Companies feature pet insurance in benefits packages

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Though unemployment rates have climbed to their highest levels in over 15 years, competition remains fierce for growing business in the U.S. While standard benefits packages help companies draw and retain top talent within their field, some businesses are beginning to offer pet healthcare as an added incentive.

As many owners complain about the expenses of veterinary pet care, large corporations like Google, Disney, AOL, Home Depot and eBay are offering insurance plans for their employees’ dogs and cats, the Associated Press reports.

“We do offer voluntary pet insurance as one of our benefits,” Google spokesman Jordan Newman told the news source.

He added, “Google is committed to helping our employees lead healthier lives, and we try to support personal well-being in a number of ways.”

According to David Lummis, a market specialist at the research firm Packaged Facts, more than one million U.S. households currently have a pet insurance plan – a figure that is double the number in 2002.

The American Veterinary Medical Association reports that the average dog-owning household spent $356 on their pets in 2007.

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