BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Walmart Inc. is doubling down on pet products and services.

“Today, we’re announcing three ways we’re making it easier than ever to access quality pet care at great prices, including introducing our first online pet pharmacy for prescription medications; offering a more wholesome assortment of pet foods; and expanding in-store veterinary clinics,” said Kieran Shanahan, senior VP of retail for food, consumables, health and wellness with Walmart US e-commerce.

Noting that 68% of US households own a pet, and 90% of Americans live within 10 miles of a Walmart store, Shanahan said Walmart plans to expand its in-store retail veterinary clinics in late May and June with a goal of reaching 100 veterinary clinics over the next 12 months.

Walmart also has its sights set on the growing market for pet products such as medicines and dog food. The retailer has added more than 100 new pet brands over the last year. The natural pet foods alone represent the fastest growing segment of the $30 billion pet food market. To capitalize on this trend, Walmart is now offering more premium and health-conscious brands like Blue Buffalo, Greenies and Hill’s Science Diet.

“We’ve also developed more premium and ‘free-from’ options with our private label brands, Pure Balance, Golden Rewards and Vibrant Life, which offer premium ingredients, like farm-raised chicken, at three-fourths the price,” the company said.

And for those “pet parents” who fill their pet prescriptions at Walmart, the company said it will stock the top 30 most-requested medicines at its 4,500 pharmacies.

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