Recent statistics about employees and pets speak, (bark, or meow) volumes -

Almost three-quarters of American households have a pet in the family, yet only 15 percent of employers offer a pet benefit (pet insurance and wellness plans) for employees.

With over 95% of pet parents reporting that they view their pets as a part of the family, these numbers illustrate the current gap between pet ownership and the availability of pet benefits in the workplace. 

In addition to pet parenthood being on the rise, recent numbers also point to fewer children being born each year. In fact, more Millennials and GenZers are choosing to delay or even forgo having children than ever before. In a recent survey of one thousand GenZ members,

27% of respondents said they don’t plan to have kids. It seems, therefore, that for many, pets are the new kids.

If pets are the new kids, it makes sense that employees would view pet benefits as an attractive or even non-negotiable option for them. This represents a huge opportunity for employers, as offering pet benefits to employees has a number of advantages for both the employer and the employee. Offering pet insurance as a standalone benefit is a great start and can be even more helpful to pet parents when combined with other pet wellness programs.


Unleashing the Power of Pet Benefits

Are you thinking about adding a pet benefits program to your workplace? Our HR toolkit outlines the steps for a successful rollout!

Pet Parenting by the Numbers

According to the Insurance Information Institute,

Pet parenting by the numbers data 2022

Why are Americans investing so much time and money in their pets? The answer is clear -

Pets are family, and as such, pet parents want to ensure that their pets have everything they need to live a long, happy, and healthy life.

Pets Are Family

A 2022 survey of pet parents and veterinarians revealed that 94% of respondents consider their pets to be a part of their family. Additionally,

  • 92% said they could not imagine a scenario where they would give up their pet
  • 86% said that they would pay any cost necessary if their pet needed extensive veterinary care
  • 76% said they would make major life changes for their pet if need be
  • About 45% said they were willing to spend the same or more on their pet’s healthcare than on their own
  • About 10% said they had missed a payment on another bill to pay for pet care instead

Illustration of a chart on the number of households that consider pets family members


The Need for More Quality Veterinarian Choices 

Currently, there are several barriers to employees’ access to high-quality, reliable vet care. 

With vet costs averaging between $700 and $2,000 per year for a healthy pet (not including emergency care), this is a significant expense for most pet parents.

In addition to the cost of vet care, the pandemic has led to a national backlog of pets waiting to be seen at brick and mortar clinics and hospitals. In fact, the American Veterinary Medical Association has shared that the average wait time at veterinary clinics had nearly doubled from 2019 to 2020. In addition to longer wait times, some clinics simply do not have the capacity to accommodate both their new patients as well as their parents, leading some to offer curbside vet care, where owners must wait in their cars for their pets to be seen and cannot accompany them into their appointment.

Supporting Pets Supports Your Employees

To recap, pet benefits matter because employees view their pets as important family members. Pet benefits help employees to manage both expected and unexpected vet costs and stay on top of their pets’ healthcare needs. 

Some of the advantages for employers who provide a pet-friendly workplace include:

The advantages of providing employees with pet benefits

Benefits to employees include increased accessibility to high-quality vet care and cost management, which can lead to lower stress. When you support your employees’ pets, you are supporting their well-being as well, as having a pet in the home comes with some added health benefits. Pets can help manage loneliness and depression and can even lower blood pressure.

To wrap it all up, the benefits of offering pet wellness plans to employees include making employees’ lives easier, supporting a work-from-home and hybrid lifestyle, and reducing stress. 

Providing pet wellness plans to employees can lead to more satisfied, productive team members who stay longer in their positions -  truly a win-win for both the employer and the employee. Happy pets mean happier employees!

For more information about BetterVet Wellness Club or our mobile veterinary model, visit our page for employers, or set up an appointment to receive an overview of our programs.

Related reading: Pet Insurance vs. Wellness Plan