How Do I Start a Dog Treat Bakery? (Solved & Explained!)

If you are thinking about starting your own dog bakery then congratulations – it’s a lucrative market and we wish you well. There are a few things, however, that you will need to do in order to get started. Let’s take a look at the basics!

1.    Obtain your business license

First off, you need a business license for your Pet Bakery, so that you will be properly registered as a business and for tax purposes.

2.    Find and set up your location

Next, you must find and negotiate rent or purchase of the location for your bakery, as well as the commercial ovens and other supplies that you will be using for the menu you’ve decided on.

3.    Set up a business bank account and accounting options

You will need a business bank account to keep track of expenditures and profits in an organized and centralized manner.

4.    Obtain permits for your city and state

Requirements vary from state to state, so you should hire a lawyer to make sure that you do this part right and avoid fines down the line.

5.    Get Pet Bakery insurance

Finally, you need Pet Bakery Insurance, which more specifically is marketed as ‘Food Liability Insurance’. This will protect you if anyone files a claim against you, stating that one of your treats made their pet sick. This is absolutely vital and legally required to do business.

In this article, we’ve collected the most popular questions being asked by folks this week in regards to the marketing and sale of dog treats commercially. Inside we’ll cover questions such as ‘are dog bakeries profitable’, ‘can you just sell dog treats from home’, and more.

Read on to find out how you can get started, whether it’s a bakery, an Etsy shop, your local Farmer’s market, or even online!

Are dog bakeries profitable?

Dog bakeries can be profitable, but you need to know your market well. This is going to involve researching successful bakeries to see what kind of offerings they provide, what is selling, and also researching the dog treat market in your intended location.

This is trickier to do than online marketing and selling from home, as you’ll have a large startup cost and rent to keep up with until your business gets off of the ground. That said, if you do it right, these specialty shops can indeed be very profitable!

How much is it to start a dog treat business at home or through a bakery?

For a dog treat business that you are running from home, you can expect to spend anywhere from as little as $3000 to as much as $10,000. This is going to be basically raw materials packaging, and licensing locally as well as for any states that you will be shipping to.

For a bakery, take that base $6500 and then consider the costs of the ovens and other equipment that you will need, as well as your down payment and rent, as well as utility charges. For these reasons, a bakery is much more expensive to start with, with opening costs sometimes as high as 100k in prime locations.

How do you sell dog treats legally through a bakery or home?

For a home business where you will be selling online or at your local Flea market or Farmer’s Market, you will need local licensing for your business through your state and for any state that you will be shipping to. If marketing just to Canada, you can get away with only your local and state licensing.

You’ll also want liability insurance, as well, in case that someone claims your treats have sickened their pets. With a bakery, it’s much the same, you’ll need the liability insurance as well as your local and state licensing to sell your baked goods for dogs.

Can I make dog treats at home and sell them?

Yes, you can make dog treats from home and sell them, but your licensing requirements are going to vary from state to state. This is important to know, because you will need to be licensed to sell them in your state AND in any states that you will be shipping them to.

It’s best to hire a lawyer to help with this to avoid any potentially serious fines. Some states have specific requirements, such as exact amounts of specific vitamins being listed on the label, and a lawyer can help you to do business confidently just in case you ship to a state that’s very picky about dog treats.

Is there a market for dog treats?

Yes, the dog treats market is quite lucrative, with one report stating that the ‘Dog Food and Snacks’ market brought in an estimate 66 billion in 2020 alone. This is understandable, as an estimated 68% of American households have pets, and the Japanese and Canadian markets are also considered large consumers of these products.

It’s definitely a lucrative market if you’ve got the goods.

Do dog treats have to be FDA approved?

Dog treats do not require premarket approval, however, they are still regulated by the FDA and cannot contain any harmful substances, must be produced in sanitary environments, and be completely safe to eat. The FDA also requires that your ingredients list must be present and accurate.

You can check FDA.gov for more details, but as long as you are meeting these basics then you won’t have to worry, as no pre-market approval will be needed.

Do dog treats sell on Etsy?

Etsy is a little strict when it comes to selling dog treats, so you will need proof that your dog treats are being produced in a commercial grade kitchen in most cases. With Amazon it’s a little more lax and you will only need state and local licensing to sell to Amazon customers in your own state.

Do dog treats need to be made in a commercial kitchen?

In most cases, since it is not human food, you should not need a commercial kitchen license. That said, dog treats can fall into a bit of a gray area in some states, so you should check your local and state health department just to be absolutely sure.

In most cases, you won’t need it, though. The Association of American Feed Control advises that you shouldn’t be required to have this at all and you can get more information on the subject at their website here.

Are dog treats in demand in the U.S.?

Yes, dog treats are and always will be in high demand in the United States. An estimated 68% of the population here are pet owners, and people love their pets and giving them the best.

The Pet food industry was worth an estimate 92.66 billion in 2020, with Dog Treats making up about 5.7 billion of that. It’s safe to say that there is definitely some profit to be made.

How do I preserve my homemade dog treats naturally?

Before vacuum sealing your dog trips to ship or store, add in some dried egg whites or a little rosemary, making sure that you list these as ‘Natural preservatives’ on your packaging. This will help to preserve your homemade dog treats a little longer, especially if you freeze them immediately if they aren’t to be shipped yet.