On a recent trip to the grocery store to buy cat food, David discovered the shelves completely bare of the food his cat prefers. A subsequent trip to another store revealed the same situation - gaping holes in the pet food aisle.

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Debbie stopped in at her local Dollar store to pick up a bag of dog food when she realized she'd run out. There was none to be found on the shelves. Not a single bag.

Jay visited his local pet store to purchase a bulk bag of the food his puppy eats only to find out that the price of the food had increased by nearly $20.00 from the previous month.

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New York pet owners are frustrated with not only the lack of pet food but with the available options when there is some to be found. What's going on and why is there a shortage?

Food shortages are nothing new - New York has been plagued by them for the last few years but now the shortages are impacting pets and experts say that there are a variety of factors that have led to the situation.

Because of the pandemic in 2020, there were supply chain issues, shortages of employees, and shortages of ingredients needed to make the food, Just as the industry was getting back on its feet and catching up with demand, inflation prices spiked.

Two key ingredients in many pet food brands are soy and corn and according to the Pet Food Institute, there has been a drastic increase in the price of corn and soybean derivatives. In June of 2022, pet food inflation had jumped up 10.3 percent from the same time the year before. Experts say they believe this trend will continue well into 2026.

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But now, perhaps the biggest reason for the current shortage of pet food, particularly canned foods, is that even before the pandemic silver aluminum tariffs were imposed, and getting aluminum to make the cans has continued to be quite difficult.

Dana Brooks is the President and CEI of the Pet Food Institute out of Washington, D.C., the national voice for pet food makers and she said, “From packaging, through processing, onto the shelf, I can’t really tell you a part of that that isn’t challenged or complicated.”

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