Should you trust the e-commerce behemoth that’s Amazon with your precious pet’s food? Or is it best to choose a specialized online store, like Chewy?
Both stores provide pet owners with easy access to a wide range of foods, toys, accessories, speedy delivery, and detailed customer reviews. As a pet parent myself, I got curious. Ordering pet food is a recurring cost and chore, so I wanted to make sure I was ordering from the best place.
For my Chewy vs. Amazon comparison, I researched both companies comparing ingredients, meal types, prices, and delivery options. Drawing the line, I found that Chewy is more pet-oriented, has more consistent pricing, and has access to pharmacy service, which is a big bonus.
Yet, I wouldn’t ignore Amazon’s amazing product diversity and discounts. So keep reading to learn which one works best for you!
Both shops offer lots of options for pet foods on a wide range of ingredients. Yet, I like Chewy’s way of organizing things best. Plus, the company also has a Pharmacy section that you can use to have a vet prescription delivered to your door. This service isn’t (yet) available on Amazon.
Chewy and Amazon offer easy access to a wide range of brands like Purina, Pedigree, Blue Buffalo (for dogs), Friskies, Sheba, Fancy Feast (for cats), and many others. Plus, there are plenty of options for dry, wet, dehydrated and freeze-dry, food toppers, and more.
On Amazon, you can find food of all types and various levels of ingredient quality for dogs, cats, horses, fish, aquatic pets, reptiles, small pets, and amphibians. The same is true about Chewy, with the addition that there’s also a section for farm animals.
While there’s a good chance Amazon has a more diverse offer, in terms of brands and food diversity, Chewy is pet-oriented and better organized. Plus, there’s a Fresh & Prepared Meals section for dogs that features high-quality recipes with human-grade ingredients.
Both sites have a Veterinary Diets section for dogs and cats where you can find foods designed for pets with specific health needs. In my case, both companies win points due to their good selection of foods for weight management and digestive care.
Chewy also has my vote when it comes to product organization. Let’s take dog foods as an example. Chewy organizes the food based on type and ingredients (dry, human-grade, wet food, and so on). Pet parents can also find foods using their pooch’s favorite protein or special dietary needs.
Amazon, on the other hand, is more focused on brands, price, and flavor and only then provides options about ingredients. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it did leave me feeling confused whenever I wasn’t looking for a specific brand or type of food.
Dry and wet food, dehydrated and freeze-dried foods, treats, food toppers, frozen meals, gluten- and grain-free – all these and more are easily available on Amazon and Chewy.
Amazon’s dog food section includes dry, wet, dehydrated and freeze-dried, frozen meals, and food toppers. Each of these sections includes a wide range of meals that fit dogs of any age with varied dietary needs. However, the most common types of meals are kibble, canned wet foods, patés, powders, and sticks.
Chewy’s dog food section offers a similar selection with the largest concentration of meals in the Dry Food (kibble) and Wet Food (chunks and canned foods) categories. However, I like that the store also offers Raw Food, Human-Grade, and Fresh & Prepared Meals.
With Chewy, it’s easy to find meals fit for dogs with allergies or a specific health condition due to the well-designed filters at the side. I also like the Premium Dog Food section where you’ll find meals from some of the top pet food brands on the market.
Since Amazon and Chewy are both online stores, there’s no room for customization. The experience is similar to online shopping and works on a what-you-see-is-what-you-get concept. However, the sheer diversity of food products and brands makes it easy to find what you and your pet need.
As a new customer, you need an account before you can place an order on Chewy or Amazon (in standard online shopping fashion). It literally takes less than one minute and both sites have features such as order history, favorites/wish list, and order management.
If you like a personalized shopping experience, Chewy has some interesting features. I like that I can build a profile for each of my pets and receive recommendations based on that info. Plus, you can connect with licensed vets and ask for advice and tips, which is really useful.
When it comes to delivery, it’s no surprise that Amazon is the best. The e-commerce giant delivers all over the US and offers several options for delivery times such as Standard Shipping (four to five business days), Two-Day Shipping (business days), or One-Day Shipping.
Chewy only delivers within the contiguous US and it takes one to three days for your order to arrive.
Both sites have a feature for recurring orders and you can easily control the frequency with the option to skip or cancel at any time. However, not all products have this option, so make sure to check first.
In both cases, there’s no need for a subscription as you can order whenever and whatever you want (as long as the item is available for purchase). Also, you’re notified when the package starts its journey to your door so you can easily track each order.
Both companies will make sure the order reaches your door in good condition (even if the packaging may get a bit wrinkly down the road). All non-perishable food items will be packed in standard packaging that may differ depending on the courier services used.
Chewy makes sure fresh, refrigerated, and frozen items are shipped separately, on a speedier route, and with proper insulation (dry ice packs).
Amazon also has a special shipping option for perishable goods (Expedited Chilled Shipping), where the items are packed in Styrofoam containers with cooling gel packs.
If you order perishable goods (regardless of the site), the food should have proper instructions on how to use and how to store. If these are missing from your package and the information isn’t available on the website, contact Chewy or Amazon and report the issue.
Both companies focus on reducing waste when it comes to packaging materials, but not everything is recyclable. In general, cardboard totes and plastic bags are curbside-recyclable but insulated bag liners usually aren’t. Also, coolant packs and gel packs come with instructions on how to safely dispose of them.
Honestly, I find it difficult to differentiate between Chewy and Amazon’s prices because there are so many factors involved. In my experience, you can find great deals on both sites and the prices for similar products are roughly the same.
The only striking difference is the variety of prices. Since Amazon works with different merchants, you can easily find the same product at different prices (which is great if you’re hunting for deals). On the other hand, Chewy is consistent in its pricing, which makes it more reliable in the long term.
Both sites offer discounts for recurring orders. Chewy’s Autoship offers a 35% discount on your first order and 5% off future orders. Amazon is less generous and only offers 5% on all recurring deliveries.
When it comes to shipping costs, things are a bit different. Chewy offers free shipping for any order over $49 and a flat fee of $4.95 for less expensive orders. On the other hand, Amazon calculates the fee based on several factors (item types, volume, weight, and so on).
To learn more about shipping costs, I placed the same order (one 40lbs bag of Purina ONE Natural Dog Food) on both sites. Amazon charged me $24.34 for my Texas location and $30.17 for a New York location. However, if I use an Amazon Prime account ($12.99/month), the shipping is free.
With Chewy, the same order is free (over $49) regardless of where I’m located within the contiguous US.
Chewy and Amazon both support returns, but the policy is different. Amazon gives you 30 days to change your mind but doesn’t accept returns on pet food. However, you may get store credit if you contact customer support.
Chewy is a bit more generous, with a 365 days return period for most items, except prescription medications (unless the order was incorrect or you received it damaged). The company also accepts replacements.
Pet-oriented products and info
Large variety of items
$4.95 or free on orders over $49
$3.99 to $50
1 week to 8 months
2 weeks to 6 months
Depends on the supplier
Depends on the supplier
Customizable based on:
No customization options
No customization options
Money back guarantee?
Not for pet food
And The Winner Is: Chewy
I have to be honest; this was a close call. Both companies offer similar features and similar prices. However, I have to give the advantage to Chewy because it’s more pet-oriented and provides pet parents with reliable information and easy access to veterinary assistance.
If you know what you want and like to look for a good price, Amazon might be the best choice for you. Amazon offers more products, which means more price competition and discounts.
At the end of the day, it all comes down to your shopping preferences. Also, if you want a more personalized experience with fewer options, make sure you check our list of the best pet food delivery services.
In terms of pet food ingredients and meals, Chewy is better because it makes it easier to find the right food for your pet. The product descriptions are more informative, and you can even send the company your pet’s prescription and have everything delivered.
However, Amazon is an amazing platform for pet parents who want more diversity and look for deals. Plus, more people use Amazon, so it’s easier to learn more about a new product from other customer reviews.
Chewy’s offer is carefully curated and you’ll only find trusted brands on its platform. The risk of fake products is minimal to non-existent. Amazon, on the other hand, works with third-party sellers and doesn’t have the same level of control over who sells what.
While Amazon does have several check systems in place to identify ill-intended sellers, if you use this platform, it’s best to check the reviews first. When you buy only from high-rated sellers, the chances of stumbling across a fake product are extremely low.
If you want access to greater product variety, lower prices, and convenience, then buying online from a reputable store like Chewy or Amazon makes a lot more sense than going to a pet store. However, if you want to see or feel the product and have a chat with an in-store specialist, buying from a pet store might be the right choice for you.