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Can You Return Dog Food to Petco? 2024 Guide & FAQ

Written by: Lindsey Lawson

Last Updated on June 21, 2024 by Dogster Team

Petco pet shop

Can You Return Dog Food to Petco? 2024 Guide & FAQ

Whether you are considering trying out a new dog food from Petco, or you’ve recently had an issue with food you purchased, you may be wondering if the store will accept returns. Dog food can get quite expensive, and if the food doesn’t work out for your dog in one way or another, you’ll certainly either want to get your money back or exchange it for another food variety.

The good news is that Petco does accept returns and exchanges on dog food. Below we will go over the company’s return policy and let you know the best way to go about your return.

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Petco’s Return Policy for Dog Food

The return policy at Petco for purchases is convenient and simple. The company states that if you are not 100% satisfied with your Petco purchase, you can return it within 30 days to any Petco location for a full refund if you have proof of purchase.

It’s important to keep your receipt, whether it be printed or emailed, as any dog food returned without proof of purchase will not be eligible. In addition, any returns outside of the 30-day window, even with proof of purchase will not be accepted.

This return policy does not just cover dog food, but it also covers most other purchases made in-store or online at Petco. Petco does reserve the right to limit returns, regardless of receipt. The only non-refundable items per current policy are purchases of saltwater aquatic life and services such as grooming or dog training.

customer returning things at pet store
Image by: BearFotos, Shutterstock

Returning Online Purchases

You may be wondering if returning an online purchase that was shipped directly to your home falls under the same stipulations, and it sure does. The return policy still applies for online purchases, but you do have the option to return in a couple of different ways in this case.

Return to a Store

If you purchased your dog food directly from, you have the option to return the food directly to a nearby Petco store for a full refund (or exchange) if it falls within 30 days of the initial shipment date of the product. You will be able to find this information in your email.

Purchases made online via the Petco app can also be viewed under Order History. Returning to a store is completely free of charge and is the best way to avoid additional shipping charges.

Ship It Back

If you do not have the time or are far from a Petco store, you can also ship the dog food back to the company. Orders can be returned via mail within 30 days to a Petco Fulfillment Center. In this case, shipping charges will apply.

If you have any questions about the online return policy for shipping dog food or other items back to Petco, you can reach out to  Customer Service for further assistance. You will be instructed where to ship the food during the online return process.


The Return Process

To complete a dog food return or exchange at Petco, you will need the following to be eligible. If you do not have the following, or your return falls outside the 30-day window, you will not be able to complete the return.

  • Valid Government Issued ID – To process a return at Petco, you will need to present valid government-issued identification. If you are unable to provide a valid ID, you will not be able to complete the return. The identification will be scanned and shared with Petco’s fraud prevention vendors. You can find more information about this in the Privacy Policy on
  • Printed Receipt – If you have a printed receipt from your original purchase, you can present the receipt to a store associate at the register along with your valid ID to complete the return or exchange of your dog food. The store will also accept a printed copy of an email receipt or the paper receipt that was shipped with any online purchases.


  • Email Confirmation of Purchase – If you don’t have a printed copy of your receipt, no worries, just have your smartphone available to show proof of purchase that was sent to your email account. It’s a good idea when checking out in the store to opt for an email receipt, just in case you lose the paper copy. If you made the purchase online or in the Petco app, you could simply go to your “Order History” and pull up the information directly from there.
man buying pet food
Image by: LADO-Shutterstock

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Getting Your Money Back

Once you’ve presented your valid identification and your proof of purchase, the way you get your money back will be dependent on your method of payment.

Credit or Debit Card: If you purchased in-store with a credit or debit card, it can be issued directly back to that account. This goes for orders made in-store and online. If your dog food purchase was made in-store, make sure to bring the card you used for the payment.

Cash: If you purchased in-store with cash, you will be issued a full cash refund.

Check: If you paid via check, the return will be processed back to you in cash. If the store does not have the cash available, a corporate check will be issued to you.

PayPal: Orders placed online using your PayPal account will result in your funds being issued back to your PayPal account.

Exchanges: Exchanges work similarly to returns. You will need to have your valid ID and proof of original purchase whether you plan to return the dog food for a full refund or exchange it for another item.

Man on computer holding a card
Image by: rupixen, Pixabay

Returning Prescription Foods

Keep in mind that prescription dog food products cannot be returned to a Petco store. Any prescription foods must be returned to the distribution center with the original packing slip that was provided in the order. A refund for prescription foods will be processed once it has been received by the distribution center. The company provided the following address for this type of return: Returns
257 Prospect Plains Road, Ste. B
Cranbury, NJ 08512


Frequently Asked Questions About Dog Food Returns

In case you have any more questions about returning dog food to Petco, here are some answers to the most commonly asked questions:

Can I Return an Opened Bag of Dog Food?

Yes, you can return an opened bag of dog food to Petco, but you shouldn’t try and return an empty bag of dog food to Petco. Whether your dog simply doesn’t like the food, they didn’t take well to the formula, or there were issues with packaging or the food itself, you will have no trouble returning an opened product as long as you present your proof of purchase and complete the return within 30 days.

Can I Return Canned or Fresh Dog Food to Petco?

Yes, canned and fresh dog food can be returned. Dog food returns are not just limited to dry kibble varieties. Again, just make sure you have your receipt handy and process the return within that 30-day window.

Is There Any Way to Return Dog Food Without a Receipt?

No, if you do not have a copy of your receipt, you will not be able to process a return of dog food or any other item to Petco. You can present a printed in-store receipt, a printed email copy, or even show the proof of purchase by showing the team member your email confirmation or order history in the Petco app.

australian shepherd dog eating, steel bowl
Image by: Ermolaev Alexander, Shutterstock

What Does Petco Do with Returned Dog Food?

What Petco does with returned food can vary by store policy. Any opened foods cannot be resold and will either be donated or disposed of properly, depending on the policy and the reason for return.  If the dog food is unopened and in its original packaging, it can be put back on the shelf and sold. Again, this may vary by store.

Does a Return Affect Pals Rewards?

Yes, if you received Pals Rewards points for a purchase that is returned or exchanged, those points will be deducted from your Pals Rewards.  The company also states that “if a Pals Rewards member returns merchandise that was purchased with Pals Rewards Dollars, the returned value of the merchandise will only equate to the total cash or credit originally charged. The Pals Rewards Dollars, Points, and/or coupons applied to the original transaction will not be credited back to the Member.”

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You can return dog food to Petco unless it is a prescription food variety. Petco’s dog food return policy will allow you to return dog food, whether it’s opened or unopened, within 30 days of the original purchase for a full refund or an exchange. No returns or exchanges can be processed for dog food or any other item without a receipt.

To be eligible for a return, you need to present a valid form of government-issued ID, and proof of purchase. Proof of purchase must be in the form of the original printed receipt or order confirmation via email or within the Petco app. This return policy is valid for both online and in-store purchases. Returns for online purchases can be done in-store or by shipping the product back to Petco.

Featured Image Credit: Mozart, Wikimedia Commons CC BY 2.0

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