Where to Buy?

Marketing pet foods is quite complicated, but an informed consumer will always fare far better than the uninformed.

Where a pet food is sold has little relationship with the quality of the food and should not be used as a measure of nutritional adequacy. Price is always higher where there is perceived value. The same food may cost more in the pet store than in the grocery store since having a person available to answer your pet nutrition question is perceived as value. On the other hand, increased sales volume usually translates into lower cost for the consumer.

One more point to remember: the higher priced pet foods are NOT necessarily more nutritious or of higher quality. Outrageous pricing has been used as a market tool to increase perceived value for pet foods.

Today, pet food products are sold in a wide variety of venues, including through the Internet. One veterinary textbook attempts to outline the possibilities as follows:

Mass merchandisers (grocery stores) may sell:

  • Grocery store brands
  • Premium grocery store brands
  • Private label brands
  • Generic brands

Pet retailers (pet shops, pet superstores) may sell:

  • Specialty brands
  • Grocery store brands
  • Premium grocery store brands
  • Private label brands

Veterinary hospitals and clinics may sell:

  • Specialty brands
  • Veterinary exclusive brands
  • Therapeutic foods
  • Wellness foods