Cat and dog food shortage: Why shops are running out of pet food

Sainsbury’s have confirmed that they are currently dealing with a national shortage of cat and dog food – and they are not the only big chain with the problem.

While Tesco are being more coy about the issues facing them, Sainsbury’s have even sent emails out to shoppers informing them of the problem.

Some supermarkets have been left with bare shelves in the cat and dog food department recently, with the issue apparently being blamed on the number of new pets people have been picked up during lockdown.

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The problem seems to be centred around the pouches

In an email to some customers, Sainsbury’s said: “Due to a national shortage of dog and cat food pouches, we’re sorry if you’re not able to find the usual product at Sainsbury’s.

"We’re working hard to resolve this.

"We think the issue will be ongoing throughout the year, but we hope to get them back onto shelves as quickly as possible.”

When we contacted Sainsbury’s directly, a spokesperson said: “We are seeing an increased demand for pet food pouches and are working hard to maintain stock levels.

"We continue to offer a range of canned and dry options.”

Sainsbury’s are understood to be blaming the shortage on an increase in the number of new pets over the course of the last year.

And it seems Morrisons too are in the doghouse when it comes to pet food.A spokesperson said: "There has been an unprecedented rise in pet ownership across the UK and we are feeling the impact of that increase in demand.

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“We're working closely with our suppliers who are investing in increasing their capacity and we may not have full availability for several months.

"That being said, we do have enough stock to support all our customers and their new pets and so there is no need for people to buy more than they need.”

When asked for comment, Tesco refused to be drawn on how their stocks are holding up, but said only that the last year had seen “significant growth in pet food sales at Tesco”.

Branded cat food pouches, they say, has had “particularly strong demand”.

Asda and Pets At Home have been contacted for comment.