February 6, 2023

If you have a pet, you know your furry friend can be expensive. Grooming, veterinary care and other pet needs aren’t cheap. In one year, dog owners typically spend between $500 and $1,000, and cat owners spend about $600. That’s why it’s important to find ways to cut costs where you can, while still making sure your pet is well cared for.

We Do the Math logo

Enter Chewy and PetSmart, two pet supply companies that provide a large selection of pet care items at relatively low prices. Both companies offer items like pet food, treats, collars and toys to make sure your pets are comfortable and healthy. But which pet supply company will save you the most money?

I did the math and found that while the prices are similar, you can save slightly more money by shopping with Chewy over PetSmart. Chewy also has a wider selection of brands and products for different animals. Here’s how I came to that conclusion. (You can also check out if Trader Joe’s is cheaper than a regular grocery store and how much you can save by shopping at Costco.)

Chewy vs. PetSmart

Chewy PetSmart
Dog items
Dry food
Pedigree (44 lbs.) $27.78 $27.99
Blue Buffalo (30 lbs.) $60.98 $60.98
Purina ONE (31.1 lbs.) $43.28 $43.29
IAMS Proactive Health $41.98 $41.99
Wet food
Pedigree Chopped Ground dinner (12 cans) $14.99 $16.49
Purina Pro Plan (12 cans) $29.40 $29.40
Iams ProActive Health (6 cans) $9.97 $9.99
Blue Buffalo Homestyle Recipes Variety Pack (8 cans) $21.48 $21.48
Treats
Milk-Bone Soft & Chewy (25-oz tub) $14.48 $14.49
Milk-Bone MaroSnacks (40 oz tub) $11.48 $11.49
Purina Beggin’ Strips (25-oz bag) $11.38 $11.39
Greenies Adult Dental Treats (36 count) $36.98 $36.98
Other supplies
PetSafe Quick Snap Martingale Dog Collar $8 $8
Sassy Woof Rope Dog Leash $35 $35
Wahl Double Sided Dog Bath Pin Brush, Black & Gray $17 $17
KONG Classic Dog Toy $14 $16
Total (dog items) $398.18 $401.96
Cat items
Dry cat food
Meow Mix Original Choice (22 lb bag) $20.48 $20.49
IAMS Proactive Health (16 lb bag) $31.98 $32
Purina Cat Chow Complete (20 lb bag) $23.34 $23.39
Hill’s Science Diet Adult (16 lb bag) $50 $50
Wet food
Fancy Feast Gravy Lovers Poultry & Beef Feast Variety Pack (24 cans) $18.49 $20.49
Friskies Seafood & Chicken Variety Pack (40 cans) $28.48 $29.99
Sheba Perfect Portions Seafood Pate Variety Pack (24 packs) $20.98 $21.99
Blue Buffalo Tastefuls Tuna, Chicken, Fish & Shrimp Entrées Variety Pack (12 cans) $12.48 $12.48
Treats
Feline Greenies Adult Cat Dental Treats (4.6 oz bag) $4.98 $4.99
Temptations Classic Adult Cat Treat (30 oz tub) $14.78 $14.79
Sheba Meaty Tender Sticks (5 count) $1.78 $1.78
Friskies Party Mix (6 oz bag) $3.58 $3.59
Other supplies
Tidy Cats 24/7 Performance Scented Clumping Clay Cat Litter (20 oz jug) $11.49 $11.49
Ever Clean Extra Strength Clumping Clay Cat Litter (42 lbs) $36.19 $36.19
FURminator Adjustable deMatter $19.99 $20.39
Petlinks Blue Beauty Lush Plush Cat Toy $5.37 $8
Total (cat items) $304.39 $312.05

How I did the math

To figure out the price differences between Chewy and PetSmart, I found pet care supplies that both cat and dog owners would need on both suppliers’ websites. I chose cats and dogs because over 50% of US households have one or both of these pets, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association

The items I looked up included food, treats and other daily pet needs, like cat litter and toys. I also made sure to find the same size and quantity of items on both Chewy and PetSmart’s websites for a direct comparison. I looked up these items on the same day in November, but it is possible that prices will fluctuate.

No big price difference between Chewy and PetSmart

From a price comparison standpoint, there isn’t a huge difference in prices for many items between Chewy and PetSmart. Many items are the same price on both sites, and some items have a one cent price difference. 

Prices for dog items are almost identical down the list. The total for all dog items we looked at were $398.18 on Chewy and $401.96 on PetSmart. That’s less than a $4 difference. 

Prices for cat items were mostly the same across the two companies as well, but there was a noticeable difference in prices for wet cat food items. Ordering 24 cans of Fancy Feast through Chewy saves you about $2, and ordering 40 cans of Friskies from Chewy saves you about $1.50. You could also save about $1 when you order 24 packs of Sheba Perfect Portions through Chewy. The total for all cat items we looked at was $304.39 on Chewy and $312.05 on PetSmart. That’s less than a $9 difference.

While the savings are small, you can save more money by buying items from Chewy, and there were no items that were cheaper on PetSmart’s website.

How autoship and shipping deals factor into Chewy and PetSmart pricing

Chewy and PetSmart let you set up autoship for some, but not all, items. Using autoship (which is like Amazon’s subscribe and save option) with both companies saves you 5% on eligible items compared with buying those items on a per purchase basis.

Choosing autoship with PetSmart saves you up to 40% on your first order, but you can only save up to $20 on that first autoship order from PetSmart. That’s not insignificant given how close Chewy and PetSmart prices are, so you can save more with PetSmart’s autoship on your first purchase. After that initial PetSmart autoship purchase, you could spend more with PetSmart compared with Chewy depending on what you buy. 

If an item’s price on Chewy and PetSmart is about the same — within a few cents of each other — using autoship from PetSmart is the better deal. If an item is more than a dollar cheaper on Chewy though, PetSmart’s initial autoship savings won’t hold up over time. So autoship is about the same for both companies. 

It’s also important to note Chewy and PetSmart both offer free shipping on orders over $49.

Brown cat laying on bed

Your pet wants love, attention and all the food and treats, please.


Macy Meyer/CNET

More options with Chewy

While Chewy and PetSmart prices aren’t that different, Chewy has a wider selection of pet care brands and items than PetSmart. While looking for items to compare, I found myself relying on PetSmart to decide which items to compare because the company had far fewer items to choose from.

For example, Chewy has over 172 brands of dry dog food available, compared with PetSmart’s 41 brands. Even within one brand of dry dog food, Chewy has more item options available. Blue Buffalo dry dog food, for example, has 243 items available on Chewy compared with 80 from PetSmart.

More items for different animals with Chewy

Besides Chewy having more options compared with PetSmart, Chewy also carries pet care items for more types of animals compared with PetSmart. In addition to dogs and cats, both Chewy and PetSmart offer items for fish, birds, reptiles, and other small pets like hamsters and guinea pigs. Chewy also offers products for livestock animals, like cows, goats and horses. PetSmart has supplies for chickens but no other farm animals.

Comparing prices of pet care items for other pets besides cats and dogs shows these items are less expensive through Chewy, too.

Chewy vs. PetSmart, other pets

Chewy PetSmart
Oxbow Essentials Adult Rabbit Food (10 lb. bag) $20.39 $21.29
Vitakraft Mini-Pop Small Animal Treats (6 oz. bag) $4.79 $5.99
Exo Terra Infrared Basking Reptile Spot Lamp (75 watts) $17 $18
Zoo Med ReptiBark Natural Reptile Bedding (24 qt. bag) $30 $30
TetraMin Tropical Flakes Fish Food (7.06 oz. jar) $7.95 $8.99
Total $80.13 $84.27

Verdict: Chewy is slightly cheaper and offers more variety than PetSmart

You can save a few dollars by buying pet care items through Chewy instead of PetSmart, and autoship deals for both are about the same. Where Chewy really shines is in the variety of brands and items it carries. Chewy also offers care products for livestock animals in addition to other household pets.

Now that you know which pet supply company will save you more money, check out if shopping for groceries online is less expensive than in the store and whether household essentials are cheaper on Amazon.


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