ABILENE, TEXAS — Prairie Dog Pet Products, a premium pet treat producer, has allocated $18 million to improve its equipment and facilities in 2021. Improvements include measures to expand manufacturing output, innovation and food safety.

The company will focus on improving its low temperature, low impact technologies and implementing kitchen upgrades to increase output and efficiency.

“We’re focused on each facility becoming world class in quality, sustainability and efficiency,” said Ted Mischaikov, chief executive officer 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.”

Prairie Dog will install new freeze-drying technology at its plant in Abilene, increasing capacity by 300%, as well as additional equipment for product research and development. It will expand its individual quick freeze (IQF) capacity, install digital controls to optimize its smokehouse and air-drying technologies, and implement kitchen upgrades at Abilene and its facility in Montrose, Colo. to reduce processing redundancies and improve forming flexibility.

The company is currently meeting with several municipalities to determine the location of its new corporate offices and a research and development office co-located with a state-of-the-art smoking and air-drying plant. This new manufacturing site is expected to increase the company’s treat output by 250%.

Prairie Dog also shared it has moved production of its antler dog chews from its facility in Montrose to a new and larger facility. The new site is three-times larger than the one in Montrose, which will help the company meet increased demand for these products.

“These capital and process initiatives will increase our prowess and capacity to create the clean, healthy nutrition customers expect and their pets absolutely deserve,” Mischaikov said. “We’re advancing aggressively into the future technologies and processes that best serve our brand partners and the pets they feed. It’s an exciting time to work at Prairie Dog!”

The pet treat company was acquired by Kinderhook Industries LLC in June 2020. The investment firm appointed three new leaders in October to drive the company through its next phase of growth. Prairie Dog manufactures premium pet treats for private label brands and retailers.

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