Chewy Gets Creative [Custom Pet Portraits for Customers]

June 07, 2023 |
hand painted portrait of a red ear sider swimming alongside a note from Chewy

If you have a pet, you might be familiar with Chewy.com.  If not, well, let me introduce you.  Chewy is one of the biggest pet supply companies on the internet.  They are well known for their large selection of products serving a wide range of pets including cats, dogs, birds, reptiles, fish, and more.  Today, however, Chewy is going viral for an entirely different reason. 

The opinions stated below are my own, and I have not received any sponsorship or free products from the aforementioned manufacturers.

Chewy pet art for Michelle of her turtle
A custom pet portrait was such a wonderful surprise for Michelle to find waiting on her doorstep.

Facebook Frenzy

It was an otherwise normal Monday on Facebook when users started posting about completely unexpected packages that were arriving from Chewy.com. “I had no idea what it was because I knew I hadn’t ordered anything recently.”  Folks were absolutely shocked at the content.  A custom pet portrait of their dear sweet pets, meticulously hand-painted and delivered to their homes for free from Chewy. Within minutes, comments started flooding in sharing their own surprise packages.  Pretty soon, my Facebook feed was covered in threads full of custom pet art and messages of absolute glee over these amazing, completely unexpected gifts from Chewy.

Note and pet portrait from Chewy for Becky and her turtle Speedy.  The text reads "Hi Becky, It's National Aquarium Month, so we wanted to shell-abrate and tank you for being in our Chewy family. XO, Your Chewy Family"
Becky loved her Chewy portrait of her sweet Box Turtle, Speedy.

The Occasion

What was the occasion for such a thoughtful and generous gift? Depends on who you ask. For most folks? National Aquarium Month! Chewy has been celebrating Turtles, fish, axolotls, and all things aquatic by sending out these adorable portraits to customers alongside thank you notes for their support. One such note to Becky and her turtle, Speedy, reads:

“Hi Becky, It’s National Aquarium Month, so we wanted to shell-abrate and tank you for being in our Chewy family.”

XO, Your Chewy Family


Chewy portrait of Ashley's axolotl, Noodster
“A while back we got a painting of Noodster for snake month–well now it’s National Aquarium Month–and they did Iceberg too!” – Ashley

Handpainted portrait from Chewy of Courtney's cat, Catniss.
Nothing is cuter than this picture of Courtney’s cat, Catniss, posing next to her Chewy portrait.

But wait, there’s more…

It wasn’t all high tides and water works in the mail. Chewy portraits are also going out for National Adopt A Cat Day.  Beautiful, handpainted portraits are being received right meow for lots of sweet fluffy fur balls. Of course, they are also getting thank you cards, but theirs read a little something like this:

“Hi Taylor, This National Adopt a Cat Month, we’re celebrating the meow-gical moment you and Suki became a family.

Furever yours, Your Chewy Family

Handpainted portrait of Suki for Taylor
Taylor was super excited to receive this gift in the mail, a handpainted portrait of her cat, Suki.

Flowers sent from Chewy to Anne Marie when her dear Coalbie passed away
Chewy sent flowers and a sympathy note to Anne Marie to celebrate Coalbie’s life.

Memories Emerge

Even folks who did not receive a portrait this time around are pouring into the comments to share precious memories of unbelievable acts of kindness from their favorite online pet store.

“They have unbelievable customer service. We just received flowers from them because our dog passed away. Coalbie was 15 1/2 and we miss him dearly!”

-Anne Marie

“They are just the best. Not only did they say the same to me when my Lab, Jack, passed away, they also sent me flowers and a sweet card. I cried so hard! Then they sent me a portrait when we got our new Lab, Hudson! They’re so amazing!”

-Alyssa
Sympathy flowers sent from Chewy when Stephanie's pup passed away
Sympathy flowers and card sent by Chewy to Stephanie when Bear passed away.

“I love Chewy! We use them for all of our pet needs. When my dog of 10 years passed away. Chewy sent me a beautiful flower arrangement that I was not expecting with a sympathy card and a certificate of a memorial tree being planted in my dogs name. It really meant a lot. I can’t say enough good things about them!”

-Stephanie

“Chewy is awesome! My friend fur baby passed away and chewy delivered a bouquet of flowers in a vase. The best company to get all your pet supplies.”

-Diane

Wedding invitation, portraits and wedding attire courtesy of Chewy
Two blind cats, Jasmine and Scruffy, bonded while they were in a shelter. Chewy threw them a wedding.

“Chewy actually performed a wedding ceremony for two blind cats that had bonded at our shelter a few years ago. They painted the wedding couples’ portraits, brought the wedding cake, etc. The whole thing was filmed and made the evening news (Saving Sage Animal Rescue Foundation). Even better, after all of that attention, Jasmine & Scruffy were adopted together!”

-Carol

“They did one of my bunny, Willow, who had died just a month before that for national carrot day. I had yet to remove her from my Chewy account. I cried and still tear up when I see it. What a wonderful company!”

-Kathleen
Courtney's turtle portrait sent by Chewy alongside her thank you note.
“I got one too!” Courtney shares her custom pet portrait in a facebook group for turtles and tortoises.

Doing the Math

So how many pet portraits did Chewy send out this month? That’s a great question and I honestly do not know.  I have personally seen nearly 100 posted across the groups I frequent, but Chewy would not share a guesstimate with me. Here was their official response: “At this time, I do not have an estimate of how many portraits have been sent out, only that we are sending portraits for National Aquarium Month and National Adopt a Cat Month. We have many artists that we commission for pet portraits.”


Jessica's pet portrait from Chewy of her turtle
“We got ours from Chewy today too!” Jessica was excited to share her own custom pet art.

The Artists

Who is/are the talented artist (s) behind these paintings? No one seems to know. I reached out to Chewy and was told they couldn’t release the artists information at this time, but that they ” We “have many artists” that they commission for pet portraits.  It kind of makes you think that eventually we might get the scoop, but who knows really.  If you happen to have the inside track on who these mystery artists are (or how to become one), please drop the info in our comments below. I hope they will see this post and know just how much the internet loves their work!  You did great work!

collage of custom animal art portraits sent by Chew
National Aquarium Month and Adopt a Cat Month inspired Chewy to create a lot of awesome animal art for their customers. From left to right, this art now belongs to: Jennifer, Taylor, Jessica, Elizabeth, Kailey, Beth, Ashley, Lindsey, and Kim.

How can I get one?

How is Chewy picking who gets a portrait? Where are they finding pictures of our pets? I want one too! How can I get something like this? The comment sections are on fire with pleas to participate in this wonderful movement, and I’ve got the who, what, where, why and how for you.

As best as we can tell, the selection process of who gets a Chewy pet painting (outside of the bereavement gifts) is fairly random. We do not think it is based off of purchases or chewy.com activity, but rather some kind of lottery amongst folks who have downloaded the app and uploaded their pet’s picture(s). So how can you throw your pet’s hat in the ring?


visual instructions on how to upload a pet picture to your chewy app
Creating your pet’s profile and adding an image is super easy on the Chewy app.

  1. Download the Chewy app from your app store.
  2. Log into or create your Chewy account.
  3. Go to “My Pets” and add your pet’s information.
  4. Under the “Photo” section (not Profile Icon), click “Upload a Photo.”
  5. Take a photo or select one from your camera roll.

Congratulations! You have now upload your pet’s information and picture into Chewy.com. You will see the image both on your app and on their website, but it only seems possible to upload the image from the app. Does this mean you will definitely get a free pet portrait in the mail this year? Nope! But at least you have entered the lottery.

a collage of pet portraits sent by Chewy with the text "Custom pet portraits by chewy"

Is this a love letter?

I was so excited about all the art I was seeing in my favorite Facebook groups, I couldn’t wait to write this post and share it with everyone. The more I researched Chewy and their generous pet portrait gifts, the more awesome stories I found about them. I didn’t expect this to become some kind of love letter, but I think it may have? Ha!

We have used Chewy many times over the years for our pups, turtle, and fish. We even got several of the supplies for our DIY Basking Box and DIY Snuffle Ball from Chewy.com. I can report that we have always had really positive experiences with our orders, but I certainly had no idea about all the other amazing things they had been doing for customers and their pets.

I spent some time adding my pet’s pictures to their profiles yesterday. My fingers are crossed that someday we might be blessed with such a neat surprise in the mail, but in the meantime, I am really enjoying watching everyone else’s special deliveries and hearing such heartwarming stories.

script text reads "happy crafting"


Originally posted on June 06, 2023.

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2 thoughts on “Chewy Gets Creative [Custom Pet Portraits for Customers]”

  1. I’m happy that you brought up the artists at the end. That is SO important!
    I received a painting in the mail this week, but there was no mention of the artist or even a signature. I reached out to Chewy who replied “Our artist do not work for the recognition, They just enjoy making the paintings for our Chewy families so they do not wish to be identified”
    As a pet portrait artist myself, that did not sound likely at all. So I shared that on my social media accounts. Lo and behold, current and past Chewy artists got in touch with me privately, saying that Chewy doesn’t allow them to share their work or take credit. The artists are being censored and that is HORRIBLE!
    I’ve reached out to Chewy a few times, encouraging them to recognize the artists and to allow me to thank my artist. These are direct quotes from their artists:

    “I fought constantly to be recognized for the work I did till I spoke too loud and was let go.”
    “Chewy does not permit artists from signing their portraits, unfortunately! You are absolutely correct, they all very much do want to be recognized for their work.”
    “…they grossly underpay while preventing artists from getting any recognition”
    “…there are a lot of unhappy artists at the moment”

    “Thanks for standing up for us”

    Chewy needs to share the artists’ information. We, as customers, should be allowed to thank the artists and recognize their outstanding talent. PLEASE reach out to Chewy and demand that they credit their artists!

    Reply

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