MISSION, Kan. — Certain pet food brands are experiencing a shortage, and now people are turning to smaller shops for help.
“There is a little bit of a pet food shortage with the larger manufacturers, so luckily as small businesses, we haven’t been experiencing that as much,” said Go Pet Go Manager, Kristin Hartter. "We work with a different type of supply chain where the brands are independently-owned and family-owned and our brands were actually getting in pretty easily”
The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animal released data in May of 2021 indicating one in five American households acquired a cat or dog since the beginning of the pandemic.
Hartter noticed the uptick in pet ownership and said that’s also contributing to the increase in demand and lack of certain products.
“There’s just a huge influx in pets in the United States,” Hartter said. “But it can also be a little hard on the industry.”
The Pet Food Institute released a statement to KSHB 41 News claiming several factors are contributing to the shortage, including changes in ownership brought on by the pandemic.
“Multiple factors can impact the manufacturing, distribution and immediate retail availability of pet food. As with other industries in the consumer goods space, demand for pet food has increased, and larger purchases than usual of pet food may have increased as well.
“The availability of transportation and drivers, as well as weather incidents, can impact the movement of ingredients and finished products across the country. This can be further compounded by regulatory and trade developments that ripple up the supply chain, such as government incentives for renewable diesel that impact the pet food ingredient marketplace and cargo ship delays at America’s ports.
“Finally, it’s important to note that many more people are spending additional time at home with their pets. This can lead to increased feeding and more treating than usual, as pet owners look for more ways to bond with their pet.
“The Pet Food Institute (PFI) strongly encourages shoppers to only purchase the amount food they would regularly need. Be assured that America’s pet food makers are working to safely produce food for your pets, and we recommend contacting the individual company for assistance regarding a specific dog or cat food product.”
If you can’t find certain pet food products, you can go to local shops where staff can help you find other options.
Some places offer perks or discounts and will let you return pet food if it doesn’t work out. Products also vary on price points.
“Price point is actually really comparable if not even less, so a lot of people, that’s a misconception. They’ll come in and they’ll be afraid to look at the brands that are on our shelves because they think they’ll be way out of budget,” Hartter explained.
Consumer demand is also affecting the way food is made, shipped and sold.
A Pet Food Forum is scheduled to take place this May in Kansas City where companies can learn more about the changes and meet with other industry leaders.