Supply chain issues impact availability of some pet foods – NBC Boston

The shelves in the pet food aisle seem bare lately, leaving some pet owners scrambling to find the foods their pets need.

It’s a shortage issue that stems from global supply chain issues that continue to affect nearly every industry, including pet products.

“It’s very unusual,” Debra Pierce said as she walked out of a pet store in Waltham, Massachusetts. “The shelves are empty.”

Pierce said she hoped to find some type of food for her dogs.

“I was only able to find one box of that particular food they like, and a big bag of it. A few small bags, but not what they normally have,” she said. .

Some pet owners struggle to find the variety or brands they usually buy.

Laura Axford had no luck finding the only type of canned food her two cats eat.

“Our cats are very picky, so some things they like they just can’t grasp at the moment. And that’s kind of crazy,” Axford said.

“Demand for goods has started to explode,” noted Yossi Sheffi, director of the MIT Center for Transportation and Logistics and professor of supply chain.

Sheffi said the pandemic has led to an increase in pet adoptions, and therefore increased spending on pets. Couple these two trends with global supply chain disruption, and the result is a pet food shortage.

“When this problem starts, people start hoarding, people start buying everything they see just to make sure they’re not going to run out, and that, of course, makes it worse,” Sheffi said. .

The situation is particularly affecting canned goods due to aluminum shortages, he added.

Marissa Sheehy opened Busy Paws Pet Supply in Westwood two months ago.

“During COVID, I had time to reflect and I thought I’d give it a shot,” she said.

His biggest challenge is not to fill his shelves, but to compete with others.

“For me, it’s just been the price, the price increase for customers and for myself,” she said.

Rising pet food prices are also impacting Kenneth Gonsalves’ Acushnet Pet Food Pantry.

“Certainly we’ve been down since, I would say, since the fall,” Gonsalves said. “There were fewer donations.

The pandemic has led to more people relying on his farm stand-turned-pet pantry, while, at the same time, people are finding it harder to donate their pet food.

The Pet Food Institute, a pet food industry advocate, said earlier this month: “PFI is actively communicating with the federal government about these disruptions and advocating for solutions to address and improve the supply chain. of American supply… We encourage buyers to buy only the amount of food they regularly need.”

Sheffi thinks this shortage could last at least another six months. And even when the supply chain issues are gone, he thinks the high prices could persist.