The PetSmart Return Policy: Time to Answer ALL of Your Questions

Updated May 13, 2024 by Kyle James

Having written about return policies for the past few years, the one thing I’ve learned is that no two policies are created equal. And right on cue the PetSmart return policy is no different and actually has a few facets to it that are real head scratchers. Let’s break it all down so your next PetSmart return is a little bit easier.

PetSmart Return Policy: Time to Answer ALL Your Questions

How Many Return Days Does PetSmart Allow?

60 Days.

PetSmart allow you to return items for up to 60 days after the date of purchase.

Can I Return an Animal that Dies After Purchase?

First of all, if an animal you bought within the last 14 days looks sick, call PetSmart IMMEDIATELY and let them know, you stand a good chance of them taking it back.

But even if the animal is NOT sick, you can return it within 14 days of purchase, this includes if the animal dies while in your care.

What About Returning Dead Fish?

Yes, you have 14 days to return a dead fish.

While kinda gross, you’ll need to bring back the dead fish as proof.

Also, some PetSmart locations will ask you to bring back a water sample and could deny your return if your water tests “unacceptable for fish”.


There’s no official PetSmart policy (that I can find) on needing to bring-in a water sample. So if your local PetSmart requires it, you might want to buy your fish from a different store in your town.

Can I Return Opened Pet Food?

Let’s say you bought a 50 pound bag of dog food only to have Fido turn his nose up to it.

Surprisingly, PetSmart WILL let you exchange the pet food for a different brand.

If you opened the bag you have 14 days to return it with your receipt. (Thanks to employee Jess for this information)

If the food is unopened you can exchange it (with your receipt) within 60 days of purchase.

Note: I called my local PetSmart and spoke to the manager to verify this information.

See Also: These 17 Stores That Let You Return Used Items for a Full Refund

Can I Return Online Purchases In-Store?


If you live near a PetSmart store, this is the BEST way to make a return, otherwise you’ll be on the hook for the return shipping charges.

Any Exceptions to the 60 Return Days?

Yes, there are several to be aware of:

– Prescription Pet Medications: PetSmart does NOT allow returns or exchanges for these.

– Electronic Items: Must have receipt to make a return if price is over $10. Think training collars, electric fencing and specialized training items.

– Grooming Equipment: Must have receipt if the value is over $10.

– Pumps and Filters: Also need valid receipt if the value is over $10.

– Non-Prescription Medications/Vitamins: Must have receipt if price is above $10.

See Also: The Chewy Return Policy: It’s Like REALLY Good

Can I Make a Return When I Paid With a Check?

Yes, you can make a return if you originally paid with a check.

Just be aware that you’ll get a merchandise return card, or cash, but not until a 10-day waiting period from the date of original sale has passed.

What If I Lost My PetSmart Receipt?

Not all hope is lost if you lose your receipt.

Specifically, if you’re a member of their Pet Rewards program they can look up your purchase history using your phone number.

Otherwise you can bring back the product with your valid photo I.D. and they’ll give you lowest sale price in the form of a “merchandise return card” which can be used for a future purchase.

See Also: All the Stores That Allow You to Return Items Without a Receipt

Can I Return Items Bought With PayPal?

Yes, you can return items bought via PayPal.

But your refund will not go back to your PayPal account, instead you’re stuck with merchandise credit.

Alternatively, debit card purchases will be refunded as cash.

Head scratcher #2: So you can get a cash refund with debit card purchases but not PayPal…what the heck is the difference?

What Happens To My “Treat Points” When I Make a Return?

If you make a return in which “Treat Points” were used you will NOT get those points back when you return the item.

PetSmart will also “deduct the points earned from the original transaction”.

See Also: Clever Ways to Find Cheap Veterinarians Near You

Can I Return Live Animals?


If you’ve ever walked around a PetSmart store you know they sell critters like snakes, iguanas, mice, rats, hamsters, and other cool creatures.

If you find yourself in a situation where you need to return one of these animals you have 14 days from date of purchase to do so.

Along with the animal, you’ll need to bring back your original receipt and any paperwork they gave you.

Also, it’s worth noting that you must return the animal to the store where you originally purchased it.

What About Returning Clearance Items?

Yes, you can return clearance items within 60 days of purchase.

See Also: The Petco Return Policy: Can You Return Pet Food and Dead Animals?

How Do I Start an Online Return?

First, you’ll need to locate your packing slip and fill out the return section at the bottom.

Next, you’ll need to call PetSmart at 1-888-839-9638 and get yourself a return authorization number (RMA).

At this point they will email you a shipping label so you can pack up the item and ship it back via FedEx.

Be sure to write the RMA number on the outside of the box to avoid any confusion.

It could take up to 30 days for your return to be processed which seems REALLY long compared to other retailers. (head-scratcher #3)

Also, you’re on the hook for the return shipping charges unless the reason for the return is the fault of PetSmart.

For this reason, it’s WAY better to make your return in-store and avoid these charges altogether.

What To Do If My Online Order Shows Up Damaged?

PetSmart asks you to call them at 1-888-839-9638 within 30 days and they’ll take care of the issue.

Make sure you have your order number handy as well as the item number which is on your invoice slip.

Ask the Reader: What’s been your experience with the PetSmart return policy? Good, bad , or indifferent…let me know in the comments.

By Kyle James


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This is Not true. We will only take opened dry pet food for an exchange with a valid receipt but only for 14 days after it is purchased. If the pet food is sealed still we will take it back within reason to expiration date within 60 days. If it’s opened you only have 14 days. So this is incorrect.


Can I return unopened kitty litter without an ID?

Leanna Reichlein

I returned some treats my guinea pig didn’t like, one package was opened with only one piece (of 20) gone. They gladly returned it, used my rewards card to look my purchase up. Gave me cash and I repurchased new treats for our little cavie. Awesome experience, go Petsmart.


Can I return a used pet cage ?


Suppose the reptile I received was not healthy & I didn’t know it until I took it to the vet?

Amanda M Griggs

My daughter just bought a hamster like a month ago and she just woke me up to tell me she found it dead in it’s cage this morning. I don’t think I have receipt. What do I do???

Debbie Gibson

Can I return a dog crate without the original packaging? Its barely been used.

raychel klotz

Can I return a small animal cage without the box

Jaclyn Meatte

Can I return a dead hampster to petco, if so, do I have to take the body in so they can see or can I take pics, so I can properly bury the poor little thing?


Can i return a used ear solution that didn’t work for my dog’s ear infection?, and how long do i have to return it?, thanks so much for your help 🙂


So i recently bought a long haired syrian hamster, everything was going well til i noticed that she had poop on her bottom , didn’t think anything of it until yesterday where it seems as if she died , i looked it up and everything led to wet tail disease but they say they’re born with it , would i be able to get my money back for a replacement?


Can I return a puppy’s No Drip Water Bottle: that started dripping after the 60 days return policy?


I have had my 2 guinea pigs for 14 months. My house has been sold and I have a new landlord that doesn’t allow pets. Will PetSmart let me surrender them? I’m devastated and don’t know what to do.


I adopted a pet. She had a virus that led to extreme sickness and loss of weight.

There is no recourse to get help with her care. Bill is presently over $2,000.

Very disappointed about such a wonderful cause


I have a Guinea pig I cant have where I stay can Petsmart accept the pet?