Can I Run a Food Business from Home If I Have Pets? (Solved!)

If you regularly make and bake homemade treats for your dog and find that they are popular with the neighbors, then you’ve probably asked yourself a couple of questions. ‘Can I run a food business from home if I have pets?’ is the first one, quickly followed by ‘how do you keep your homemade dog treats from molding?’.

Yes, you can run a food business from home, but you’ll need to be licensed in your state and any other U.S. states that you are doing business with. FDA approval also requires an accurate and honest ingredients list, as well. As far as mold, ingredients like Vitamin C and Rosemary can help to keep it at bay naturally.

Since you’ve been wondering, today we’re going to answer both of those questions with a little more detail, so that you get a better idea of how to get your business started and to make sure that your treats arrive mold-free once you do. Let’s talk about running a dog treat business and keeping mold at bay!

Starting a dog treat business

If you are thinking about showing the world and it’s dog’s what you’ve got, then you’re going to need to make sure that you’ve got all of your ducks in a row. In this section we’ll take a look at some of the basics that you’ll need to start your dog treat business in the first place!

You’ll need to be licensed

You’re going to need a business license, so that you can get your tax id and start your business off properly, and depending on your state further licensing may be required.

While it’s uncommon with dog treats, some states will require that you make them in a commercial kitchen, which will require an additional license and an inspection of the kitchen before you can get started.

If you are doing business with other states, you will also need a seller’s license in those states as well, and you’ll have to do your homework – some states will have special labelling or other requirements.

Getting started, though, you could always get a local license and market to Canadian customers, as most dog treats may be exported there as long as you are licensed to market them in your home state already.

Get Our #1 Easy, Homemade Dog Food Recipe (Vet-Approved), 100% Free!!! Click to get it NOW!

Ingredients must be accurate and honest

Now that you’re licensed, there’s something else that you will need to do and it involves the packaging for your treats. You need to make accurate ingredient labels that include all ingredients and are completely honest about them.

This is because the Food and Drug Administration’s reach extends into the sale of dog treats and while they don’t require pre-approval, they DO require an honest and accurate ingredient list. This is easy to do, so don’t make the mistake of not spending the time to make up your ingredient list.

If you do, it could be fines or even criminal charges down the line, and you definitely don’t want to go there!

Laws vary from state to state

Dog foods, including homemade dog treats, fall into kind of a gray area when it comes to what you will need to sell them. It is not decided on a federal level, other than the FDA considerations, but rather on a state and local level.

This means that some states may require just a simple business license, while others might require that you get a commercial feed license from the local department of agriculture. Don’t worry – these are usually inexpensive, so if you want to market to a state that requires them it’s generally just a small, annual fee.

Still, since there is no blanket process for legally selling your treats in every state, you should consider marketing to Canada first and locally through farmer’s markets, flea markets, and even ‘mom and pop’ pet store.

This helps you to get used to the business and you can then expand carefully into new states so that you’ve got time to research that market and make sure that before you send out any treats, you’ve checked for any surprise requirements that could run you afoul of that state’s laws.

Keeping your treats from molding

Once you’ve set up things from the business end you’ll still need to ensure that your homemade treats arrive at their crunchiest-freshest best! Keeping them from molding in the mail is actually not that hard, so let’s look at 3 ways that you can get this done.

Vacuum sealing is a MUST

One of the easiest ways to make sure that your treats arrive in good shape is to invest in a vacuum sealer. By sealing your treats in a mini-vacuum pack, you can stack and pack them with relative ease and the lack of oxygen in the sealed packages should work perfectly to keep that mold at bay.

Get Our #1 Easy, Homemade Dog Food Recipe (Vet-Approved), 100% Free!!! Click to get it NOW!

This is also quite useful at home. While vacuum sealed treats will last about 6 months at room temperature, marking the date on them and stacking them in the freezer can extend that shelf life to up to 2 years!

This is great news for your own dogs, as well as your customers, as you can maker larger batches and store them, and you’ll never have to worry about coming up short when your dog does something good and deserves a yummy treat.

Consider investing in a dehydrator

Dehydrators are another good option. While you can mimic some of what they do with a lot of patience and a low heat setting in your oven, having a dehydrator is going to be much easier and much more efficient.

You can also make meat treats, if you fancy experimenting with some homemade dog jerky options, and your biscuits can get a little extra-crispness upgrade in the bargain, too. Dehydrating definitely helps when it comes to mold, which has a much easier time is an area is moist. So, consider a dehydrator!

Keeping your treats dry is an excellent way to keep the mold at bay and if you also vacuum seal and freeze then the shelf life gets boosted to ridiculous levels – it’s well worth the extra investment!

Ingredients that can keep the mold away

You can actually purchase mold inhibitors that are specifically for homemade dog treats, but if you don’t want to use these, there are also some natural ingredients that can help. Rosemary, for instance, can help to keep your treats fresher longer, but the caveat is that it comes with a scent and not all dogs will like it.

Powdered egg whites is another option, which can be sprinkled on the treats to help. They are antimicrobial and also give a mild protein boost, so they’re a popular option that dogs really like.

 Citric acid may be used to harness the preservative power of Vitamin C, keeping mold at bay and extending shelf life, and Vitamin E also acts as a natural preservative, while also helping dogs to have a healthy, shiny coat. 

Be sure to consider trying one or more of these options with your treats to see what your furry customers like best. They’ll keep the mold away and if you go with natural options, many of your customers and their dogs will really appreciate it!

Get Our #1 Easy, Homemade Dog Food Recipe (Vet-Approved), 100% Free!!! Click to get it NOW!

In closing

Today we’ve taken a quick look at what it takes to start a dog treat business that you can run if you have pets at home. If you’re making those treats in batches anyway, then why not? Just make sure that you’ve got the right licensing and that you label your treats accurate to stay on the right side of the FDA.

To keep your treats fresh, investing in a dehydrator is good, but a vacuum sealer is even better, and you can also add ingredients such as Rosemary or powdered egg whites to help to keep your treats from going bad in a moldy, green way.

It takes a little time but if you’re patient and your treats are good, it’s a business possibility that is well-worth considering!