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Chewy Launches Vet Service as Consumers Keep Spending on Pets

cat with vet

Pet products retailer Chewy is launching “Chewy Vet Care,” a network of pet health practices.

The first of these veterinary practices will open in South Florida in early 2024, with more to come as the year goes on, offering services including routine appointments, urgent care and surgery, the company said in a Thursday (Dec. 14) news release.

“We partnered with hundreds of veterinarians and customers to design an in-practice and post-visit experience which we believe will be unlike anything in the market, and appreciated by both communities,” Mita Malhotra, president, Chewy Health, said in the release.

“Our practices contain thoughtfully designed spaces for the comfort and privacy of our customers and care team. Chewy Vet Care will be powered by our proprietary, easy-to-use modern technology, to deliver a seamless and memorable experience, which we have delivered for over a decade in our core businesses.”

The launch is happening as consumers continue to insist on high quality pet care, even as they cut back on buying things for themselves, a movement that recently helped Chewy enjoy strong sales as the holiday season kicked off.

As PYMNTS wrote in October, “pet parents today have elevated their expectations when it comes to caring for their furry companions. Beyond mere ownership, pets are now considered beloved family members, and as such, their care and well-being have taken center stage.”

Additional reporting by PYMNTS has shown that 70% of pet parents consider their animals family members, and view their pet supply subscriptions as an essential expense.

Data from PYMNTS’ Consumer Inflation Sentiment series, “Consumer Inflation Sentiment Report: Consumers Cut Back by Trading Down,” found that 47% of all shoppers have opted for a more budget-friendly retailer for at least one grocery item.

However, that report found that just 19% of consumers said they were willing to switch to less expensive merchants for their pets’ food and supplies, compared to the 32% who said they had traded down on snacks.

And even before the trade-down trend began, Mars CEO Poul Weihrauch, whose company makes candy like M&Ms and Snickers, noted that pet care now accounts for 20% of revenue, with that side of the business projected to surpass the growth of the confectionery segment.

“Forty years ago, a pet was living out in the garden,” he told the Financial Times in March. Now, “80% of millennials in the United States sleep in the same bed as their dog.”