Yes, you can certainly sell dog treats from home, but there is some licensing that you will need depending on your business model.
For instance, to sell on Etsy, you need paperwork to show you are using a commercial kitchen, though with your local Farmer’s Market or a website you’ll just need licensing for your state and the state you are shipping the treats to.
In some countries, you’ll just need your local licensing, with Canada being a good example – you can ship treats there all you like, as long as they are baked or considered low-risk – you just need licensing from your state and possibly from your local health department.
If you are considering your own home dog treat business, we’re happy to report that we’ve collected the most popular questions trending now on this subject.
Read on to find out things like how to label your treats, whether or not you need FDA approval, and other important questions and the answers you need before you start your business!
Table of Contents
- How do you sell dog treats legally?
- Do dog treats have to be FDA approved?
- Do dog treats sell on Etsy?
- Are dog treats taxable?
- How do you package dog treats?
- Do I need a license to sell dog treats in PA?
- Do you need a license to sell dog treats in Texas?
- Can I sell homemade dog treats in Canada?
- How do you label pet treats?
- Do dog treats need a nutrition label?
How do you sell dog treats legally?
You are going to need to register for all of the states that you intend to do business with. Unfortunately, there’s not a single spot for an ‘all state’ registration, so this can be a time-consuming part of the process.
That said, if you have the budget, you could get an attorney to help you register and this will you to avoid any legal ‘accidents’ in the long run that might prove to be rather costly.
Do dog treats have to be FDA approved?
According to the FDA’s website at fda.gov, there isn’t a premarket approval required to sell dog treat, but they do need to be produced in sanitary conditions, contain no harmful substances, any labelling must be accurate, and they have to be completely safe to eat.
Provided that you do these things, you can certainly sell your treats in any state where you are licensed to legally do so.
Do dog treats sell on Etsy?
Yes, you can definitely sell your dog treats on Etsy, however they will require proof that you are using a licensed kitchen. You’ll want to check commercial kitchen requirements in your city and state to ensure that you comply and have the paperwork necessary to show this.
If your business is fairly new and this is not an option, you can still sell your treats through your local farmer’s market, or even simply through your website and Google business referrals, just make sure that you are licensed to sell in any state that you intend to ship to.
Are dog treats taxable?
This is kind of a gray area and you’ll need to check the laws in your particular state. Cottage food sales, for instance, when you are selling ‘dog pastries’ somewhere local might well require tax.
Recently, a company in California that was supplying pet foods to local zoos and pet owners was chased for 8 years of back taxes that they felt were owed.
Ultimately it was decided that these taxes were NOT applicable, but you’d better check your specific state and states you’ll be doing business with well in advance – just to be on the safe side.
How do you package dog treats?
Paper bags are the easiest option for local sales and you can prepare them in advance by having a rubber stamp made with your company logo so that you can purchase in bulk and stamp them beforehand. Print out ingredient labels for the back and you’ve got an inexpensive, but professional-looking packaging plan.
For mailing treats, vacuum sealing the treats is the better option to ensure freshness, although you could certainly bag afterwards to add a little character if you like or bulk order some blank checkbook style or comparable boxes to label and house the sealed up treats.
Do I need a license to sell dog treats in PA?
Yes, you’ll need licensing. The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture will need to inspect your setup and they’ll provide you with a license. Requirement for selling your treats will include standards such as ingredients listed by weights, to include both actual ingredients as well as nutritional ones such as vitamins and mineral content.
Do you need a license to sell dog treats in Texas?
Yes, you will need a license to sell dog treats in Texas, so you will want to visit the Texas Department of State Health Services to apply for a food manufacturer/distributor license.
They also advise that you should check with your local health department as well to ensure that additional licensing will not be required to sell your particular variety of dog treats.
Can I sell homemade dog treats in Canada?
Yes, actually, you can – there are currently no regulations for pet food or treats in Canada. Individual manufacturers in this country are required to self-regulate in this regard, so as long as you are following your local state and city health regulations, you can ship your tasty dog treats to Canada if you like.
The CBC in Canada advises that this applies to baked or other ‘low risk’ treats, so you should have no problem shipping to your Canadian clientele.
How do you label pet treats?
You will need to check with your state authority, as some states have very specific labelling requirements, but general labelling will involve the following:
- Your product name
- An indication of what animal it is for such as “For Cats and Dogs”
- Quantity of product
- Ingredient list
- Nutrition information
- Any special feeding directions
Again, these are just the basics to get you started, but check requirements for your state and states you’ll be doing business with to avoid any potential issues down the line.
Do dog treats need a nutrition label?
If you are selling products marketed as snacks, supplements, or treats, then in most cases the nutrition label is not a requirement. That said, it’s still a very good idea and in some places it will indeed still be required. By adding a nutritional label, you’re covered if that’s the case, and it can also help with sales.
Pet owners are quite particular in general about what they will feed their pets, so if you have a nutrition label then this can help potential customers to feel comfortable with their purchase.