So Sainsbury's moved quickly to pacify owners and their four-legged companions when a factory fire sent the supermarket's own brand dog food up in smoke.
Modern database technology means that the supermarkets know exactly who buys their dog food. So a letter, apologising for the fact that it would be unavailable for more than eight weeks, was hastily despatched.
'Of course, we'd hate to think this (fire) meant your dog was going hungry,' wrote Rachel Linke of Sainsbury's Direct Marketing.
'So please accept the coupons ....(for an alternative top brand of dog food)....by way of an apology for any inconvenience caused.'
By turning disaster into opportunity the company ensured that every dog had his dinner.