Debbie Mazella's rock star cat Cornell

We all know how expensive taking our pets to a veterinarian is, and this new plan could defray some of the costs.

They are the most successful retailer in the United States and they’re expanding their customer base to include animals.

Walmart has announced and just begun to offer free pet telehealth appointments as part of its Walmart Plus subscription plan. The new service, which is being offered in partnership with veterinary company Pawp, is their latest effort to compete with the Amazon Prime subscription service.

Walmart Plus subscribers have until November 19th to sign up for the virtual veterinary service, which is being offered at no additional charge for the first year, company officials say. There is a catch, after that, it will cost $99 a year.

These free visits can be used to address multiple issues with animals like allergies, or if they swallowed something and you want to make sure it’s not harmful, or if your pet is simply acting differently.

CNBC reports that  Ann-Hunter Van Kirk, a senior biopharmaceutical analyst with Bloomberg Intelligence, said “During the pandemic, there was a huge number of pet adoptions, and even more important than just the numbers is how people are treating their pets. Pets are becoming part of the family, people are spending on their pets and spending on their pet’s health care.”

So if you’re already a member of the Walmart Plus subscription plan, and you have a pet, it makes sense to sign up and get it free for a year. You’ll also be able to see if it will be worth it to invest in the $99 a year for the second year and beyond. All the pet owners that we spoke to said it was a no-brainer to sign up for Walmart Plus strictly for the free pet telehealth appointments, and having the other benefits is a plus.

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