Walmart is using National Pet Month to promote its products and services for pet owners, targeting those who added four-legged members to their families during the pandemic.
Among those products is a new vet-formulated dog and cat food from Walmart’s Pure Balance brand called PRO+, which will launch this month to give pet owners a more affordable premium pet food item, Melody Richard, vice president of Walmart’s pets division, said in a company announcement on Monday (May 3).
This pet food is the first of many items Walmart plans to roll out for National Pet Month, along with summer pet gear, digestive and calming supplements from Milk Bone and new pet beds from their Vibrant Life product line.
“We’ve seen strong growth across durables, specifically with beds and crates, as customers welcome new kittens and pups to the family,” Richard noted. “And we’ve seen a great response to our expanded offering of pet services, which we expect to continue as more people return to the office.”
Last year, Walmart launched an omnichannel pet care suite, a service that includes a pet insurance plan that covers vet fees in conjunction with Petplan, dog walking and pet sitting through Rover (which has more than 300,000 providers nationwide), and an in-store and web pharmacy service called Walmart PetRx.
“We’re on a mission to help families live better – and that goes for pets, too,” Richard said at the time. “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.”
Pet ownership has surged during the coronavirus pandemic, along with pet-related spending. “It has just been staggering how quickly people have pivoted to find ways to keep their dogs engaged and mentally stimulated,” CEO Spencer Williams of pet supply company West Paw told CNN Business last year, noting a 55 percent year-on-year increase in sales from May through September.
For more on this topic, read PYMNTS’ April report on the “dog-economy.”