Mabel the Rescue Dog

Encourage Dog Lovers to Adopt 💕

3 min read (Article narrated by Mabel)

There are a lot of options when it comes to buying products for your dog. There are big chains such as Petco and PetSmart, and then there’s smaller, local pet stores like Woof Gang Bakery. You can find everything you need at pretty much any of these pet stores, but many humans prefer one over the other. So, what’s the difference?

(Also, just to be clear, I am NOT talking about pet stores that sell puppies such as Petland. I am only discussing pet stores that sell necessary supplies such as food and toys. Pet stores should never sell puppies, so you will never see me supporting those horrible places on my blog.)

What’s the Difference?

Every store is very different, so I can’t speak on behalf of every pet store in existence. But I have visited plenty of each type of pet store, so I’ll share with you what I have observed so far.

Chain pet stores are typically much larger with a wider variety of products. Not only do they supply the necessities for dogs and cats, but they often sell products for all kinds of small animals such as lizards and fish too.

Smaller pet stores don’t have as much space for that amount of variety, but that means that they can pick and choose their products more thoroughly. As a result, these local stores typically only sell the best quality dog supplies and they’re often more personable with their customers.

Again, these observations are not true for every store, they’re just my overall opinion. I’ve shopped at both of these store types on many occasions and I’m always happy to get awesome new toys and treats from both!

Pros and Cons of Chain Pet Stores

Chain pet stores typically have some of everything. They have so many good smells and so many treats, toys, and food to sniff. You can even find more obscure products such as airplane bags!


  • They have a wide selection to choose from.
  • You can get all your pet’s needs in one place.
  • They’re generally cheaper.
  • They have supplies for more than just dogs and cats.


  • The amount of options can be overwhelming.
  • Staff might not be as personable with customers.
  • Not everything they sell is healthy.

Pros and Cons of Smaller Pet Stores

Smaller pet stores often have less variety, but they stick to a few special products. If you can find a local pet store that sells exactly what you need, then that can be a great option to turn to, especially since most small pet supply stores only rely on the healthiest products for your dog.


  • They usually only have high-quality products.
  • The staff are usually very knowledgeable.
  • They’re usually more personal with their customers.


  • They don’t have as much variety.
  • They don’t usually have supplies for other small animals.
  • They’re often more expensive.

Which One is Best for Your Dog?

Where you decide to take your dog is completely up to you. Some people prefer the variety of a chain pet store while others would rather support a local business. As long as that store has what your dog needs, then that’s what matters.

If you do shop at a chain pet store though, always make sure to look closely at the labels on your food and treats. Since chain pet stores have such a wide selection of foods, some of their products will be unhealthy or contain unnecessary fillers in their ingredients. So, if you’re overwhelmed by a large number of brands, that can be the best way to find the healthiest choice for your pup.

I encourage everyone to check out all different pet stores. Dogs don’t get to go to a lot of places, so the pet store can be the perfect place for an adventure. Let us take in all the smells and don’t forget to buy us a present while you’re there!

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