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Retail Industry Updates

Walmart Is Going to the Dogs, But in a Good Way

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Walmart is getting into the dog-walking business, among other pet offerings.

The nation’s largest retailer is launching Walmart Pet Care, a full-service, omnichannel pet care offering that Walmart says makes holistic care easy, simple and affordable for the 90 million pet owners who shop there. Bentonville, Ark.-based Walmart said it is leveraging industry-leading providers to bring customers trusted pet care programs in one place, including Walmart Pet Insurance and convenient pet care services like dog walking and pet sitting.

“We’re on a mission to help families live better — and that goes for pets, too,” said Melody Richard, Walmart’s merchandising vice president for 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.”

In the U.S., 98% of pets remain uninsured, even though one-third of Americans can’t cover an unexpected medical bill over $100, Walmart said, citing research from North American Pet Health Insurance Association. So the retailer is offering Walmart Pet Insurance, an insurance solution in the same place customers buy their pet food and fill their pet’s prescriptions. In collaboration with Petplan, a pet insurance provider, Walmart customers can save up to 10% on their policies and can sign up for an insurance plan that provides coverage for veterinary fees due to accident, injury or illness, including chronic and hereditary conditions. Each policy also includes access to $1,000 worth of online virtual vet appointments at no additional charge.

Walmart Pet Care will also include new pet sitting and dog walking services through Rover, a website and app that provides access to neighborhood care. Through Rover, pet parents can book pet sitters and dog walkers from over 300,000 providers in their communities across the country. As a perk for pet owners who book services through Rover, Walmart customers will receive a $20 Walmart gift card for their first completed service and another $20 Walmart gift card if they complete their fifth services within six months.

Walmart Pet Care also includes Walmart PetRx, in-store and online pharmacy services introduced by the retailer in in 2019, that provide customers the opportunity to fill pet prescriptions at lower prices.