3 Pet Stores That Let You Return Your Fish

When you bring a fish home from a pet store, you don’t bring it with an intention to return. But sometimes there may be incidents when the fish dies within a few days, falls sick or does not adjust to the environment.

In such cases, you may want to return the fish. However, not all pet stores offer a return policy.

But you don’t have to worry about that now. There are 3 amazing stores that lets you return the fish you bought from them! These are – Petsmart, Petco and Pet Supplies Plus.

What Stores Can You Return Fish to

StoreFish Type You Can ReturnRequirements
PetsmartSick, dead or wanted fish14 days return window
Purchase receipt ID or driver’s license
home tank water sample
PetcoSick and dead fish30 days return window for live fish
Click picture of the product before returning
Printed copy of Cali Bamboo’s Return Authorization form
Packing slip
Re-stocking fee of 25% applicable
Pet Supplies PlusSick and dead fish7 days return window
Receipt or Pet Supplies Plus Preferred Pet Club number

Stay with me through this article as we get down to the nitty-gritty of returning fish to these stores. We will first see the return requirements for Petsmart, followed by Petco and then Pet Supplies Plus. 


This is an online and offline pet supply brand that offers quality pet products and accessories. It also allows you to buy many varieties of live fish from its stores.

Can You Return Fish to Petsmart?

Petsmart sells a wide range of fish, including goldfish, betta, minnow, tetra and shark, among others. So, does Petsmart allow returns if the fish gets sick or dies after purchasing it from them?

Yes, they do. They also make the return easier by initiating a refund or exchange, according to your preference. But of course, with certain terms and conditions. 

You can return a dead fish, a sick fish or an unwanted fish by providing the people at the store a valid photo ID and proof of purchase. 

Terms and Conditions (Return Policy)

  • Return within 30 days – The first condition that you need to fulfill is the return period window, i.e., 14 days. This means you can only return the fish not exceeding 14 days after purchasing the fish. If you’re returning the fish after 14 day period, your return will be accepted on approval of the manager.
  • Show the receipt – you have to show the store the purchase receipt of the fish. If you don’t have the receipt with you, you can request the store manager to track the receipt; they keep an account of all their sales for the last two months. 
  • Show the ID proof – You will also need a valid photo ID like the driving license at the pet store along with the receipt. Some stores may not request an ID, but it depends on location, so I’d suggest taking one.
  • Water Tank Sample – In some cases, the store may also ask you for a water sample of the fish tank to ensure that the fish didn’t die because of the water.

Can You Return Dead Fish to Petsmart?

The answer is simple. Yes, you can. But the catch is that the store will only accept it within 14 days of purchase.

And, as proof of purchase, you will also need the original purchase receipt.

At the store, the employees may ask you for a sample of the fish tank water. This is done to analyze what caused the death of the fish and if it’s safe for other fish in case you opt for exchange. 

Can You Return Sick Fish to Petsmart?

Yes, Petsmart allows a return of sick fish within the time frame of 14 days after your purchase. Also, the fish will need to have a visible sign of illness identified by the vet so that you’re eligible to return. 

If you’ve exceeded the 14-day period, you may still get a return, but that will depend from case to case.

What stores can you return fish to?

How to Pack the Fish for Return?

To return the fish to Petsmart, you need to make sure all safety measures are taken. The best way to get it into the store without causing any harm is by putting it into a container with the fish tank water in it. If you don’t have a container, you can use a plastic bag.

What Does Petsmart Do With Returned Fish?

If the fish is alive and healthy, Petsmart sells the returned fish to other potential customers. If the fish is dead, the store disposes of it off. 

Can You Return Dead Fish to Any Petsmart?

In general, all Petsmart outlets should accept dead fish returns within 14 days. However, some stores may not accept dead fish in certain locations. Check with your nearest store via the contact details for confirmation. 

Can I Return a Betta Fish to Petsmart?

Yes, Petsmart accepts returns for all kinds of fish that it sells. It sells a variety of fish like male and female betta, goldfish, platys, angelfish, and many more.

How to Sell Betta Fish to Petsmart?

You can’t sell betta fish, or any other fish for that matter, to Petsmart. You can only return your sick, dead and unwanted fish and get refunded for that. 

Do They Take Fish Bought from Other Stores?

No, Petsmart does not accept the return for fish bought from other stores. This is why they include purchase receipts on return terms and conditions.


This is another American retailer that deals with pet supplies. It is spread all over the country, and you can easily find them on their website as well.

Can You Return Fish to Petco?

Yes, since Petco confidently claims that the live freshwater aquatics purchased from their store stays alive for 30 days from the date of purchase, it ensures a refund if the little fish doesn’t survive. 

The store, however, only allows a return for freshwater fish purchased in-store. For live fish and invertebrates, returns and refunds aren’t offered. 

However, if you happen to buy live fish, freshwater fish and invertebrates from the Petco online store and face a loss of your marine pet within the guaranteed time period, you can call their customer service for a full refund.

Terms and Conditions (Return Policy)

  • 30 days return window – Petco allows a return with a full refund only if the fish is returned within 30 days. The company doesn’t allow the return of live fish and invertebrates. You can’t simply return these fish if there is nothing wrong with them. 
  • Show the receipt – When you enter the Petco store for return, you need to produce your purchase proof which is the receipt. If you’re requesting a refund online, you will have to produce an online receipt and order information through email. 
  • Valid government-issued ID – Petco requires you to produce a valid ID for proof during the exchange and return. These can be Driver’s License (DL), including US and Canadian DL; US-issued ID; State-issued ID; Passport or Military ID. 
  • Take a picture – If your fish dies and you’re requesting a refund, make sure that you take pictures of the dead body as evidence. Without the pictures, the customer can’t process your request for a refund.

With only a few conditions here and there, I must say Petco’s return policy is not that bad or difficult to follow.

Can You Return Sick Fish to Petco?

Yes, Petco only allows returns for sick fish if you’re returning in the next 30 days. But you also need to prove the fish keeper with the proof of illness identified by the vet so that your return is legitimatized. 

Can You Return Dead Fish to Petco?

You can avail a refund for the loss of your new fish with relevant pictures, but no, you cannot send the dead specimen back to Petco if you’ve purchased the Live Fish & Invertebrates online. The company strictly bans mailing them back dead fish.

How to Pack the Fish for Return?

When you’re returning the fish, put it in a plastic bag filled with the fish tank water. Avoid using tap water since it may be harmed by it. 

What Does Petco Do With Returned Fish?

If the fish that you return is alive and healthy, Petco re-sells it. 

Can You Return Dead Fish to Any Petco?

It depends from store to store. For this information, you may have to find out from your nearest Petco store locally. 

Can I Return a Betta Fish to Petco?

Petco allows returns for all the fish it sells. It has fish varieties from the family of freshwater fish, saltwater fish, invertebrates and pond fish. 

How to Sell Betta Fish to Petco?

There is no provision for selling your betta fish at Petco even if you bought it from them. You can only return it, and the refund will be processed after approving the request.

Do They Take Fish Bought from Other Stores?

No, Petco does not allow a return for those fish that you buy from other stores. They only allow returns for those fish purchased from them. Hence, they ask for purchase receipts.

Pet Supplies Plus

The last store on our list that allows returns for the purchase of fish is a local pet store that offers natural and non-natural pet foods. Pet Supplies Plus has everything that a pet parent will ever need!

Can You Return Fish to Petco?

With a return policy on all its items like pet food, merchandise and other pet stuff, Pet Supplies Plus also allows return on its sale of live fish.

You can avail of these return, refund and exchange benefits from their stores located close by your location since the online store does not have any provisions for purchase and returns of live fish.

Terms and Conditions (Return Policy)

  • 7 to 30 days return window – Pet Supplies Plus allows return within 7 f purchase in some areas. In other areas, it has up to 30 days of return and refund exchange. 
  • Receipts – You need to produce your Pet Supplies Plus fish purchase receipt or Pet Supplies Plus Preferred Pet Club number to avail of the return benefits.
  • Take sample – You need the fish tank water sample to let the people at the store verify the quality of the water. If it passes the quality check, the store will replace the dead or sick fish.

Can You Return Dead and Sick Fish to Pet Supplies Plus?

Yes, you can. Pet Supplies Plus allows refund and exchange for dead fish within 7 to 30 days of purchase, depending on the store policies.

How to Pack the Fish for Return?

For returning live animals, it is generally expected that you follow all safety precautions to avoid potential harm to the animal while taking it for return. Take your Pet Supplies Plus fish to their store in a plastic bag or container filled with fish tank water.

Can You Return Dead Fish to Any Pet Supplies Plus?

You may request an exchange or refund for your dead fish from any store franchised by Pet Supplies Plus. However, it is not guaranteed that all stores will accept the return. There have been few complaints about some stores not accepting returns. 

Can I Return a Betta Fish to Pet Supplies Plus?

Yes, you can return whichever fish you purchased from the Pet Supplies Plus store. The company allows a 7 to 30 days return and refund policy, depending on which area the store is located. 

How to Sell Betta Fish to Pet Supplies Plus?

Pet Supplies Plus does not offer any provision for its customers to sell their fish, be it betta, saltwater or freshwater fish. 

They have detailed information on their website that tells you everything you need to know about these three fish breeds. I personally enjoy reading such good information about my pets. 

Do They Take Fish Bought from Other Stores?

No company offers refunds on items that are not from their brand. Likewise, it is a given that Pet Supplies Plus does not take returns for those fish that you purchase from stores other than theirs. 


In my experience, buying a pet at a random store without any return policy is not the smartest thing to do. And when it comes to fish, I’m very particular about the store brand. With Petsmart, Petco and Pet Supplies Plus’ return policy, buying pet fish, whether online or offline, is much more safe, secure and hassle-free. 

While Petsmart allows a 14 days return, Petco gives a 30-days return period, and Pet Supplies Plus allows a 7 to 30 days return policy.