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Prairie Dog Pet Products Plans $20M+ Manufacturing Expansion

It plans to ‘dramatically expand output.’

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ABILENE, TEXAS — Prairie Dog Pet Products, a manufacturer of freeze dried, smoked and natural pet treats, announced that it “invested heavily” in the second half of 2020 and is allocating another $18 million in 2021 for equipment and facilities.

The projects will “dramatically expand output across its manufactured product lines while increasing food safety and innovation,” according to a press release. The company said it’s investing more than $20 million in all.

“We’re focused on each facility becoming world class in quality, sustainability and efficiency,” said Ted Mischaikov, CEO of Prairie Dog Pet Products. “Each investment is interwoven into the fabric of processes and products we are creating across frozen, freeze dried, air dried and smoked treats and diets. Our goal is to provide large volumes of higher quality and more innovative dried products for our private label and co-pack business partners.”

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Areas of expansion include “low temperature, low impact technologies that help retain nutritional profiles in pet food, as well as kitchen upgrades to increase efficiency,” according to the release. They include:

Freeze drying technology. The Abilene, TX, plant will install 300 percent more freeze dried capacity in 2021 with additional equipment designated for research and development.

Individual quick freeze (IQF) technology. To support freeze dried volumes and initiate frozen diets, the Abilene facility is installing significant IQF capability.

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Kitchen expansions. At both the Abilene and Montrose, CO, facilities, kitchen expansions are underway.

Smokehouses and air dryers. Facilities in Abilene and Montrose have undergone overhauls from analog to digital controls to optimize yield and allow full visibility of every step of the cooking process in real time. Volume increases are underway with increased air flow commensurate with truck capacity increases, as well as new steam support systems.

New corporate and research and development campus. Prairie Dog “is interviewing various municipalities with strong economic development goals as potential locations for new corporate offices and a research and development department, which will co-locate with a new state-of-the-art smoking and air drying production plant aimed at increasing its treat line by 250 percent,” according to the release.

New Colorado facility. Antler production in Montrose has moved into a new facility that is more than three times as large as the previous facility.

“These capital and process initiatives will increase our prowess and capacity to create the clean, healthy nutrition customers expect and their pets absolutely deserve,” said Mischaikov.

Prairie Dog Pet Products is managed by the investment firm Kinderhook Industries LLC.

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