Adventures in buying your pet food online: Mr. Chewy

I have to confess, in the day and age of being able to buy almost anything online, I had been a stubborn naysayer when it came to purchasing dog food that way. I did check out a few online stores, but always left convinced that I could find the same variety and better pricing at my local retail establishment. Even if that store was sold out of what I needed, I just substituted and went with a different store. Until, one day a month ago, I received a friendly invitation from one such online establishment to give them an honest try. “Mr. Chewy’s” is a rapidly growing dog and cat food/treat retailer I heard of before from people in the rescue community. Those who follow my blog know that I am a stickler for knowing what’s inside my dogs’ food after losing three beloved animals to the tainted with rat poison food scandal five years ago. I regularly scour the web for forums, rumors, reviews and opinions. I make note of any brands that make mine and foster dogs fat, irritable or lethargic. I regularly torture my vet with questions about any latest research. So, given the opportunity to buy dog food through Mr. Chewy’s with a coupon for $50 in return for a sincere review, I considered it and then immediately looked up the quality of food they offer.   
To my surprise, the selection wasn’t at all bad.They do lean toward smaller, more restrictedand prescription dog and cat food manufacturers, like Blue Buffalo, Royal Canin, Taste of the Wild and Wellness, but they've got over 70 of them to pick from. But, what surprised me the most is that they carry some of the world’s most exclusive brands too, the pinnacle of which is called Orijen. It’s a Canadian brand that prides itself on making the best dog/cat food in the world, all wild caught meat, with zero additives and appropriate protein balance. The problem with Orijen in the U.S. is that it’s pretty tough to find. Probably because other manufacturers pay distributors not to carry this brand, just like Haagen Dazs did ten yearswith Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. Mr. Chewy not only carried it, but they had variety of their products too! Not to mention their active involvement with Shelter and Rescue Network system a referral donation program supporting non-profit organizations dedicated to helping animals in need.

So, I ended up ordering a bag of Orijen, Dogswell organic dog treats and some delicacies for cats. Oodles of stuff for just under $50, which happens to be their minimum for free shipping. I did encounter a situation, which required customer service, so I used their Online Chat option to address it. After talking to two people online, the problem was quickly resolved and my question went away. What happened next really surprised me about this retailer: my order was at my door in less than 48 hours! I didn’t pay for FeDex or UPS. I didn't pay for any shipping, remember? I ordered on a Sunday and there it stood on Tuesday around noon! Furthermore, I checked prices throughout their store and can tell that on average they are in line or a dollar or two more than for same merchandise at the store, but if you get free shipping plus products you can’t find anywhere, speed of delivery makes it icing on the cake. 

By the way, I can’t even describe the jubilation with which my dogs met the box. At least for that one night, while I was unpacking it, this household experienced its additional Christmas this year. So, if you are on the fence like I was about buying dog/cat food online, it might help to know that this non-believer is now a customer. Of Mr. Chewy’s, anyway.

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