First it was toilet paper. Now it’s animal food.
People who have adopted pandemic puppies and cats since the coronavirus first hit the United States now often struggle to find food for their furry friends.
Part of the problem is that there are now more animals to feed, said Rob Halpin, spokesperson for MSPCA-Angell, who has adopted so many of his own dogs and cats that he has had room for over 2,800 pets in shelters in the South. since January.
And while the shelter had no issues finding food, many pet stores struggled to keep up with demand.
“It’s pretty much like this for a few months after COVID started,” said Will Regan, assistant manager of Pet Cabaret in Roslindale.
Some of the store’s manufacturers have experienced labor shortages, leading to shipping delays, Regan said.
You couldn’t even find enough canned food for his food, so he started making his own, he said.
“What hasn’t happened before is that we don’t have enough cans,” said Brett Sher of Evanger’s Dog and Cat Food Company, an Illinois manufacturer. “Can providers be at full capacity because people adopted pets during the pandemic so usage may increase.”
Beacon Hill’s My Zone Blue suppliers – which source from various farms across the Midwest – are also under-staffed, owner Pedro Mejai said.
“In general, everything takes longer to arrive, and everything is more expensive. So we’re going to have to raise prices on everything, ”said Mejai. “We are losing customers because there are orders that we cannot fill. So we have to tell our customers that we are out of stock for some things.
In a statement released Wednesday, PetSmart said, “Throughout the pandemic, more and more people have added pets to their families, resulting in increased demand for pet food. With this increase in demand, we have seen shortages from wet food manufacturers that have affected our supply of canned goods in our stores and online. We are committed to doing everything possible to help pet parents feed and care for their pets and we are actively working with our manufacturing and shipping partners to ensure an increase in supply to to better respond to current demand.
Mike Maida, owner of Pawsh Dog Boutique in Back Bay, said the shortage was less of a problem with American brands of pet food than with those from China. So he’s already ordered what he usually does later in the fall to make sure he has enough for the holidays.