To many pet owners, a dog or cat is family, so it's no surprise that so many of us want to spoil our pets the same way we do our other loved ones. One way many people do this is by offering pet treats as a reward or snack. And while there are a variety of pet treats already on the market, there is always room for one more. If you want to start a pet-treat business from home, you'll need to begin by creating a delicious product that pets everywhere will love.
Develop your product formula. Experiment with various recipes until you find one you think will be successful. Working with small batches of ingredients at home is much cheaper and more original than contracting this work out to a pet-treat manufacturer.
Test your new pet treat on a cross-section of the canine population. Remember, just because your dog likes your new product doesn't mean other dogs will. Offer samples to friends, family and your dog's playmates at the park to see if your creation has universal appeal.
Decide whether you can produce sufficient quantities on your own or if you'll need to invest in manufacturing or new equipment. Depending on your goals and the type of pet treat you have developed, you may need to set up a working relationship with a manufacturer of pet products that can produce your new treat in mass quantities.
Approach local pet stores and find out if they would like to carry your new product, and if not, offer them samples to test on customers. You may have to put up with low margins at first to get your pet treats out on the market, but once your creation has taken off you can always renegotiate.
Expand your sales options. Consider creating a Web site where customers can buy your treats. Contact national pet-supply chains to inquire about getting your treats stocked in their stores.
Emily Beach works in the commercial construction industry in Maryland. She received her LEED accreditation from the U.S. Green Building Council in 2008 and is in the process of working towards an Architectural Hardware Consultant certification from the Door and Hardware Institute. She received a bachelor's degree in economics and management from Goucher College in Towson, Maryland.