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  1. Sherrie Ashenbremer

    I purchase my dog food from the list you provide, many of those pet food makers are smaller businesses. It is very scary to me that the big food companies are buying pet food business and pushing the little guys out. Maybe I really need to study on making my own dog food! Thank you for this information

  2. Debi

    Sad about, did not know this, thank you for the info., am going to shop at the little local pet food store that as you say, knows all about the foods they sell.

  3. christina swanson

    Sad about chewy, it sold many of the good food grade brands that petsmart/petco wouldn’t. Plus they were willing to stock brands once brought to their attention.

    1. Sara

      Hi Christina,

      It really is sad about! My heart sunk as I read this article and immediately called Chewy to inquire about the sale. My biggest fear is what made Chewy an exceptional company will change to its detriment and in turn it’s loyal customers.


    2. Maggie Champaigne

      PetSmart isn’t ALLOWED to sell those brands, so I’m wondering if will still be able to.

      1. Lainey

        I just received an email from Chewy stating they are no longer going to be selling Orijen pet food. Something tells me Petsmart is the cause.

      2. Lainey

        Add ACANA to that too. No longer sold at Chewy.

        1. O. Catt

          Got that same letter today too….. now where do we order from?

          1. Interested

            From …your….independent….supply….store. Mine delivers, does yours?

            That’s the point of Champion Foods selling through those retailers.

          2. Carole Reed

            If there is a CountryMax in your area, that is where I have been buying Acana and Orijen for years. It seems to be the exact same price everywhere. Pet Supplies Plus also carries it, and Petsavers might, as they carry more healthy food than Petsmart and Petco.

        2. Ms. B Dawson

          Orijen and Acana are from the same company-Champion pet food. Many of the higher quality foods are pulling their products from in line with their policies supporting smaller or independent retailers.

        3. Chris

          check chewy again, I just received Acana from them.

          1. Chris

            I haven’t ordered orijen from chewy but it’s also on chewy’s site. Maybe they changed their mind between the letters you all received and late Oct 2017.

          2. Ms. B Dawson


            I emailed Champion Pet concerning the continued availability of Acana and Orijen on Chewy(dot)com and received this reply from them today:

            = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

            Hello Ms. B Dawson,
            Thank you for taking the time to contact us in regards to

            We are no longer working with Chewy. Our last shipment arrived to them on July 25. What they currently selling through their remaining stock. They have already sold out of most of their ACANA, and they are running low on ORIJEN.

            I hope that this information is helpful. If you have any questions please let me know.

            Kind regards,

            Customer Care
            Champion Petfoods LP

            = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

            I’m very pleased to see Champion is standing by the independent retailers and not pushing their product into mass market outlets!


  4. Keith H

    Fyi…PetSmart is not a publically traded company.

    1. Susan Thixton Author

      I was repeating information found on – “Although PetSmart is public and Petco privately held, the two companies share a number of similarities.”

  5. Sharon Bilotta-Testa

    Knew it would happen it sux but I and many other Chewy customers were told prices will be the same as well as the 2 day free shipping when u spend $49…we can only hope if not then…Sooo Long it’s been swell

  6. Darlene

    Keith is correct. Petsmart was purchased by private equity a few years ago and is no longer a publicly traded company.Not that it matters much for the gist of what Susan is saying….basically I feel consolidation of the pet industry is not a good thing for consumers, and we need to support the smaller independent companies. Sadly though that seems to be a losing battle.

  7. Cmacinstagram

    A number of pet food brands do not sell to large pet stores because they can’t meet the demand or they can’t afford the stock required to supply a large chain. I have worked for a large retailer and some employees are very passionate and do research beyond the marketing (unfortunately not enough of them). As a side note PetSmart is not publicly traded…went private about 3 years ago. I can only assume the move to acquire is to fill a gap in their expertise. Online has been putting the pressure on bricks and mortar stores for years. Easier to acquire than to build the infrastructure….can’t beat them, buy them.

    Buy local and support your neighbors! Independent stores support your community and have passion and knowledge to share support them so they can continue to prosper and give back!

  8. Ian

    The story I read about this merger, said Chewy’s secret to “success” had been in part attributed to personalized service including hand written notes and Christmas cards, but that despite their huge growth and sales numbers they are still not profitable, but have been able to raise hundreds of millions of dollars from venture capital investors. So, you know, at a certain level, it really is ultimately all about financial dealmakers and not people who are passionate about pet food nutrition and pet health.

  9. Dean

    Glad for the info…no longer buying at chewy. Small, independent boutique stores are a rip off and I won’t support them either.

    1. Susan Thixton Author

      I disagree with you Dean – most small independent pet foods stores are not “a rip off”. The knowledge they share with customers is a HUGE value. I know many of these store owners – have also known many that went out of business because the markup on their foods wasn’t high enough to allow them to survive – but they had to try to complete with the giant online retailers who get ‘deals’ from many manufacturers on price.

      1. Peter

        Yes, and sadly, many consumers start their journey with smaller, independent pet stores, then move on to repeat buy from Chewy’s, with no loyalty… much less tinged with a bit of guilt.

        1. Michelle Richards

          I began buying from Chewy because they carried Nature’s Logic and Acana…. I wanted synthetic-free, made in USA. No pre spray from China. I guess I will have to follow Dr.Karen Becker’s advice on how to make my dog food at home. What a pain,, but I’ve already lost one beloved pet to liver toxicity.

          1. Derek

            I was carrying those brands in my store for years before Chewy even existed. And Chewy wouldn’t have had anyone to sell them to if it weren’t for stores like mine telling consumers about them.

            It’s the manufacturers whoring themselves to large stores that’s the problem. They completely betray the retail partnership they built with us. We’re essentially their marketing and distribution arm so they don’t need to build their own retail network. Then, when they get big enough from USING US…they screw us for our own larger competition that hasn’t put in any work or investment.

      2. Raina VanHorn

        I went to some of the online sites for small shops and was surprised to still find evangers offered as a pet food. I have known for over two years that Evangers was a “bad” dog food. My dog’s health is compromised already. I called the township that was the home of evangers manufacturing and got an earful. Evangers had been cited multiple times for a vast array of unhealthy and unsanitary practices. Rats, garbage uncollected, pools of blood in the parking lot, etc. I even researched the owners – and found they had been sued multiple times. Evangers eventually moved to another township to avoid continuing fines and complaints. So, Chewy may sell brands that are not healthy, but as long as dog owners keep buying without looking into the food they are feeding their dog, the bad products will continue to be offered.

        1. Chris

          Contacting the local authorities in the city where the plant is located is a great idea.

    2. Maggie Champaigne

      Just FYI, the markup on food, treats, and supplements is about 30%. You make very very little off of food. There is a suggested retail price on everything, which stores should generally be at or near. Small stores can’t often buy in bulk to get major discounts like the big box places can. Although honestly, people assume PetSmart has better prices — but in my experience at independently owned stores, they often don’t, aside from specific sales.

  10. Paula

    The sale of Chewy is disturbing. I used to shop at a local store that attempts to and means to do what you suggest but I found their level of knowledge was much less than my own — which is based on extensive “googling”. I expect the store owner to know more than I do. For someone to be truly knowledgeable it takes hours and hours and the folks in the local stores don’t seem to take the time. I was trying to find out what was going on with Orijen regarding the US plant. The Chewy rep was much, much more knowledgeable than the local highly respected store. The food has later dates from Chewy than from the local store. The local store has to buy from regional suppliers whose volumes are much smaller than Chewy. With the local store I have to place an order, they place an order from the wholesaler, then we wait for it to come in or not come in days or a week later (the wholesaler does not have real time inventory), and I drive a half hour each way to pick it up. I do NOT work for Chewy, but have found the availability of the products I want (most of which are not stocked anywhere locally) and service exceptional. I hope Petsmart doesn’t screw it up. The middleman wholesaler the local stores use creates a quality issue (old product sometimes) and impossibility of determining inventory. Perhaps it is different elsewhere in the country. I am in Connecticut (Tolland County near Hartford County). If I had a great store with folks who really know the food products, I would buy from them and I would pay a premium. I wouldn’t ask Chewy for advice on foods, but I couldn’t ask the local store either. 🙁

    1. Reader

      I’m a big believer in people speaking up. Or nothing changes for the better. Does your local Store even know your concerns? Otherwise they can’t begin to compete. Are there apathetic employees? Does the Owner understand your frustration? And how it’s a lost sale? It might bear repeating. Including a written follow-up.

      From the talk given last night (see my other comment) Dr. Patton demonstrated the subject of “nutrition” is one of the most complicated sciences, because it touches so many interconnected fields. The only “knowledge” an Independent Store Owner gets, … IS from the Sales Rep (or Distributor) because they’re pushing the products. In the end, the consumer is responsible for their own pet’s best interests. It’s OUR job to find proper information. [Look, we’ve all made it here to TAPF]. Which gives us the basis to ask the right question of our Retailers. Like, is the USDA protein approved for human consumption? When you ask those kinds of questions, it forces the Retailer (if they’re honest) to find out! And you’ll know if they’re being honest, by comparing their responses to TAPF!

      My comment also said, WE need to make Retailers accountable for their products. That isn’t the same as having general animal nutrition knowledge. Just understanding WHY …and which … products demonstrate quality and safety! Exactly the way Susan “vets” them on this site. If they don’t know about Orijen’s business status, well that’s more of an “industry” question. Their Sales Rep / Distributor is probably keeping mum, so as not to scare away sales. But any of us can do the research on-line or by calling the company. Sometimes it takes more than one call, and moving up the chain of authority. Then give that feedback to the Retailer. For example, at my local store, during Evangers recall, I saw Hunk of Beef on the shelf. I knew, they knew, the situation. But I called it out (privately). That recipe is gone. I tell Stores about using TAPF as a resource. Frankly they probably don’t like to see me coming. But they also know I operate from education and awareness. They may not be fans of TAPF (because it can be alarming) but knowing it exists, and that people read it, only helps them stay ahead of the game.

      Ordering shouldn’t be a problem. I’ve used Independents who’ve gotten a product in TWO days! And that’s because they have a very good relationship with their Distributor. But it’s only fair to expect weekly deliveries. People have to plan ahead. Our Store offers delivery (on a minimum purchase). But again, if more customers asked for it, at least a Store could try and compete. For longer deliveries, maybe a Retailer can split the fee, or discount the product. These suggestions only mean to say, we have to protect our Independent Stores (to keep the Chain Stores honest).Otherwise, lack of choice will rule the market! It’s no accident these Chain stores are bringing in more “boutique” products. For example, Petco is currently testing a product to compete with THK! Even so, whatever has been offering, I don’t see how PetSmart’s biggest brands, (like Blue Buffalo) with their in-store Reps, won’t be pushing back on any competing service platform. And they’ll do so by leveraging preferred price-points given to PetSmart (not for customer benefit) but for the Store’s profit margin! This situation is no different than Walmart buying up Amazon to eliminate that competition. But instead, they’ve figured out how it’s necessary to offer a competing platform, but one which THEY control, and provides a complete shopping experience.

    2. Derek

      I really appreciate what you had to say, and “Reader” in reply below as well.

      I’ve sort of picked on a lot of the “phony” independents with my marketing in the past, because I know very few stores (independents included) have any idea what they’re doing in terms of choosing and selling foods.

      I’m very slow to take on a food here in my store, and I keep the number down a rather select few. I have less than 10 brands of dry in the entire store off the top of my head. I use TAPF and other sources mentioned here, try to grill my reps, ask “carefully worded” questions at trade shows, etc. And I STILL feel like I have no idea what’s in these foods or what I’m doing.

      But it’s difficult to get consumers to care about that. After years of fighting brand loyalty, even when I sell a food people then want that bag for the rest of the dog’s life. It’s difficult to resist the temptation to just take that recurring revenue–and not just from a standpoint of greed. You flat out cannot risk upsetting all of your customers and losing business because you’re arguing with them or telling them they’re ignorant or wrong all the time.

      I’ve been working on a concept store (which I would then franchise to create a wide network that’s still independently owned and driven) that can provide the kind of real and honest guidance you’re talking about, while still providing some of the competitive benefits of large retailers. Hopefully this will bridge the gap for all of us.

      Kind regards,
      Derek Drushel
      Joey’s Pet Outfitters

  11. B Dawson

    Thank you for your support of the small independent pet food retailers Susan. I closed my store in 2011 mostly to relocate closer to aging parents but also because I think independents are heading into a tough time.

    Independents used to compete on knowledge and service. Now however, consumers want to shop online during lunch and have it delivered to their door. It’s tough to compete with that. An added insult is brands that independents help to build selling direct to the public. While they may sell at the same price, it’s that darn “convenience” thing. The last two years I was open it became obvious that a growing number of people were using the shop as a showroom. The acquisition of – and allowing it to continue operating as an independent subsidiary – now gives Petsmart profits from brands that wouldn’t sell to big box stores.

    On a different topic….A Chinese company manufacturing in the US gets to say “Made in the USA” thereby thwarting those who don’t want to purchase Chinese ingredients. It’s a brilliant strategy really, isn’t it? Import the same crap ingredients but hide behind a US manufacturing plant.

    1. Reader

      Our local Independent Store (NorCal’s Bens BarketPlace) deserves a shout-out! They don’t just sell higher priced products. Or answer questions to make a sale.They engage their customers through education. Support them through a transition process. And individualize help for special issues.

      Tonight they hosted a talk given by Dr. Richard Patton, PHD (Animal Nutritionist) on the Science and Dogma of Pet Nutrition. He did such a fantastic job of explaining good pet nutrition, the audience was dumb founded at the end (in a good way!). He actually had to encourage questions! Meaning, people weren’t raising the usual criticisms or skepticisms, or pushing-back with their own personal anecdotes. They’d come (apparently) open-minded. And people were like …“Yeah, we couldn’t agree more! Nutritious feeding makes sense!” He happened to be there supported by Vital Essentials. But his talk had nothing to do with selling a particular brand.

      The point is to say people really don’t know … what they don’t know. Shopping has changed, yes. It “can” be about convenience and economy. But it “will be” about paying more for a product WHEN they understand why. So merchants have to show some extra effort. This store made it a RSVP kind of event (to drum up interest!). They stayed open late. Endured all the tedious pet owner “stories.” And provided a rare opportunity to connect with Dr. Patton. [Because of TAPF I was able to ask questions we’ve been taught].

      It’s exactly when people “don’t” know … the real trick becomes ,,,,how can merchants give a customer a reason to change? I’m not an easy buyer in any sense (even though I feed raw) but happily left the store ready to try an even better product – because the reason had been justified! Education was made compelling AND convenient!! I think we should give up the idea that our Vets are going to be providing this service. And expect more from our sellers who should really be holding that responsibility.

      [And I think the label should be changed from Made in the USA to Sourced and Produced in the USA).

  12. Debbie

    My one local pet food store doesn’t know anything about the foods they sell either-They are in the business of selling and that is it-Too busy to talk.

  13. Lisa Marie

    I actually have experience from both sides of the coin for about 10 years: having worked for three pet food companies, two of them doing demos from big box / Petco stores, another, working out of indy stores in NYC. Now, I help manage an indy store in NYC, trying my best to help pet owners feed the best, least processed diets for their animal companions, trying to find something compatible for everyone given the vast differences in what people are able to afford, as well as helping people with non-food related issues (non-toxic products for their pets, flea control, etc.).

    I always tell customers, “Pet food companies are like cable TV channels – there are hundreds of them but only a handful that are any good.” Having a legal research background, I try to keep up with info, e.g., visiting TAPF, reading articles from holistic vets, industry news, blogs / forums, trying to help others and learn as much as possible, asking questions, taking it all in … I really love what I do.

    When I first started working at the indy store, the owner (a long-time friend who has three stores and has been in business more than 25 years) told me I would see a pattern among customers: “If you spend a lot of time with them answering questions, they’ll use you and then shop elsewhere — online, for cheaper prices.” I’ve also shopped at Chewy in the past so I can relate. I thought maybe the owner was being cynical but you know what? He was right. Customers mostly come in and pick my brain, wanting info from me, get the answers they need and then head off to Chewy. They’ll come in occasionally for some small item and then tell me how much cheaper it is online.

    People don’t realize that more often than not, the markups for products varies little between what the distributors charge us, not to mention rent (esp here in NYC), overhead, etc. No indy pet supply retailer goes into the business to kick back and get rich.

    In a few years I might have the possibility of owning my own business; I considered starting a holistic pet supply shop (with NO kibble for cats 🙂 but I’ve decided against it, as B. Dawson mentioned, indy stores have too difficult a time.

    1. Ian

      Well, you could do a hybrid brick and mortar store with online sales as well. Many brands won’t sell to you anymore unless you do have a brick and mortar store (they have enough online-only vendors, and probably sell direct online themselves as well), but once you do get the account with your local store, you could then also store, stock, and ship from Amazon. You can also have Amazon warehouse and ship sales you make at your own private website (Fulfillment by Amazon). I still see opportunities at Amazon for pet food with many decent quality brands poorly represented in Prime. You could share your knowledge online at your branded website and through social media and in your local store and become an expert online as well as in store. The hardest thing for big companies to do is create content and actually be knowledgeable about what they sell; this does attract people to certain smaller vendors online.

      1. Reader

        That’s a really great model, and maybe is the future of business. I don’t understand the restrictions you’ve mentioned. But like how customers could go through a website for support and access.

        One thing about Store Owner’s suggestions though, is that while they’ll recommend something, they won’t knock anything (they’re selling). Because it would generate bad press among customers and negate the sale of a particular brand. That’s why I think they should become better versed in the fundamentals of quality and safety. (TAPF is such an easy place to get started). I LIKE the idea about how Susan has posted all those brands in the Petsumer Report, along with positive and negative factors (explaining why). But always allowing the pet owner to make the choice based on information and comparison.

        So, in the website model you propose, there should definitely be a link to TAPF and educational resources (especially for cat owners!).

  14. Lucy

    I found this website because of something I had watched on Netflix …. and thank goodness I did because I had no idea about Petsmart taking over Chewy 🙁 I’m so sad about this!!! I will now stop shopping at Chewy

    1. Terry L.

      Ditto that!

  15. Catherine

    There are not many in my area, but our local independent stores don’t carry both of the very specific items I want – I want the Orijen made in Canada, NOT in Kentucky. And Ziwipeak. So I had to hunt online to get them. Because I use these only as a supplement to a raw diet, I need very small quantities so I completely understand why a store might not want to get one or the other just for me.
    And it just keeps getting harder and harder to find the Canadian Orijen… After reading about the basically complete lack of any requirements for pet food manufacturers in the US, I am almost at the point where US manufactured pet product is in the same class as China… Are we supposed to just take their WORD that they only use locally raised protein sources? (which is what Orijen claims for its Kentucky plant) Their claims are awesome, but where’s the evidence? no USDA (human grade) inspection either. The Canada product is inspected by Canadian inspectors and has to meet at least some actual standards.

    I have also called Chewey to ask questions about the dog food products they sell (and if they can get what I am looking for) and, as other folks have mentioned, I have found them exceptionally helpful, if they didn’t know the answer, they tried to find out – like some of the local independents have done. But sadly, they can’t make any changes as to what they can sell. (It was nice to know that the unsatisfying answers I got about the Orijen Kentucky plant were the same ones that the Chewey folks got.)

    Try doing that with Petsmart – haha! The universal deer-in-the-headlights looks you get would be hilarious if it wasn’t so sad.

  16. Terry L.

    One thing that has changed at that is very disappointing; food, litter, whatever that doesn’t work out has to be returned. We can no longer donate it to needy shelters. That’s a big change.

    1. Sara

      I just had that happen today were they require return of the food. I’m going to switch and start ordering from I have a prime membership so 2 day shipping with no minimum. The donations to shelters was a wonderful policy and didn’t cost them anything as it was a tax write-off. Not only that, customer service has changed to a big call center. I know a lot of people who will change to a different online company such as

      1. O. Catt

        Agree with you Sara and Terry L. !!!

    2. Ian

      Yes, I mentioned in a previous comment that despite Chewy’s rapid pace of growth and huge volume of sales, they are still apparently losing money. The growth has been financed by huge cash infusions from venture capitalists. So inevitably they do finally have to start taking action to get their balance sheets into the “black” to pay back those investors…. shipping costs, returns, exchanges, and location of customer service centers are always the most expensive items that are first to get targeted in the elusive quest for online profitability. Amazon’s profit margin is currently at 1.7% (yes less than 2%) after many years of losing money in the name of growth, so it’s a very fine line for online vendors to compete on price as aggressively as you have to and still make some kind of profit.

    3. O. Catt

      Yes it is and it’s a big deal – more than a hassle for old/disabled pet caregivers! Re-boxing heavy bulky items to return is nearly impossible … like boxes of kitty litter that were broken open and leaked out of packing boxes across country, for instance… too heavy for an old person to wrestle with for returning … customers just now have to deal with the loss and carry on like everything was delivered properly. Heavily dented cans too… Now I must purchase shipping tape just to return items that are unusable thru no fault of mine…. whatever discount there might be on suggested retail prices can be dissolved as things add up.

      1. Sara

        I agree completely! I, too, am an older disabled person and had to purchase more clear shipping tape as well. And, as you mentioned it’s a complete hassle especially when I derived such pleasure from donating items to needy shelters. That policy alone made shopping there better.

    4. O. Catt

      Terry, thanks for mentioning this – I thought it was just me they were insisting on returns from….food that made all the cats sick along with orders enroute before trying it and getting sick … then getting a complete refund was a big hassle too tho I finally was refunded for all I packaged up and returned. It’s a big enough deal selecting pet food these days – unexpected hassle has old pet parents buying extra blood-pressure meds.

      1. Terry L.

        You’re absolutely right. Ugh, it’s such a pain isn’t it?! Plus, printing labels, finding a box when I already disposed of the original one, boxing up heavy items, etc. Even the customer service people seem different and aloof.

    5. Kristin J

      Actually, yes you can. They do everything case by case. I returned something last week and they told me to donate.

      1. O. Catt

        The policy then needs to be “across the board” – not selective customers.

        1. Pet Owner

          It very much needs to be on a selective basis, and customers are dang lucky that it is. That way, Chewy’s has a chance to understand why a product didn’t work out. (Du’hh.) Chewy’s isn’t running a “trial & error” business. That’s not the way commerce works. The real issue (in this case) is who’s getting credit for donations? I’ve dealt with Chewys; my orders (plural) came within 24 hrs. at no extra charge. I think that’s incredible. People need to do their homework before abusing the system. Check Susan’s lists. Read customer reviews. Buy in small quantities until assured. Better yet, ….don’t add to Chewy’s overhead, so they’ll be forced to increase prices for everyone to cover some kind of a: “Hey, I’m special, and don’t need to physically return stuff” policy.

        2. Chris

          I asked for a RMA to do a return for a too small harness and they refunded and told me to donate- case by case.

  17. B Dawson

    Good news today….Tuffy (PureVita, Natural Planet) has terminated their relationship with in light of the recent sale to Petsmart. According to Pet Product News more brands are expected to follow rather than see their products associated with a big box store.

    This may actually be good news for the independent! It is unlikely Petsmart can continue using the business model – sell at such small margins, especially for food, that you don’t turn a profit, and rely instead on venture capitalists to fund the company. One business analyst actually postulated that the business model was set up specifically to create a company that would build a customer base as rapidly as possible in order to become attractive for a buyout. Nice to know that founders were all about the pets, huh? Welcome to the world of big business – find a product that consumers want, sell it to them, get bought out by big corporation for millions. Go find another product, rinse and repeat.

    Petsmart is going to want to turn a profit, so expect prices to rise and take the shine off for consumers who look for the lowest price and free shipping to boot.

    1. Lainey

      Chewy just sent me an email stating they will no longer be carrying Orijen or ACANA. Looks like they pulled as well for this very reason? Sad because Orijen is what I always buy and now I’ll just have to take my business somewhere else. Glad I found out because I absolutely dislike PetSmart very much.

  18. O. Catt

    Thanks B Dawson, The quicker we realize that Big Feed Companies [ human and pets] are ONLY about $$$$ [business profit] and not about consumer health, the better off we will be physically! Good for Tuffy –

  19. O. Catt

    Thanks Sara and Terry L. – good to know that the Chewy customer “service” shiny star is dimming across the board and I needn’t take it personally… looks like it will continue, sadly for us older customers that remember and appreciated old-fashioned real customer service when it was how business was done routinely everywhere not as the exceptional rare experience today.

    1. Terry L.

      O. Catt,

      Absolutely true 🙁

    2. Dexternal Haven

      Just had to add that their customer service has indeed diminished significantly. I’ve been shopping with them since 2012 finding like all of you, their customer service, fast shipping and wide selection of high end food all key reasons.

      I had a return last week, such a pain now, and after talking to 2 different reps confirming the FedEx pick-up date, the pick-up never occurred. I had to call them back two 2 times to get it scheduled–I was told it never got scheduled in the first place!

      Also, I’ve reviewed 4 items during the past 3 weeks and none of the reviews were posted. I may be paranoid, bit on all four when asked if I’d recommend I rated a 3. 2 times I stated customer service has plummeted. I tried a 5th time rating an 8 with no negative comments and magically my review was posted.

      Just find it odd…

      1. Pet Owner

        I’ve never met a business that would issue a credit without a return (unless it was their mistake, straight-up). But that sure seems to be the ongoing complaint about Chewy, now. Nothing is worse than people stewing in their own juices about “poor” service, rather than taking it up with management. No, I don’t work for Chewy. But I retired from a “customer service” department after 10 years. I know from experience that if you take a complaint far enough up the management chain, it will get FIXED. And as a consumer, I’ve proven it many times. But most people don’t want to take the time anymore.

        People may not like PetSmart, and there’s reason enough. But I don’t see a grand conspiracy to intentionally tear down Chewy. When service fails, it’s always a training issue. So how can something be corrected for the next customer, if management doesn’t know what happened. The idea isn’t to punish an employee. But to let them know their actions make a big difference. Most people post a negative rating, rather than a positive one, because ranting is cathartic. I’d never used Chewy in my life, but tried it (after the sale to PetSmart) and my food came in LESS than 24 hours (no extra cost). I know that if you complain to the “right” person in that company, they’ll most likely send you a coupon for your trouble.

        I find it odd that people don’t speak up.

        1. Dexter Haven

          People including myself have complained not just “whined” on this post or to CSR.

          Re: quick delivery, depending on shipping location, next day delivery does occur. It also depends on the time of day the order is placed. I live in Chicago and receive orders from the next day if items are shipped from their IN warehouse. If shipped from PA, it takes two days. Zappos delivers the next day, too. Shipping speed is not the issue. and Zappos both not only ship quickly, but their customer service is the best in the business. customer service used to be on par with them.

          When you speak of returns, as you’re a new customer you may not be familiar with their former return process which just recently changed with the buyout. never required a return of the items in question, thats been their policy since inception. Chewy allowed us to donate food or other items that did not work for our animals a win-win: tax deduction for the company and help for needy shelters and rescues across the country.

 also has various refund policies where physical returns are not necessary in certain situations.

          1. Paula

            It is MUCH easier to reach Chewy than Amazon. Call Chewy and you get a U.S. person immediately. The process at Amazon to actually talk to a human in India or the Phillipines whom you can barely understand – and then get transferred to someone in the US who can authorize anything is a total PITA. If you want to send something back no problem you can do that online without human interaction; but if you want credit for a broken or totally wrong item and do not want to ship it back — not something you don’t like but something that is broken or a totally different item, you have to speak to a human in the U.S. With that said I do shop on Amazon quite a bit but not for pet stuff since I don’t know how long it has sat wherever under whatever conditions. But I would not rate their customer service highly. Amazon is convenient and I know I can get things resolved. Chewy is convenient and provides great service. Chewy did not get a tax deduction since they never made a profit hence no taxes paid or need for a deduction. You were not donating anything – in theory they were, so taking pride in it is B.S. If you go to the grocery store and don’t like something you can’t return it and get your money back. If you want to help shelters, spend your own money and donate it; or donate your own time. Honestly I do not want to pay extra for my dogs’ food because others choose to try a bunch of things and don’t want to pay for what their pets don’t like. I am sure others further abuse this and actually use the products but don’t pay for them. Not saying you do but the previous policy encourages abuse. I would never request money back for a product that was not defective. I would pay for it and donate it myself.

          2. Dexter Haven

            Paula, I’m sorry you seem so angry and also are unable to understand customer service reps in call centers from various countries. The world is larger than the U.S.

            “Chewy did not get a tax deduction since they never made a profit hence no taxes paid or need for a deduction.”

            Hmm. Your theory is never made a profit therefore never filed a tax return and had zero tax liability?! Astounding! Not sure where you got your CPA from. A tax deduction for Donations (Deductions. See Itemization, credits.)

            “You were not donating anything – in theory they were, so taking pride in it is B.S.”

            “If you want to help shelters, spend your own money and donate it; or donate your own time.”

            Please read post carefully, as stated my wife and I donate to our local humane shelter on a regular basis. The items from were an adjunct.

        2. T. Lithcomb

          I think the “ranting” may be born out of frustration. The customers who’ve been loyal to all these years, my wife and I included, have by word of mouth served to make the company grow tremendously. (From my experience alone, my family told other family and extended family members and our friends who told their families and friends and so on. Word of mouth is a powerful marketing tool.)

          Chewy just began advertising on t.v. (since deal made with PetSmart), Prior to that, the internet was their only medium in addition to word of mouth. Due to the company’s business model, carrying a large selection of high end food, treats, litter, etc., and having an outstanding, cheerful,, personal, easy to deal with cs staff. The annual Christmas cards from the the founders was another nice touch.

          Your comment @returns never applied to as theirs was a brilliant marketing strategy, endearing customers to them. Food, treats or litter was never shipped back to for credit: customers were asked to donate to humane societies, shelters, etc. We already donate to our local humane society where we adopted our pets from and chewy’s policy made it possible for us to help them further.

          As an aside, I don’t think anyone disputes Chewy’s fast shipping.

  20. Carol Evanetz

    Certainly hope this does not mean that will no longer sell the food brands that I buy. I get a 44 pound bag every two weeks _ I’m not getting any younger and such a bag hard to handle from store to car , out of car and inside the house. So much easier having it delivered to the front step, I can roll the box over the front stoop into the house……

  21. Pacific Sun

    Seems to be some “Doomsday” chatter about which is the point of this comment.

    I buy RAW from my local Independent! A great brand from Susan’s 2017 List! An excellent brand, though pricey! But the store can’t handle prescription food. In the desired recipe, dry available, wet is back ordered. Researched lots of companies. Sourcing, co-packer, standard of quality and more. PetSmart had same recipe, wet variety, in another brand. But I didn’t expect minimum wage clerks to know the answers to the questions it was my responsibility to be asking. Problem solved. But they were helpful in identifying a product (first, over the phone) and then in the store, including an excellent sale!

    Am not an on-line shopper by any means. But called 5 providers to compare. Regarding dry food, Chewys had best option! Best interface. Ingredients CLEARLY posted within 3 clicks. Reviews too. But from what was written here, had expected the worst. Instead, Chewys answered the phone with enthusiasm and intelligence. Answered a couple of answers. (And no, I would not expect to keep any product that didn’t work out from them, and STILL get my refund! Because it’s my responsibility to buy a product, donate it myself, and THEN take the tax credit)!

    My transaction couldn’t have been more simple. By phone, created an account, emailed the prescription, filed it for re-orders, shipment arrives 2 days from ordering. And if I’d been over the minimum, it would’ve been free! Because I called Chewys a couple of times, kept asking Agents how “PetSmart” was affecting them. So far it’s been made clear (to them at least) business as usual. The food was cheaper than buying it off of PS’s shelf or through the Vet. And I suspect, will be able to return something to the store (in the future) once they iron out their relationship.

    Chewys, as well as these employees deserve to be supported for products the Independents can’t handle. (One) because they have a job and (two) to discourage PetSmart from messing with a good thing. But it won’t continue to be, if people run it down in this space. To me, it’s a dual advantage for both companies! But it’s “our” job to know what we’re feeding our dogs!

    1. Pacific Sun

      Ummm, ….. I placed my order on a Tuesday afternoon for standard delivery … and it arrived the next day…. IN the morning!

      Unless they’re working out of my next door neighbor’s garage, that service is phenomenal.

    2. Michelle Richards

      I agree, it is OUR JOB to know what we are feeding our dogs,,, but how can we possibly KNOW what it is, unless we have access to relevant information? I fed ‘dry’ for years, not knowing what ‘prespray’ was, or where it came from! I love but if they (employees) are replaced with 17year old like most superstores, who will we, as pet parents turn to for information?

      1. Pacific Sun

        “….how can we possibly KNOW … ?? Well you’re here now. That’s the point.

        It’s not easy. I have been following this stuff for 10 years. And sometimes want to scream in frustration. But readers can access the Petsumer Report. They will learn more JUST from comparing all those brands alone, than from many other places! Because the risks are explained. (And no Dog Advisor is NOT the same). On top of that there is the List 2017, an example of what’s outstanding and why. Another List of what to specifically avoid, and why. And a series of monthly articles further identifying problems. I always say, it’s like a University Level course in PF Products. is not a Consultation service. In fact, such services are VERY expensive. (Done that too, including a personalized recipe). If our Vets can’t offer PF advice, then why would minimum wage employees ever be expected to do so.

    3. Michelle Richards has FAST delivery. Always complete, although 20% of my canned dog food orders have been damaged, so far my lil 7 lb puppy has never gotten sick from her Nature’s Logic Turkey dog food, so… I still consider them better than PetSmart/Petco

      1. Pacific Sun

        I used to have that problem with PetEdge. Very frustrating. But after awhile, I insisted on talking to “supervisors.” Got to be, they would “special handle” my stuff … just so I wouldn’t be pestering them going forward! People gotta’ speak up! And shouldn’t settle for second rate.

  22. Harry and Libby's mom

    I have a dog allergic to both environment/food products….i have to buy specialty food from Royal Canine. Chewy has the best price on the food I have to give him. The service center, the delivery, the special attention, and the lowest cost are all factors of why I use Chewy. I’m hoping they don’t adopt the “I don’t care attitude” of the employees of Petsmart.

  23. kkatx

    Prices at Chewy already went up. A supplement I use for my cats has increased by $5.00…

    1. O. Catt

      Wow – that was quick! Sounding a lot like Amazon! 🙁

  24. Pet Owner

    To Dexter Haven (who conveniently forgot to check the “reply” feature so “Paula” could respond.

    Paula isn’t angry at all. She’s defending the mindset, that people receiving Chewy deliveries (who’re “unhappy”) should be allowed to KEEP the merchandise, and STILL get a credit, just because they “happen to be interested” in donating the unwanted merchandise to a Shelter. That doesn’t at all guarantee that everybody is doing the same, anyway! Noble cause, just not realistic. The world of merchandising doesn’t work that way. Even though it seems “convenient” it could very well be why PetSmart is revamping the Chewy policy. Especially if Chewy wasn’t surviving on its own business model to begin with. D’uhh. Who knows whether Chewys was making ANY profit. Or enough. Have you seen their financial statement?

    And whether or not, this is still about moral validity. I don’t have the right to “donate” something and still claim the donation as a credit, if I don’t OWN the product to begin with. And I don’t OWN it, if I’ve been given a CREDIT for it. Can you spell FREE! It might be a “nice” thing to do, but’s it not a business model. No, the items from Chewy’s were an “adjunct” ONLY because it happened to be a policy of convenience established by Chewy. You’all are complaining because Chewy has changed. But you’re not honoring at all, the reason WHY.

  25. Pet Owner


    “I do not want to pay extra for my dogs’ food because others choose to try a bunch of things and don’t want to pay for what their pets don’t like. I am sure others further abuse this and actually use the products but don’t pay for them. Not saying you do but the previous policy encourages abuse. I would never request money back for a product that was not defective. I would pay for it and donate it myself.”

    Very true.

    1. Derek

      We’ve been taking returns on foods that customers said their “dogs didn’t like” for over a decade. Nothing like getting left on both ends for Chewy: both from our customers and from the suppliers we committed to partnering with.

      Fortunately it’s still a relatively small percentage of people who have done this. I can’t blame them for wanting a fantasy: 30lb bags shipped for free with all your add-ons priced at wholesale or below. It’s the manufacturers and distributors who bend over backwards for these large retailers that deserve the blame. They’re backstabbing liars.

      Of course Chewy can sell this stuff cheap: I spent a decade (along with a huge network of retailers like me) marketing and building up all these brands that none of their customers (nor they) even knew existed when they got started.

  26. Lainey

    As I’ve noted above to some replies Chewy will no longer be selling Orijen or ACANA dog and cat foods. This sucks because I ordered on the basis of convenience and because I loathe big chain stores like Petsmart. I had no idea that Chewy became a sell out, but I’m glad I no now. Perhaps Champion Pet Foods (the makers of Orijen and ACANA) pulled out because of this very reason? I don’t no. Everytime stuff like this happens things start to diminish and you can bet it’ll happen with Chewy. Guess I’ll find a new store that also sells what I’m looking for at affordable prices.

    1. Interested

      Rather than speculate and stew about things, why not put the question directly to Champion Foods? It will make a big difference, which party decided to part ways. If PetSmart’s decision, they fear the competition will devalue their other economy brands. Also if PetSmart’s decision, could be, Champion didn’t want to meet their price point, or guarantee a volume deal (because they have commitments to too many Independent Dealers). However if it was Champion’s decision, it means they want to continue to raise their prices infinitely and they know they have an advantage in shelf space at Independent Pet Supply stores. Could be PetSmart wasn’t willing to make the accommodations. But you’all NEED to know the reasons (and stop blaming Chewys) so you can just move on. Independent Pet Supply stores should be supported anyway!

      1. Derek

        Champion “infinitely” raising prices? Where have you seen that? Don’t worry, they have no agreement with us at all. It’s all talk. We’re the ones that have to eat the margin loss (which is 30% tops when it first hit our store and we’re building their brand for them, and the volumes are so low the margin doesn’t make any difference yet, it’s just our incentive to sell it).

        And then they turn on us as soon as they see green. Nature’s Variety did it. Then Wellness. Then Honest Kitchen. And on and on.

        We have absolutely zero power over these companies. We’re a distributed network that can’t fight back.

        And Chewy gets no love from me. They’ve reacted in a very petty and punitive manner behind the scenes. Deliberately losing piles of money in order to flip your company for billions in an obvious bubble is not moral or sustainable in any way.

        Chewy never was an independent store, and never behaved like one. Champion and Fromm were the first companies we’ve seen that actually looked in the mirror about this. Chewy was behaving poorly and trying to bully them (what a shocker from a large retailer), and they wouldn’t put up with it anymore.

        I find it amusing that everyone hates Walmart, but if you stuff it all in a box and ship it from Amazon or Chewy suddenly it’s a WONDERFUL and lovely company. Pick one–because they’re no better than Walmart. Worse actually.

    2. O. Catt

      when you find that replacement store, please share the info here as I too will be looking……

  27. Chris

    Good- orijen and acana still on chewy
    Bad- hunk of beef also in stock.

    1. Ms. B Dawson


      I replied to a similar comment you made above, but wanted to repeat it here in case folks don’t read your prior post concerning this.

      Chewy received their final shipment from Champion on 28 July. They are merely selling through that stock and will not receive and further shipments from Champion Foods.

      I posted the actual communique from Champion under your prior posting

      Hope this clears up the matter,

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