ABILENE, Texas — Prairie Dog Pet Products, a manufacturer of freeze dried, smoked and natural pet treats, is allocating $18 million in 2021 for equipment and facilities. This move, which follows increased investments at the end of 2020, will expand output across its manufactured product lines while increasing food safety and innovation.
"We're focused on each facility becoming world class in quality, sustainability and efficiency," said Ted Mischaikov, CEO at 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."
Areas of expansion center around low-temperature, low-impact technologies that help retain nutritional profiles in pet food, as well as kitchen upgrades to increase efficiency. These facility enhancements include:
Freeze Drying Technology — The Abilene plant will install 300% more freeze-dried capacity in 2021 with additional equipment designated solely 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.
Kitchen Expansions — At both the Abilene and Montrose, Colorado, facilities, kitchen expansions are underway including process redundancies and flexibility of forming abilities.
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 smoking and air-drying production plant aimed at increasing its treat line by 250%.
New Colorado Facility — Antler production in Montrose has moved into a new facility, which is more than three times larger than the previous facility, due to an increased demand for premium natural chews and strengthened supplier relationships.
"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.