Westbrook-based dog toy maker Planet Dog has been acquired by an out-of-state pet products manufacturer and distributor.

Planet Dog was purchased in October by The Kyjen Co., a Denver-based portfolio company of J.W. Childs Associates, a private equity firm based in Boston, according to a news release.

Kyjen does business under the name Outward Hound. Terms of the Planet Dog acquisition were not disclosed.

Founded in 1997, Planet Dog produces the Orbee line of durable plush toys for dogs, along with other pet products. The business sells its products to independent retailers, as well as to consumers online and at its company store on Marginal Way in Portland. It employs about two dozen people, according to the company website.

The fast-growing pet industry is a significant economic driver in southern Maine, with several companies, including Planet Dog, Idexx Laboratories and Vets First Choice, serving the market in a variety of ways.

Planet Dog makes pet toys and treats, including its best-selling Orbee-Tuff Orbee Ball. A portion of all sales is donated to the Planet Dog Foundation, which supports training dogs for people in need.


“We are excited to transition the Planet Dog brand and our socially responsible mission to the Outward Hound team,” company founder and Chief Creative Officer Alex Fisher said in the news release. “They have the innovation, experience and financial resources to take our brand and mission of community, environment and people to the next level.”

Outward Hound “Chief Woof Officer” Kyle Hansen said the acquisition of Planet Dog furthers his company’s goal of becoming the country’s leading vendor of dog toys.

“Planet Dog has created some of the most well-known and innovative Made in USA products in the pet industry,” Hansen said.

The purchase of Planet Dog is the third acquisition for Outward Hound since it was acquired by J.W. Childs in December 2017, the news release said.

J. Craig Anderson can be contacted at 791-6390 or at:

[email protected]

Twitter: jcraiganderson

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