Skip to content

3 Important Steps to Take Before you Start a Dog Treat Business from Home

Time to read 5 min

Starting a dog treat business from home and selling your homemade dog treats to dog lovers can be a very rewarding and fun career path. Whether you want to sell your dog treats at Craft Fairs, Farmers Market, Online or in a Retail Store you will need to know where to get started and how to follow the correct homemade dog treats regulations. 

woman reading a recipe

Develop Your Dog Treat Business Recipes

When you first start making dog treats, you can quickly become overwhelmed with the numerous amount of homemade dog treat recipes online and in dog treat cookbooks. 

The best advice we can give is to be aware of the ingredients that are in some of these recipes! Even the ones found in... physical cookbooks, not all the ingredients they use are safe for dogs to eat. Here is an important, valid list of human ingredients that you can review so you do not accidentally feed them to any dogs, there are many lists online but this list is from a trusted source: Foods to Avoid Feeding Your Pets

I point this out because I have purchased "brand name" cookbooks and was surprised at some of the ingredients that they used. The ingredients were "ok" for dogs in moderation but not necessarily "healthy" choices. Remember, you can ask your local Veterinarian for their opinions on ingredients that you are unsure of, it is always better to be safe than sorry.

The best thing to do is to: Keep it Simple. Master a good, healthy plain recipe, then add to it. After you develop your own recipe the best way to keep your dog treats from becoming moldy is to buy a basic dehydrator and dehydrate them for 8 - 10 hours after you bake them... your dog treats will have a longer shelf life if you do this. No added preservatives will be needed. You can find dehydrators on Amazon and in Outdoor, Camping Supply type of stores... We have seen them start at $30. 

Another question about dog treat recipe books is wether or not they include guaranteed lab analysis for the dog treat recipes. I can say, if they do, you will need to follow the recipe exactly. So, if you add any ingredients to improve the recipe or to change it to make it your own; you will need to do a new analysis. It really is not wise to assume the analysis in a recipe book is completely accurate. It is best to submit your final treat, after you try the ones provided since most recipes need to be adjusted. Once you receive your personal analysis back it will be good forever, unless you change any of the ingredients. Overall, this is not an expensive step so it really is worth doing your own.

baked treats

Send Your Dog Treats to a Feed Lab

As you start your dog treat business and get to the part where you are sending your dog treats to a commercial feed lab, rest assure that it is easier than it sounds. Do not let this step overwhelm you. Simply search for "Commercial Feed Labs" online. Many of them are very helpful with entrepreneurs who are just starting their dog treat businesses, they will provide you with helpful tips and guidance if you need it. Just remember: You can get your treats tested for under $50 - $70 each, most cost under $50, keep searching if they cost more than that. Keep in mind the prices I mentioned are examples, they do increase over the years, so you will want to compare costs from lab to lab, you will notice that some commercial feed labs are more expensive (sometimes extremely more expensive) than others. You do not need a lab that tests your treats monthly, those labs are designed to test factories that are processing raw meats, etc… which is very important. Those are the labs that test the ingredients you use prior to baking your own treats.

Once you found a Commercial Feed Lab, make a quick phone call or drop an email to your State's Department of Agriculture and ask if they "approve" of the particular Commercial Feed Lab that yo want to use. (most States do not have preferences but some do). Then, ask what Guaranteed Analysis tests they require for homemade dog treats. (Each State is different).

Once you have that information, simply bag up your treats with the Commercial Feed Lab requirements (some ask for 2 ounces worth some ask for more) Do not send them your actual dog treat recipes, etc... but do "Name" your dog treat. For example "Peanut Butter Dog Treats" or "Decorated Peanut Butter Dog Treats" This way you will know which Analysis goes with which treat when you receive it back. 


If you are decorating your dog treats and dog cakes, be sure to decorate your treats and cakes with the dog treat icing and dog frosting prior to submitting them for your Guaranteed Analysis testing. It is best to not add any food coloring, just add the plain icing or frosting so your entire treat will be tested correctly. 

selling homemade dog treats regulations

Register with your Department of Agriculture to Meet their homemade dog treats regulations

Now you can design your labels with your dog treat business logo, add the Guaranteed Analysis that you receive from the Commercial Feed Lab and submit the label(s) to your State Department of Agriculture. Remember, you do not need to send them your actual dog treat recipes or treats. AND... remember, they are there to help you, do not be afraid to ask them questions or to change something on your label that they request. The best part? If you never change your dog treat recipe... you only need to do these 3 steps once then you can just bake and sell. ;) 

Prior to submitting your labels to your Department of Agriculture you can use this as a guideline, but remember each State has different guidelines: Treat Label Guidelines Keep in mind, State guidelines tend to be updated and might change from year to year, it is best to submit your labels when you are ready to begin selling your dog treats. Try not to procrastinate by designing your labels and waiting a year to submit them, be sure you have the correct, current requirements prior to sending them in for approval.


If you would like to start your dog treat business quickly, without worrying if you are setting it up correctly, you can check out Pastries 4 Pets step by step, in-depth, personalized classes on "How to Make Money Baking and Selling Custom, Healthy Dog Treats from your own Home or Storefront" check out our course offerings here, there is a class for each level of your journey: Online Courses and Workshops


Setting up your dog treat bakery is the first step, after you are set up you will want to learn how to make profits selling treats all year long. Once you are ready to be even more successful, join the owner of Pastries 4 Pets for a FREE training on how to build a profitable dog treat business


Starting a homemade pet treat store

Meg Hastings

Info on getting treats sent in for testing need any and all info to
Get me started please

Tina Deslandes

Leave a comment