Whether your pup eats easy-to-find popular dog food or requires something a bit more specialized, there are plenty of physical retailers and online sites that carry a smorgasbord of canine dinner options.
If you shop online, you can take advantage of free delivery and autoship programs so you never run out of food. But stores also offer curbside pick-up, rewards programs, and sometimes same-day delivery. Prices and selection may vary, but once you find what you need, it may just come down to convenience and preference.
Here’s a look at some of the best places to buy dog food.
Autoship available with free access to veterinarians
Lots of sales
No physical store
Chewy is the place to go for a massive selection of dog food. During a recent search, there were more than 2,000 options in dry food and nearly 1,500 in wet food, as well as veterinary diets, raw food, fresh meals, and dehydrated food. Chewy fans love that delivery is quick and Chewy rarely runs out of stock like some retailers. There’s great customer service via email or chat and lots of regular sales on wet foods and other pet supplies.
If you sign up for autoship, you get a discount on every order, plus you choose the frequency so unwanted food doesn’t pile up. Autoship customers also get free access to veterinarians via video or chat to answer health and behavioral questions in nearly every state.
Shipping is free on orders over $49 to most places in the United States and typically only takes one to three days. If you need to return food, most of the time the company will just ask you to donate the food to a shelter or rescue.
Large selection of products and sizes
Free shipping for Prime members (or free on orders over $25)
Some third-party sellers may offer inauthentic products
No physical store
You can stock up on dog food of choice when you’re ordering everything from books to phone chargers at this giant retailer. You’ll find everything from high-end, hard-to-find brands to more budget-friendly mainstream alternatives. Shipping is free and takes about two days if you’re a Prime member. If you're not a member, shipping free for orders over $25 (and takes four to five days). You can save by setting up a subscription for regular food delivery from once every two weeks to once every six months, and can cancel at any time.
If you’re browsing for a new food, Amazon makes it very easy to find a product by flavor, health benefits, food feature, or lifestage. The site also often carries foods in a range of package sizes. Some specialty natural and organic foods are only available to Prime members through Whole Foods Market, similar to your homemade dog food.
Note that some shoppers have had issues with fake or expired dog food products sold by third-party sellers. Amazon doesn’t accept returns for items fulfilled by third-party sellers, it's smart to buy food sold directly by Amazon or the manufacturer.
About 1,650 physical stores
Large online selection
Autoship, same-day delivery, and curbside pickup
Fewer few options in store than online
The largest brick and mortar pet retailer, PetSmart operates about 1,650 pet stores in the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico and has a large online presence. There’s a broad selection of dry, canned, and veterinary diets, as well as food toppers, fresh food, and frozen food.
PetSmart offers free shipping to most places in the United States on orders over $49, and most items arrive within two to three days. If you need something sooner, same-day delivery is available via DoorDash or you can shop online and use curbside pickup. You can sign up for autoship with the frequency you want and a discount on products.
You can return online orders to a local store. There’s a loyalty program where you can redeem points for products and services. Many locations have grooming salons, daycare, and training classes. PetSmart Charities partners with nearly 4,000 nonprofits and government groups to support animal-related causes like adoption partners and spay/neuter clinics.
Same-day delivery, curbside pickup
More than 1,500 locations
Repeat delivery and rewards programs
Fewer food choices in store than online
Petco has more than 1,500 stores across the U.S. (including Puerto Rico) and throughout Mexico. That includes more than 100 in-store vet clinics. There’s a huge online selection of dog food ranging from dry and canned to freeze-dried, fresh, and veterinary diets. The brand offerings run the gamut from mainstream to high-end premium.
Petco has free same-day delivery with no order minimum on many in-stock products, as well as curbside pickup in certain locations. When you enroll in repeat delivery, food is delivered free, however frequently you want it and always with a discount.
Items ordered online can be returned to a store to avoid shipping costs. Petco’s rewards program lets frequent shoppers get perks like discounts and birthday gifts for their pets. Many stores also have grooming, training classes, and self-serve dog washes.
More than 4,700 stores in the United States
Large selection of popular and premium brands online
Delivery and curbside pickup
Few premium brands in store
With more than 4,700 stores in the United States, there’s a very good chance there is a Walmart near you. In stores and online, you can find popular, more cost-friendly brands like Purina, Pedigree, and Iams. And online only, there’s also a larger selection that includes premium brands such as Merrick and Canidae.
Walmart usually has free two-day delivery on orders over $35 and free curbside pickup if you need something more quickly. Items purchased online or in-store can be returned to a store.
Walmart Pet Care offers other pet perks like pet prescriptions filled in-store and online, and access to discounts on pet insurance and links to dog walking and dog sitting services.
More than 1,900 stores
Lots of shopping options for shipping and pickup
No veterinarian or high-end brands
Target carries many popular dog food brands like Blue Buffalo, Iams, and Halo, as well as the company’s own Kindfull brand, with no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives. You won’t find veterinarian diets or high-end premium foods, but there are more than two dozen well-known brands that are easy to find and well-priced.
There are lots of shopping options at Target. You can buy products at one of the 1,900-plus stores in the United States, or have them shipped traditionally. Shipping is free when you spend $35 or use your Target credit card. Or you can buy online and use curbside pickup or sign up for same-day delivery on many items.
You can return items purchased online to a Target store.
Good selection of natural foods
Lots of pickup and delivery options
Price-match and satisfaction guarantee
No popular, mass-market brands
Hollywood Feed specializes in natural dog food brands like Fromm, Orijen, and Acana. Selections range from dry and frozen to freeze-dried and dehydrated, including meal toppers and nutritional supplements like goat’s milk.
This regional chain has 106 locations across 14 states and a robust online site. You can take advantage of same-day curbside pickup, free shipping on orders over $49, and same-day delivery on some items. The store has a price-match guarantee and a satisfaction guarantee. There’s an autoship program and an in-store Frequent Feeders rewards program.
The store also carries interesting leashes, collars, and other pet products and offers a house brand for items like crates.
What to Look for in a Place to Buy Dog Food
Pet-specific retailers tend to carry more brands and types of foods, including veterinary diets, fresh food, and high-end premium selections ready to be served in your dog's bowl. You can typically find food in various sizes on their online sites versus trying to find less mainstream selections in some stores.
Many major retailers have an autoship or subscription program where you choose how often you want food delivered, usually every few weeks or months. You’ll get a reminder before the package ships and typically a hefty discount on the first order and then a small discount on every subsequent purchase of the same item. Autoship services can be a major convenience if prefer hauling around big bags of dog food, but the extra packaging can be less eco-friendly than picking up food yourself.
Many retailers will price match as long as it’s with the regular cost and the exact same size and item. Some retailers have frequent sales, especially on more common brands and will offer a discount when you sign up for subscription delivery.
Most online retailers offer free shipping in a few days if you’re a member or if you spend a certain amount. If you need your pet’s food faster, some offer same-day delivery or you can order online and pick up curbside at the store.
Local Independent Stores
Local small businesses also can be a great option to find dog food and vegetable ideas to feed your dog. Independent pet stores may not have the huge selection you can find online at larger retailers, but they typically have great customer service and can have knowledgeable staff members. Some have competitive prices with chains and online sites and even offer frequent buyer and points programs for discounts or free products.
How do I find the best deals on dog food?
Try not to wait until you’re out of food to shop. That way, you can buy food when you find a sale. If you find a good price but there’s another retailer that’s more convenient or can get the food to you faster, see if they’ll match the price. Some retailers have regular sales on dog food and other supplies, so keep an eye out.
Tip: Larger quantities are cheaper than smaller, but always store dry food in an airtight container and keep it in a cool, dry place. That preserves the nutritional value and keeps it from spoiling.
Is it cheaper to buy dog food online?
Not necessarily, but it’s smart to shop around. Many retailers will price match with other stores and sometimes the price you see online doesn’t match the price in the store. We have found premium brand dog food that was cheaper in a local independent store, but other food that was definitely cheaper to order online. Like anything, do a little research before you buy.
How can I avoid counterfeit or expired dog food?
When shopping on Amazon, look for items that are sold and shipped by Amazon or directly by the dog food manufacturer. Shoppers have reported instances of counterfeit products with nearly identical packaging. If you buy directly from Amazon, you are also able to return food if it is expired or there is a problem with it.
Why Trust The Spruce Pets?
To find the best places to buy dog food, we consulted with lots of pet owners, animal rescuers, and others who shop often for pet supplies about where they shop.
This article was researched and written by Mary Jo DiLonardo who has covered animals and pets for several decades. Mary Jo has fostered more than three dozen puppies and dogs and is always searching (and shopping) for the healthiest and most effective products for them.