Thursday, August 25, 2016

There Are Laws To Follow If You Want To Distribute Homemade Dog Treats


A couple months ago, we made the decision to share the recipe for our Bodacious Biscuit Love Peanut Butter Dog Treats. These are the treats we offer to the public, families in need, and donate to local animal shelters. In addition, we've shared the recipes for the other flavors previously offered. You can find those recipes on Our Bodacious Dog Treat Recipes page.

In the months ahead, we'll be creating more homemade dog treat recipes to share. 

Since sharing our recipes, a lot of people have reached out to us about making these dog treat recipes to distribute to the public during events and other fundraising efforts. Most of these kind "hoomans" wanted to make our original Peanut Butter Dog Treats as a way to promote what we do and get the word out there about Bodacious Biscuit Love.

We sincerely appreciate the effort and enthusiasm, and we are beyond grateful to our Bodacious Community and beyond. However, without beating around the bush, you can't do that.

Here's why...

In the state of CT, and I quote from one of the kind and helpful employees at the CT Department of Agriculture, there are laws in the world of making and distributing homemade dog treats.

The Connecticut Feed Law requires that all animal feed product labels be registered with the Connecticut Dept. of Agriculture. The regulations for distributing pet treats in Connecticut deal with labeling and registration. The form for registration may be found at www.ct.gov/doag then click on permits and licenses. The form is under Commercial Feed Registration. 

The Label must be submitted with the registration form. It must have the product name which includes the word treat or snack, the company name and address, net weight, ingredients from largest to smallest by weight and Guaranteed Analysis for crude protein by % Min., crude fat by % Min., crude fiber by % Max. and moisture by % Max. 

The label will be reviewed before the registration is approved and there is an $80.00 fee. You can produce the treats in your home kitchen if there is no meat or seafood as an ingredient in them. If there is a commercial kitchen is required and FDA inspects.

If you're not sure of what "distributing" means in the state of CT, it includes the following...

In State Statute for Commercial Feed the word distribute means to offer for sale, sell, exchange or barter, or to supply, furnish or otherwise provide. Donating would fall under furnish or otherwise provide. 

In order for us to offer our Peanut Butter Dog Treats to the public and be able to legally donate them to shelters, we had to send a few biscuits to a Feed Lab. The fee for that was $35.

After the results were determined (Guaranteed Analysis for crude protein by % Min., crude fat by % Min., crude fiber by % Max. and moisture by % Max), we had to send a label to the Department of Agriculture that included all criteria, mentioned above, along with a check for $80.

The label has to be approved. In our case, it was.

Once approved, we received our licence. This is something we have to renew every year, in December, and it costs us $80.

On a side note, the one time fee of $35 for the Feed Lab, and the yearly fee for the licence, only covers ONE flavor.

In other words, if you want to offer 3 flavors of homemade dog treats to the public, the Feed Lab cost (for the one we went through) will be $105 and the cost to get each label licensed through the Department of Agriculture will be $240.

The Feed Lab cost is a one time fee. The $240 Department of Agriculture fee is yearly.

I know that's a lot to take in at one time so I'll give you a moment.

Inhale.

Exhale.

Okay. 

Are we good?

What all of this boils down to is...

1. We made the decision to share the recipe for our Bodacious Biscuit Love Peanut Butter Dog Treats, and our previous flavors, because we want to inspire people. We also want pup parents to have a means of being able to provide their babies with fresh baked treats. You can read about that here.

2. Our recipes are for personal use only. We did not share these recipes for people to copy and sell for profit or personal gain.

3. If you're going to make and offer our homemade dog treats to the public, there's a process. Start from the beginning of this post and read through. Please, do not make our recipes, or any others, and offer them to the public, without proper labeling and going through the Department of Agriculture.

4. Again. Just in case you didn't catch it the first time, "In State Statute for Commercial Feed the word distribute means to offer for sale, sell, exchange or barter, or to supply, furnish or otherwise provide. Donating would fall under furnish or otherwise provide."

5. If you choose to ignore everything I've said in this post. Do not in any, way, shape, or form, attach our name to any event, fundraising effort, etc. Don't make any of our recipes and say, "Oh, this is a Bodacious Biscuit Love recipe." Although we appreciate shout outs, when that is accompanied by handing out biscuits that you're not legally authorized or licensed to do so, we frown on that. You do not have our permission to do that.

When we first started out, and after making the decision to go forth, we went through all of the appropriate and legal channels. I'm grateful that one of the employees from The Department of Agriculture took the time to explain everything and point us in the right direction. That made the process a lot easier.

And, because we're passionate about what we do, we will continue to pay the yearly fee for licensing and keep updated with any changes so we can continue to distribute biscuit love.

Any questions? Please don't hesitate to reach out.


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