Walmart is courting 'pet parents' with new insurance and dog-walking offerings

Brendan McDermid/Reuters
  • Walmart is bolstering its pet services plans with brand new insurance and pet-sitting offerings.
  • The retailer will now offer “pet parents” insurance plans to help foot the bill for veterinary visits and more.
  • “We’re on a mission to help families live better – and that goes for pets, too,” Melody Richard, merchandising vice president of Walmart’s pets category, said in a statement sent to Business Insider.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Walmart is digging deeper into the pet services game, the company announced Thursday. The retail giant is launching Walmart Pet Care, an “omnichannel pet care offering that makes holistic care easy, simple, and affordable for the 90 million pet owners who shop at Walmart.”

Pet-related services will include Walmart’s first-ever pet insurance plans via insurance provider Petplan. The company will also collaborate with pet-services company Rover to pair owners with local pet-sitters and dog-walkers.

“We’re on a mission to help families live better — and that goes for pets, too,” Melody Richard, merchandising vice president of Walmart’s pets category, said in a statement sent to Business Insider. “Especially as adoption rates soar as a result of the pandemic and more people become pet owners, this was the perfect time to launch expanded services in Walmart Pet Care for our customers.”

The pet services industry has exploded in recent years, as consumers continue to spend more and more on their animals.

“Maybe 30 years ago, pets were in someone’s backyard,” Kristen Peck, CEO of animal medication company Zoetis, told the audience at the Business Insider Global Trends Festival in October. “Then they came into the house. And I’d say five-to-10 years ago they ended up on your bed. Why does that matter? The closer they get to you, the more you invest in their healthcare, and the more their health impacts you.”


Read more:
CEO of animal vaccine company Zoetis says the pet care industry is growing because we need our pets more than ever

And this isn’t the first time that Walmart has dipped its paw into the pet services business. The Arkansas-based retailer currently stocks 1,800 pet products, and hosts a number of in-store vet clinics. Last year, the company launched Pet Rx, a service focusing on prescriptions for pets.

Insurance plans now offered in collaboration with Petplan will offer “pet parents” the chance to save on veterinary bills, streamline pet care appointments, and access up to $US1,000 worth of free online virtual vet appointments. Additionally, Walmart customers using Rover will receive a $US20 store gift card after completing their first and fifth Rover appointments.

“Through Rover, pet parents can quickly and easily book pet sitters and dog walkers from over 300,000 providers in their communities across the country,” a Walmart spokesperson said. “Walmart is working with Rover to provide customers with convenient pet sitters and dog walkers that match each pet, lifestyle, and budget.”

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