As the pandemic continues to squeeze the economy with supply chain issues, a new victim has befallen the ongoing shortages: our furry friends.

According to the Wall Street Journal, some pet food manufacturers have been unable to secure the necessary ingredients in order to meet the demand. This has led to corporations like The JM Smucker Company, which owns brands such as Meow Mix and Milk-Bone, to notify retailers that shipments would limited for some pet products. In the case of JM Smucker, those delays are expected to persist through January 2023.


“Pretty much every single product that comes to our stores from a manufacturer is facing a COVID driven disruption,” Wayne Pesce of the Connecticut Food Association told Hearst Connecticut, speaking to the food shortages facing both humans and animals. “Trucking and transportation combined with recruitment and retention of a robust workforce have become a new normal. With the recent spike in Omicron cases these challenges are further heightened.” 

Mike McCutcheon of H3 Pet Supply, a pet supply store in Stratford, attributes the shortages to ongoing pandemic-related supply chain issues that are exacerbated by businesses being “short on help.”

“The manufacturers of pet food are hurting with products and supplies,” McCutcheon said. “Some get better, some get worse on a week-to-week basis.” 

McCutcheon also pointed to an ongoing can shortage, which includes canned food for pets. 

Around the state, both local pet shops and big box stores are seeing the shortages impacting their store shelves.

According to Target’s website, “Purina ONE SmartBlend Chicken & Rice Formula Adult Dry Dog Food,” one of the most popular dog food options for store, is out of stock at most Target locations in the state. Meanwhile, speciality foods like “Iams Proactive Health Indoor Weight & Hairball Care with Chicken & Turkey Adult Premium Dry Cat Food” are showing limited supply at Target stores with few packages available at some Connecticut locations.

A spokeswoman from ShopRite reiterated that some pet items are currently hard-to-find due to supply chain issues however, they’re making an effort to have options for pet owners to have food for their furry friends.


“It’s true that the availability of some pet items and brands may be limited as manufacturers wrestle with supply chain issues, but we think our customers will find what they need for their furry friends,” Karen O’Shea said. “Our shelves are stocked and that’s due, in large part, to our strong relationships with vendor partners and suppliers.”

While the pet food shortage has disrupted the system, another factor not related to supply chain issues imay also have an effect: an increase in the number of pets during the pandemic. 

In a 2021 report from the American Pet Products Association, pet ownership increased to 70 percent of U.S. households — an increase of 3 percent over the following year. In addition, the company found that 35 percent of pet owners were spending more on their pets in 2021 with online …….

Source: https://www.ctinsider.com/news/article/Pet-food-in-short-supply-as-pandemic-related-16773221.php

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