Chewy is a relatively recent entrant into the pet food and accessory market, but it’s quickly established itself as a heavy hitter. It’s the largest dedicated pet supply website on the internet, with only Amazon proving itself to be a real challenger.
The site prides itself on making things easy for the average pet owner. It offers everything that you could possibly need to take care of your animal, even if it’s something more exotic than a cat or dog, and it even fills prescriptions.
Chewy is one of the best services for finding obscure brands, and it can usually get your goods to you in a day or two. However, it’s not much help if you have a hungry pet and an empty cupboard, and it doesn’t offer anything beyond pet goods, putting them a step behind Amazon in that respect.
It also doesn’t have as many user reviews as Amazon does, and it’s unclear what, if anything, it does to vet the reviews that do exist.
If you’re a pet owner who’s willing to give up the brick-and-mortar experience (and you’re okay with not making any impulse purchases on your own behalf), Chewy is definitely worth a look.
Chewy — A Quick Look
Chewy Fulfills Most Orders Within 48 Hours
Chewy has fulfillment centers all over the United States, so it’s able to quickly fulfill orders as they’re received. Generally speaking, you should be able to get your stuff within 48 hours of placing your order.
It’s not the same as being able to drive down to the store to pick up what you need, but you shouldn’t have to wait long to get your stuff. The quick turnaround time makes it a convenient option for pet owners who can plan a day or two ahead.
It Pushes Subscriptions Hard
Chewy offers subscription services, where you can set it up so that it automatically sends you a new order after a predetermined amount of time. That allows you to keep a steady supply of food on hand without having to remember to order it every time.
To encourage owners to take advantage of their subscription service, Chewy offers a 5%
discount on each order. It’s a great way to save money on something that you’re going to buy, anyway.
It’s a win-win for both the customers and the company. Customers save money and bother, while Chewy locks their customer base in for weeks at a time.
However, if you forget to cancel, you can be on the hook for unwanted supplies. Luckily, their return policy is generous, so all it will cost you is a bit of hassle.
It Offers Prescription Medications
If your pet takes a medication regularly, you can submit the prescription to Chewy and it’ll fill it for you. This will likely be cheaper than going through your vet or local pharmacy, and you can get automatic refills in order to minimize the inconvenience to you.
Best of all, it’ll even contact your vet for you to get the prescription filled, so all you have to do is provide your doctor’s information.
Their Customer Service Is Top-Notch
If you have any questions or concerns, it has associates online 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, so you can chat with them to get the information you need. It also has representatives available by phone if you want to talk to someone in person, although those hours are more limited.
The team truly bends over backward to make sure you’re satisfied. They’ll do just about anything to make their customers happy.
The only issue we’ve found regarding customer service is that if you have a complicated issue, you’ll likely get a different representative every time you reach out. That means you’ll have to explain the situation multiple times, rather than having a dedicated agent see your problem through to the end.
Their Return Policy Is a Mixed Bag
On the one hand, Chewy allows you to return items a full year after purchase, which is extremely generous. That gives you time to see if your pet will take to a new food, for example, before having to make any decisions about keeping it.
On the other hand, it doesn’t accept returns on prescription medications unless there’s an issue with them, such as damage or a defect. In that case, it’ll process a replacement but not a refund.
The other issue with their return policy is that it uses FedEx to handle everything. That can create hassle, as you’ll have to track down a FedEx location to send your stuff back. It gives you an unnecessary errand, but at least you have a ton of time to make the return.
How do Chewy’s prices compare to other sites?
Typically, it’s on par with other sites. The prices will vary depending on which product you’re looking at, of course, but you’ll usually find them to be equal to those of other major services.
Does it charge for shipping?
Shipping is free on orders over $49. For all orders under that threshold, you’ll pay a $4.95 flat rate.
Does it offer goods for all pets or just cats and dogs?
Cats and dogs definitely represent the bulk of their selection, but it also has dedicated categories for fish, birds, reptiles, horses, and other small pets like gerbils and hamsters.
The biggest oversight it has is snakes. If you have a snake, you’ll have to hope that the gear Chewy offers for other reptiles will suit your purposes; otherwise, you’ll need to find a different supplier.
What forms of payment does it accept?
It takes all major credit cards, as well as PayPal and Chewy gift cards.
What the Users Say
While you can learn much about a service by perusing their website, we feel the best way to judge it is by seeing what most users say about it. It’s the best way to get a broad view of the average user’s experience with the service.
In looking at user reviews and forum discussions, we’ve found that people are generally happy with their experiences using Chewy. The selection is excellent, the prices are competitive, and the auto-ship feature is certainly convenient.
The biggest complaints center around a lack of international shipping and delays in delivery. It should be noted, though, that most shipping delays are due to problems with fulfillment, and these are usually on the manufacturer’s end. Chewy does its best to give you plenty of advance notice in case there’s an issue, though.
Most people appreciate how easy it is to deal with Chewy if there’s a problem with your order, and they typically find its customer service representatives to be knowledgeable, helpful, and polite. However, it can be difficult to solve your problem if it’s something that requires a manager’s intervention.
Ultimately, most people seem to enjoy using Chewy, and it has a loyal customer base. While it is nominally in competition with Amazon, many people use the services interchangeably; however, it seems that most pet owners start shopping on Chewy and only switch to Amazon if Chewy doesn’t have what they need.
It’s not perfect, but Chewy is one of the best online pet supply companies around. It has a broad selection of products for a wide variety of pets, and its prices are in line with other major suppliers. The shipping is fast, cheap, and hassle-free, and its customer service is top-notch.
You won’t always find what you’re looking for on Chewy, though, and it can be difficult to get complex problems solved promptly. Fortunately, though, their generous return policy gives you plenty of time to get things sorted out.
It may not replace regular runs to the pet store just yet, but Chewy is doing everything that it can to make shopping for your pet as convenient as possible.
Feature Image Credit: Chewy.com
- Review Summary
- Chewy — A Quick Look
- Chewy Fulfills Most Orders Within 48 Hours
- It Pushes Subscriptions Hard
- It Offers Prescription Medications
- Their Customer Service Is Top-Notch
- Their Return Policy Is a Mixed Bag
- What the Users Say