There are 3 important steps in shipping your dog treats to your friends & family members or to your customers. First you need to know how long your home made dog treats last, second, you need to package your dog treats correctly and then you need to know how to mail your treats.
Should I Refrigerate Homemade Dog Treats?
If you need to refrigerate your treats then shipping may not be the best decision for you. You would need to spend extra money on express shipping and I would not recommend using icing on your treats because the treat moisture would cause the dog treat icing to become wet again during shipping. It would be very messy once the customer received their order. If you want to ship perishable dog treats, be sure to keep them plain (non decorated) and let the post office know they are perishable.
How do I Ship Homemade Dog Treats?
The best way to ship your treats is to bake them and reduce the moisture in them so they have a long shelf life without needing to be refrigerated. This way you don't need to worry if your package takes longer to arrive to your customer or family member.
To ship homemade frosted dog cookies, you want to use a dog treat icing that doesn't need refrigeration and that dries hard. You would want to bake your treats, then decorate them. Let the hard icing dry overnight to be sure it dries completely. Some of our favorites to use for shipping are Rockin Hard Icing and Original Dog Treat Icing.
How do I Package Dog Treats?
I recommend using environmentally friendly paper packaging, like coffee style bags with windows or cute boxes. But a lot of people love to use plastic bags so their customers can see the treats. If you want to try using plastic be sure to use “polyethylene” bags instead of “polypropylene” bags… Polyethylene bags are more “breathable”. In general, you should keep all of your treats away from direct sun (not just the decorated ones). The rule of thumb is to look for condensation which is moisture trapped in your plastic packaging, which causes icing to become wet again and would stick to your plastic.
Be sure to test the bags you choose to see if they trap humidity or treat moisture in them, both cause moisture to form on the icing... which would make the treat icing wet again and stick to the bag. I leave test treats on our car’s dashboard, in direct sun, for 2 weeks during hot months to see if they withstand the hot summer conditions. You could also ship tester treats to a friend during extremely humid months to be sure your packaging works well.
For the best results, chose or make your own dog treat icing recipe that ships well in humid climates.
Selling Dog Treats Online
If you sell dog treats online you want to definitely test how you package your individually wrapped dog treats in the final shipping box. The key to this is to stuff or fill the shipping box with cushioning around all sides of your treats. This will prevent your treats from breaking during their journey. The best way to test your packing skills is to literally throw or kick your package down a flight of stairs and off a counter top. You need to be sure you cushion your treats to endure rough treatment as they travel. They will be tossed, bumped on roads and no "fragile" sticker will necessarily help them. If you use the correct icing, packaging and cushioning you can easily have a successful online dog bakery business with happy customers. Which is a wonderful thing!
Cost Saving Shipping Tips
After you figure out how to pack your treats so they will not break you will want to simplify your shipping so you can calculate your costs to mail them. The best way to know how much shipping will cost is to simplify your treats and packaging. When selling treats online you should consider selling treats in themed sets or in ounces (for plain treats). For example:
🐾 Find cookie cutter sizes that will make treats to fit in your packaging, not the other way around. Once you establish your packaging, establish what size treats will fit into it.
🐾 Consider how much money is worth it for you to spend time on packing and shipping orders... it is extra work. Do you want to take extra time to ship a $2 treat? Or a $10 treat pack? Establish a set price range and stick to it!
🐾 If 3 decorated birthday treats fit into your cushioned packaging then that's what you sell... for say $6. If you don't want to only make $6 add a pack of plain treats as part of a "Birthday Package" So maybe a birthday pack totals $20... just be sure to not lose money. Extra shipping "cushion" costs money so be sure to calculate its cost too.
You can do this with other treats too, 2 packs of non decorated, non themed treats can be bundled together. You can let the buyer pick two different flavors.
🐾 Know your packaging and what will fit into the smallest shipping box with its cushioning. Weigh your packed boxes and viola! you will know your shipping costs.
➥ Pro Tip ➥ After a while you will see a pattern if people purchase only one bundle or more which will make your shipping boxes an easier purchase. Try to stick to one shipping box size to make your life easier. If most people buy 2 bundles from you, use shipping boxes that fit the 2 bundles and if someone only buys one bundle add extra cushion into the same box.
🐾 Know your market place, if you only ship treats in your State then only price your shipping for your State, etc... Then it is easier if you want to offer flat rate shipping or free shipping.
They will be tossed, bumped on roads and no "fragile" sticker will necessarily help them. If you use the correct icing, packaging and cushioning you can easily have a successful online dog bakery business with happy customers. Which is a wonderful thing!
If you would like more information on Starting or Operating a Dog Bakery Online be sure to see our list of online courses, I have something for everyone!
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