Monthly archive for June 2016

Pet insurance popular with millennials who see animals as family

Pet insurance popular with millennials who see animals as family

By Caroline Spiezio,
June 24 2016, 4:06am EDT

Employers struggling with low retention rates from an increasingly millennial workforce may want to start offering perks and benefits for pets as a creative way to keep employees engaged.

Because millennials are not only the fastest-growing population in the workforce, they’re also adopting the most pets. And with many waiting to get married and have children until later than previous generations, pets are serving as more than just furry companions.

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“They are almost using pets as practice families, to get the feel for having some living object totally dependent on you,” says American Pet Products Association President Bob Vetere. He says most of the pet-owning millennials in his office have begun looking into benefits like pet insurance.

Many employers are beginning to offer the increasingly popular pet insurance as a voluntary benefit, including 1 in 3 Fortune 500 companies and 9% of all organizations, according to SHRM research.

“A lot of people didn’t know that pet insurance existed for a long time,” says Cynthia Trumpey, the senior vice president of Healthy Paws Pet Insurance & Foundation. “It wasn’t necessarily the best plan for a long time. Now there are several players with excellent plans, so it is becoming more and more popular.”

Vet approved
More vets are encouraging pet owners to get insurance as well.

Last year, the 65% of U.S. household occupants who owned a pet spent more than $15 billion on veterinary care, according to a Harris poll. With insurance, all non-preexisting medical issues are covered, potentially saving costs and encouraging visits to the vet that may have otherwise been pushed off to save money.

Pet insurance as a voluntary benefit can help millennials feel that employers share their values and care about the pets they consider family. “As millennials adopt this ‘pets as a part of the family’ viewpoint and are trying to be more and more responsible, it will lead them to want to explore something like pet insurance,” says Liz Watson, chief marketing officer of Hartville Pet Insurance Group.

Watson’s company is also one of many — including Google and Amazon — that allow employees to bring pets in to work. As a pet insurance company, she says it helps build trust with consumers when a dog can be heard barking in the background of a call. But there are some benefits that even non-pet related companies can see from introducing furry friends into the office space.

“It’s great for employee morale,” says Watson. “Pets reduce stress. It really is a way to help a person who has a tough day, because now they’ve got their family with them.”

As the rates of millennials adopting pets and entering the workforce continues to rise, the demand for pet-focused perks will rise as well. And there’s room for such growth. More than 90% of pet owners do not have insurance.

New Survey Says Dogs Lift Workplace Spirits

New Survey Says Dogs Lift Workplace Spirits
Wellness Natural Pet Food survey reveals pets boost mood at the office.
By Pet Product News Staff
Pets have long been a part of the family, and now pet owners want them to be a part of the workforce, as well. According to a new survey by Wellness Natural Pet Food, 46 percent of American dog and cat owners say bringing their pet to work would improve their mood. The survey found that those most proud of being pet “parents” are millennials. Of respondents, millennials (65 percent) are most likely to have their mood improve if they were to bring their pet to work and are also more likely to display photos of their pet at work than are gen X and baby boomers.

The findings come just before Take Your Dog to Work Day on Friday, June 24. Wellness Natural Pet Food polled more than 1,000 dog and cat owners in the U.S. to uncover how pet owners feel about bringing their pets to the office.

“At Wellness, we understand the important role pets play in our lives and to celebrate those relationships, we roll out all the stops to celebrate Take Your Dog to Work Day each year at our offices, from a dog-friendly ice cream truck to pet caricature artists,” said Chanda Leary-Coutu, senior marketing communications manager at Tewksbury-Mass.-based WellPet. “This year, we wanted to find out more about what others do to show their love for their furry friends not only on Take Your Dog to Work Day, but year-round.”

Additional findings include:

29 percent of dog or cat owners use special meals as a way to show their pets they care—and these special meals or treats often come after a long day at the office.
37 percent of dog or cat owners who are employed display photos of their pet at work. The most popular place to have a photo is on their desk (17 percent), followed closely by a phone background (14 percent) and computer background (12 percent). Employed millennial dog or cat owners (48 percent) are more likely to display photos of their pet at work than are gen X (31 percent) and baby boomers (30 percent).
70 percent of dog or cat owners would bring their pets’ favorite foods and snacks to work with them.
65 percent of millennials are most likely to have their mood improve if they were to bring their pet to work, compared to 43 percent of gen X and 32 percent of baby boomers.