Pet stores aren’t immune from the constant inflation affecting consumers in the US. This means pet owners are taking even more hits to their wallets.

Why are pet stores suffering inflation hits, and how can you cope with the rising prices of your furry companion’s care?

The consumer market in the US has experienced constant inflation for the last twelve months, affecting several sectors of the economy.

The most affected sectors are fuel, housing, food, and groceries, as the increase in Consumer Price Index(CPI) (about 9.1%) indicates.

Consequently, it isn’t surprising that pet product prices have consistently increased. While it is not unusual to observe a little spike in pet food pricing, pet stores have had to adjust their prices in recent months due to manufacturer alterations and logistics.

JP Phinney, owner of Unleashed Dog and Cat Stores in North Carolina,  noted that in previous years, manufacturers only had to implement price changes ‘every month or so.’

However, the manufacturers have informed them of product price changes a shocking ten times a week in 2022. 

Because the manufacturer and wholesale prices spike so often, pet parents are facing different prices every time they go shopping for their furry companions.

While pet product inflation is still at about 5.7% compared with the overall CPI at 9.1%, pet product prices seem to rise constantly.

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Possible Causes of Pet Store Inflation

A significant reason behind the frequent hikes in pet commodities is the worldwide fuel situation due to Russia’s war with Ukraine.

the word inflation beside a calculator

The European Union and the US have implemented several sanctions against Russia, whose part in world crude oil production is quite significant.

The sanctions have affected the fuel trade between Russia and many countries worldwide, causing increased gasoline and diesel prices.

Elevated fuel prices will increase the cost of producing many raw materials and transportation. These will, in turn, increase the price of the processed commodity at the manufacturer, wholesale, and consumer levels.

Several pet products, like pet food and toys, are getting more expensive.

Other factors like the lingering effects of the pandemic have also affected crude oil production in many countries.

Reducing available fuel will lead to soaring prices of petroleum products like gasoline, diesel, and petrol gas.

Another reason for higher pet product prices–especially pet food–is that renewable fuel industries use food crops as raw materials for biofuels.

The US federal and state governments encourage local biofuel production by instituting several policies, like the Renewable Fuel Standard. The policies aim to reduce the reliance on fossil fuels, considering their environmental damage.

The result is that regular food crops and materials, like corn and soybeans, will be split between the food processing and renewable fuel industries.

Such policies encourage farmers who produce the raw materials for both industries. The farmers determine the prices and availability of the food materials.

On the other hand, the renewable fuel sector gets a mandatory cut from crop production, as stated in the policy.

Matthew Sedacca, at The counter.org, supports this, as he writes that “these myriad government policies have been a boon to farmers,” as they get to call shots on the prices of crops they produce. 

As a result, the food processing companies have to settle for whatever prices and amount of food crop production are left after the renewable fuel companies have their share.

The expensive and scarce resources will result in even higher prices at the consumer level.

Since both pet food and human food use those ingredients, the problem affects the costs of pet and human nutrition. 

How Do I Save Up on My Pet Expenses?

With the current economic trends, you might need to cut down on some items for your pet. You might have to shop for less expensive kibble or skip routine visits to the groomer to reduce the costs of maintaining your cat or dog.

However, it would be best if you didn’t make mistakes with management, like getting low-quality feed with harmful ingredients or preparing homemade food without seeking professional advice.

cats chilling around in their cat trees

The following tips will help you save efficiently without endangering your pet friend.

  • Prepare homemade food and treats. It could be pretty unusual initially, but with the right ingredients and procedure, you could save a lot of money while providing healthy meals for your pet.
  • Get a good pet insurance policy. It would help you save on the cost of routine clinic visits.
  • Learn to groom your pet yourself.
  • Take good care of your pet. Good food and exercise could prevent otherwise unwanted visits to the vet.
  • Have a family member pet-sit for you instead of boarding.
  • Get second-hand items for your pet instead of the more expensive new supplies.
  • Resist buying new toys if your pet’s current ones are still in good condition.

The current inflationary trends in the US have affected several sectors, including the pet industry.

While the gasoline price hikes play a significant role in the increase in living standards, the availability of food crops for pet food processing companies contributes mainly to the expensive pet food products.

Hang tight, things will hopefully get better. If you have any tips for saving on pet care costs that weren’t included here. Please share them and let other pet parents know.

lady checking the pet food's prices

Reference

1. Inflation hits pet stores as well [Internet]. spectrumlocalnews.com. [cited 2022 Jul 17]. Available from: https://spectrumlocalnews.com/nc/charlotte/news/2022/07/13/inflation-hits-pet-stores-as-well

Olfa T
Olfa T

Olfa knows how to get things done and has a keen business sense that others admire. She’s always on the go, coming up with new ideas! Her ability to anticipate the needs of her readers and deliver information that they want is what makes CatVills such a success. She loves cuddling her cat Picaciu. He is her inspiration. You can reach her at [email protected]

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