PetSmart vs. Petco vs. PetCareRX: Best Online Store for Ordering Pet Medications?

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PetSmart, PetCo, and PetCareRx have similar services for pet owners and their pets. For instance, all sell pet products on-line. However, PetSmart and PetCo have brick and mortar stores around the country, unlike PetCareRx. While all three sell many of th


Pet Smart claims to be the largest pet store of its kind and refers to the enterprise as a "pet retailer of services and solutions for the lifetime needs of pets". There are 1269 Pet Smart, brick and mortar stores in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. has a store locator function that will help pet owners find a Pet Smart store nearby. If there is a store within 5 to 75 miles of the pet owner, the website locater will find it. Pet owners also have the option of shopping on-line.

Dog, Cat, Fish, Bird, Reptile, Small Pet, Live Pet, and Sale are the categories from which, customers may choose on The categories are rather straight forward, except consumers may wonder what is meant by 'Live Pet"? Live does not refer to the animal's state of being, but rather the supplies that PetSmart sells for live pets. The Live Pet category is to differentiate from the tabs that indicate pet types. In other words, Live Pets are the pets that are available for sale, while the other tabs relate to products sold for, dogs, cats, birds, fish, reptiles and other small pets.

The small pets that are listed for sale on, Guinea Pigs, fish, Chinchillas etc., are available only in brick and mortar stores.

The company lives up to its name when it comes to pet meds that are available on-line. sells pet medications on-line, including Advantix and Frontline flea treatments for dogs and cats. PetSmart also sells "Health and Wellness" products. These include products for de-worming pets, medicated shampoos, and other pet maintenance products, treatments for joint pain, vitamins and more.  

PetSmart also partners with Banfield Veterinary Pet Hospitals. There are more than 700 of the pet hospitals in Pet Smart locations. 

The product that dog and cat owners purchase most often is flea protection-for their animals and for their homes. has 15 brands that sell multiple flea protection products. The most common flea protection products carried by for cats and dogs is Advantix and Frontline.

The price tag on K-9 Advantix II for dogs ranges in price from $25.00 for four treatments and $50.00 to a $100.00 for six treatments. The K-9 Advantix for larger dogs runs for more money but ships for free. The product ships for free on $49.00 orders for all others.

  • K-9 Advantix II-six pack- $85.99-$89.99-free shipping
  • K-9 Advantix II-four pack-$61.99-$64.99-free shipping
  • K-9 Advantix II-Large dogs-$34.99-free shipping for orders of $49.00 
  • K-9 Advantix II-Medium dogs-$33.99
  • K-9 Advantix II-Small dogs-$32.99
  • K-9 Advantix II-Extra Large Dogs--$35.99 ships to the contiguous United States, Canada and Internationally. The cost of shipping is dependent upon the order and will be calculated at checkout. Shipping is free on orders of $49.00 or more. 

A few customer reviews of follow below.

Reviewers on spoke more highly of PetSmart than

  • I really like the web site, and the store I went to was very big and very clean and well organized. But I have to point out the faults for the website that represents the retail stores. If you go to look at the fish, you will see that they have each group of fish / aquatic life (that they sell) that are able to be kept as tank mates. Click any of them you want, but mine is Tropical. So now look at all the beautiful fish they have and you'll see that not a single one of them is available online. They ALL say "in store only."

    Now call your local store and ask if they have the fish that are advertised on the website. Most of them will be there but with my experience I'm willing to bet that not all of them will be. And, read the fine print. The stores, do NOT have to honor the advertised price. The way they get around the false advertising law (in MY opinion!!!) is that the prices advertised online are for the "products" available online. The loop hole is that even though they don't actually sell the fish online, they make it look like they do.

    That aside, now go to your local store and try to purchase the fish you saw online. I've been to multiple stores and only one of them would honor the online advertised price. Not only did she say they would honor those prices, but they even gave me a rain check on the Pleco I came in for. BUT, even though I was told they DO sell the Kuhli I wanted, and showed me the tank they are in (when in stock) the other manager said they didn't sell out of those and in fact never did sell those in the first place, and refused to give me a rain check for that fish. My guess is because the sale price was so much lower than their full retail price. Don't know that for a FACT but it's my assumption.

    So for those reasons I give PetSmart a 3 / 5 rating.

  • Fast and easy checkout, always a coupon code for free shipping or a percentage off on Google.
  • Great website to find reasonably priced pet supplies. Only downside is that you can't schedule grooming on the site, you have to call.


The company's vision is spelled out in Petco's written Code of Ethics-"Healthier pets, Happier people, better World..." The company makes good on its commitment, through the Petco Foundation, which matches rescue animals to pet owner as. Petco makes companion pets possible through donations that amount to $15 million a year.

Petco has more products dedicated to flea protection than PetSmart. sells thirty different brands for pets and for pet owner's homes,  inside and out.

Purchasing K-9 Advantix from will run customers between $41.99-$119.99. prices for a four months K-9 Advantix supply for dogs;

  • Up to 10 lbs.-$41.99
  • 11-20 lbs.-$43.99
  • 21-55 lbs-$44.99
  • Over 55 pounds-$57.99

Other than flea and tick protection, sells some pet medications. Like PetSmart, Petco sells de-wormers, pet shampoos, vitamins, supplements etc.

A few customr reviews of PetCo are below.

  • Terrible experience. Tried to shop Black Friday sales on, and site was slow. Could not check out. Finally was able to check out and my item was out of stock. Selected to be emailed when item available. Received email on my phone that the item was back in stock and immediately ordered, within 30 minutes of the email arrival. Paid using PayPal for the item, funds were withdrawn, and yet item back ordered again, spoke with a rep, who said it should be in soon, and arrive before Christmas. Writing this review 2 days before Christmas. Don't have the item and Paypal funds are gone to petco, have cancelled & requested refund. Very disappointed all around and will not use petco in the future. The phone representatives were pleasant and professional but the bottom line is I never got my order, which I paid for.
  • Ships quickly and Good Sales
  • They have a large selection of products but the prices are expensivecompared to other online pet stores. Other sites offer free shipping on all orders. I like to shop online but only if the prices are the same or less then my local store. I would not suggest shopping at Petco's online store.
  • I was impressed with the customer serivce of this website. I ordered a large amount of rawhides, pigs ears and stocking stuffers for my Pomeranians, and they came within 4-days of order! I didn't even pay express shipping. The website was easy to navigate and I was able to order quickly.
  • Worse than Petsmart.


PetCareRx claims to be the leading provider of on-line pet medications and other pet supplies. The site also claims to be the best-personalized site for pet owners. PetCareRx does surpass PetSmart and PetCo for prescription medications. PetCo and Pet Smart sell flea and tick products and a few medicinal products.

When compared to PetSmart, and Petco, PetCareRx, is the best option for on-line pet medications. PetCareRx sells more to pet owners in the way of real medications in addition to similar products sold by the other two sites. 

PetCareRx sells only four prescription flea brands: Comfortis, Advantage Multi, Revolution, Trifexis and Advantix.  Of these, the only flea prescription sold by Petco and PetSmart are Advantix.

For the purpose of comparison, the prices of Advantix at PetCareRx are below.

K-9 Advantix II $45.99-$133.99

  • Dogs up to 10 lbs. $45.99
  • 11-20 lbs.-$46.99
  • 21-55 lbs.-$47.99
  • Over 55 lbs.-$48.99

Orders that are $49.00 or more ship for free. Prescription meds take 24-48 hours for processing and 3-7 business days to be delivered. 

Here are a few reviews from PetCareRx customers. These were not gathered from the PetCareRx website. Unfortunately, PetCareRx did not fare well on

  • After my first encounter, I would have rated them 5+ stars.  They offered a 20% discount, free shipping and were incredibly easy and smooth to deal with - even when I type the password wrong and had to live chat to get it fixed. She could fix things faster than I could type.  Very smooth, simple - good to go.... or so I thought. A week goes by and the order still has the vague description of "in process" and lists UPS as the carrier - must be on the way right? Wrong. The vet had changed the order when she faxed back the prescription and this caused confusion - ok - I can see that.Except they never called, or emailed, or faxed myself or the vet. They just let it sit. When I live chatted to inquire, I was told that I had to call to tell them that the order was being changed.  How was I supposed to know this? They just restated over and over that I had to call to change the order, never telling me why I was expected to know this. It was an incredibly frustrating conversation and the whole thing boiled down to my being really annoyed that they were confused, so they sat on their hands, stuck their heads in the sand and waited for me to realize I had a problem.  I'm sorry, when it comes to being a pharmacy, 90% of the time the request is time sensitive - why would they not attempt to contact?!  I now have to buy extra from my vet (at twice the price) to hold us over until they arrive.  I'm annoyed and will likely not be a repeat customer as if they can't make a simple phone call or email to clarify a point of confusion - what else are they too afraid/lazy to do or check?  I'm not willing to risk it when it comes to medication.
  • They had good prices on heartworm medication, I was tempted by a $10 off coupon code and there began my woes. 

    Made the order and then realized my vet doesn't fax prescriptions themselves, so I had to get the actual prescription and mail it to them. They didn't get it. It's so passe if your excuse is you didn't get USPS mail. I have used USPS even for international mail and never had a problem. Time goes by and one day I check the order status and the order has been cancelled. No phone, no email, CANCELLED. So after a dozen phone calls, I realize they have lost my prescription. No explanations on why i wasn't advised that my order had been cancelled. I want to cancel my order but CS rep offers next day shipping if I can get another prescription to them. You guessed it - I mailed them another signed prescription and  they've still not got it. 

    I think I'll pay more at the vet to make sure I have a timely supply of medications for my dog. 

    Advice to yelpers: avoid them unless you're shopping for non-essentials. Their broken order processing system is just not worth anything.

  • What a scam.  Their prices are the same as other on line sites, yet they say the prices are sale prices.  So, you can't use any of the monetary incentives they offer from prior purchases because you can't use both a sale price and a credit.  Also the living social I bought was not good on their "sale" items.  Living Social was kind enough to credit my account.  I would not do business with this company under ANY  circumstances.

Sam reviewers were also less favorable.

  • Very, very incompetent! Best to avoid.
  • While this site may be accreted and verified through several online "verification" sites as a "legitimate" site, their spamvertized practice of sending Unsolicited Commercial E-mail (UCE) is a poor reflection on their company. Use at your own risk... 
  • In May 2011 part of my order was cancelled - full payment was made but still fighting to get a refund from the company. The staff are not very helpful and I was disconected and put on hold for 43 minuteds. stay away!

1 comment

islam aliwa
Posted on Mar 24, 2014