How to Start a Pet Bakery

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How to Start a Pet BakeryThe growing trend is spoiling pets of all kinds, whether it be dogs, cats even horses & hamsters! Pets are an important part of today’s families. In this day and age, more people are putting off having children, or are opting not to have any at all. They’re spending their money on pampering and babying their pets, whether it be their dog, cat, bird, horse-that’s where their money is going. As well, every demographic population could ultimately be your target market. Lets face it, a child wants a puppy so any household with a child could be a potential customer. Teenagers want a dog as a “status symbol”, when they’re in their 20’s they want a companion or “status symbol” depending on the individual, in their 30’s with no children-the pet replaces the ‘child’ in their life, in their 40’s they either end up taking care of the pet that started off as the child’s pet and now the child is off at college or they too want a companion, same goes for people in their 50’s & 60’s. Those in their 60’s and older, a pet becomes their companion and the one they choose to pamper and grow old with…so as you see, basically every age group could reasonably become a customer if they had a Pet Bakery to go to.

The population is becoming more and more health conscious and more aware of their diets and environment around them. As people grow older they want their precious pets along side with them, so they are now beginning to feed them healthier, chemical free treats, bones, food. Commercially made dog bones, food as well as cat food & treats, contains more chemicals and ingredients that you can’t even pronounce than ingredients that a normal person would recognize! Pet Bakery items will cost more than commercially bought pet items but , even with the price difference, people prefer to spend their money to have a healthy pet who’ll have a lengthy, healthy life. Not only do natural items prolong their lives, they taste better and are better for the animals. It’s a win win situation when animals are afforded the best for them.

Legalities & etc.

Every location will have a different set of legalities to abide by. You will need to check with your local Department of Business or Occupational Licensing to determine the necessary departments that would oversee your Pet Bakery. Each city, township, county as well as state varies and some may differ from county to county even within the same state, that is why we cannot offer this individual information but we can steer you in the right direction.

Since Pet Bakery’s are fairly new to the Retail Business line, a lot of states do not even have a set guideline as to how to license them as of yet. Which could work to your advantage since they HAVE to license you, you may find that it’s actually easier to get a license for this type of bakery than perhaps a bakery that caters to PEOPLE. It’s just all so new that a lot of locations are being licensed as gift/retail stores. If you choose to do this from home, then you’ll also want to check with your local Department of Business or Occupational Licensing to ensure your area is zoned for commercial use or in some areas they have a special “home restricted license” which enables you to work from home as long as you’re not going to have a lot of traffic coming and going from your residence-which may work if you wanted to do it from home and sell via the web, or by appointment, or other methods which we’ll get into in another section.

You DO want to make sure you check with the Licensing Divisions of your area before starting your business, because you definitely don’t want to start off and find out that you could face a lot of fines or other penalties. As well, you want to stay on the ‘good side’ of anyone in charge of licensing, as you never know how many people they can refer to you or how they can destroy your name before you even start.

When you check into the licensing, you will also want to check the labeling requirements of your area as well. Some states right now only require that a label be on all products stating “not for human consumption” however, that isn’t necessarily “true” since all the ingredients used in the pet products ARE consumable by humans…however, as stated since this is a new territory some states are still trying to figure out the regulations that will be imposed on Pet Bakeries. We personally at The Bow Wow Bakery, have labels that include the Name of the Product along with the ingredients used to make the product and what benefiting factor goes with the product.

You will also need to decide if you want to do your Pet Bakery as a D/B/A (doing business as)-meaning you register a Fictitious Name with your state and do business using that name, or if you want to Incorporate your business. There are advantages and disadvantages of doing it as a D/B/A as well as a corporation. So you may want to speak to a tax lawyer to have them advise you of which option would best suit you and your personal & financial situations.

You may decide that you want to incorporate your business, so that you keep your personal assets protected in the event that you face any legal troubles, etc. Again, you’ll really want to check with a tax attorney to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of this set up as well.

Additionally, you’ll want to register at your local Department of Revenue office to obtain a resellers certificate. This enables you to purchase items at wholesale, without having to pay tax on the items. You’ll be required to charge your local state/county sales tax on items. You in essence are collecting sales tax, then you’ll pay it to the State Revenue Department. You only collect tax on items sold in your state. If you’re selling online, you do not have to collect tax on items sold out of state. You may want to check online or phone your local Dept. of Revenue to get the application. Filing fees are usually only $10-$15 depending on the state. Some states will issue you your resellers certificate number right on the spot, others require it be sent to you. Either way, it’s a MUST do!

Your Pet Bakery’s Name

What does a person hear or see first when it comes to your Pet Bakery? Your NAME! So, you want to come up with something that is catchy, fun, creative and easy to remember. You don’t want to simply call yourself “Michele’s Dog Bakery” because you wouldn’t want them to mistake you for “Michaels’ Dog Bakery”-people would remember “dog bakery” but may confuse the first name, and you wouldn’t want to lose a customer to our competition over something as simple as a first name.

Try something like, “Dog Gone Good”, “Spot’s Bakery”, “K-9 Treats”. If you’re going to do strictly cat items or prefer a “cat related” name, try “Purrfectly Yummy”, “Purr-fect Treats” or something similar. For dog related names, try “Paws-itively Yummy” or “4 Paws Bakery” or something equally unique and catchy. With names like those, nobody’ll be able to forget your pet bakery. These names are totally made up and may or may not already be in use. You’ll also want to ensure you’re not real close to someone else’s name. A lot of people choose their business name based on if the website domain is available, if they plan on using the internet as a marketing avenue. You’ll want to check with your State Fictitious Name Division to ensure that nobody else in your area is conducting business by that name. It IS possible and permissible for more than one person to register the same name in the same state if it’s simply a fictitious name; however, if you incorporate there can NOT be two of the same names.

If you’re going to combine pet related businesses (such as pet grooming, pet sitting, pet photography, pet attire) you may want to go with a company name that will cover all aspects of your Pet Bakery and other line. It’s not an absolute “must” though, as The Bow Wow Bakery also owns “Pet Poses” which is our Pet Photography service. We personally choose to keep them separate. This entails separate bookkeeping and receipts, letterhead, etc. however, it works for us. The advantages of having ONE Company Name would be besides the obvious of the bookkeeping and accounting aspect, people won’t have to remember two separate names to get a hold of your services. We used our “dog” in the logos for both The Bow Wow Bakery as well as the same dog in Pet Poses logo, so most people can readily associate both companies as being sister companies and owned and operated by the same person.

You could search online for other pet bakery’s to get ideas of names, obviously, not copying others’ names but getting your own unique twist on a name perhaps. We advise you NOT to name your business close to any other Pet Bakery’s, you can probably add your own twist on a name, but if you were to name your baker “Four Dog Bakery”, the Well Known “Three Dog Bakery” may not appreciate it and proceed stating that it’s too close or easily confused with their Pet Bakery.

The best way to get a company name, is sit down, make a list, ask others (animal people preferred), and see what ‘feels’ right or goes along with the area you’re in and the products you want to provide.

Your company logo will also need to go along with your company name. Most people easily recognize a logo and then associate it with the particular company, such as Nike and their “swoosh” and The Bow Wow Bakery with our “dog” and café canopy. Your logo doesn’t have to have a dog or dog bone in it, in fact with Pet Bakeries those aspects are beginning to become over used. Come up with something eye catching and that will attract people to it. You should make it fairly simple so that when you use it in print it’ll be easily recognized in black/white as well as in varied colors. Once you have it created, you’ll want to put it on EVERYTHING! Your business cards, your labels, your letterhead, bags, fliers, order forms, brochures, catalogs, website (if you decide to do one) basically on everything! Get it out where people will see it and recognize it as yours!

Naming Your Products:

Naming your products is an integral part of the business and can make it or break it. It’s an area where a lot of businesses fall shortl, which could’ve easily been avoided. All pet bakeries are going to have similar items-dog bones-small, medium, large, extra large. Would you want to buy “Small Dog Bones” or would you rather purchase “Tiny Tail Waggers”? Which one is more “appealing” and unique? “Tiny Tail Waggers” obviously sounds a lot more intriguing than “Small Dog Bones”. You can take the items/products and add a ‘cute, catchy’ name and sell a lot more than someone who’s going to sell “medium dog bones”.

Be creative when naming your treats, come up with fun enticing names that will make YOUR products stand out above the other varieties of pet products on the market. It’ll be beneficial to you when customers compare your list of products to your competitions list and yours is more unique and catchy!

Business Supplies

In order to maintain a profession image, you will need to have the basics (ie: business cards, letterhead, fliers, brochures, envelopes) to send out promotional information. You’ll want to put forth a business like appearance, even if you opt to do your Pet Bakery from your home. You will still need these items.

Your letterhead or stationery should consist of your logo, company name, address, phone number, fax number, website address (if you decide to go online), email address (again, if you decide to go online) and all other information to make it as easy as possible for potential customers to contact or locate your Pet Bakery.

If you decide that it’s not in your budget to get these materials and supplies done in bulk professionally, you can print them out yourself as long as you have a quality printer or copier. There are also a lot of office supply stores that now offer ‘small’ or “home business” packages which cater to the businesses that may not require such large quantities of items or have the budget for large amounts. This may be the ideal place to have do your printing. Basic packages usually consist of your business cards, letterhead, envelopes. You will also need invoices or receipts, deposit contracts. These you can get preprinted without your logo, etc. on them and simply either put your label with your contact information or you could even handwrite it in for now.

Your business cards should contain your logo, all pertinent contact information (phone, fax, email, website address) as well as a short description of what you do or what you carry. As you can see on our cards, it says “The Bow Wow Bakery.com” and below that “All Natural Pet Catering, Appetizers, Entrees, Snacks, Cookies & Cakes” This way people know exactly what The Bow Wow Bakery has to offer them. You could even put “Gourmet Pet Bakery”, “Pet Treats”, “Natural Pet Goodies” or something similar. It doesn’t have to be long, just enough to let them know what you have to offer them.

Order forms and/or invoices are a necessity as well. This is the key of having customers reorder from you. You want everything on the order form that is on your product labels.

• Company Name
• Logo
• List of different Products, including sizes & prices, as well as a short description of each product.
• Phone Number
• Fax Number
• Email (if you have it)
• Website address (if you have one)
• Complete Mailing Address
• Payment information-whether you take credit cards, money orders, personal checks, if you hold personal checks or business checks or out of town checks
• Production time-Let them know how quickly you send out orders after receiving payment.
• Refund or Guarantee Policy (if you have one)
• Place for Customers’ Name, address, phone number, credit card info(if you take credit cards)
• Message/Suggestion Space

Contracts will be needed if you intend on doing larger orders that will require a deposit. The contract should be used on large orders or on special events (ie: catering) or if you’re contracted to do a pet event or an opening house or pet product testing. You can either write up a contract yourself or there are resources online as well as any book store that has sample contracts that you can edit and fit to suit your needs. Or if you’re not confident in preparing a contract yourself, contact a small business lawyer so they can use the correct legal wording and terminology.

Your contract should state what is being ordered, date of delivery, all pertinent information regarding the order, any cancellation or rescheduling charges. As well, your contract should state the amount of any deposit you receive and both the date the deposit was given as well as the date the contract was signed. The customer MUST sign the contract; otherwise, it does absolutely no good and is useless in court if anything were to happen where you had to proceed with any court action.

Labeling Your Products:

Labeling your products is a MUST, even if your state or county doesn’t have set requirements regarding the labeling of consumables for pets. What’s on the label is as important as what’s IN the product! Your label is a selling point and part of your marketing segment that a lot of sellers don’t pay attention to and thus fail in.

You want to make sure that if a person receives your Pet Bakery products as a gift, that they’d be able to readily find your Pet Bakery and reorder or contact you for more information. If your labels don’t contain any contact information how will they order? And there goes a potential customer. You want to make things as simple as possible for people to order from you or get in touch with you.

If you opt to sell wholesale, some retail businesses prefer your labels include caloric information, proteins, carbohydrate info and all the nutrient information. While this is important to other retail businesses, if you’re going to be selling mainly to customers and not selling wholesale, this is an area you don’t “have” to concern yourself with, unless you desire to.

For the best and easiest labels you should consider including:

• Company Logo
• Company Name
• Name of the Product
• Ingredients of the Product
• Special Instructions
• Storing Requirements
• Phone Number
• Address
• Website address/ email address (if you have)
• Any other pertinent information that may help ‘sell’ your product

Where To Sell Your Pet Products

Ideally you may want to open your very own retail Pet Bakery from a store front. That would be the ideal situation. Obviously you could sell your Pet Bakery products at any pet food or pet supply stores. The small “mom and pop” pet stores are more apt to welcome you into their store front, than the big commercial pet outlets. Stores that specialize in puppies or unique breeds or toy cup breeds are many places that cater to and pamper their pooches and your gourmet treats would do well there.

You can also sell via the web. That is the most reached outlet, since there are no geographic limitations and the web reaches millions of people a minute, 24 hours a day 7 days a week. The web is one store that never closes for the night, which enables people in all time zones to shop at their convenience. Web sites can be designed affordably and hosting is reasonable as well.

A kiosk or stand at a local mall or shopping center often does well, too. The only downside of that aspect is you’d still have to bake all your items at another location since there isn’t room or necessary equipment to do that at a kiosk or stand.

Local arts & crafts shows and especially pet shows, any event animal related will obviously pull in great revenues.

You can check with your local chamber of commerce to see what events are coming up and plan from there.

Health food stores and holistic natural stores are also good sources to place your Pet Bakery items in. The people who shop there are not only concerned about their health and well being, but their pets’ as well.

Summer and Fall (holiday season) are the busiest seasons of the year for retail sales. Festivals, arts & crafts shows, and fairs happen all summer and fall for a few days at a time and the population varies and covers a wide range of people who will visit those events. Most of these require a fee, but most fairs and arts & crafts shows keep the rate fairly low to appease crafters who show at numerous events throughout the summer and fall seasons.

When checking into participating at fairs, check ahead of time where you’ll be positioned. The higher end and most popular craft fairs will make sure that two people with the same or similar items will NOT be placed near each other. If you want a certain spot, you’ll need to make arrangements ahead of time, and often times they only allow position requests to repeat attendees.

You’ll want to be sure you have a display that stands out and is eye catching. While working your area, make sure that people can readily get your attention and that you appear truly interested and enthusiastic about your products. There’s nothing worse than having someone interested in your products, yet you’re too busy doing something else to even notice their interest and there goes a potential customer. Have brochures, catalogs or fliers available for the potential customer to pick up. If expense is an issue, you can print up half sheet fliers or even post card size fliers listing some of the most popular or top end products out of your product line to give them an idea of what you have to offer. IF you can afford to, have samples of some of the pet products to let the customers treat their pets with, BUT make sure to limit what the potential customer takes, otherwise you’ll run into people who will try to take ALL of them or feed their pet an entire meal out of your samples! It DOES and HAS happened!!! (speaking from experience!-my first festival I had a woman who kept on feeding her maltese all of our samples and I was “afraid” to say something because I didn’t want to lose her business-but you HAVE to speak up!)

Gift Shops or Tourist Attractions are also a good target. You can place your products in these locations either on consignment or sell directly to them. Most tourists are on the look out for the unique items they don’t have locally, so make sure your products have ALL your contact information on them, so they can reorder when they return home.

Tea Rooms & Coffee Houses are often visited by people who have teacup puppies as well as the resources and time to spoil their precious pups. If you carry a mini or bite size treat, this’ll go well in these environments. You may even want to inquire with the ownership to see if you could sponsor a “tasting” of your products. Though you’d provide the treats for free, it’s a good way to advertise and turn potential customers into actual customers. With the coffee houses of today, they often have outdoor tables and do allow dogs as well. You could offer the coffee houses the same ‘tasting” as tea rooms. Realize that the people who frequent these establishments are ‘into’ quality items, and that includes items for their pets.

Sporting Goods & Active Wear Stores are another outsource. If you have a dog bar for the “exercising” dog who’s owner is into sports and brings along the trusty pooch, the sports stores may be willing to sell your items either purchasing from you for wholesale or placing your products on consignment. We came up with a “Pawer Bar” specifically for the active dogs to market in the Sports & Active wear stores and outlets.

APPROACHING BUSINESSES:

When approaching any of the previous businesses or any others you may think of that may carry your Pet Bakery Products, always act professionally. Dress properly -don’t show up in dirty wrinkled clothes-, people judge YOU as well as your business & products based upon your appearance and their initial impression of you. You need to act and present yourself in a businesslike manner. Go to these establishments totally prepared with samples, listings of your pet products, price list, ingredient list as well as any other information you believe will be and important determining factor to closing the sale.

Payment Options

When you first start your Pet Bakery you’ll need to decide what type of payments you’ll accept. If you’re doing this from home or part time, then you may want to stick to cash, checks or money orders for payments. However, if you do this, make sure to put on all your paperwork that you do NOT accept credit cards, so your customers will know they have to have cash on hand to pay you. Or, with the web you can accept cash payments via www.PayPal.com at a small percentage, but it does offer the means for people NOT in your local area to pay for items immediately without having to have a credit card and without your having to have a merchant account. PayPal.com also offers business accounts where you CAN accept credit cards without having a “real” merchant account per say.

If you decide to, you can get a merchant account where you can accept all major credit cards, even debit/ATM cards, and confirm checks for a small percentage of the transaction as well as a minimal per transaction fee. Accepting credit cards with a merchant account gives your business a stronger reputability status. Most people in this day and age pay with credit cards or ATM cards, so this will be a selling point for your business by accepting all credit cards. When you register your DBA or Corporation, you’ll be sure to receive TONS of post cards, and brochures from a large variety of merchants that want your business. You’ll need to call and weigh the options as far as start up fees, transaction fees, transaction percentages, any equipment leasing/purchasing they require as well as the monthly fees, gateway fees if you’re online and any other extra’s they may charge you. If you have bad credit yourself, you can still be approved to have a merchant account. The card services are willing to work with almost every business and do what they can to accommodate your business needs. Comparison shop before signing any contracts though.

Your local bank may also offer merchant account services as well. This would be ideal, because they’ve already been doing your banking needs and would be readily accessible if needed.

Payments & Deposits & Bookkeeping

For the most part you’ll want to receive payment up front when selling your products. If you have an actual store front, that’ll be obvious-you’re not going to let someone leave the store with an item without paying for it. However, if you’re doing your Pet Bakery from home or on the web, you’ll want to receive payment prior to delivering/shipping products. This ensures you don’t get stiffed. If you have someone contract you to do a birthday party or large catering event, you may want to take a deposit and then have them pay the balance when you deliver. In the event that something happens or the customer cancels at the last minute, you’ll still have their deposit to compensate you for your time and materials/costs. You’ll need to state your refund/deposit policy in your contracts or on your sales receipt/invoices so the customer is aware of the ramifications of canceling. It is vital that you keep accurate records of orders that have paid deposits, and when the products are to be delivered/shipped and the balance due upon delivery/shipment. When you first start out, you can probably maintain the bookkeeping aspects yourself, when you grow larger in clientele you may want to consult with a small business accountant to take care of your books.

Production Time

As we already know, most people are living in a fast pace life. We want everything NOW and don’t want to have to wait. If you’re doing this from a store front you’ll want to have plenty of products already pre-made and ready to be purchased. For those doing this from home, you’ll want to have a fast turn around time. We, at The Bow Wow Bakery, aim for no more than a 2 day turn around time on our online orders. We also stress the importance to customers to place their dog cake orders early so they’re prepared and shipped in plenty of time to receive for the birthday pooch or feline! Other acceptable time frames can be from 2 days up to a week, plus shipping time, if you ship items. If it takes any longer than a week, most customers will start to get antsy and wonder if their order is being processed at all.

In the event of equipment break down, family emergency, act of God, or any viable reason you cannot complete an order, you should call or email the customer and explain the situation and apologize-perhaps even offer them a discount on their order to appease them. A simple act of kindness and courtesy will far be remembered -more so than the unexpected delay will.

Tracking Orders:

With the computer came ease and paper free tracking; however, it’s always a good idea to back up your tracking and computer files with hard copy files in the event of computer crashes (this again speaking from experience!)

You can use any data base program to keep track of customers, repeat customers, catalog requests, as well as orders that are pending, orders that have been shipped, wholesale accounts as well as your recipes and pricing and naturally you’re marketing tools.

If you choose to do this via the paper method, purchase some 3 ring binders and organize them to contain:

• orders in
• orders shipped
• orders pending payment
• potential orders
• wholesale orders
• products you have already made on hand
• deposits for larger orders/catering/birthday parties

Keep all your paperwork together and organized not only for yourself and running a more efficient business, but if you ever get audited you’ll want to have this information readily accessible.

Pick-up/Shipping/Delivery Methods:

These are options that’ll vary depending on your location as well as your personal preference, additionally the type of store or home based business will also be a determining factor in which method you chose.

If you have an actual store front, you can opt for the obvious of the walk in customers as well as perhaps offering shipping for out of area orders. If you do this from home, you may not want to, or may not be allowed to have clients come to your premises, in which case you’ll want to offer delivery. Whether you choose to charge or not is entirely up to you. You do NOT want to use up your profits from a sale in gas for your vehicle and time driving too and from. If you’re shipping items, you’ll want to ship either via USPS Priority mail (for items such as dog cookies/bones) or via OVERNIGHT EXPRESS/FEDEX for items that need refrigerated. You’ll always want to have your packages marked ‘fragile/perishable’ so they won’t be left out in the heat of the day or banged around and damaged. You’ll need to decide your personal preference when it comes to UPS/USPS/FedEx/Airborne or any other delivery service. Some people swear by one or the other, everyone has their personal preferences and if a customer requests shipment by a preferred method, then try to accommodate them.

Marketing How To’s and Where To’s

Marketing your Pet Bakery is of the utmost importance, after all, how will anyone know you exist if you don’t market and get your name out there!? The first thing you’ll have to take into consideration is if you have a budget to market and advertise with. If you do GREAT! If you don’t here are some ways to get the word out without spending any actual cash money!

• Donate pet products to events that are pet/animal related in exchange for media plug of your business
• If your local radio station perhaps spotlights a pet of the week or a Humane Society Pet Adoption, donate some pet products in exchange for free promo as well (this DOES work, we do it every Wed. with our local radio station who spotlights a dog on the air from the Humane Society!)
• Sponsor a taste testing at a local pet store, puppy store, vet, or animal hospital

You can also check with your local yellow pages as far as their advertising rates, however, I’ve personally found that most people now check online for phone numbers or business listings opposed to looking through the actual yellow pages, so you may want to weigh the options involved and the costs involved with yellow pages advertising.

Perhaps your area has a small community newspaper or coupon mailer, get some pricing on that, even if it’s a small ad, anything to get your name and/or logo in the public eye.

Something as simple as magnetic signs for your vehicle do wonders for getting the word out about your Pet Bakery. I mean after all, you HAVE to drive, your vehicle will be in traffic, parked at the post office, bank, store wherever…and is a constant advertisement! Make sure it’s easy to read and don’t put a whole lot of information on the sign, make it short and sweet. Make sure to include your Company Name, Logo and a one liner business description and of course contact phone number and/or website address.

Word of mouth is excellent, but only after you’ve had your first customers already; otherwise, who’d know to talk about your Pet Bakery to begin with! But once you do get the word out, you’ll be amazed at how many people own dogs, cats and are wanting something new and healthy for their precious pets!

Preserving, Packaging, Preparing Products:

This will be one of the most important aspects of your business short of the marketing and naming of products. Since these pet items will be made without chemicals, additives or preservatives they won’t have an extended shelf life as do the commercially produced pet products.

First we’ll discuss the presentation of your pet products. There are a variety of ways to package your pet products. You can shrink wrap pet products by placing them on a cardboard tray with crinkle paper in the base and then shrink wrap the entire tray and place your company logo on and the product label. If you choose to do gift baskets or gift tins you can purchase clear cello bags to make wrapping these easily. You can assemble gift baskets with a variety of pet products and then place in cello bag and use paw print or dog bone print ribbon and/or bows. Remember that presentation is a large determining factor when people decide what to purchase, even though we know the dog or cat really doesn’t care about what it LOOKS like but what it TASTE like.

At The Bow Wow Bakery we use a paw print cello bag and place products in the bags and seal, then place the cello bag inside a brown tin tie kraft coffee bag with our logo and labels affixed to the tin tie bag. These are affordable as well as “café” looking, which is the “style” of our business. You can choose something that fits in line with your business style.

If you’re going to place your pet products in stores or coffee shops you may want to get a dog bone shaped basket and place individually wrapped dog bones for sale and ensure that all items have your logo and contact information so people can order from you directly in the future.

If you’re going to sell wholesale or sell items to customers who may need them to stay fresh for an extended time, you may want to vacuum seal the pet products. There are a few different vacuum sealers for food items on the market currently. We, at The Bow Wow Bakery, use one of the Food Saver brands when we’re doing large orders or wholesale orders. This ensures the customer has fresh products when they’re ready to use or sell them. Air makes the natural pet products mold quickly if there are no preservatives, especially with the softer items or those that contain cheese in the recipes. Sealing them removes all the air from the products and ‘preserves’ them for future use.

When you bake your pet products (cookies, bones, biscuits) you’ll want to make sure you let them cool completely before packaging. If they’re even a slight bit warm, this’ll create moisture in the packaging and cause the products to ‘grow’ and mold! You certainly do NOT want that to happen.

When baking, we’ve found that if you leave the cookies/bones/biscuits in the oven for a few hours after they’re done, it removes all moisture and keeps them from getting moldy. IF time allows, let them stay in the oven overnight. We know this isn’t always a possibility but if it is…do it!

We do not use artificial additives or preservatives, but there ARE natural preservatives you can safely use in all recipes.

• Flax Seed Oil-(Flax seed delivers the full benefits of Omega 3, 6 & 9 EFA’s, plus all of the fiber, protein, lignans (an anti-cancer agent), vitamins, minerals and amino acids)-Flax seed comes in either oil or seed form. Either can be used in the pet product recipes.

• Vitamin C-functions as an antioxidant.-Vitamin C can be used in either a powdered form or liquid. We prefer the powdered form.

• Vitamin E- acts as a powerful antioxidant by neutralizing free radicals in the body that cause tissue and cellular damage. Vitamin E also contributes to a healthy circulatory system and aids in proper blood clotting and improves wound healing.-Vitamin E can be used in liquid form, which again we prefer the liquid.

You don’t “have” to use these in your recipes, but we suggest it. It does prolong the life of the pet products and benefits the pets health and longevity.

Gift Packages & Gift Ideas:

Gift Packages & Gift baskets are a top selling item! Most pet owners who are going to purchase your pet products love the opportunity to spoil their precious ones with gifts. You can assemble a variety of gift packages or baskets. Get yourself some dog bone shaped baskets or tin pails or tin tubs and simply arrange items, even toys and other pet products (if you’re going to offer those as well), and place in clear cello bag or a cello bag that has paw print designs or doggie styles printed on it, and finish off with bows & ribbons. This gives the consumer a precious gift item for their pets to enjoy and for them to reuse later on. You can also use dog bowls, treat containers to put a variety of bones/cookies in and sell it as a complete gift. This will give the consumer incentive to purchase more goodies when they run out of what’s packaged in the gift package.

For other gift ideas, you can offer a monthly treat package. You can offer different monthly packages-either by the ½ lb or 1 lb size, and then a variety of months (3-6-9-full year). The advantages to the consumer are that you’ll automatically ship a treat package each month for their precious pup to enjoy!

Holidays are great marketing opportunities. Dogs & cats enjoy the holidays just as much as people! For Valentine’s Day place heart shaped cookies in heart shaped baskets or tins! At Easter, assemble your gift packages in an Easter basket for the pups to enjoy!

For Thanksgiving, make turkey shaped cookies and place together in a wicker cornucopia or silver tray. At Christmas, place the package items in a Christmas stocking. The options are endless on what you can do for all the holidays! Use your imagination and get creative!

To keep abreast of the latest items, keep up to speed with the latest trends for canines and felines. As time goes on, more pet bakeries will be coming into the market, so you want to make sure you stay competitive with new and unique products & names to match!



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