Can You Sell Homemade Dog Treats on Etsy? (Solved & Explained!)

Yes, you can sell homemade treats on Etsy, but you are going to need to take care of a few legal requirements. You are going to need your business license, to start, and then depending on where you will be selling them, you might also need Seller’s licensing for those locations.

For instance, if you are shipping to all 50 states, then you need a Seller’s license for each state. These are usually free and just require that you fill out an application, but check into each state’s rules when it comes to dog treats – some may require special labelling or other requirements.

You can skip this part if you are just intending to send to places such as Canada, where it is only required that you be licensed to sell your treats in your home state.

In today’s article, we’ll be addressing popular questions on the subject of selling your dog treats on Etsy’s sales platform. How should they be labelled? Is there a preferred way to ship these treats? Read on for important information that can help you to get started selling dog treats on your very own Etsy store!

How do I sell dog treats on Etsy?

Yes, it’s just going to be a matter of having your business license, checking with Etsy to see if your particular treats require any additional licensing, and then setting up your shop. You’ll need to make an Etsy account, set up your preference, name the store, and then start adding your listings. Keep in mind, that you will need a license to sell to individual states, however, though this may be as simple as filling out a ‘Seller’ application, such as you would need to sell your treats to Texas customers. Customers in Canada won’t require any special licensing beyond your local business license, as no additional requirements are needed to sell there.

Do treats sold on Etsy have to be made in a commercial kitchen?

In most cases no, but this is really a bit of a gray area. For instance, some states will allow you to simply bake your treats from home, while others may require that they are prepared in a commercial kitchen, which will need to be inspected and licensed. Check your local laws when you are getting your business license and check with Etsy regarding your treats, providing information on whether they are baked, made in a dehydrator, and any pertinent information that you can provide. This will help to ensure that you are in compliance when selling your treats on Etsy.

Do you need FDA approval to sell dog treats?

No, premarket approval is not required for dog treats, but they are certainly still regulated by the FDA. You will need to make sure that your treats are labelled with ALL of your ingredients and that the label is completely honest. This will help to ensure that you don’t risk any hefty fines later down the line from the FDA.

Can I make dog treats at home and sell them on Etsy?

Yes, you certainly can, although you need to check with Etsy in advance and also check your local laws to see if a commercial kitchen is going to be required. In most cases, all you need is a business license and a license to sell in the states that you will be providing the treats to.

Do dog treats sell on Etsy?

Yes! Etsy is known for it’s ‘creative crowd’, as artists of every type are there selling their unique wares, and dog treats are no different. People love their dogs and they are always looking for safe, unique treats that they can spoil their furry friends with. So, if you’ve got a surefire recipe for delicious treats, Etsy is a great place to market them!

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How do you package dog treats to be sold on Etsy?

The most efficient way is to vacuum seal the actual treats, print up ingredients and nutrition labels, and invest in a stamp with your company logo. You can then order a number of brown paper bags or even nice little boxes that you can put the vacuum-sealed treats inside of, stamp them, apply the sticker, and they’ll be ready to send. You can also get creative, as Etsy is a good place for it, and send your treats out in attractively painted mason jars or other interesting ways. Jars are fun because they are inexpensive but make for a reusable treat holder that looks good and functions well.

How do you label pet treats for sale on Etsy?

There is some basic information that you should always include on your labels for the customer and for the FDA official requirements. Put the name of the treats, as well as the fact that they are intended for dogs, and follow this with an accurate listing of ingredients. Nutrition information is optional, but recommended, and you should also include any special instructions on serving or limiting the serving of your treats.

Are dog treats sold on Etsy taxable?

Yes. Pet foods are kind of a gray area when it comes to taxing, but in most states they are considered to be taxable, although legal exceptions have been made in cases with pet foods that were also edible by human standards. Even so, we recommend that you simply consider them taxable, pay the tax, and be done with it. Pet foods are taxed in most states and if you don’t follow those rules, you’ll be in for fines or worse later when it is noticed!

Can I ship dog treats?

Yes, you can easily ship dog treats, with vacuum sealing of the treats being your best option for making sure that they arrive fresh. There are no special shipping requirements, other than including a description when shipping to other countries and any specialty compliance laws in that regard. When shipping to another U.S. state, you can simply seal it, ship it, and be done with it.

What is the best way to ship perishable dog treats?

Vacuum sealing is your best option and you might even consider investing in a food dehydrator. A little time in one of these can dry up your treats considerably, making them crunchier, but also increasing their overall shelf life. Dehydrating and then vacuum sealing will usually result in treats that are good for at least 2 weeks upon breaking the airtight seal.

Do I need a license to sell dog treats?

Yes, you are going to need a business license for the state that you are in, and this will allow you to sell treats in your home state. If you wish to sell your dog treats in another state, however, you will also need a license for that particular state as well.

Unfortunately, there is not a blanket ‘all states’ license, and rules can vary from state to state so you will need to do a little research before extending your market. You CAN, however, sell most dog treat types and export them to Canadian customers, where the rule is that you must be certified in your home state to do so.

Finally, you will need to check local laws to see if a commercial kitchen will be required to make and sell your dog treats. In most cases, this will not be required, but the laws vary from state to state so you will want to see if this applies where you are.

 If it does, then this generally breaks down to a yearly fee and an initial inspection, with follow-up inspections every 1 to 2 years to make sure that your commercial kitchen is clean and follows loval compliance guidelines.

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How do I sell my homemade treats on Etsy?

With Etsy, the most difficult portion will be determining if you will need to produce your treats in a commercial kitchen or not. This is a bit of a gray area, so after registering you should contact Etsy assistance to let them know about your treats, how they are prepared, and that they are intended for canine consumption.

Setting up the actual store is not very difficult at all, just time-consuming. Start off by going to www.etsy.com and sign up with your email. Google is fine and you can link it to your Etsy account for easy access if you like.

You’ll be asked if you are starting a full time or part time business and this is information you can update if that changes later. You will also be asked your location, preferred language, and how you would like to receive payments received through your Etsy store. After this, you can name your store and start creating listings!

While Etsy recommends that you have at least 10, this is just a suggestion, not a rule. You can start with just 2 or 3 listing to begin with and you should consider adding pictures to show your treats and to further personalize your shop. Congratulations – you are now officially an Etsy vendor!

Is FDA approval needed to sell treats on Etsy?

While FDA preapproval is not required for your dog treats, you will need to be in compliance with FDA rules and regulations. This means that all of your ingredients need to be safe for canine consumption and they must also be listed honestly on your label.

While specific nutrition per serving information is not required, you should consider adding these as well. Some states require will require this and adding the information helps to ensure that your treats don’t fall afoul of such guidelines, while also letting your customer know more about your specific treats.  

Do I need insurance to sell dog treats on Etsy?

Yes. You will need commercial-grade liability insurance if you will be selling pet foods, though rates will be scaled based on the size of your business.

This insurance protects you in case a customer claims that your dog has gotten sick eating one of your treats and often assists as well in helping with attorney’s fees either in part or in full, depending on the type of coverage which you’ve purchased.

How do I package my Etsy store dog treats?

Packaging your treats doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg and one of the easiest methods will require the following:

  • Print up stickers with your business name and address, as well as separate stickers that list the ingredients and nutritional information, along with a statement of their intended use, such as ‘These are intended for canine consumption only’
  • Get some brown paper bags in small, medium, and large sizes, and invest in a vacuum sealer for shipping your treats and keeping them fresh
  • Apply the stickers to your bags in advance and when you get an order, you can put the vacuum sealed treats inside your new ‘business bags’, folding the top down twice and stapling them shut.

It’s a basic display, but it looks nice, professional, and fits the product quite nicely. You can also have a stamp made with your business name and address, so that you can stamp the bags in the front and will only need to print stickers for the back (basically cutting 50% off the cost for your print labels).

Some final words

Today we’ve taken a look at what you will need to in order to get started with your very own dog treat business on Etsy. Basically, it will boil down to getting state-specific licensing or starting off small with your home state and Canadian customers for your initial client base.

Liability insurance is a must and you will also need to accurately label your treats to keep within FDA compliance guidelines. Finally, if a commercial kitchen is required, you will need a permit for this and regular inspections will be required from time to time.

With a bit of patience and some stellar dog treats, the sky is the limit, so be sure to register and start building your store today. Your new human and canine customers are waiting!