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Dive Brief:

  • In an effort to expand its insurance and wellness offerings, Chewy on Thursday launched CarePlus, a suite of pet wellness and insurance plans.
  • The program is currently available in 31 states and will expand nationwide by the end of the year, according to a company press release.
  • The wellness plans, which start at $20 a month, cover preventative care like vaccines, parasiticides and annual exams. The insurance plans — which start at $20, $60 or $100 a month — provide financial help for accidents, surgeries and unexpected illnesses.

Dive Insight:

With the launch of its CarePlus offering, Chewy is looking to position itself as a health and wellness destination for pets.

“Innovating to improve customer experience is the cornerstone of our customer strategy. Our thoughtfully designed and customized selection of wellness and insurance plans will empower pet parents to always say ‘yes’ to high-quality care that will help their pets live longer, healthier and happier lives,” Mita Malhotra, vice president of Chewy Health, said in a statement.

The service offers 24/7 access to the retailer’s customer care team, coverage for prescription medications, supplements and food on Chewy’s website.

CarePlus builds on Chewy’s existing health offerings. After introducing its online pharmacy in 2018, the company in late 2020 launched Connect with a Vet, a telehealth service, and expanded that feature last year. And last September, Chewy introduced Practice Hub, a veterinarian-only marketplace aimed at growing clinic revenue and streamlining pharmacy operations.

To capitalize on more consumers becoming pet owners since the start of the pandemic, pet retailers have been leaning on services and placing health in greater focus. Petco in 2020 announced it was repositioning itself as a health and wellness company and introduced Vital Care, a paid membership program that gives pet owners access to services like vet exams, teeth brushing and nail trimming. The retailer earlier this year also purchased the remaining stake in its pet hospital joint venture with Thrive Pet Healthcare. Petco also operates thousands of mobile vet clinics and has around 200 vet hospitals.

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