Want to start selling homemade treats - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-08-2017, 03:18 PM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: The armpit of the US
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Want to start selling homemade treats

Some of you have already read that I'm raising money for my service dog. I thought about making healthy dog treats to sell around at maybe bakeries or pet stores (with their permission, of course), but I have a couple concerns.
Would someone be able to get me in trouble if a treat that they bought from me were to give their pet an upset stomach or make them sick in any way? I would only be using dog-safe ingredients, and I will have the ingredients listed on little tags with the treats, so it should be up to them to know what their dog can handle and what it can't.
Do I need some kind of permit just to sell dog treats, even if it's for a personal cause?
I don't have other questions at the moment, but I'll keep updating if anymore come up.
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-08-2017, 04:33 PM
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What you are describing sounds like a business (the personal cause that you've described is to your own benefit, so that's not a "nonprofit" activity).

Most cities do require business licenses. Some states also have licensing requirements. You'll also probably want to look into forming a business organization for lots of reasons (liability, taxes, etc.) that your family lawyer could explain. You'll also need some accounting help probably, as you may have sales tax and other taxes to contend with. Commercial insurance helps protect businesses that accidentally cause harm -- e.g., if your products make a dog sick.

You can go to your state Secretary of State's business portal to read more about business formation.

Moreover, selling treats to stores would subject you to federal labeling regulations (look at the back of any package of dog treats for lots of required disclosures, including guaranteed analysis). Here is some reading:
The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) > Home
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-08-2017, 05:18 PM
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In addition to Magwart's recommendations, you might want to do a search to see if your state has a "Cottage Food Bill" or "Cottage Food Law". About half of the US does, I believe.

Cottage Food Law doesn't cover pet food, BUT, those networks often have really good referrals and recommendations for appropriate insurance, forming your own business entity, tax info, etc. The group that promotes the cottage food industry in my state is a wealth of knowledge on all kinds of topics for small scale producers, yours might as well.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-09-2017, 12:17 AM
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Location: Colorado
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It's worth noting that many places also have exemptions for one-time, or short term sales activities that are below a certain specified dollar amount. So definitely check with your local gvmnt as they are the only ones who can give you the correct information for your location!

It's not the size of the dog in the fight, it's the size of the fight in the dog. Mark Twain

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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-24-2018, 06:32 PM
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Location: USA
Posts: 276
Selling homemade dog treats... interesting idea. Sounds kind of fun.

"The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them." Isaiah 11:6
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