Supply chain issues are causing major headaches for pet owners as well as holiday shoppers. In a problem exacerbated by the rise in pet ownership during the pandemic, cat and dog owners say they are having a lot of problems locating their pet's preferred brand, the Wall Street Journal reports. Some go to from store to store seeking the right food, others pay inflated prices to resellers online, and some have resorted to cooking for their pets themselves, though their offerings are often rejected. Wet food, which often uses imported ingredients, is in especially short supply, and some supermarkets are opting to let shelves sit empty.
Pet owners say the problem goes beyond animals being finicky—many pets have special dietary requirements, and dogs and cats often get so attached to a particular type of food that they simply won't eat a different kind. Nashville cat owner Zachary Whitten tells the Journal that he has tried feeding pricier brands to the four cats and several strays he is looking after, but they often just take a bite or two and wander away. "Some of the cats have lost a pound or two just because they haven’t been getting consistent food,” he says. "It’s been a waking nightmare." Aluminum shortages as well as shipping problems have contributed to shortages of canned food, USA Today reports.
The JM Smucker Company, maker of major pet food brands including Meow Mix and Kibbles 'n Bits, told retailers last month that shipments of some products would be limited until January 2023. Reuters reports that candy makers are among the many other industries hit hard by supply chain issues and staff shortages, meaning some people shopping for the holidays are having a hard time finding candy canes. "We're not taking new orders from new customers," says Andrew Schuman, chief executive officer of Hammond's, the largest US wholesale candy cane supplier. "We can't keep up with demand." (Read more pet food stories.)