Walmart, which has already put its paws into the lucrative pet industry, is now extending its reach by offering pet insurance to the millions of Americans whose households include an animal.
More than a year after launching an, the retailing powerhouse is adding pet insurance and services like dog-walking and pet-sitting to the mix. The expanded offerings come at a time Americans are increasingly turning to animals as the makes human interaction more difficult, surveys have found. Shelters, nonprofit rescues, pet stores and private breeders all report increased demand.
“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,” Melody Richard, Walmart’s merchandising vice president, pets, said Thursday in a statement.
Walmart is partnering with insurance provider Petplan to offer injury and illness coverage for dogs and cats. Customers can save up to 10% on comprehensive insurance for their furry friends that runs roughly $20 a month, according to a sample provided by the company. The policies include access to $1,000 worth of virtual pet appointments, Walmart said.
Pet insurance isn’t for everyone, but coverage can offset some or most of the costs of diagnosing, treating and managing an animal’s injury or illness, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association.
“There’s no magic formula that will tell you if it’s right for you and your pet,” the AVMA states on its website. Those considering it should talk to their veterinarian and then research their options.
Walmart is also offering pet-sitting and dog-walking through Rover, a website and app that connects pet owners to more than 300,000 service providers across the country. Walmart is offering customers who book through Rover a $20 gift card toward their first completed appointment and another $20 gift card if they complete their fifth service within six months.
Americans are expected this year to spend $99 billion on their animals this year, the American Pet Product Association estimates.