Food Guidelines

Who is Cheaper on Dog Food: PetCo or PetSmart?

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Last weekend we focused our price comparison shopping on pet supplies. Today we focused on dog food, which Americans spent $19.5 billion on in 2011. If shelf space is any indication, there are a lot more families buying dry dog food than wet/canned, semi-moist or raw, so we limited this comparison to dry, bagged dog food including BilJack, Eukanuba, Hills Science Diet, Iams, Nutro Natural Choice, Purina One and Purina Pro Plan. With a shopping list in hand I went to see who is cheaper on dog food PetSmart or PetCo.

This time I went to PetSmart and PetCo in Burnsville, Minnesota. The two stores are 5 minutes and 1.1 miles apart.

Unlike the pet supplies, which didn’t have a clear cut price leader, in the case of who is cheaper on dog food PetSmart or PetCo, the hands-down winner is PetSmart. In fact, of the six dry dog food brands we compared, the only brand that PetCo sells for less than PetSmart is Purina.

Who Is Cheaper On Dogfood: Petsmart Or Petco

The goal was to compare the same food in the same size bags, but there were a couple of instances where the stores didn’t have the same size bags. So we picked the closest size bag available for the comparison. In the instances where the bag sizes are different, we looked at the price per pound to determine which was cheaper. As you can see, Petsmart is cheaper on dog food than PetCo.

All of these brands, except BilJack, are owned by companies better known for their human food and packaged goods products. Nutro is owned by Mars, Purina is owned by Nestle, Hills Science Diet is owned by Colgate-Palmolive and Proctor and Gamble owns both Iams and Eukanuba.

Now you know who is cheaper on dog food between PetSmart or PetCo, will it affect your shopping behavior? Are you surprised or is this what you expected?  Check back for our next price comparison when we shop to see whether PetSmart or PetCo is cheaper for canned dog food.

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  1. Avatar Of Paige R.

    Paige R.


    Petco also has a price match guarantee so they will price match any store.. even sale prices for any of their products. (Not online prices) they also take competitor coupons.

  2. Avatar Of Wini



    Agreed, not a very wide selection of brands. And although some of my dogs do fine on Purina, two have allergies and feeding them a better food makes all the difference in their health. And why are most of the ones on the list Diet or Weight Control? Is that really the most commonly bought type? Maybe if you feed a dog food with less filler and more nutrients they wouldn’t get overweight. And walk them, or run, a lot! Best thing for both of you.

  3. Avatar Of Sdlubala



    Cheaper for cheap food. I feed better quality dog food like Blue, Merrick and Nutro. I find some independents can beat both Petsmart and Petco. You feed less of the quality food to get the nutrition and your dog poops less because more of the food is going into making muscles etc and not waste. Look for food that doesn’t have corn or grains as a first ingredient. And by the way even veterinarians are not the best source of dog nutrition. Do your homework.

  4. Avatar Of Dusty Rhodes

    Dusty Rhodes


    Southern States Co-op has the best prices for critter food and, my GSD’s have a silky smooth coat, plenty of energy and our 12 year old 101 lb male GSD doesn’t wait for the frisbee to come down, he goes up after it. And… all of our dogs are cuddlers.

  5. Avatar Of Jim



    However – Petco has a rewards program in which you receive a free bag of food after you purchase 10. PetSmart – at least in my area – has no such program. That is essentially 10% off, and would make Petco less expensive.

  6. Avatar Of Gene Larson

    Gene Larson


    I didn’t look closely enough. Thanks.

  7. Avatar Of Ralph



    Glad Andi stepped in and answered you.

  8. Avatar Of Gene Larson

    Gene Larson


    Looks like Eukanuba is cheaper at PetCo, or you got the highlight off one cell.

    • Avatar Of Andi Andersen

      Andi Andersen


      Hi Gene,
      If you just look at the price, it looks like Eukanuba is cheaper at PetCo, but you also have to look at the size bag. This is one of the instances I referenced that the stores didn’t carry the same size bag, so at PetSmart you get 17.5 pounds for $34.99 or just under $2 per pound. At PetCo you get 15 pounds for $32.49 or $2.17 per pound. Tricky on their part, huh? – Andi

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