Need to Know
- Walmart will launch Walmart Pet Care on November 19 as a central online hub where users can access pet insurance and find dog walkers and boarding options.
- Pet Care will be a partnership with Petplan, the insurance provider, and Rover, which is a network for dog walkers and pet sitters.
- Walmart will offer perks for accessing Petplan and Rover through its web hub, including discounts and gift cards.
As pet ownership spikes during the pandemic, Walmart has launched a new channel, Walmart Pet Care, through which shoppers can buy pet insurance, book a dog walker, and much more.
Walmart Pet Care, which Walmart will launch on November 19, sees the retailer partner with Petplan, a pet insurance provider, for its insurance offerings, and Rover, which is an online network that connects pet owners to pet sitters, dog-walkers, and pet boarding companies, for those services. These offerings come a year after Walmart launched WalmartPetRX, which sells prescriptions for dogs, cats, horses and livestock.
“We’re on a mission to help families live better – and that goes for pets, too,” said Melody Richard, merchandising vice president of Walmart Pets. “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. As the most-shopped omnichannel retailer for pet products, our new pet care services, and support offer our customers trusted, convenient services that provide the exceptional care their pets deserve.”
Walmart customers who purchase insurance with Petplan or book services with Rover through Walmart Pet Care will be offered incentives and rewards, such as discounts and gift cards. “We’re focused on bringing our customers and the beloved pets in their lives trusted, convenient and affordable programs at one destination,” said Richard said. “And we’ll continue to focus on that.”
According to the press release announcing Walmart’s new pet offerings, 98% of pets in the U.S. are uninsured. Walmart’s full roster of pet products, including food and toys, will be accessible via Walmart Pet Care, alongside insurance, service-booking, and prescription-fulfillment offerings.
The launch of Walmart Pet Care comes as pet ownership has spiked due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with many shelters and rescues across the US reporting waiting lists as individuals seek four-legged comfort during these difficult times. There will be an estimated 71 million pet-owning households in the United States by the end of 2020, and Walmart currently estimates that 90 million pet owners shop at its stores and website. The US pet care industry, meanwhile, is projected to rise from a $53 billion market in 2020 to about $64 billion by 2024.
Walmart is not the first pet-goods retailer to enter the pet health business in a digital capacity. Earlier this year, Chewy, which is an online pet food and pet goods retailer, launched a telehealth wing that allows customers to consult with a vet about common concerns.