Vote Puppywarmer For the Coolest Thing Made in Michigan
Puppywarmer is a company in Battle Creek’s Fort Custer Industrial Park, that makes exactly what the name implies. They build machines that keep puppies warm, or as their website says , "Simply saving puppies."
“We manufacture incubators that help at-risk puppies,” said Sunden. “If you control heat, humidity, and oxygen well, you can give puppies the best start in life. 18% of puppies born in the USA pass away in the first three weeks of life, and we think that’s too many.”
Sunden says they sell units to dog breeders, veterinarians, and they also donate to rescue groups. “Our donated incubators last year saved more than a thousand puppies.”
Despite the pandemic, Sunden says they are running well ahead of last years’ sales numbers and will be increasing their staff from three to five in the next few weeks. He says they expect to be a 10 or 12 person company in the next year and a half.
The incubators are built in their space in the Fort Custer Industrial Park, and they work with other companies, such as Action Cutters in Battle Creek, who provide components for them made to their specifications.
Ken Sundin says the idea developed out of a sad story. “We’re dog people, and our two beloved dogs died 45 days apart. We waited a year and then fell in love with a dog in Ohio. Two of the pups in the litter died. I had worked for Nexthermal, a great company in Battle Creek, for 17 years. I knew a lot about thermal transfer and controlling heat. “ He says an idea hit him, he built an incubator and gave it to the Ohio dog breeder and it worked! One thing led to another, and now several major universities are using the incubators in their programs.
Puppywarmer has three sizes of incubators. The 12x12 inch retails for $775.00. The largest size, 18x24” sells for $1,075.00, and Ken says you need an oxygen concentrator to go with it. The new veterinarian units will sell for a bit more. Their high-end line, with an incubator, cart, and oxygen concentrator is selling for just under $5,000.00.
Round 1 voting runs through Friday, Oct. 23, 2020. Anyone can vote daily for up to four products, and there are four in the Battle Creek-Kalamazoo area. The Top Ten make it to Round 2, which will open Monday, Nov. 9, 2020. The winner of the “Coolest Thing Made in Michigan” will be announced during the virtual MFG Excellence Awards event in January.