Best Pet Store
With pets being such an integral part of our families, we try our hardest to provide them with all the comforts we can afford by shopping at the best pet stores and giving them the food and toys we think they'll love. Sometimes, however, our desire to spoil them can lead to some over-the-top splurging. Consequently, at the end of the month our credit card bills and bank accounts reflect our poor budgeting.
Luckily, there are ways to pamper your pet without going into the red. We've accumulated the top five pet stores based on a few key criteria points including selection, reputation, and support-just to name a few. Take a look at which companies made the final cut.
Best Online Pet Store: What to Consider
If you're not attracted to the drastic price cuts online pet stores offer, think of the convenience. You don't even have to leave the comfort of your couch to purchase those pet must-haves! Keep the following considerations in mind while browsing:
The selection of products that a company offers is by far one of the greatest determining factors of their success. Think about it for a moment, if a store didn't keep your favorite pet food or supplies in stock would you really continue shopping there? Probably not; which is why we've evaluated their selection on everything from carriers to health care products. We haven't limited our assessment strictly on feline or canine friends either! Whether you have a bird, a basset hound or any pet in between we've taken notes.
Range of Resources
Like new parents, first time pet owners often have a learning curve when it comes to nurturing their animals. For that reason, a wide-ranging learning center or online community can be a favorable support mechanism. Try to shop with a site that also offers helpful articles, tips, and advice on everything your pet needs to live a long and happy life.
The 'pet category' isn't limited solely to cats and dogs. Other pets like birds, fish, and reptiles also require food, supplements, and supplies. Depending on what type of animal you have, make sure the site caters to them as well.
Your internet security when shopping vis-à-vis an online retailer is a top priority. Choose a pet supply site which has the protocols and safety features in place to safeguard your personal information including credit card and account numbers.
The Best Online Pet Stores
- Caters to a wide range of pets
- Over 13,000 products
- Pet resource center
- Specialty brands available
- Accepts major credit cards
- Some past criticism from PETA
PetSmart has been a game changer in the sale of pet supplies on and offline. Founded in 1986, this retail giant has locations across the United States, Puerto Rico and even Canada. While this provider caters predominately to canine and feline friends, they do have a tremendous selection of products for other animals as well including birds, small animals, wild birds, fish, and reptiles.
Let's get right into the nitty-gritty because PetSmart has a ton to offer! They have over 230 types of dog foods, over 130 cat foods and an additional 400+ treats/snacks. In total, PetSmart has over 13,000 products all available online. You can either shop for your pet based on their age, breed or simply search the product brand/ingredients. It couldn't be any easier with their easy to navigate website and helpful search functions.
PetSmart accepts all major credit cards as well as payment services like PayPal, and Google Checkout. You'll also receive free shipping on qualifying orders and if you're not satisfied with your purchase once it's delivered, PetSmart will honor their money back satisfaction guarantee (minus S&H charges). Otherwise you can contact their customer service department (by phone or email) to speak with a representative directly regarding your merchandise.
If you're in need of additional pet assistance with training, grooming, or health just consult their extensive resource center which features both videos and articles.
Verdict - Superb
PetSmart comes in as the top provider in the category of online pet supplies. They partner with VetSource to fill pet medications and have a great track record with customer satisfaction. The one discrepancy we found with PetSmart was in 2008 when the retailer received criticism from PETA, an animal right's organization, for selling live birds. While this doesn't have a direct correlation with the retailer's offerings, it is worth mentioning since the brand should uphold the wellbeing of animals everywhere.
- 100% satisfaction guarantee
- Thousands of products to choose from
- Order by phone or online
- Licensed pharmacy
- Shop by condition, brand or price
- Supplies predominantly for felines and canines
By now you've probably heard their advertisement on television or even online. 1-800-PetMeds is "America's Largest Pet Pharmacy". With over 8 million satisfied customers and first rate accreditations, it's no wonder they've become a leader in all things pet related. They're an A+ Accredited Member of the Better Business Bureau and have been awarded Vet-VIPPS accreditation by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy.
While they specialize predominantly in medications, PetMeds also has a bountiful array of pet supplies like beds, toys, and care items. PetMeds products are all tested by third parties to verify claims and as a licensed pharmacy they're required to only dispense U.S. FDA/EPA approved medications.
When you visit the site you can filter your product search by brand, price or even condition. For example, if your dog displays skin irritation due to allergies, simply select the 'Skin Irritation Treatment & Remedies' tab for products. From there you can then filter the search based on your price point.
Unlike some of the other companies on our list, this provider has slim to no products for animals apart from cats and dogs. That means if you have a reptile, bird, or other small animal you'll need to find another supplier.
Verdict - Great
For additional information about your pet's health and safety simply visit their Health 101 page. Overall 1-800-PetMeds is committed to your satisfaction, first and foremost. They pride themselves of tested, quality products and deliver on their promises with a money back guarantee.
- Medication and product guides
- Earn $10 by referring a friend
- Team of experts on hand
- Order tracking
- Licensed pharmacy
- Caters only to cats and dogs
- Poor BBB rating
- Additional charges on food order over 35lbs
At PetCareRx, their mission is to enhance the life of your four legged friend with personalized care and beauty products. They offer everything from prescription medicines to travel and training accessories. If you don't have a cat or dog, you might be disappointed because those are the only two animals they cater to. With that being said though, you can really pamper your pet with their impressive selection of merchandise.
What really stood out about this site was that they have a team of experts on hand including a staff veterinarian, pharmacy director, and consulting nutritionist. All qualified individuals in their field, pet parents can rest assured that their animals will receive the best products.
Want to earn $10 off your first purchase? PetCareRx will give you $10 when you refer a friend and they make their first purchase. The company accepts all major credit cards as well as personal checks and money orders via mail.
Verdict - Very GoodWe really appreciate the attention and care that goes into PetCareRx's offerings. They take the necessary time to make sure their products are up to par and employ a team of knowledgeable individuals. Occasionally they offer promotions which could help you save some money at checkout and maintain a database of helpful pet advice. Definitely ranks in our top five!
- Frequent promotions and giveaways
- Caters to wide range of animals
- Phone and email support
- Partners with pet adoption site
- 30-day return policy
- Some negative reviews
- Not a licensed pharmacy
- 10% handling and restocking fee may apply
PetSupplies.com, a division of TABcom, LLC has been in business since 1969. Known for their diversity in product offerings, this provider has frequent promotions and giveaways for subscribers. They cater to a wide range of pets apart from cats and dogs, including reptiles, ferrets, domestic and wild birds. Regardless of what you need, this provider is bound to have it in stock. And if they don't have it in stock, they accept backorders. In case you didn't know, PetSupplies.com is the parent to a few other big name pet websites including dog.com, bird.com, horse.com, fish.com and ferret.com. The beauty of that is if you don't find a specialty product on their main sight you can always hop over to one of their other pet supply sites and trust that you'll find what you need.
PetSupplies.com accepts the major credit cards (American Express, Discover, MasterCard and Visa) and other payment services like PayPal and Google Checkout. This company has a 30-day return policy if for whatever reason you're not satisfied with your purchase. They ship to all fifty states plus Canada, Guam, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.
Verdict - Very Good
There are a few negative remarks on some review sites detailing poor user-experiences. However, in the grander scheme of this these seem to be a few select incidents. Be aware, however, that this company is not a pharmacy and therefore you may need to contact a vet or other provider for certain medicines.
- Frequent promotions
- Wide range of animal products
- Flat rate shipping available
- Track order online
- 30-day return policy
- Return shipping costs non-refundable
- Not a licensed pharmacy
PetFood.com's motto fits the bill in terms of convenience, selection and customer satisfaction. While the name implies that they only sell pet food, that's far from the truth. Organized in a similar manner to PetSupplies.com, this site allows you to quickly and easily search for supplies as well as food by price, brand or animal. Unlike 1-800-PetMeds, your options aren't strictly limited to feline and canine companions. Choose from ferret, fish, bird, and other animal supplies.
They offer a flat rate shipping fee of $4.99 on orders over $50 (and under 30lbs) in the 48 contiguous states. Shipments go out Monday through Friday and in special instances Saturday delivery is an option for an additional cost. Plus you can track your order online to stay up-to-date on its arrival. If you don't live in the continental U.S. you're not completely left out. This provider also services Canada, Guam, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and PO Boxes.
Verdict - Good
Petfood.com is a great source to order all of your pet's essentials. They accept all major credit cards, have a flexible shipping policy and cater to a number of breeds/species. While they are not a licensed pharmacy like 1-800-PetMeds, they do offer affordable food and care items.
Best Pet Store Recap
The five aforementioned pet store providers all excel in their offerings of pet supplies. If you're looking specifically for your animal's medications that were prescribed by a vet, be sure the organization is a licensed pharmacy. If that's not your primary concern but you'd still like to snag some deals on treats or toys, you'll be well off with any of the five on our list.
Best Online Pet Store FAQs
How do I order prescription medication or food from an online pet supply retailer?
If your vet advises you to administer a prescription medication to your animal or feed them a prescription food it's important to order from a licensed pharmacy. Many online pet supply sites that are not licensed pharmacies, like PetSmart, will work in unison with a company like VetSource to fill your prescription. The process is as follows:
After logging onto the website, select the medication or food recommended, enter your pet's veterinarian information along with their name, and from there the provider will request approval. Since this is typically done through fax, it can be approved as soon as the same day. If you've placed your request but are having issues, simply contact your vet to make them aware of the permissions requested.
Do I need an additional prescription for refills on my pet's medications?
Often times, a provider will not require an additional prescription from your vet if you've already placed one order with them and your prescription has been cleared by the veterinarian's office. PetCareRX.com , for example, saves all your information within your personal account so you can just click on the "refills" tab to have the item added to your shopping cart. Other pet supply websites work in a similar fashion. If you're unsure whether your provider will honor a refill, contact them directly.