Rounding out our top three award winners in the category of Online Pet Supplies is Dog.com and its related sites. While this collection of pet sites offers a wide variety of food and other supplies, there is a notable gap between the variety of products offered and in the utility of the website itself when compared to our top two sites. Nonetheless, Dog.com is an excellent source for pet supplies.
The architecture of the Dog.com web site takes a fundamentally different approach to Online Pet Supply sites than its competitors. Rather than being an integrated site that supports a variety of animals, it is part of a collection of related sites that are aimed directly at one species. The related sites include horse.com, ferret.com, bird.com and fish.com. There’s even one called garden.com and even though we love our plants, we’ll not include them in our pet oriented evaluation.
Notably absent from this family of pet sites is support for cat food which, on our other reviewed sites, comprise the second largest category of pets, exceeded only by dogs. That in and of itself makes the depth of the store’s inventory comparatively small.
Whereas PetSmart and PETCO offer the full spectrum of quality foods, ranging from the most recognized brands to the more esoteric premium marks, Dog.com limits its selection to those select makers that you wouldn’t be likely to see on the shelves of most stores.
Dog food brands available at Dog.com include Canidae, Eagle Pack, Innova, Nature’s Variety, Nutro, Royal Canin, Solid Gold and Wellness. All fine foods but aimed at specialty markets. Interestingly, though Dog.com doesn’t carry food for cats, it does offer a fairly extensive variety of other feline supplies including furniture, toys, carriers, beds, litter products and grooming aids. To its credit, Dog.com is one of only two of our rated sites that offers support for horses, of course, at horses.com. And while other sites offer support for a variety of small animals, this is the only one that specializes in ferrets. Bird.com offers food and supplies for both domesticated and wild birds and Fish.com features fish food, supplies and habitats for both aquariums and ponds.
For dogs, Dog.com has a large selection of supplies in addition to food. It offers prescription and over the counter medication including natural remedies, grooming aids, toys, pest control products, travel accessories and products specifically for puppies. Horse.com offers a similar array of equine products and adds farm and ranch supplies and tack.
Dog.com doesn’t have the extensive shopping assistant tools for selecting the perfect food for your pet that we reviewed with PetSmart and PETCO, but its relatively limited selection of food makes it unnecessary. On Dog.com, simply select the Dog Food tab and the inventory is presented by brand name. Product categories other than food include Dog Treats, Toys, Beds, Health, Collars, Greenies and Flea Control. Each of those headings is further broken down into clearly defined subcategories.
Perhaps the most outstanding feature of the Dog.com website is its extensive array of educational material. First among these are a series of articles, accompanied by authoritative video presentation of breeds as recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC). The articles could be used as a guide in selecting a pet in that they detail breed characteristics including body type, personality, coat and health concerns. The videos are a primer on judging each breed and offer insights that a typical pet owner would likely not otherwise recognize. Additionally, there is an exhaustive collection of articles on subjects important to dog owners ranging from nutrition requirements, dog houses and shows, health, toys, treats, bark control and many others. The site also provides an excellent user forum and blog site allowing users to exchanges questions and answers among one another.
All orders placed with Dog.com require a valid credit card number, even if paying with a gift certificate or coupon. In the event that the cost of your order is less than or equal to the amount of the gift certificate, the credit card will not be charged.
The Dog.com website is tested and certified daily to pass the “McAfee Secure” Security Scan. To help address concerns about possible hacker access to your confidential data, and the safety of visiting this site, the "live" McAfee Secure mark appears only when this site passes the daily McAfee Secure tests.
Dog.com provides customer service support via toll-free telephone from 8AM – 8PM ET weekdays and from 8:30AM – 5PM ET on Saturdays. They are closed Sundays. They can also be contacted by email. Orders may be tracked online by accessing your account and can be followed after shipping using the tracking number that is provided by email. Economy shipping orders cannot be tracked. If you’re not satisfied with an item purchased from Dog.com, you may return it within 30 days of receipt. You should call customer service for a return authorization number before returning it. Return shipping costs are not refundable unless the return is a result of a mistake made by the vendor.
Dog.com and its related sites, horse.com, bird.com, ferret.com and fish.com fill an important niche in the world of Online Pet Supplies. While they don’t have the megastore selection offered by PETCO and PetSmart, they do provide high quality specialty products to demanding animal lovers. They also excel in the information they provide to pet owners and potential pet owners.
How do other leading online pet supplies retailers compare to Dog.com? Read our reviews of PetSmart and PETCO for details.