By Bob Zaruta, President/CEO, NWIRC

February is National Pet Dental Health Month! What could possibly be the connection between this and manufacturing, you ask? Well, it has to do with one of my recent road trips. You know from my past visits and articles featuring companies just how much I enjoy road trips. From scenic travel to seeing the processes and technologies in place and having insightful conversations with the people that make the products we need and want. The road traveled this time took me to Targeted Pet Treats (TPT) in Warren PA, a company playing an important role in business and society. A company fueled by passion and caring for the well-being of beloved pets everywhere – and happens to be the manufacturer of doggie dental treats, among many other products. TPT, while behind the curtains, is doing outstanding work! I walked away from my visit at TPT and my conversation with Division President, Greg Austin, with the analogy in mind of Clark Kent and Superman.

TPT is a contract manufacturer focused on enhancing the lives of pets through innovative pet treat solutions for better oral, joint, and skin coat health. Pet health is a growing concern for pet owners, better said, pet parents. Dental treats, a strength of the company, continues to grow and lead TPT to serve other trends including demand for long-lasting chew products offering healthy options such as grain free-all natural and limited ingredient treat products.

Being a contract manufacturer, much of TPT’s work is producing products for their customers’ brand and private retailers, although they did develop two branded products of their own. Like Clark Kent, they go about every day with meaningful purpose, recognizing opportunities, and working relentlessly to excel at serving their customers with the ultimate benefactor of the products being beloved pets. Again, a true hero behind the curtains outside of the public eye helping their customer- the Superman in the spotlight. TPT helps customers through innovative solutions to distinguish their products from their competitors, to enhance and expand their brand, and to make a difference in the lives of pet parents and their ‘children’.

During my visit at TPT, I experienced strict health and safety protocols including hair nets, gowns, and metal detectors. I observed where investments in automation are in harmony with an embracing workplace culture, where employees were friendly, happy, and proud. I witnessed an engaged workforce with a keen eye for detail and a strong desire for quality work. All are important ingredients for success considering TPT, as a food manufacturer, is under the auspice of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

I loved hearing from Greg the emphasis on the culture at TPT and how they strive to make sure that the fit with employees is mutually beneficial. TPT’s “Top Dogs” is an acknowledgement of appreciation for a job well done presented to a few employees every month. They host a variety of special events throughout the year involving employees and their families including picnics, softball tournaments, and group blood drives.

Feel good stuff is happening as a normal course of business at TPT. Last July, the company celebrated Tucker, the chocolate Labrador Retriever who alerted his owners to the escaped prisoner Michael Burham, and led Pennsylvania State Police to make the capture. For his good deed, Tucker received a year supply of Andy & Audie and Chewsday treats, and a new dog bed full of toys. No one escapes the Clark Kent goodness at Targeted Pet Treats.