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Pet Care: 3 Reasons It’s an Employee Benefit Win

Nov 11, 2020

Just how high do pets rank in family status? When asked who they’d bring to a desert island, more people answered, “my cat” or “my dog” than “my husband” or “my wife.” Additionally, 55% of pet owners are purchasing birthday presents and 37% are cooking food for their fur babies. We’re CRAZY for our pets.

Today, I’m sharing 3 reasons why pet benefits are a smart move for employers and their employees.

1. There’s a pet boom

According to recent stats from pet insurance, over 90 million households have a pet —  that means 3 in 5 Americans have at least one pet in their home. Younger generations lead the rate of pet ownership with 71% among Millennials and 74% among Gen Xers. 

In the cats vs. dogs debate, dogs come out on top with 71% of pet owners saying they have at least one dog compared to 49% with a cat. The majority of dog owners have just one pooch in the house (61%). Cat owners are somewhat less likely to limit their home to just one kitty (53%), the average number of cats under those roofs is two.

I’m part of this pet boom with one dog and two cats (but I won’t tell you which one I’d choose to take to my desert island). 

Employers can take advantage of this boom by finding low-cost, high-value opportunities to care for employees extended fur families in this way. 

2. Pet care is expensive

Pets are family — which means we’re willing to pay for all kinds of things they need. Disposable income is increasingly shifted toward pet nutrition and healthcare. In 2020, over $95 billion was spent on our pets - almost double the amount from ten years ago. 

Where’s it all going? Here’s a quick breakdown of the 2019 pet spend in four major categories…

  • $36.9 billion for pet food and treats
  • $29.3 billion for vet care and product sales
  • $19.2 billion for purchasing live animals, supplies and over the counter medicine
  • $10.3 billion for other services (boarding, grooming, training, pet sitting, etc.)

While expenses like food and treats are spread throughout the year, routine annual veterinary care might cost between $200 to $400 a visit. Unplanned events such as accidents, injuries, or unexpected illnesses can cost much more. The average emergency vet visit is $800 to $1500, and if your dog or cat needs surgery, it will add thousands to the bill. The Insurance Information Institute reports an annual spend of over $1000 on veterinary bills and services.  

Employers can take advantage of this by finding low-cost, high-value opportunities to help employees save on these expenses. 

3. There are high-value, low-cost solutions

While pet insurance can be expensive and complicated - and some pets are excluded -  there are other solutions available. Pet Telehealth is a strong alternative that’s less expensive and much simpler to install and use. 

  • NO underwriting
  • NO limit to the number of pets
  • NO limits to the number of uses
  • NO high costs

The freshbenies Pet Pack includes Pet Telehealth, giving employees 24/7, $0 visits for dogs and cats with veterinary specialists via phone, email or chat. Fast veterinary help can reduce or eliminate the need for expensive emergency care visits. 

Here’s my own experience with the Pet Telehealth service…

Pet Benefits

Beyond emergency care, the Pet Telehealth vets can give breed-specific advice on training, socialization, food recommendations, diet, exercise, and much more. I’ve personally used them to help me introduce my puppy into a home with two adult cats –excellent advice and a follow-up call with written materials sent on the next steps. Now I can’t concentrate on work due to all the cat and puppy cuddling cuteness! 

In addition to Pet Telehealth, the freshbenies Pet Pack comes with savings on everyday pet needs including monthly delivery of toys, treats, and chews from Bark Box plus discounts from Pet Honesty, Chewy auto-shipments and more. 

The freshbenies Pet Pack is available to BOTH groups and individuals as a stand-alone package or as an add-on to a core freshbenies membership.

Now it’s your turn! How are you addressing the pet boomer trend with your groups? Comment below or email me at

Tonia Degner

Tonia has been a leader in the retail and tech industries for 20+ years with a focus on driving vision and growth strategies in large volume business sectors. Her most recent experience includes Director positions at Amazon where she implemented complex company-wide enhancements, led the launch of innovative products, and created disruptive strategies. She joined freshbenies as Chief Strategy Officer because of her passion to provide practical tools that simplify the American healthcare experience.

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Tanya Boyd
Tanya Boyd
President of Tanya Boyd & Associates

I didn’t want to go to urgent care or the ER. Using Doctors Online in my freshbenies membership, I went online to ask a doctor. The doctor responded and said to check my blood pressure. He followed up with the next day to make sure my numbers were OK. By then, the feeling was starting to go away. He told me if it persists to contact my doctor. It was great that I didn’t have to go somewhere and wait forever, and it was free.” - Kelli from Texas

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Marta from NC
Marta from NC

I’ve had a great experience using this app!

It’s very convenient with everyday life.


I use it all the time and highly recommend freshbenies to everyone!