The very best of the Online Pet Supplies services stand out clearly and the margin between our first and second place providers is very slim. PETCO provides an exceptionally wide array of pet care products and services and offers an easy to use, convenient website.
PETCO’s primary focus is on supporting dogs and cats, corresponding with their overwhelming popularity as pets. Additionally, PETCO goes far beyond the bounds of the feline and canine markets offering a complete line of food and other products for other pets as well including birds, fish, reptiles and amphibians, and the catch-all category called Small Animals. PETCO includes chinchillas, ferrets, gerbils, Guinea pigs, hamsters, mice, rabbits, and rats in this group. If you’re a fish lover, PETCO offers everything from simple bowls to the most sophisticated of aquariums and even ponds. They also have live fish and rock, aquatic plants and accessories for all of these environments.
In addition to food and other products for pets, PETCO also offers a wide selection of wild bird food and feeders.
PETCO offers a huge array of food and other supplies for dogs and cats. Indeed in terms of sheer numbers of food items, it actually surpasses the selection offered by PetSmart with a total of 389 dog foods representing 44 brands and 306 cat food products from 36 manufacturers. By comparison, the selection at any local store seems pretty paltry.
PETCO is also a great supermarket for non-food pet supplies. It would be difficult to think of an accessory that the store doesn’t offer. Shop for all manner of leashes and collars, feeding accessories, grooming aids, toys and treats. You’ll also find an extensive array of prescription and over the counter remedies for all sorts of ailments as well as nutritional supplements.
PETCO also features a group of specialty stores for your pet. For the latest in pet fashion, they feature an apparel store with items as simple as bandanas or as extravagant as costumes and dresses. Their Cold Weather Store caters to pets who endure harsh climates and includes heated beds and bowls as well as insulated houses. Flea and tick control is a major issue for most pet owners and this category gets its own specialty store. So too do customers who want to seek out all natural and organic products for their pets and there’s even a Green Store for those who want to be earth friendly featuring biodegradable products. PETCO also has specialty stores for traveling with your pet or outdoor living.
PETCO’s selection is so large that if it weren’t for exceptional organization it could be difficult to find a desired product. Fortunately, the sites layout is exceptional in helping you find just the right product. The Dog and Cat Nutrition Centers’ Food Selector function is key to finding the best possible food for your pet. For those who have already decided on a preferred brand of food, shopping by brand is a snap. But if you’d like to customize your search based on a pet’s specific needs, you’ll find a wealth of options at your command.
The tool allows you to input a range of variable about your pet including age, activity level, lifestyle and any special medical concerns. It also takes the needs of specific breeds and sizes into consideration. You can also specify the form of food you prefer as well as the primary sources of protein, carbohydrate, and other key ingredients that you prefer. The Food Selector combines all of your data to come up with some recommendations that meet all of your requirements.
Another of PETCO’s handy features is called Bottomless Bowl & More. It is a subscription service that allows you to have selected pet food and supplies delivered automatically. In addition to food, it includes flea and tick products, medications and nutritional supplements. Indeed there are over 3,000 products across the site which display the Bottomless Bowl icon. Items purchased this way are delivered on a recurring basis on a schedule you define.
Typical of online retailers, PETCO accepts payment by most major credit cards but also offers options if you prefer not to use a card. They support PayPal, Google Checkout and Bill Me Later payment services. While not specifically accepting checks, they do accept TeleCheck which is a service that allows for paying directly from your checking account by providing checking account information. They also accept payment via PETCO gift cards and online gift certificates.
PETCO offers free shipping on a wide selection of merchandise for orders over $50. Like other sites, however, this doesn’t include food and other heavy or otherwise difficult to ship merchandise. By law, PETCO must collect sales tax for orders being shipped to states in which they have retail stores.
PETCO’s return policy allows for return to any PETCO store or to PETCO.com. If you return merchandise to a store, shipping charges won’t be refunded but you can call a toll-free number to obtain applicable shipping credit.
Your financial and order information is protected by PETCO’s industry standard Secure Socket Layer (SSL) site encryption. As with other online retailers, when registering with PETCO.com, you’re asked for some contact information, such as your name and email address. The customer contact information from the registration form is used to send you information about the PETCO and some partner companies. If you do not wish to receive such communication, there are Opt-Out opportunities.
The PETCO 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.
PETCO offers customer service by telephone but has more limited hours than those offered by top rated PetSmart. They can be contacted from 5AM – 10PM PT on weekdays and from 6AM – 9PM PT weekends. They also provide email support that is conveniently organized so that your question reaches the right department directly. The PETCO web site features a helpful “Answer Den” where customers can ask questions and receive responses both from PETCO personnel and other customers who may have similar experiences. It’s a great resource that combined with their extensive FAQ section provides information on a very broad and detailed range of topics.
PETCO offers an outstanding selection of pet food and supplies as well as a very helpful, well organized web site for aiding in the shopping process. The competition for our #1 and #2 spots for Online Pet Supplies is extremely tight and both stores are well worthy of your consideration.