe as others and you can compare your recipe ingredients to ensure that you won’t have a problem down the line.

Can you sell homemade dog treats online?

Yes, you can definitely sell your dog treats online and you have a number of options. Some people sell theirs on Facebook, for instance, and you can sell them on Amazon and on Etsy, although with Etsy you’ll need paperwork to show you are using a commercial grade kitchen.

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A website is also a good option, just keep in mind that while you can market to Canada with local licenses in your city and state being the only requirement to ship dog treats, you need to research and possibly obtain licenses for any U.S. states that you will be doing business with and shipping to.

How do you keep homemade dog treats from molding?

Moisture is the where that mold is going to start, so your best bet is drying out your treats as much as possible, vacuum sealing them, and popping them in the freezer if you won’t be shipping them immediately. This should help to keep mold at bay for as long as possible.

You can also invest in a dehydrator and this will really help a lot, while also making your treats a bit crispier in the process!

Do you need a commercial kitchen to sell dog treats?

In most cases, you won’t, but there are exceptions. Etsy requires this, for instance, if you will be selling dog treats, but in general a home kitchen is going to be fine for most selling mediums.

As it is not human food, a commercial kitchen is not officially required, but if you would like more information or simple reassurance to this you can check the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) for details.

How long do homemade dog treats last?

It really depends on your ingredients, so there’s not really a standard baseline. That said, if you vacuum seal and put your treats in a freezer then they can often stay fresh for up to 8 months – possibly longer if you put them in a dehydrator first.

Natural preservatives such as dried egg whites or rosemary can be placed in the before sealing to get you a little extra mileage without resorting to chemical preservatives – which is a popular selling point as people don’t like giving chemicals to their dogs.

Are dog treats taxable?

Taxation is a gray area when it comes to treats, so we really recommend that you check locally and with any states that you will be doing business with. Pastry-type dog treats, for instance, are considered ‘cottage foods’ and are indeed taxable.

So, check with your own state and the ones you’ll be doing business with, so that you can describe your product and know for sure where it falls in this unfortunately gray area of taxation. Better yet, hire a lawyer – you can save quite a lot of money in the long run this way, so it’s well worth it.

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How do you advertise dog treats?

The best way to start is to sell your goods at a local Flea market or Farmer’s Market, while providing flies that lead to your website, Facebook, and other social media accounts. These social media accounts can get you a lot of traffic even on their own, but you need some sort of ‘hook’ to build up a following.

You might consider making videos on some ‘throwaway’ recipes that you don’t intend to market due to expensive ingredients or time-heavy preparation requirements to gather a following and increase your business in this way.

The occasional compilation of happy dogs eating and doing tricks for your treats won’t hurt either, so don’t forget to include those!

Can I sell dog treats on Facebook?

Yes, this is something that you can definitely do, you just need to start checking out local dog lover groups and reading their terms… this part is very important. Some groups will allow advertising, while others will kick you and maybe even report you for it.

So, scout them out in advance, prepare some free samples for locals that wanna pick them up, and get to marketing. You’d be surprised how quickly word can spread about  a business marketed on Facebook.

What should be in dog treat packaging?

Dog treat packaging is going to need to include some basics, so let’s take a look at some information that you definitely need to include in your packaging. You want to have the following listed:

  • Company name and address
  • Product name
  • Species it is intended to feed (i.e. ‘Dog Treats’)
  • Detailed ingredients and nutrition
  • Any special feeding instructions