Tucson experiences prescription pet food shortage

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — Pet stores are continuing to see the lasting effects of the pandemic.

“We’ve had issues with pet food supply for a couple of years now. And certainly what we’ve seen is that it is not nearly as easy to get dog food now as it was before the pandemic,” said Steve Farley, CEO of the Humane Society of Southern Arizona.

A widespread pet food shortage has left some states with low-stocked or empty shelves. While the general supply here in Arizona has stayed steady, prescription pet food has been harder to find.

Farley says their primary pet food is the vet-recommended brand Hills Science Diet. That’s the same brand that veterinarians prescribe to animals with special nutritional needs or health conditions.

This shortage has left pets with special dietary needs in a tough spot.

“We’ve had such a huge need. People have been lining up all the way down Roger Road. So we’re always trying to make sure we are finding new sources of it. We can’t let any of our dogs or cats go hungry,” Farley explained.

Farley says these issues stem from labor shortages, gas prices, as well as a limited supply of common ingredients.

While many pet stores have been wiped clean of the prescription brand, other stores are continuing to see the effect inflation has on the brands they do have in stock.

“Clearly, people in the community are looking for wherever they can find the pet food. Some people can’t afford it and some people just can’t find it and we don’t want to pass those prices onto the public because we don ‘t want to make it harder to adopt.”

Farley recommends checking their online store if your pet is prescribed this hard-to-come-by diet.

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Breanna Isbell is a reporter for KGUN 9. She joined the KGUN 9 team in July of 2022 after receiving her bachelor’s degree in sports journalism from Arizona State University in May. Share your story ideas with Breanna by emailing [email protected] or by connecting on Facebook, or Twitter.

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