#HR Trends and Insights

Pet care expenses in lifestyle accounts

June 07, 2022

Were you one of the many individuals that adopted a pet during the global pandemic? More than 23 million households in America took advantage of this opportunity for companionship and love during challenging and uncertain times.

With so many new pets along with existing ones, caring for them has become a top priority. Businesses are responding by adding pet care to the list of employee benefits. It is obvious why pet care has become so important to employees. Throughout the lifetime of their pets, dog and cat owners spend as much as $45,000-$50,000 on care for their pets.

We will explore the importance of pet wellness and why employers should consider offering this benefit to their employees.

Why is pet wellness important?

Pet wellness benefits allow individuals to provide regular preventive care for their pets, which can help detect health problems early and lead to less costly and more successful treatment. It is recommended that pets receive preventive veterinary care once per year and twice per year for pets over nine years old. 

In addition to the yearly preventive visits to the vet, it is also important to provide monthly dental care for your pet. Signs that your pet requires dental care include bad breath, swollen or bleeding gums, discolored teeth, and even tooth lose.

Other important components of adequate pet care include staying up to date on necessary vaccines and regularly purchasing preventative medication against parasites, such as fleas and heartworm.

Benefits of pet ownership

While pet ownership comes with many responsibilities and expenses, especially for their healthcare, it also comes with many benefits, including the happiness people experience from having pets.

According to Ohio State Veterinary Medical Center, research shows that pet ownership can lead to lower stress, lower blood pressure, and lower heart rate. It can also provide support for loneliness, which can be especially important for fully remote employees. Lastly, pets can encourage owners to get more exercise and stay in shape, providing a good balance and preventing a sedentary lifestyle for employees who spend a lot of time at their computers.

In addition to personal benefits, owning a pet may also improve your employee’s creativity and productivity. Petco has reported that people who interact with a dog experience increased levels of Cortisol and serotonin. Moreover, getting outside by taking your dog on regular walks can be a great mood booster.

Family pets don’t just provide benefits for the parents. Pets also provide benefits for children, including cognitive stimulation, lower anxiety, improved behavior, and a heightened understanding of others.

Pet wellness benefits provided through Lifestyle Spending Accounts

Now, employers can offer pet care benefits through Edenred’s Lifestyle Spending Accounts, a valuable benefit plan that helps employees provide care for their four-legged family members, from preventive healthcare to doggy daycare.

Through Lifestyle Spending Accounts, employees can use their prepaid card to pay for various pet-related expenses, including:

  • Pet healthcare, including vet visits and medicine
  • Doggy daycare
  • Overnight dog boarding during travel
  • Dog walkers

Pet care can be very costly. About 47% of pet parents shared that they have some type of debt due to pet care. Covering these expenses through Lifestyle Spending Accounts is an attractive benefit to employees.

Pet benefits are becoming an increasingly popular benefit employers offer and are a very personal benefit for employees. Studies show that 95% of pet owners worldwide consider their pets as part of their family, and 84% treat their pets like their own children. Offering lifestyle benefits displays to potential job candidates and current employees that you care for them and their families inside and outside of the workplace.

While employees can only take advantage of pet insurance benefits when an emergency pet expense arises, pet care as part of a wellness plan allows your employees to use the benefit for everyday pet-owning expenses.

Providing pet care as an employee benefit is a great way to transition your benefits plan from in-person workplace culture to a remote work model. However, as some employees return to the office, potential job candidates may see the ability to use their benefits for pet care during the day as a valuable and persuasive perk, particularly if they compare multiple job offers. 

Other Lifestyle Spending Account Benefits

Edenred’s Lifestyle Spending Accounts offer other benefits. The wellness program allows your employees to have a prepaid card to help cover a variety of expenses, including:

  • Physical Wellness
  • Athletic and Camping Equipment
  • Entertainment Expenses
  • Mobility
  • Food and Dining
  • Nutritional Counseling
  • Continuing Education and Tuition
  • Financial Wellness

This type of wellness plan allows your employees to customize their benefits to fit their individual needs while allowing you to determine the types of expenses covered, the amount offered, and the frequency at which the card is reloaded.

Are you looking for new benefits your employees will love? Lifestyle Spending Accounts are great additions to any benefit plan. Schedule a meeting today, and we’ll be happy to review all your options with you.

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