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Buffalo, NY | Local News, Weather, Traffic, Sports | WGRZ.com

Can't find your pet's favorite food? Pandemic problems may be to blame

WNY retailers say their stock is improving after supply chain issues and even bad weather caused shortages over the past few months.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — We love our pets and would do just about anything to make sure they are well taken care of, and for some, that might mean searching for their favorite food.

Recently, you may have noticed some online retailers are sold out and store shelves are empty, especially when it comes to cat food — more specifically wet cat food.

2 On Your Side reached out to the Pet Food Institute, a non-profit organization, as well as Wegmans and Tops to get some answers.

The Pet Food Institute says a number of things have brought on shortages of some pet foods, such as supply chain issues, slower inspections of goods, and delays in international shipping due to the pandemic.

Bad weather and power outages in places where pet food is made also caused problems.

"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 on supplies and ingredients that ripple up the supply chain, such as delays of international shipments or slower inspections due to the pandemic," said Dana Brooks, president and CEO of the Pet Food Institute, based in Washington, D.C.

Brooks also says pet owners are spending more time with their animals and feeding them more and buying more treats.

"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," Brooks said.

A spokesperson for Wegmans said they're getting less wet cat food and some cat treats because a lot of those items are made in Arkansas, which experienced rolling power outages due to snow, and that, in turn, hampered production.

Wegmans said they saw more of a shortage in February and early March, but the problems are easing and shipments are increasing again.

A Tops spokesperson said they have an overall healthy supply of pet food, but ingredient and container shortages did affect their supply of wet cat food. Tops said they expect stock to re-bound by mid-May and early June.