You can and you definitely should seal your treats with a vacuum sealer. When you are marketing homemade dog treats, it is vital that when your customer gets them that they are fresh and if intended to be crispy, you want them to still be crispy when they arrive.
Aside from a vacuum sealer, investing in a dehydrator is also a good idea, and it gives you a nice extra kick when it comes to both crunch and the shelf life of your product.
After you bake up or otherwise prepare a batch of dog treats, immediately dehydrate and vacuum seal them, and put them in the freezer if you aren’t shipping them immediately. Just be sure to put them in a box so that you can label them with the date and rotate stock as-needed.
For this article, we’re going to answer questions that have been trending highly on the web from people just like you who are considering going into the dog treat business. Are mold inhibitors okay for treats? Are there any natural preservatives that you can use to extend shelf life?
Read on to get the important answers to questions like these – they’re waiting for you in the sections below!
Table of Contents
- How do you increase the shelf life of homemade dog treats?
- How do you keep homemade dog biscuits from getting moldy?
- Do homemade dog treats need preservatives?
- Can you add any natural preservatives for keeping dog treats fresh?
- Is rosemary safe for dog treats?
- How long can you refrigerate homemade dog treats?
- How long do frozen dog treats last?
- Is mold inhibitor safe for dog treats?
- How long do homemade dehydrated dog treats last?
- Can you ship homemade dog treats?
How do you increase the shelf life of homemade dog treats?
Increasing the shelf life of your product is a good idea and there are a few simple ways to do this. The best and easiest methods are going to be by means of a dehydrator and a vacuum sealer.
The dehydrator, on its own, can give your dried dog treats some extra crunch and make them good for dry storage a period of 2 to 3 weeks. By vacuum sealing them next you’ll greatly increase their storage life, since the seal will keep out moisture and oxygen.
If you aren’t immediately shipping the dog treats, put them in the freezer right away after you’ve dried and sealed them and they should be good for up to 8 months.
How do you keep homemade dog biscuits from getting moldy?
Aside from anti-molding compounds (which you may or may not want to add… some customers get picky about this), your biggest concern is moisture. A dehydrator is a very good option and it adds extra crunch to your product, so you’d do well to invest in one as well as our next recommendation, a vacuum sealer.
Vacuum sealing your product will keep the air and moisture out, provided that your careful about sealing as little in as possible when you package it. For extra care, a dehumidifier in your preparation area is a good idea.
Do homemade dog treats need preservatives?
Preservatives don’t hurt, but you need to keep them natural. Commercial pet treats and other foods include chemical preservatives in order to maximize shelf life, but even with their inclusion your homemade treats aren’t going to last as long.
We recommend that if you DO use preservatives in addition to vacuum sealing and dehydration that you go with natural ones – rosemary and powdered egg whites are good. These will held to extend the shelf life a little if sealed with the product and your customers will typically not mind NATURAL preservatives in their dog’s treats.
Can you add any natural preservatives for keeping dog treats fresh?
Rosemary and powdered egg whites are good natural preservatives for your pet foods, with powdered egg whites also being a nice source of extra protein that you can and should include in the labelling. Aside from these, vitamin E (tocotrienols and tocopherols) is also a good option, as are vitamin C or even just citric acid from fruits.
Is rosemary safe for dog treats?
Yes, rosemary is safe for dog treats, just use it in small amounts and be sure to add it to your labelling. The plant itself and the essential oils are safe and using this as a preservative can attract customers who love Nature and herbs and want their dog to have as little exposure to artificial preservatives as possible.
How long can you refrigerate homemade dog treats?
You can refrigerate most dog treats for up to 2 months, though it’s better to ditch the ziplog bags and airtight containers and to instead go with a solid vacuum sealed package and time in your freezer for the best preservation of your product.
If you are just giving out fresh samples to market your products locally, however, then a Ziploc container or baggie in the fridge is just fine – just be sure to mark the sate so that you don’t give out any stale samples.
How long do frozen dog treats last?
Frozen dog treats can last up to 8 months in your freezer. Vacuum sealing or at the very least, an airtight container, is going to be necessary for cold storage. The ice and cold air inside the freezer can otherwise get into the package and possibly cause you moisture trouble down the line otherwise.
For best result, vacuum seal your dog treats and mark the date with a sticker or simply box a bunch at a time with the storage date written on the front of the box so that you can rotate stock properly.
Is mold inhibitor safe for dog treats?
Yes, mold inhibitor is safe for dogs, as the product is more than 99% potassium sorbate, and this product is highly regulated as far as amounts of ash, heavy metals, and sulfates are concerned.
This makes it an effective and a safe preservative for pet foods, but you might want to consider just dehydrating and sealing your goods as a more practical and marketable approach.
Typically, your average dog owner is less than happy about chemical additives to their dog treats, and vacuum sealing should keep the product fresh for months. With that in mind, mold inhibitor certainly provides a little extra insurance against molding but you probably won’t really need it as a small business vendor.
How long do homemade dehydrated dog treats last?
Dehydrated treats last, on average, around 2 to 3 weeks of dry storage without any additional sealing or preservatives involved in the equation. This is less than commercial treats, but if you vacuum seal those dehydrated treats then overall they’ll last for months or 2 to 3 weeks after they are opened.
Can you ship homemade dog treats?
Yes, you can easily ship homemade dog treats, just be sure to dehydrate and seal them first for best results. Beyond this, you’ll need local licensing for your business and you may also require licensing to the specific states that you ship to.
If you’re just starting off, Canadian customers can still get your product and all you need is licensing in your home area and you’ll be allowed to ship it. Just something to consider, as this can help you grow your business with the least amount of red tape involved when you’re just starting off.