PetSmart’s Opened Items Return Policy

When it comes to buying pet supplies, PetSmart stands as one of the go-to retailers for many pet owners. However, sometimes our furry friends can be picky, or the product just doesn’t meet our expectations. For these times, knowing PetSmart’s return policy can be invaluable. In this comprehensive guide, we delve deep into what you need to know about returning opened items to PetSmart.

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FAQs: PetSmart’s Opened Items Return Policy

1. The Basics of PetSmart’s Return Policy

PetSmart has a fairly liberal return policy for opened items. It’s important to remember the following:

  • 60-day return window: For the most part, you have a generous 60 days to return items to PetSmart.
  • Receipt required: Always keep your proof of purchase handy. You need your receipt to return opened items.

2. Food and Consumables

While returning food items might seem tricky, PetSmart simplifies it:

  • Open with care: As per various accounts, as long as the food package is still about 30-50% full, you should be good for a return.
  • 14-day preference: Some reports suggest you get a full refund if you return opened food within 14 days with proof of purchase. But you generally have up to 60 days to process the return.

3. Non-food Items

When it comes to non-consumable products:

  • Original packaging: It’s always beneficial to retain the original packaging. However, some stores accept returns even if the item is out of its packaging as long as it’s within the 60-day window and has a receipt.
  • Damaged toys: Yes, you read that right. If Fido destroys that toy sooner than you anticipated, some stores allow you to return it within the 60-day window, given you have the receipt.

4. Items Without Original Packaging

There’s a gray area here:

  • The receipt is key: If you’re attempting to return something without its original packaging, having the receipt or a record of the purchase (like a loyalty membership) becomes crucial.
  • In-store discretion: Store managers often have discretion when it comes to these returns. Therefore, the experience might differ from one store to another.

5. When to Call Ahead

While the return policies are generally consistent across stores, there might be minor differences based on the store manager’s discretion. It’s always a good idea to:

  • Check with your local store: Before heading out, give your local PetSmart a call to confirm their specific policy.
  • Keep up with policy updates: Retailers occasionally update their return policies. Stay informed to avoid any surprises.

6. Health and Safety Concerns

During specific periods, like global pandemics, there may be tighter restrictions on returns, especially for consumables, to ensure health and safety. Always respect these guidelines and understand that they are put in place for the well-being of both customers and staff.


PetSmart’s return policy on opened items is customer-friendly, and they genuinely seem to understand the unpredictability that comes with pet ownership. However, always remember to store your receipts and understand the specific nuances that might apply to your local store. With this knowledge, both you and your pet can shop with confidence, knowing there’s flexibility if a product doesn’t work out.

FAQs: PetSmart’s Opened Items Return Policy

Q1. How does the return process work if I’ve lost my receipt?

While it’s always best to retain your receipt, if you’re a member of PetSmart’s loyalty program, your purchases might be on file. This can often assist in processing the return. However, without any proof of purchase, returns may be limited to store credit, and it’s subject to the store manager’s discretion.

Q2. Can I return opened items purchased online to a physical store?

Yes, items purchased online from PetSmart can typically be returned to a brick-and-mortar store. Ensure you bring along the packing slip, which serves as your proof of purchase. In cases where you’ve discarded the packing slip, having an online order confirmation or a record in your PetSmart online account might help.

Q3. What if the opened item is only partially used?

For consumables like pet food, the package should ideally be 30-50% full. For non-consumables, the condition matters. If the item is damaged beyond what’s considered ‘slight use’, the return might be declined. Always consult with store associates if unsure.

Q4. Are there specific items that are non-returnable even if opened?

While PetSmart has a broad return policy, certain items might have restrictions, especially if they pose a health risk when returned. It’s always a good idea to check the product-specific return policy or consult with store associates.

Q5. Do I get a full refund, or is it prorated based on use?

In most instances, if the product is returned within the stipulated timeframe and meets the conditions, you should receive a full refund. However, exceptions might exist based on the product type and the discretion of the store management.

Q6. Can I exchange an opened item instead of returning it?

Yes, PetSmart does offer exchanges for opened items, provided they fall within the return policy’s conditions. If you’re looking to swap out a brand of food your pet didn’t fancy or need a different size for a pet accessory, exchanges are typically straightforward.

Q7. How long does it take to process a refund?

Refunds, especially those made to credit or debit cards, can take anywhere from 3 to 10 business days, depending on your bank’s processing times. If the refund is processed in-store as cash or onto a store gift card, it’s typically immediate.

Q8. Are there any restocking fees for opened items?

As of the last update, PetSmart doesn’t charge restocking fees for returns, whether opened or not. However, it’s always wise to check with the store or the official PetSmart return policy online for any recent changes.

Q9. Does the policy differ during holiday seasons or sales?

Usually, return policies remain consistent throughout the year. However, during specific promotional periods or holiday seasons, retailers might have extended return windows. It’s a good idea to check the specifics if you’ve made a purchase during such times.

Q10. What happens to the returned opened items?

For health and safety reasons, returned consumables, especially if opened, are typically discarded and not reshelved. Non-consumables are evaluated for their condition. If they’re in a sellable condition, they might be restocked, but many times, they’re also discarded or used for store purposes.

Q11. How do I determine if my product is “slightly used” or too damaged for a return?

“Slightly used” generally means the item shows minimal signs of wear and is still functional. If, for instance, a pet toy has small bite marks but isn’t torn apart, it’s likely in the “slightly used” category. On the other hand, if a product is rendered non-functional or shows excessive signs of wear, it might be considered too damaged for a return.

Q12. If I buy a product as part of a promotional deal, can I still return the opened item?

Yes, but the terms of the promotion might affect the return. For example, if you bought an item under a “Buy One Get One Free” deal and seek to return the opened item you paid for, you might have to return the free item as well to get a full refund.

Q13. Is the opened return policy uniform across all PetSmart stores?

While there’s a general corporate policy, individual store managers might have some discretion based on specific circumstances. However, most stores aim to maintain consistency in implementing the return policy.

Q14. Are there any health precautions taken when returning opened food items during health crises (e.g., pandemics)?

Yes, during health crises, stores may have stricter protocols for returns, especially consumables, to ensure the safety of both staff and customers. It’s always recommended to check with the local store or the official online policy during such times.

Q15. How is PetSmart’s return policy compared to other pet retailers?

PetSmart tends to have one of the more lenient return policies in the industry, especially concerning opened items. While other retailers might offer returns, they may have stricter conditions or shorter return windows.

Q16. What should I do if my opened item return is denied at a local store?

If you believe your return adheres to PetSmart’s policy and it’s denied, consider discussing it with the store manager. If this doesn’t resolve the issue, reaching out to PetSmart’s customer service can provide further clarity or assistance.

Q17. Can I still earn or redeem loyalty points if I return an opened item?

When you return items, the loyalty points associated with that purchase are typically deducted from your account. If you’ve already spent the points, your balance might go into the negatives, affecting future point accumulation.

Q18. Are there any conditions under which the 60-day return window can be extended?

Exceptions are rare but can be made at the discretion of store management, especially if there are extenuating circumstances like product defects that manifest after extended use.

Q19. How does PetSmart ensure the discarded returned items don’t harm the environment?

PetSmart is known to have sustainability initiatives, and they often partner with recycling or waste management organizations to ensure minimal environmental impact. However, specifics can vary based on the store’s location and regional regulations.

Q20. Can I use a store credit from a returned opened item to shop online?

Store credits are typically issued as physical cards or certificates, which might be used in-store only. If you want to shop online, consider discussing potential alternatives with the store staff or contact PetSmart’s online customer service.

Q21. What do I do if I lost my receipt but want to return an opened item?

While having a receipt is the ideal scenario for a smooth return process, if you’re a member of PetSmart’s loyalty program, transactions might be recorded under your account. It’s always advisable to approach store staff with any concerns.

Q22. Can I exchange an opened item rather than return it?

Yes, exchanges are generally permissible. If you want to swap an opened product for a similar one or another item of equivalent value, it’s often possible, provided the initial item adheres to the return policy conditions.

Q23. If an item came with a manufacturer’s guarantee, does PetSmart’s return policy still apply?

While PetSmart’s return policy will still be in place, a manufacturer’s guarantee might provide additional coverage or benefits. If an issue arises after PetSmart’s 60-day return window, the manufacturer’s guarantee may be the next best option.

Q24. Are all opened items subjected to the same return scrutiny, or are there variations?

Different types of products may be assessed differently based on hygiene, safety, and potential risk factors. For instance, an opened bag of pet food may be checked for any signs of contamination, while a toy may be evaluated for wear and tear.

Q25. Are online purchases subject to the same return policy for opened items as in-store purchases?

Generally, yes. However, there may be some additional steps or considerations for returns by mail. It’s crucial to check the terms specified when buying online or consult their online customer service.

Q26. How does PetSmart handle potential fraud or misuse of the return policy?

While PetSmart’s return policy is designed with customer satisfaction in mind, any suspected abuse or fraudulent behavior might be grounds for denied returns or other measures. Consistent patterns of questionable returns might be flagged.

Q27. Do staff receive training to determine the condition of opened items for returns?

Yes, PetSmart staff typically undergo training to handle customer concerns, including assessing the condition of products for potential returns.

Q28. Does the return of opened items significantly affect PetSmart’s bottom line or product pricing?

While returns can have a financial impact, PetSmart, like other major retailers, factors such potential losses into their business model. Their pricing strategy would consider multiple variables, and single returns are just one part of a larger picture.

Q29. How does PetSmart’s return policy for opened items impact brand trust and customer loyalty?

A lenient and customer-friendly return policy can enhance brand trust and loyalty, as customers feel valued and secure knowing they can make returns if unsatisfied.

Q30. Can I return opened items from PetSmart to other branches of the store?

Typically, you can return items to any PetSmart branch, not just the one where the original purchase was made. However, to ensure a smooth process, retain the receipt and clarify the purchase origin if asked.

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