Good Question: Where’s all the pet food?

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — Back-to-back-to-back over the last week, News10NBC’s Brennan Somers heard from multiple people having a hard time tracking down food for cats and dogs.

Jeremy said: I live in Orleans County there is a huge supply shortage with cat and dog food dry and wet food. So we travel to other towns like Batavia, Lockport and Spencerport, same issue. So my question is what has happened to the cat and dog food supply?"

Karen asked: I’ve asked the folks at both Wegmans and Tops to understand what is causing the cat food shortage and no one had an answer. They don’t even know when they are expecting a new shipment in. Can you help shed some light on this?

It’s not that stores are *completely* out of dog or cat food. It’s just hard to come by with certain products more available than others in cycles.

It’s easy to say the shortage has to be pandemic related– which it is– but there’s more to it.

Industry experts say demand continues to far outpace supply. More people have been adopting pets over the last two years, so we’re spending more money on pets. Pile those two trends on top of other supply chain backlogs and this is what you get.

On top of that, canned pet food has been a real problem with a run on aluminum. At Wegmans and Tops, you’ll run into signs stating “Limit of 1 per customer on multipack canned cat (or dog) food.”

Wegmans told Somers: "Suppliers in this category continue to be faced with raw material shortages as well as delays in transportation, and expect this to continue all year. While we may not have every variety available, we are working hard to limit the out of stocks as best we can."

And a Tops representative said: "The industry continues to experience shortages not only from a packaging standpoint but also ingredient. We expect to see these shortages last well into the latter part of this year. "

Just a few weeks ago the Pet Food Institute, an advocate for the industry, put out a statement saying it’s working with federal lawmakers about disruptions and to find supply chain solutions.

Meantime, the group is stressing pet owners only buy what they need and not to hoard everything.