Pet Parents is planning to build a new office, warehouse and retail store  at 1810 S.W. Magazine Road in Ankeny. Architectural rendering special to the Business Record
Pet Parents LLC, an Ankeny company that creates pet-related products, is planning an expansion that includes construction of a 31,000-square-foot office, distribution and warehouse facility on property it recently purchased in Ankeny’s Prairie Trail planned development.

The Ankeny City Council this week set a March 1 public hearing at which a proposed development agreement with the company will be discussed and voted on. The proposed agreement is expected to include financial assistance for the project in the form of property tax rebates.

Pet Parents was founded in 2016 by Blake Anderson, who moved from California to Iowa about 10 years ago after receiving a scholarship to play football at Morningside College in Sioux City. Pet Parents creates products for dogs and cats including diapers, blankets and chew toys, all of which can be found in pet stores nationwide and online at Chewy.com and Amazon.com.

The company designs, patents and distributes its products, which are made at manufacturing companies in the U.S. and other countries, Anderson said.

"We’re all about ‘pets are family,’" said Anderson, who moved to Ankeny about five years ago. "We own it, we live it, we embody it. ... We focus on dogs and cats from their birth to their middle years to their senior years."

Anderson said the company focuses on what it does best – developing products that are unique, high-quality and needed by pet owners. The company doesn’t veer into the production of common products like leashes, collars and pet dishes, he said.

That laser focus has contributed to the company, currently located in an industrial area at 1595 N.E. 69th Place in Ankeny, being named to Inc. magazine’s annual top 5,000 fastest-growing U.S. companies list that was released in August. The privately held Pet Parents was ranked No. 378.

According to the magazine, Pet Parents had a three-year revenue growth of 1,208%. The magazine described Pet Parents as Iowa’s fastest-growing company and the 43rd-fastest-growing U.S. company in the category of consumer products and services.

The founding of Pet Parents comes during a time of tremendous growth in the pet industry. In 1988, 56% of U.S. households owned a pet, according to the American Pet Products Association’s annual survey. In its 2019-20 survey, the group found that 67% of households in the U.S., or 84.9 million, owned a pet. That number is expected to continue growing, the association said in a news release.

The growth in pet ownership will help Pet Parents expand as well, Anderson said.

The number of people who work at Pet Parents has nearly doubled each of the past five years to the current workforce of about 35, Anderson said. When the company’s new facility opens later this year or in early 2022, Anderson said he expects to have about 70 workers.

Pet Parents Holdings Ankeny LLC paid DRA Properties LC $788,980 for 3.1 acres at 1810 S.W. Magazine Road in Ankeny, in a transaction that was recorded in January.

The new facility will have about 18,000 square feet of warehouse space, about 8,000 square feet of office space and 4,000 square feet of retail space, Anderson said.

Construction of the facility is expected to being in April, he said.