TAMPA, Fla. — Supply chain slowdowns have impacted a lot of things over the last few years. Lumber to build homes, aluminum pans to cook your Thanksgiving turkey and car computer chips, to name just a few.
Now, pet owners are feeling frustrated when it comes to buying the necessities for their furry friends as well.
Pet Wize, a pet supply store in Tampa, has been maneuvering through shortages and shipping delays for the last year. Canned foods, collars and puppy pads are a few of the recent items the owner, Nick Trianta, has had to keep an extra eye on. And, it's not just one thing causing the shortages.
"Shipping, production, factories shut down," Trianta said. "People bought more pets, they needed more product than normal."
According to the ASPCA, roughly one in five households in the U.S. got a cat or dog since the start of the pandemic. With so many varying factors, it's more difficult for stores to plan ahead.
When it comes to preparing for pet food shortages, Trianta said to stock up on what you can, but also, introduce other proteins and brands to your pets ahead of time in case their favorite products run out.
"If it's a cat and you're feeding tuna, try salmon," he said. "Chicken, try duck, so you have alternatives ahead of time before you run out."
Trianta said he's gotten recent price increase alerts from wholesalers. He does his best to keep customer impacts down by purchasing products during sales and trying to wait out the price surges.
The increase in online shopping for pet food has made it harder for big box stores to forecast shopping trends, according to Trianta.
He said when online options sell out and people rush to the stores, that's when shelves clear because they are not able to restock fast enough.