Canstar Blue’s 2021 pet supply store review has seen Budget Pet Products, Best Friends, Pet Circle, Pet Stock, My Pet Warehouse and Petbarn compared on their customer service, range of products on offer, website experience, store layout, value for money and overall customer satisfaction.
See our Ratings Methodology.
Whether you’re a seasoned pet owner or a first-timer, buying for your pet can be both a fun and daunting task. As pets bring so much joy into our lives, we always want the best for them, but finding the right pet supply store for all the goodies to keep them happy isn’t easy. When it comes to pets, there are brands upon brands, but you’ll want a pet supply store that can offer the right advice and products at reasonable prices. You’d be barking mad to accept otherwise.
To give you a helping paw, we’ve surveyed more than 900 Aussies for their feedback on the pet supply store(s) they’ve most recently purchased from, including stores that exclusively sell pet-related products instore or online.
In 2021, six major chains achieved the minimum survey sample size (30 responses) to be included in our review, but just one rated five stars for overall satisfaction – Budget Pet Products! The discount online pet store was also awarded a five-star rating for overall satisfaction for the second year in a row.
Here are the best pet shops in Australia, as rated by consumers in Canstar Blue’s 2021 review:
Budget Pet Products dug up top scores for value for money and overall satisfaction, with Best Friends and Pet Circle also ringing up five star ratings. Best Friends was top for customer service, range of products, store & website layout, while Pet Circle joined Budget Pet Products for five stars for value for money. The rest of the brands were a mix of three and four star results.
Let’s now get an overview of what each shop offers.
Budget Pet Products says it is an Australian-owned and family-run business, with a vision to bring pet products to the public at affordable prices. On its website, you can shop by pet type or brand, with a range of food, toys, treats and supplements on sale. Brands featured include Hill’s, Royal Canin and Advance.
To help save time, Budget Pet Products also offers auto-delivery, which allows you to select the items you need and schedule a dispatch date. If you’re running low or still have plenty of food, the auto-delivery system has the flexibility to change, skip or cancel deliveries online with no fees. You’ll also receive reminders to help keep track of upcoming deliveries, with Budget Pet Products also one of the few supply stores with an app to help you order products while on the go, with exclusive app promotions available to help you save at the checkout.
Best Friends is a local, one-stop-shop for almost everything your pets need. Beyond selling a large range of pet accessories, the retailer also runs its own grooming salon, plus a full-service veterinary clinic for consultations, dental checks and vaccinations. Best Friends even provides a puppy pre-school and a pet adoption centre, too!
Best Friends offers a range of food for dogs, cats, birds, fish and small pets. It features major brands like Kong, Ivory Coat, Hill’s Science Diet and FuzzYard. There are accessories for every pet, from beds and bedding to travel and outdoor. You can also bring your dog into the store and let them try the toys, as well as browse different treats. In addition, you’ll find a health & wellness centre with dog and cat prescription diets, skin and coat care, parasite prevention treatments and more.
Pet Circle is one of Australia’s largest online pet shops. It stocks a range of major brands, including Royal Canin, Advance, Hill’s Science Diet, Black Hawk and Instinctive Bite. It also has pet food to support health concerns and special animal needs, including vet prescription diets along with flea, tick and worming treatments and other medications. The retailer additionally features a large range of pet accessories, from dog beds and cat treats to a variety of fish, reptile, bird, rabbit, and horse products.
Pet Circle offers nationwide delivery and free shipping in metro areas, as well as a price match guarantee. There’s even an Auto-Delivery subscription service, which lets pet owners save up to 20% off on each recurring order (selected brands).
You can also find Vet Tips from Pet Circle’s Vet Squad, which is apparently made up of over 25 vets with more than 150 years’ collective experience. Pet Circle will also be launching a 24/7 live chat function that lets you get free advice online (available from 24 January, 2022).
Pet Stock is an Aussie family-owned and operated business that was born out of regional Victoria in 2002. It offers a range of food, treats and toys for dogs, cats, fish, birds, small animals, reptiles, chickens and horses. Plenty of brands are up for grabs, such as Black Hawk, Glow, Hill’s Pet Nutrition and Royal Canin.
Pet Stock has a variety of services on offer, including grooming, DIY wash, pet adoption, cat boarding and puppy school. The pet supply chain store can also get you sorted with pet ID tags and even water testing, which includes a free fish tank H20 test. Pet Stock additionally has an instore veterinary clinic for vaccinations, consultations and health checks.
My Pet Warehouse is an Australian-based online pet shop which opened in 2009, with 14 physical stores also located in Australia’s largest capital cities. Its online shop has more than 8,000 pet product lines to choose from, including essential items like prescriptions, pet food and beds, plus treats and toys. The company has also set up a blog with a variety of educational articles, infographics and guides.
For dog owners, you can stock up on an assortment of dog toys, collars, leads, beds and harnesses. Meanwhile, cat owners can get their hands on a wide selection of cat food, litter trays and scratching posts online. There’s also plenty available for the smallest pets including birds, reptiles, fish, guinea pigs, rabbits and mice.
Petbarn is part of Greencross Limited, claimed to be Australasia’s largest integrated consumer facing pet care company. It’s one of Australia’s leading pet supply retailers, with specialty stores located across the country. It provides a range of services including a puppy school, insurance, hotel, sitters, grooming and DIY dog washing facilities.
It offers a wide variety of items for all of your pet’s needs, such as food, animal pharmaceuticals, toys, kennels, hutches, runs and pet carriers. There are also educational books, pet health products and supplements, plus skin conditioners and other grooming products.
Customer service has now replaced value for money as the biggest factor of customer satisfaction. And it’s easy to see why, with 61% of respondents visiting their pet supply store of choice at least on a monthly basis or more frequently, with 40% of respondents stating that they also trust the advice they receive from staff, indicating that staff play a crucial role in customer’s final decision.
Here’s what our respondents had most recently purchased from a pet shop, according to our survey:
Meanwhile, value for money (31%) was seen as the second most important driver of satisfaction, ahead of product range (19%) and store and website layout (17%).
In terms of where consumers shop, 22% of consumers generally shop online rather than instore. It can be cheaper and more convenient in the long term to buy items in bulk online such as pet food. But, be sure that you’re buying from a reputable brand and shop around.
One in four (26%) survey respondents said they do all their shopping with the same pet store chain, and considering that customer service was the biggest factor shoppers, it’s not really surprising that some of us keep coming back.
When asked their reasons for visiting the same pet shop, survey respondents said:
While you may like to visit the same pet shop, don’t limit yourself to one location as you may find some great bargains and a larger variety elsewhere. Nearly two-fifths (38%) of survey respondents said they have purchased from multiple pet shops. So, whether you’re after some pet food or pet toys and accessories, there are plenty of stores to help you find exactly what you’re looking for.
This report was written by Canstar Blue’s home & lifestyle journalist, Tahnee-Jae Lopez-Vito. She’s an expert on household appliances, grooming products and all things grocery and shopping. In addition to translating our expert research into consumer-friendly ratings reports, Tahnee spends her time helping consumers make better-informed purchase decisions on all manner of consumer goods and services, while highlighting the best deals and anything you need to be aware of.
Picture credits: Africa Studio/Shutterstock.com, Branislav Nenin/Shutterstock.com, Nomad_Soul/Shutterstock.com.
Canstar Blue surveyed more than 3,000 Australian adults across a range of categories to measure and track customer satisfaction, via ISO 26362 accredited research panels managed by Qualtrics. The outcomes reported are the results from customers within the survey group who have purchased a product(s) from a pet supply store in the last 12 months. Note: This refers to specialty stores that sell pet-related products only, either instore or online. This does not include supermarkets or department stores – in this case, 963 people.
Brands must have received at least 30 responses to be included. Results are comparative and it should be noted that brands receiving three stars have still achieved a satisfaction measure of at least six out of 10. Not all brands available in the market have been compared in this survey. The ratings table is first sorted by star ratings and then by mean overall satisfaction. A rated brand may receive a ‘N/A’ (Not Applicable) rating if it does not receive the minimum number of responses for that criteria.
Below are the previous winners of Canstar Blue’s Pet Supply Stores reviews: