Chewy and Petco are two of the most popular pet stores in the US. The question is, which one is the best for you in 2023?
In this article, we’ll make a Chewy vs. Petco comparison and help you decide which one is the right one for you. We’ll look at the product selection, customer service, and cost to help you make an informed decision – practically see which one checks all of your boxes.
The History of Chewy and PetCo
Established way back in 1965, Petco is considered a pioneer in pet care. At first, Petco was into delivering vet supplies and later developed into a pet-supply chain. The first-ever Petco store opened in 1980, and by the end of the decade, nothing could stop the brand from spreading.
In the beginning, Petco sold fish in their California shops but eventually grew its offer to other pets. A decade and a half later, in 1994, Petco evolved as the biggest pet supply chain in the U.S. with over 218 shops; by 2008, Petco had opened a shop in every state in the U.S.
Today, Petco doesn’t sell any type of pet food that contains artificial ingredients, which makes it one of the few companies that dedicate special attention to high-quality, natural foods. Other than in the U.S., you’ll find a Petco store as a brick-and-mortar shop in Puerto Rico and Mexico.
Unlike Petco, Chewy began attracting customers in 2011 when Ryan Cohen and Michael Day founded it. Per care was something Cohen was massively interested in, and seeing the options offered by pet stores at the time, he decided to contribute to the change.
A year after Chewy was founded and until 2015, Chewy’s sales amassed $423 million, making the brand stand out with its excellent customer service that gifted unique thank you notes written by hand. In 2017, Chewy got acquired by PetSmart, which in 2015 was acquired by BC Partners.
In the case of Chewy vs. Petco stock, today, a lot of investment pros will advise you to favor Petco over Chewy since Chewy didn’t quite have a promising experience on the stock market recently.
Manufacturing Chewy and PetCo
The 4,500 dog items Chewy carries include types of dog food, toys, accessories, coat care, and so on. It holds 17 storage facilities across the US. Pet parents can go to Chewy’s to find world-renowned brands like Royal Canine, Purina, Blue Buffalo, Hill’s Science Diet, and American Journey.
The selection of food types is comprised of ingredients sourced from different locations, both locally and worldwide. Furthermore, Chewy collaborates with many reliable brands that manufacture FDA-approved prescription items.
Comparatively, Petco has over 2,000 brands and food types offered to pet parents. It is also a pet supply chain that acquires its products from different brands like Wellness, Hill’s Science, Royal Canin, and Blue Buffalo.
A peculiarity in Petco’s manufacturing practices is that the brand does not source dog and cat treats made in China because, as the brand states, safety isn’t guaranteed. Instead, all Petco sells are treats that are made in the U.S., New Zealand, the Netherlands, and Australia.
Chewy’s assortment of pet supplies is quite massive, ranging from pet food to medicines and so on. Petco has the same, but it specializes in pet care supplies. Let’s have a closer look at the product lines of each store.
Chewy Product Line
- Pet Food: You’ll find all sorts of prescription diets, food types, treats, and supplements for numerous types of pets, such as birds, cats, dogs, reptiles and small animals, farm animals, horses, and fish food.
- Pet Care Products: Anything from litter, litter boxes, bedding, cages for small pets, fish tanks, flea, and tick treatments, aquariums, cleaning products, etc.
- Toys and Accessories: You can get all sorts of collars for your pets, as well as leashes, chew toys, beds, climbing gadgets for small pets, training tools, and so on.
- Medicines: Chewy went a step further and now offers customers the option to “connect to a vet” – a free service for auto-ship clients, available even to those that are not but for a small fee. You’ll also find antibiotics, tick and flee treatments, and pain meds. To get either, you’ll need a vet’s prescription.
PetCo Product Line
- Pet Food: You’ll find plenty of pet food for a number of different pets. More or less, the same selection that Chewy offers can be found at Petco, too. The plus here is that you won’t find any food or treats containing artificial ingredients.
- Pet Care Products: Litter boxes, litter, kennels, crates, beddings, and other general pet care products can be found at every Petco store.
- Toys and Accessories: Whichever type of pet you have, Petco will supply you with all kinds of plush toys, chew toys, small animal and reptile hideouts, training toys and gear, and so on.
- Medicines: Petco supplies pet parents with prescription and non-prescription medications, as well as with the option of in-store vet clinics that offer pet insurance policies besides vet services.
While comparing the two in this Petco vs. Chewy review, we had to give a special emphasis on the price as this is one of the key things that can make or break your choice.
At Chewy’s, the prices of dog and cat food by major brands like Royal Canin and Hill’s Science are pretty much the same as at Petco’s. Yet, items for pet care and foods for other pets are slightly less expensive at Chewy’s.
In fact, Chewy is popular for offering items at half the price, as well as 2-for-1 deals. Even though Chewy offers no typical subscription plan, the auto-ship option is considered one. So you’ll basically get a Chewy subscription cost equaling zero.
Since Petco is committed to excluding pet foods containing artificial ingredients, the price for those products is not low. Other than that, the brands that both Chewy and Petco carry are more or less priced the same.
In general, you’ll find high-quality food regardless of whether you’ll shop at Petco or Chewy. The main difference is that Chewy offers a selection of more inexpensive items. For a clearer picture, here is a table of comparison between the two:
|Iams Dry Cat Food (16 lbs)
|Science Diet Dry Cat Food (15 lbs)
Blue Buffalo Dry Cat Food
Purina One Dry Cat Food
When it comes to shipping, both Petco and Chewy take pride in offering fast shipping.
Since Chewy is an online-only pet supply shop, your only choice is to browse their website and find what you need. If you spend over $49, Chewy will ship your order in a timeframe of 1 to 3 days. If what you order costs less than $49, you’ll pay a flat shipping fee of $4.95. To the disappointment of many, Chewy doesn’t extend a same-day delivery option.
As opposed to Chewy, Petco does have physical stores across the US, so you get to choose online shopping or in-store purchases. If you shop online and spend at least $35, Petco offers you a free delivery that ships the same day. If you fall short on your shopping with less than $35, you’ll pay $5.99 for shipping.
You can choose the standard delivery option, which is from 2 to 5 days, the 2-day delivery option, or the next-day delivery option.
A lot of Chewy reviews include positive feedback on Chewy’s customer service. In a nutshell, you get three contact options: to send a message, to call them, or to chat with a representative live. Plus, if you’re using the auto-ship option, you can chat with a vet for free; otherwise, the service is charged.
When it comes to Petco and customer services, the most commonly used option to get in touch with Petco is by phone. There is also a “chat with an expert” option on Petco’s homepage. Or, considering Petco has physical locations, you can go directly to them and ask for help.
This is one of the main differences between Petco vs. Chewy. Recently, Petco has seen a decline in its reputation rates due to a number of factors like shipping, ease of online ordering, and so on.
This is due to the many pending claims at BBB – more than 200 of them, which seriously threatens its reputation with pet owners. In fact, more than 800 clients rated Petco with the lowest mark due to very late deliveries, mixed-up orders, and so on.
Chewy, on the other hand, enjoys stellar customer satisfaction rates, and we found nothing to contest.
General Chewy vs. Petco Comparison
To ease your choice, below is a clear comparison of these two companies’ features.
Cats, dogs, and most
small/caged house pets
Cats, dogs, and
most small/caged house pets,
also farm animals and horses
Some products are
|Usually has the best deals
Mostly by phone, but has a live chat
feature with limited hours; You can also go directly to the store
|Live chat, phone, email – 24/7
Decent but limited; No food/treats
with artificial ingredients
(don’t sell the “cheap” stuff)
Carries over 1,600 brands, so
you can find the largest variety
Offers same or next day delivery
if you live near a Petco
|Standard delivery 2-5 days; No same-day deliveries
|Yes, called “repeat delivery”
The Bottom Line
Due to the fact that both Chewy and Petco have ranked high on a lot of Chewy vs. Petco comparison sites across the web, it’s really all in the details.
Chewy and Petco retail pretty much the same brands and products. The key difference between these two pet supplies stores is that Petco offers same-day delivery, whereas Chewy delivers your products within 1 to 3 days.
Price-wise, we found that Petco is a smidge cheaper than Chewy, but, Chewy lets you return your purchase and get a refund even after a year of the purchase. On the other hand, Petco only extends its refund policy to 30 days.
If we absolutely had to pick a winner, it would be Chewy. Regardless, the choice is yours – see what works for you best, and rest assured that with any choice, you will surely make your pet happy!
Chewy vs. Petco: FAQs
Depending on what you’re looking for, pet food is usually priced the same, but since Petco doesn’t sell treats or food with artificial ingredients, the prices are higher here. So, yes, Chewy offers more affordable prices.
This is a common misconception online. Recently these two famed pet lines came into partnership, so Petco will start selling Stella & Chewy’s pet food in their stores.
PetSmart owns chewy.
According to user reviews, PetSmart comes as the option that offers more affordable prices for its products.
Yes, Chewy is one of the most reliable pet supply stores in the US.
Definitely. It’s one of the rare pet-supply stores that almost always offer an abundance of deals, like 2-for-1, half-process items, and so on.