Chewy vs. Costco
Chewy and Costco are as different as they come, and yet pet lovers shop at both. Comparing those two retailers is not easy, but possible on certain aspects. Pet food is what interests me today, so this will be my focus. Before I dive in deeper, I have to admit that I’ve had Costco membership for years and started shopping at Chewy.com just this year.
Chewy doesn’t have physical stores, while Costco’s main strategy is shopping in-stores – they don’t even have all merchandise available for shipping. I’ve never considered Costco online until pandemic hit this spring. Since then we have ordered a few things online, but sadly, the choice is not very wide there.
Costco is all about bulk purchases of national brands and best deals. Chewy has a different point of view – widest choice possible with over 1,000 brands of products for all pets and still very compatible prices.
Costco caters to cats and dogs, but you won’t find anything for pet lizards, but at Chewy you will and more than one brand. I enjoy choices like the next person, but there can be times when price is more important.
I visit Costco at least once every two months, sometimes more frequently. I go there when we start running out of prosecco, paper towels, toilet paper, detergent, and toasted seaweed snacks for kids. Whenever I go, I make sure to grab a huge and super heavy dry dog food bag. I also grab Cadet Rawhide bully stick bag, which is big and contains 12 12” natural sticks that my dog completely adores. These exact sticks are not even available at Chewy. 12 little sticks from Cadet on Chewy are $25.89. 12 huge Cadet Sticks at Costco are $34, if I remember correctly. There is one problem though – you can’t order them online. So this comes down to convenience. If you can go to Costco in person, you will get a better deal, but if you don’t want to go, you can still order from Chewy, just pay much more. (See also Chewy Discounts here)
The situation is slightly different for dry dog food. Costco ships those huge bags and lets you enjoy great prices, but they carry very limited variety. If you type dry dog food at Costco.com, you will get 30 results.
The brands you will see are Kirkland, of course, Nature’s Advantage, Blue Buffalo, and Top Chews for dog treats. If you type dry dog food on Chewy.com, you will get 1606 hits from 150 brands. Quite a difference, right?
In-store at Costco you can find more availability than online, but still nothing like at Chewy. For example, I know Costco carries Pedigree brand dog food in stores, but it is not available online.
The price of said Pedigree food is much better at Costco than at Chewy, there is no question about it. But what do you do if you want something very specific? Then you go to Chewy.
Costco carries one brand of dog beds, Chewy – about a hundred, but you can just go and grab one from Costco for a great price. With Chewy you will have to wait 1-3 days to get it delivered. Costco also carries Frontline flea and tick prevention medication and has the best price possible. Chewy has an online pharmacy where you can get all your pet prescriptions filled, but you will pay more for Frontline there.
Overall, Chewy is great and I love it. Costco I love too, but not for pet supply choices. However, if I was on a tight budget or had more than one dog, I would probably go with Costco and their deals on Pedigree or Kirkland food.