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Written by: Kenaz Filan on Apr 7th, 2022

PetFlow vs Chewy 2022: A David v. Goliath Doggy Dust-Up

Retail pet stores have found it difficult to compete with online pet supply behemoth Chewy. Does a smaller service like PetFlow stand a chance against the Amazon of pet food? Or is Chewy’s bulk purchasing power and wide selection too much for even a scrappy contender?

As dog lovers, we want what’s best for our furry friends. And to help you decide, I’ve compared and contrasted these pet food providers to see which one gets your pooch the best food at the best prices.

While I tend to root for the underdog, I have to admit that Chewy is the clear winner in this fight. Although PetFlow has a lot to offer, Chewy’s stellar customer service, liberal returns policy, and enormous selection of pet foods make it the better choice for most pet parents.

At a Glance: Who Won Each Category?

🍴 Selection

Chewy

🍗 Special Diets & Medications:

Chewy

Prescriptions:

Chewy

⏰ Delivery & Customer Service

Chewy

💲 Price:

Chewy

Selection

Winner: Chewy

Both Chewy and Petflow offer a decent selection of dog foods, but Chewy offers nearly 4,500 dog chow choices to PetFlow’s 2,052 options.

Alt: a listing of the different dog food choices offered by Chewy and Petflow

Caption: While both have a wide selection, Chewy has over twice as many!

PetFlow specializes in higher-end boutique dog foods but Chewy also sells most of the same brands and sometimes even offers a wider selection. For example, Chewy offers 32 different Earthborn Holistic dog food items to PetFlow’s 27.

Chewy also offers Nature’s Diet and several other human-grade dog foods that aren’t available on PetFlow. PetFlow tends to have more items out of stock at any given time than Chewy. This is probably because Chewy is so much bigger than PetFlow, with more solid supply lines.

Both PetFlow and Chewy also sell food and supplies for birds, fish, small pets like mice and guinea pigs, and reptiles. But Chewy even has items for farm animals and horses. If your dog helps herd your alpacas and llamas, Chewy can be your one-stop food supplier.

Special Diets and Medications

Winner: Chewy

Alt: a listing of the different special diet dog foods sold by Chewy and Petflow

Caption: Chewy offers a better selection of special diet dog foods

If your dog needs a special diet, both Chewy and PetFlow offer many foods tailored to their nutritional needs. Once again, however, Chewy comes out on top. For example, Chewy offers 358 corn/wheat/soy-free dog foods to PetFlow’s 155.

Both Chewy and PetFlow offer a decent selection of puppy and senior dog food. But Chewy offers 462 puppy meals and 479 senior choices whereas PetFlow has only 200 puppy meals and 119 meals for mature dogs.

These differences look bigger than they actually are in practice. If your dog needs to lose weight, has allergies, or has a sensitive stomach both PetFlow and Chewy have lots of food choices that will suit your pet’s needs.

Prescriptions

Winner: Chewy

Alt: a screenshot of Chewy’s pharmacy section for prescription meds

Caption: Chewy’s pharmacy can help you with your dog’s medical needs

According to their websites, both Chewy and PetFlow offer prescription medications and diets. PetFlow explains that its website transfers you to VetSource to confirm the prescription, and within 1-3 days your order is on its way.

The process is almost identical at Chewy, save that Chewy has its own dedicated PetRx team. Chewy can also make compounding medications. If your vet prescribes a particular combination of drugs for your pet’s condition, Chewy can mix the prescription and send it to you.

Chewy’s website is better organized, with a link that sends you straight to the Pharmacy. To find PetFlow’s prescription offerings, you must search by medication name. And many of the meds available on Chewy (trazodone and fluoxetine, for example) aren’t sold by PetFlow.

Delivery and Customer Service

Winner: Chewy

Alt: Step by Step instructions on setting up Autoship at PetFlow and Chewy

Caption: Autoship with Chewy or PetFlow can save you money and time

Both Chewy and PetFlow ship to any physical address within the continental United States. Your order will arrive within 1-3 days.

Both companies offer discounts for automatic shipments. Chewy gives you a 5% discount, while PetFlow offers $10 off on each of your first five auto-shipments, as well as regular exclusive coupons and discounts.

PetFlow lets you schedule your shipments every two to 16 weeks. Chewy lets you schedule everything from weekly deliveries to a big shipment every eight months.

To place an order on Chewy’s website you must first create an account but it’s very easy and only takes a few minutes. With PetFlow you can checkout as a guest so if you just want to place one order to see how it works out, you can do this without creating an account.

PetFlow’s customer service phone and text lines are open from 9 am to 10 pm EST. Chewy has customer representatives standing by 24/7. Both also have a chat feature and a FAQ section providing answers to the most common questions.

Chewy has an enormous customer service team of more than 3,000 people. By contrast, PetFlow has less than 100 employees total. Both companies receive good marks for customer service, but Chewy goes above and beyond by sending your dog birthday cards!

Pricing

Winner: Chewy by a cold nose

Alt: Price comparison of Purina One at Chewy and Pet Flow

Caption: Depending on what you buy, Chewy can be a little bit cheaper than PetFlow

Because they buy such enormous quantities of food and supplies, Chewy can offer many pet products at lower prices than smaller retailers. It’s not an enormous difference, but in these tough times every little bit adds up.

A 40lb bag of Purina One Lamb and Rice Formula costs $0.51 less at Chewy than PetFlow. You’ll see similar modest savings on other mass-market pet foods, but their prices for higher-end boutique brands are usually identical.

For example, Chewy and PetFlow both charge the same price for a 25lb bag of ORIJEN Regional Red. A 12-pack of 13-oz cans of Hill’s Prescription Diet Metabolic Formula also costs the same at both sites.

Chewy accepts returns on unopened items (except prescription medications) for a full 365 days after purchase. PetFlow only accepts returns within 30 days of the purchase date, charges a return fee, and won’t accept returns on any item under $10.

Both companies offer free shipping on orders over $49. The charge for smaller orders is $4.95 at Chewy, while PetFlow charges $5.95.

If you’re ordering mass-market food or placing smaller orders, you may be able to save a little money with Chewy. If you’re sticking to larger orders and higher-end dog food, you’ll be paying the same price at both locations.

Features Comparison: Chewy vs Petflow


Chewy

PetFlow

Best for

Owners of multiple pets

High-end pet food

Starting price

Varies

Varies

Shipping cost

$4.95 (free with $49+ order)

$5.95 (free with $49+ order)

Subscription

5% off on autoship orders

$50 off first 5 autoship orders.
Autoship coupons & discounts

Special Diets

Many special diet foods 

Many special diet foods 

Customizable based on:

Age, breed, medical conditions, activity levels, etc.

Age, breed, medical conditions, activity levels, etc.

Recalls

Varies by brand

Varies by brand

Money back guarantee?

365-day money-back guarantee on unopened items

Only on items over $10
30-day return policy: return fee

Our reviewer’s rating

4.7

4.5

Current deal

Save 35% On Your First Order

10% Off Your First Order

And The Winner Is: Chewy

PetFlow is a very good online pet supplier, with an excellent reputation for customer service and many satisfied customers. But Chewy does almost everything PetFlow does just a little bit better.

I love to root for the underdog, but I have to admit that this time the top dog won fair and square.

FAQ

Who is Cheaper, PetFlow or Chewy?

For mass-market dog foods, Chewy typically comes in a bit cheaper than PetFlow, and Chewy also charges less for shipping on orders under $49. Both Chewy and PetFlow sell most boutique dog foods at the manufacturer’s recommended price.

Who Has a Better Variety of Foods, PetFlow or Chewy?

While both services offer many choices in high-end dog food, Chewy offers a wider selection. While PetFlow has over 2,052 different kinds and sizes of dog food, Chewy offers over 4,500 choices. And while PetFlow concentrates on dogs and cats, Chewy sells food for small animals, birds, reptiles, and even horses!

How does Chewy’s Prescription Service Work? 

To fill a prescription through Chewy, you simply put your prescription item (marked with an “Rx” badge) in your cart. When checking out, you provide your vet’s contact info and pet information. Chewy’s pet Rx team verifies your prescription, and your order is processed within 24-48 hours and delivered in less than a week.

About The Author

Kenaz Filan

Contributing Writer, Delivery Rank

Based in New Jersey, Kenaz has decades of experience writing on many subjects and sampling the many cuisines his neighborhood has to offer. Working from home, Kenaz is writing a book between reviewing meal delivery services and raising a family.

Based in New Jersey, Kenaz has decades of experience writing on many subjects and sampling the many cuisines his neighborhood has to offer. Working from home, Kenaz is writing a book between reviewing meal delivery services and raising a family.
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