If you're a long time pet owner, you're probably familiar with the age-old feud between Petco and PetSmart-the two original rulers of the pre-internet pet supply world. They are the original dominators of the pet industry. While online retailers like Amazon and Chewy have joined the race in recent years, many pet owners prefer to stick with what they know and love. (We also have an Chewy vs. Amazon comparison guide if you are looking to do some extra digging.) Both Petco and PetSmart provide a large selection of pet products and pet services such as dog training, grooming, and small pet care supplies and pet adoption both in-store and online.
The question is—which is cheaper? Of course pet owners want the best products for their fur babies, but is it so much to ask that those products come at an affordable price and are Petsmart deals better than Petco? If you’ve wondered which O.G. pet store provides the best deals, read on for the ultimate comparison of prices at Petco vs PetSmart.
The pet supermarket comparison begins with the most essential and commonly purchased pet supply category: animal food (and treats!). Upon examination of several name brand food products, the general consensus is that prices are close at each store, with a few slight variations. For example:
Dog food – A 50-pound bag of Purina Pro High Protein dog food currently costs $61.99 at PetSmart (on sale from $63.99) and $61.98 at a Petco store (on sale from $67.99). With such a small difference in price, it’s difficult to say that either store is particularly cheaper in terms of dog food. Keeping in mind the price prior to each sale, a PetSmart store would be the original winner. Post-discount, however, Petco wins this category by a narrow margin for dog owners.
Cat food – In the race for cheapest prices, the difference narrows even more in the category of cat food. A 22-pound bag of Iams Proactive Health Indoor Cat food costs $29.99 (on sale from $31.99) at PetSmart and $29.97 (down from $31.99 as well) at Petco. It would appear that both stores originally sell this product for the exact same price. That means these sales only give Petco an advantage of $0.03.
Bird seed – For a 3-pound bag of Higgins Sunburst Gourmet Blend Conure bird food, PetSmart customers will be paying $10.39 (on sale from 12.99) while Petco customers pay a slightly higher price of $11.79 (down from a surprisingly high cost of $15.99). While previous categories handed the win over to Petco due to slightly lower prices, bird owners may have more luck with PetSmart for their food supply purchases.
In addition to the small differences in food prices between PetSmart and Petco, customers may find even greater savings in this category by taking advantage of Petco’s repeat delivery service. For a product like pet food which requires frequent restocking, repeat delivery can come in handy and help pet owners save a significant amount of money.
For every product listed above, Petco offers a repeat delivery option that shaves several dollars off the already discounted price. While this still leaves PetSmart as the winner in bird seed prices, Petco wins by a landslide in dog food, cat food, and a number of other products listed on their website—due to the additional savings of repeat delivery for the loyal shopper.
Beyond food, both stores provide a large selection of other pet products or even live animals that vary greatly in price. From chew toys to cat litter, from guinea pig hay to reptile and fish tanks, here's a breakdown of the differences in price each store offers for these non-nutritional items.
Dog bed – The most affordable option for a dog bed at PetSmart comes at a low price of $7.49 for the smallest size, and $35.99 for the largest size. Over at Petco, the most affordable dog bed is priced at $3.99 for the smallest size, with a much smaller price increase to $14.99 for the largest size. The Petco bed also comes in a wider variety of sizes, for around half the price. In this category, Petco cements its spot in first place for affordability.
Fish tank – At PetSmart, a small fish bowl will run customers a mere $4.17, while a larger, 20-gallon aquarium costs $34.99. The fish tank selection at Petco differs slightly. The same small fish bowl costs a bit more at Petco, with a price tag of $5.79. The same 20-gallon aquarium is slightly cheaper at Petco, costing $33.99. Within the fish care category, it seems pricing can go either way between the two stores.
Cat condo – At PetSmart, a PetPals multi-level cat condo tree is listed at a discounted price of only $49.99 (down from an original price of $70.99). In a shocking turn of events, the same exact product at Petco is priced at a whopping $103.49! In a race where Petco was holding onto a narrow lead, the store takes a hard hit in this category against its competitor.
Crate – For a size small metal pet crate, the cheapest option at PetSmart costs a reasonable, sale price of $19.99, down from an original cost of $22.99. On the flip side, Petco’s smallest metal crate is on sale for exactly the same price, $19.99! The difference between the two comes when you note the original price. Petco’s smallest metal crate has an original price of $59.99—talk about a sale! For this reason, despite having identical sale prices, the winning title must, once again, go to PetSmart.
After comparing prices from the two pet supply stores in several categories, the answer to which store comes out on top is a bit complicated. While pet owners want better care for their pets, they also want the best price.
Petco dominates in affordable prices for food. Consistently, the prices of name brand pet food come at a slightly lower cost at Petco than PetSmart. The savings grow even more when you factor in Petco’s repeated delivery option, which is not available at PetSmart.
PetSmart, on the other hand, seems to offer cheaper options for pet accessories and larger items. If you’re looking for pet supplies beyond food—particularly those that only require a one-time purchase—PetSmart may be the better choice.
For all your questions regarding savings, RebateKey is here to help. When you want to know which stores provide better deals, what coupons are currently available at your favorite retailers, and any other tips for saving money—check the RebateKey website. You’re guaranteed to find something helpful, whether you’re shopping for yourself or your four-legged friend. Happy shopping!
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