Petco vs. PetSmart

Petco vs. PetSmart, Petco and PetSmart are two of the biggest names for buying pets and pet supplies in the United States. While many people often mix up the two stores, they’re fierce competitors.

While Petco was founded in 1965, PetSmart was founded in 1986. Despite the almost twenty years between the two companies, PetSmart has grown to become the leading pet and pet product retailer in the United States. The difference in size between the two companies is apparent in the number of stores they each have – while Petco has 1500 stores, PetSmart has 1650 across North America. However, the better company isn’t determined based on popularity. Instead, we analyzed PetSmart and Petco on the most factors: price, ethical considerations, training options, shipping, and returns policies – after taking all these aspects into account, we determined the only company. 


Petco and PetSmart sell very similar products, so there isn’t that drastic difference in their pricing. While PetSmart is cheaper in terms of certain products, We can argue that Petco’s higher price is justified by their relatively higher quality of services. On the other hand, PetSmart has a wider variety of products when compared with Petco, and it offers this diverse selection at a lesser cost. Overall, though, the prices of both chains are around the same, and there isn’t such a significant difference between the two price points that it should seriously affect the customer.  

However, when you look at the Rewards policies for both companies for money spent there, that’s where you see a difference. Where Petco offers one point per dollar spent at their store, PetSmart gives customers eight points per dollar spent. This could mean that availing of rewards at PetSmart would happen a lot quicker and could be a lot more beneficial to the customer.


Both Petco and PetSmart have wings dedicated to using a share of their profits for charitable purposes. For example, Petco has Petco Love, and PetSmart has PetSmart Charities. These charities work to facilitate animal adoption and fund rehabilitation centers for wounded and distressed animals. 

However, while both companies may claim to uphold specific ethical principles, it isn’t that simple in practice. The ethical practices between the two chains vary from store to store. In addition, both companies have been called out by PETA and other animal rights groups for housing animals in not such safe conditions. In terms of scandals, though, Petco would have to win as it has not caught up in some of the cat and dog-related adoption controversies that PetSmart was embroiled in.

Petco vs. PetSmart


Petco and PetSmart both offer dog training classes for your puppies. However, the type of services offered varies between stores. For example, Petco offers separation anxiety classes to help teach pets how to be independent, but PetSmart does not have these. On the other hand, PetSmart offers potty training classes – which are arguably more important – while Petco does not. Both companies allow one-on-one sessions, group sessions, and online sessions. 

Based on the fact that PetSmart’s dog training classes are quite a bit less expensive, PetSmart wins over Petco on this one.


Both Petco and PetSmart offer free shipping above a specific price point. However, while Petco doesn’t discriminate in terms of which customers can enjoy free shipping, PetSmart only allows members of its ‘Treats’ program to avail of this option. Both companies also allow customers to set up repeat purchases – these are items that are used so frequently by the customer that they’re shipped out at regular intervals without having to order them specially. 

While the shipping policies of both companies are primarily similar, Petco has to win this one because its policies aren’t as strict and exclusive as PetSmart’s.

Refund Policy

Petco allows you to return items for thirty days after you buy them. To return the items, though, you have to have the original receipt with you. On the other hand, PetSmart has a more lenient and customer-friendly returns policy. They allow you to return products for up to sixty days after purchasing them, but they also let you do this without a receipt. All you have to do is ensure that the product is still intact and not unpackaged. So in terms of returns policy, PetSmart takes the win.

The Verdict

While Petco and PetSmart may have some similarities in pricing, products, and services due to some small but significant leads, PetSmart is a more consumer-friendly company. They have slightly lower prices and better rewards policies, but more stores and a workforce near the customer. 

PetSmart’s efficiency as a company and its popularity amongst the public is seen in how despite its opening over two decades after Petco, it has far greater revenue and many more locations. 


Is Chewy more popular than PetSmart? 

Chewy is not more popular than PetSmart. Even though Chewy has slightly more products and is a bit more affordable, PetSmart is the largest pet retailer in the world. 

Who is more significant, PetSmart or Petco? 

PetSmart is significantly more extensive and more popular than Petco. As a result, PetSmart earns billions of dollars more in revenue, and it also has a far greater number of stores across North America. 

Is there a Petco or a PetSmart in Canada? 

Yes, Petco and PetSmart both operate in Canada as well. While there isn’t as much of a store presence in Canada as in the United States, they’re still pretty widely located. 

Does the same company own Petco and PetSmart? 

No, Petco and PetSmart are not owned by the same company. Instead, these two companies are bitter rivals, and they’re constantly competing for the top spot in the pet retailer market. Petco is a public company owned by CVC capital and a Canadian firm, while PetSmart is a private company owned by the firm BC Partners. 

Petco vs. PetSmart

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