While most pet owners are likely familiar with Chewy, the giant online pet store, they may be surprised to learn that there’s another massive website out there that specializes in pet supplies (and no, we’re not talking about Amazon).
This other site is called Petflow, and it’s actually been around longer than Chewy has. Both stores are solely devoted to providing pet owners with everything they need for their animals at prices that brick-and-mortar stores can’t match.
But which one is better — the well-known giant or the plucky little unknown? Let’s take a look at both stores, so you can spend your money at the one that best serves your needs.
A Brief Overview of Chewy
Chewy has just about anything a pet owner could need — and that goes for any pet, including fish, reptiles, and even horses.
Their selection of dog food and accessories is unmatched, and you can find just about every brand here, including small, specialty lines. Most products have a good amount of customer reviews, too, although it’s unclear how trustworthy those really are.
The site does all it can to provide you with every bit of information necessary. Each product has the ingredients listed on its page, and there are several helpful videos that walk you through things like how to give an animal medicine or proper grooming techniques.
In addition to food, treats, and other necessary gear, the site has its own pharmacy as well. All you have to do is tell your vet to send in your dog’s prescription, and they’ll handle the rest (at very budget-friendly prices).
Of course, all those choices can be overwhelming, so unless you know exactly what you’re looking for, it’s easy to get lost. Luckily, the categories are well-curated, making it easy to find several relevant options within each section.
A Brief Overview of Petflow
Whereas its competitor focuses on offering items for any pet imaginable, Petflow largely focuses on just dogs and cats. You can find stuff for other pets, but you’ll have to search for it — they don’t have those categories front and center.
Petflow offers prescription foods for dogs, but you can’t get other medicines there. They make it easy to see the nutritional information on food products, and it may be a bit easier to find the information you need there than on Chewy.
Their products tend to have far fewer reviews, and again, who knows how reliable those are anyway. They have just as much selection as Chewy does, but if you get overwhelmed, you can chat with one of their experts to find a product that meets your needs. We don’t know how well-trained their agents are, but it’s helpful nevertheless.
The site donates food to animal shelters with every sale, which should make you feel good about shopping there. They also provide lots of referral opportunities, helping you to defray some of the costs of feeding your dog.
The prices on most products are generally pretty close, but you can expect to save a buck or two by shopping at Chewy.
However, Petflow offsets this somewhat by offering lots of coupons, so if you’re willing to put in a little work, you may just find them to be cheaper. They both offer discounts if you sign up for their subscription services.
To see just how the two services stack up, let’s look at a couple of items from each store.
Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Small Breed Dry Dog Food (15 lb. bag)
As you can see, Chewy is several dollars cheaper for the exact same bag of food. Now, it’s entirely possible that you could find a coupon that changes that, but if you’re looking to just buy-and-go, you’ll save money at Chewy.
Benebone Pawplexer Bacon Flavored Interactive Dog Chew Toy (Large)
Again, Chewy is a bit cheaper for the exact same product.
We know what you’re thinking, though: do they offer free shipping and if not, what about when you factor in shipping costs?
Both services offer free shipping on orders over $49, so it’s a wash there.
For orders under that threshold, you’ll pay a flat fee: $5.95 for Petflow and $4.95 for Chewy. So again, Chewy wins by a dollar.
Shipping is usually reliable from both sites (although neither ships to Alaska or Hawaii), and you should get your order in a day or two.
This is an area where you’ll see some of the starkest contrast between the two sites.
Petflow doesn’t accept returns on items that are less than $10, and you’ll have to pay a return fee to send anything back. Additionally, you can only return items within 30 days of their purchase date.
Chewy, on the other hand, accepts returns for a full 365 days after purchase. You can return any item (except prescription medications) for any reason. You do have to use FedEx to send items back, though, which may or may not be a hassle for you.
Chewy has excellent customer service, and you can reach them by phone or chat anytime — 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. You can also email them if you prefer to handle things that way.
The only issue you might encounter is that, if you use email, you’ll likely get a different rep every time you submit a question, so more elaborate concerns can be a pain, as you’ll need to explain the issue over and over again.
Representatives at Petflow are friendly and knowledgeable, but you can only talk to someone between the hours of 9 AM and 10 PM EST. You can email, chat, or text someone at any time, however.
Which is Better for Pet Owners?
The sites are very close in terms of value and quality, but as of now, Chewy has a slight edge in both categories. It’s often less expensive, there’s more selection for a wider variety of pets, and the return process is significantly easier.
That being said, Petflow is still an excellent option and one we heartily recommend. It just has some work to do to catch up to its better-known competitor.
Dog owners should be able to find what they’re looking for on either site and both offer free shipping, and that should make you — and your pooch — very happy indeed.
Featured Image Credit: Tim Reckmann, Flickr