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Calgary’s pet stores feel the impact of COVID-19 on their store shelves

It seems Calgary pet owners are stocking up on food for themselves – and their furry friends.

That’s spurred a sharp rise in sales at some Calgary city pet stores.

Michael Rvachew, owner of a one-year-old Golden Retriever, went to pick up an extra back of dog food. He quickly realized a lot of Calgarians had the same idea.

“I went to the [pet] store to buy another bag of dog food. As we showed up, we realized there were a lot of people in the store,” said Rvachew.

As Rvachew was finishing his shopping, he noticed that people were buying excessive amounts of food for their pets. 

“We saw people walking out with bags of dog food,” said Rvachew.

“Some people in the store had three or more bags in their carts.”

Pet food sales unprecedented for this time of year, said store manager

Pet Valu is just beginning to feel the impact that COVID-19 has on the community. PET VALU/ YELP.CA

Maggie Girardi, manager at Pet Valu & Groomingdales in the northwest Calgary community of Dalhousie, said their store has been open to the public. Grooming service is unavailable.

Girardi was certain that her store had the back stock to fill the demand but she described the sales as unprecedented for the time of year.

“Sales on dog food was actually much higher then what we would even see at Christmas,” she said.

She believes that the increase in demand could come from Calgarians buying and adopting more pets. bringing them into their homes during this pandemic. 

The Calgary Humane Society and other shelters modified their adoption processes as COVID-19 hit.

“I assume people are buying puppies,” Girardi said.

“We saw a run on generic dog food products, which is beginning to come down now.”

The sales from this surge are now beginning the return to normal as the pet store will stay open during the pandemic.

Girardi said that there won’t be a pet food shortage any time soon.

She expects sales will return to normal in the near future.