PetSmart VS. Petco

Petsmart or Petco

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  • Poll closed .
  • #1
Ok so I most of the time go to PetSmart because people treat me better there and their advice isn't most of the time bad. It seems the few times I went to Petco I've seen workers that don't care. So I wanted to know what everyone else thought so I made a new thread "PetSmart VS. Petco.
  • #2
If you do a forum search for PetSmart VS. Petco, there are several threads about this topic.

Something to remember, we cannot lump the box stores together.
While one chain may not be very good another store of the same name might be very good.

Just a quick reminder before the discussion gets started.

3) Don't slander. Really, this ties in to #1. Don't leave a wholly negative review just because you don't like one aspect of the service/product/whatever, and certainly don't make stuff up to make it look worse than it actually was.
  • #3
I like Petsmart because I've always gone there and Petco is a good ways from where I live. As far as service, when I did go to Petco they were nice and Petsmart has always been nice too so I would go with Petsmart.

We have this place In Lafayette that is called the Tropical Fish Bowl and I've been there once and they are really good too. They sell only fish so they offer several different kinds.
  • #4
petsmart in my home town are actually pretty good and ive been given foc equipment when having problems with advice given to me by newer mmbers of staff. But Petsmart 15 miles away should be closed down IMO after I heard staff telling a young family that it wasn't necessary to buy a filter for coldwater fish. I coldwater fish no poop and pee then? I don't think its a particular retail/shop comparison, I think its a staff issue. Same as drs, dentists and restaurants
  • #5
I like both stores to buy my supplys. there usually cheaper then the mom and pop stores on lots of items. but anytime I'm looking for any real help or to buy fish I go out of my way to speacialty stores.I completly agree with Lucy though there's great petcos and bad ones and great petsmarts and bad ones.
Chicken farmer
  • #6
I prefer petsmart over petco. 1. there fish look healthier. 2. They are usually a couple dollars cheaper. 3. They carrier different sizes of items that peto doesn't. Petsmart carries prescription food. And I've noticed they are a little nicer in petsmart.

I don't have much to say about petco.

Petco. 1. I usually buy there exept for a few items because it's closer. Once and a while petco has good deals on stuff. I was just there and they only had a couple brand of fish d
  • #7
I agree with lucy as well there is an awesome petco that I go to and a horrible one 5 miles away that I have never bought fish from because no one would come out of the back to help me. that said I usually go to a petsmart just because it is closer and the guy there is very knowledgeable and by now knows my tanks.
  • #8
I work at Petco so I vote Petco
  • #9
Could you explain how much support / education / staff get?

Are you given lessons, instructions, manuals or reference information to assist customers with fish quries?

Please don't ask questions of another member about a different topic in someone else's thread.

It takes away from the OP's questions.

Feel free to make a new thread.
  • #10
Where I live, I would deffinatlly go with petsmart. Petco here is in a shopping strip with walmart, which recentlly turned super center and took over an extra 30% of the space in that shopping strip, so Petco is in the corner, the store is so tiny, it is hard to walk around it, and the fish supply aisle is very small, and the have a very small selection of tanks, unless the sale is on, then there are tanks stacked here and there and it makes it even harder to comfortably move about the store. There is dead fish every time I go in there and since there is never anyone back by the tanks, you have to hunt down someone to get them to take them out. They also don't carry many products I use, so I only go there to get a couple things petsmart doesn't carry.

Petsmart on the otherhand has fish that look healthier then the fish at our only remaining LFS. The store has decent sized aisles, and more than a few are fish stuff. They carry most of the things I need. And I am more comfortable shopping there after a trip there the other day. I took my son with me, he wanted to get a snail to replace slowzo our snail that died not long ago. While he was pointing at every thank with "mama, can we get one of those?" And I was getting wore out saying no, for this reason or that, the guy working came over and started asking about our tanks. One of his questions was if we had any salt water tanks. I explained that we where working on getting the equipment to set one up, but there were some things I wasn't quite sure on. He walked over to the little employee table thing they have, and returned with a folded piece of paper, hand it to me and said that it should help. Written on the paper was
  • #11
Yeah!!!!! That's great to hear Lexi! (comment about Fish Lore)

  • #12
Something to remember, we cannot lump the box stores together. While one chain may not be very good another store of the same name might be very good.

A resounding +1.
  • #13
Personally, I generally dislike Petco for one reason: they put salt in almost every single freshwater tank in unmeasured amounts. That even includes tanks that have Neon Tetras (which I've heard can't take added salt).

In the stores closest to me, I dislike one Petco not only because of the salt issue, but because on occasion I have seen 75% of the fish dead in some tanks several days after the shipment, and usually 10+ bettas dead every time I stop in. The other Petco however is a lot nicer, with minimal dead fish, a very small selection of bettas in cups (which is a plus for those who dislike seeing them in cups), and a few people who are very knowledgeable about fish...however, every single guppy I have gotten from them has died from unknown causes. On the plus side, both have a much bigger selection of salt water fish supplies and a bigger selection of substrates.

Because of the salt thing, I prefer Petsmart for getting fish. Most things about the store are fairly good, and most of their employees have basic fish knowledge (yay!) They also seem to have good sales on a bigger selection of fish more frequently than Petco.
  • #14
Petsmart.. Better looking fish.. cheaper and They tell you about the fish..
  • #15
petSmart because they give me free snails

If I go on a quiet day they gave me free snails to feed my puffers
  • #16
I prefer petsmart just because there is one right down the road. Although I have only been once recently and I didn't buy any fish. I actually don't think I've bought fish from petsmart or petco EVER. Main reason? I get 50% off fish at another store since I work there

I am going to be buying a couple fish from petsmart tho soon. I really like their petperks program with the $1 fish sales. Super nice especially when they have the fish you actually wanted on special. Plus everyone is really nice to me there. But that also probably has to do with the fact that I had my bird with me and he kept saying "here kitty kitty kitty" until everyone who worked there looked down the aisle.

I agree you can't compair "box" stores. That's just like at the store I work at we are nice and our fish almost always look nice. There is another location that I think is complete trash. Its always super dirty and their tanks look like junk.
  • #17
I don't like my petsmart because I bought AkI my platy there and then she died a week later. Petsmart fish die too easy for some reason. So whatever I go to buy fish, I just go to my LFS. Petco is closes to me so I just go there instead.
  • #18
Um, they are about the same tbo.

The close enough to where you gotta judge them by the individual store.

I kind of like how Petco's Aquarium areas are enclosed and make you feel like you are in a aquatic cave. I like how Petstmart's merchandise is better organized.
  • #19
I think both are a but overpriced, but I prefer Petsmart over Petco. I happened to see a Petco on vacation, stopped to see if they had something and found it fairly disorganized. To be fair, they were preparing to move, but it was still several weeks before they moved.

And I prefer Petsmart because its only 10 minutes away, while Petco is at least 45 minutes when traffic is good. Most of the time it would take it least an hour to get there.

I prefer my LFS and a few online stores over Petsmart though. My LFS has better prices and much healthier fish than my Petsmart. And I like some online stores because they usually have really great prices and some type of deal going on.
  • #20
So after a lot of reading here on the forum I've narrowed it down that the two biggest chain petstores where people get their aquarium equipment/fish is either Petsmart or Petco. I have both in my area and my Petsmart seems to take really good care of their Bettas and have a large selection of equipment, but they are also Petco has worse looking fish and better priced aquarium equipment.....

Can you guys let me know what you prefer and why?
Or is their an online place where you like to get your equipment and fish? I'm trying to build my hobby without spending an arm and a leg! Thanks!
  • #21
Our Petco is newer, however, I think that Petsmart staffs better, so the tanks get more attention. Just do what I do. I go to both after doing some price checking online.
  • #22
Always pick a local fish store over Petco or Petsmart.

Chain employees rarely know anything about fish and their fish are more often than not riddled with diseases.

LFS's (local fish stores) will often carry better quality items, be more knowledgeable, and order things for you if they don't have what you want. In order to make money, they must also offer a competable price.

However, before buying anything, I would make a post here on fishlore asking about stocking options for the aquarium size you want
  • #23
That's nice .... except I have no local stores so Petsmart, Petco and Petland are it.
  • #24
I voted for "other" Galathiel
  • #25
If you know what equipment you want, I would order online (Ken's, Drs Foster & Smith, chewy, Big Al's, That Fish Place, etc...) They will beat local equipment prices on just about everything. Buy your fish from the chain that is doing a better job with housing their fish.
  • #26
Differences between Petsmart and Petco stores are hyper-local: nobody outside your community could give a meaningful recommendation that would apply.
LFS is not automatically the best option. My large American city is so starved for aquarium stores that there’s only one truly independent place left, and it is not an inspiring place. The fish are ok, the plants do not compare to Petsmart’s Topfin brand (not a lot of variety but transported and fed with care), and to compete with big vendors, this store really jacks up prices. It is an act of charity to shop there.
Myself, I buy everything online except for livestock and items I need to replenish immediately. Those I buy at Petsmart.
  • #27
If you know what you want, I would shop for equipment online. I got my light for a great price, and my filter and substrate were $10 cheaper then at my lfs. I would not buy animals from petsmart or petco, just because when inexperienced me bought animals from petco they died within like 3 days. I think they also had a disease.
  • #28
BOTH are big chain stores. The ones we have here are very similar. While one may have specific stuff on sale, the other doesn't and visa versa. The two from my area DO get different stock from different suppliers. That being said, its a matter of personal preference. I shop my local petsmart because I know someone there personally but beyond that, if Petco has a better deal on equipment, I'll go there. Both have similar refund/exchange policies.
  • #29
In my area I need a nun of the above button! Being in the heart of Silicon Valley, the selection of fish and reliable sources for live fish sucks! I admit I do cruise the stores on fish shipment days to see if they accidently got anything good in and take it off they're hands before they get a chance to mess it up! I've found better fish on my local CL and Aquabid than all the stores around here have to offer. As far as dry goods, unless the big guys are running a sale your better off to buy online. The reason we don't have reliable stores anymore is because of the big 3 Petco, PetSmart, Walmart and the few local want to be big guys that use the same business model. Sorry for the rant, but it hurts to see such a great hobby going down the toilet because of corporate greed!
  • #30
I have bought fish online,Petco,Petsmart and Countrymax. Frankly I have had equal luck pretty much across the board. Actually online fish tended to die off quicker with the exception of my Angel fish from AngelPlus. Aquarium purchases strictly Aqueon on dollar a gallon sales at Petco. Other equipment from Dr. Foster and Smith.
  • #31
I’ve been shopping at Petco as one near me has a very knowledgeable staff. All of them have given me information in line with what I have received here on the forum.

I would suggest asking them a few questions, and seeing how their responses line up with FL advice (both from their articles and the advice of individuals). The only major discrepancy I’ve found is with stocking information. At least when I bought my 1 gallon the saleswoman was very adamant that I could only have a betta, guppy, or shrimp. Now 1 gallon is not truly enough for much of anything, but she wasn’t going to let me go home with, say, a goldfish - something WAY too large for the tank.

Also, not sure on Petsmart, BUT Petco will match their website prices in store. This has made some equipment even more extremely reasonable. I purchased a 20lb bag of gravel that retails for $19.99 in store, for $7 something as that was the price on the website. You just show them on your phone. They’ll literally do it for every item you’re getting if it’s all cheaper. I’d double check with your stores but I’ve had it done at two locations here.

Also, as someone else said, all chain stores are not create equal. I live in a “major” city and there are at least 5 Petcos. You’ll find Petco is better in one part of the city, and not in another. I don’t frequent Petsmart but it could be better. So it’s going to probably need to be trial and error on your part. For example Petco has the 30 day guarantee on livestock (saltwater is not included), and if you’re constantly losing fish, then I’d suggest you try another location. My bettas were very well cared for. Their water is changed daily and is always clean. However the survival rate of a few inverts I’ve purchased there has not been good.

I did discover we have a few LFS tucked away in different corners of the city, and I plan to check one out this week. The fish specialist at the Petco I like even mentioned knowing a few people there when I asked him where I could find something they didn’t offer.

I’ve also found some things are very reasonably priced on Amazon, BUT Petco has been cheaper on many items. So I highly suggest doing price comparisons before purchasing, if budget is a big factor.

Hope that helps at least a little bit!

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