The pet industry in the United States is huge, with millions of pet owners spending billions of dollars on their pets every year. You can carve out a piece of the industry for yourself, but in the highly competitive area of pet treats you’ll need to spend some time getting your product known before you develop a following. Attractive packaging and a unique angle, such as unusual flavors or all-natural ingredients, can help to build your customer base.

Identify the Market

Before you start trying to sell, figure out what your market will be. One option to look at is placing your products in existing businesses, such as pet stores, grooming shops and veterinary offices. You can also sell them directly to customers in person or you can list your items for sale online. Some of these markets will overlap, but the packaging techniques you use for each should be targeted to those customers. Baskets and decorated boxes suitable for gift-giving are likely to appeal to customers in pet stores and grooming shops, but at the vet’s, a simpler package may work just as well.

Marketing Materials

Quality marketing materials go a long way toward making your new pet treat business successful. According to "Entrepreneur" magazine, a professional appearance is everything in business, and it pays to hire professional help to create your materials. One essential is a high-quality business card, which shows that you’re in this as a business and not as a hobby. Give one out every time you talk to anybody about your treats. Professional package labels, brochures and information sheets about your pet treats can all help you to develop and keep a market.

Wholesale Markets

Initiate direct contact with potential customers. Don’t be afraid to approach pet shop owners, groomers, veterinarians and other pet-related businesses in your area and let them know about your pet treats. Be prepared to provide details about what’s in the treats, and also to explain the benefits of your treats over others already on the market. Offer samples and provide business owners with discount coupons for themselves and their retail customers, especially if they order a large quantity of treats at once. Give them a reason to buy from you.

Retail Customers

You can find potential retail customers for your pet treats in many places. Sell them at your local farmer’s market, flea market or bazaar. A booth at a dog or cat show is another good place to market your pet treats. As you sell, be sure your packages have your website link or other contact information so people can buy your treats again. Including a discount coupon along with every sale is a good way to encourage repeat business.