This Week's Herman Trend Alert

HR in Normal 2.0

  The Herman Trend Alert

April 2, 2003

Pet Care Moves to a New Level

We've talked about pets in previous editions of the Herman Trend Alert (November 21, 2000 and July 22, 1998). Pets are important to people. They provide comfort, companionship, and an opportunity to care for another creature. However, care of pets can also be expensive. Veterinary bills, kennel costs, and pharmaceutical expenses can be at least as expensive as the routine care of a child.

In our book, "Lean & Meaningful," we described how some companies encourage employees to bring their pets to work. Other employers pay up to $100 annually toward veterinary bills and some pay for kennel care when employees are sent out of town. We continue to see evidence that people have a strong relationship with their pets, and that commercial enterprises are taking advantage of this fact.

Pet Assure ( provides a comprehensive pet care insurance package. While individuals can purchase the coverage, the provider encourages employers to offer the package as an employee benefit. Covered owners simply present their Pet Assure identification card at thousands of participating merchants and service providers and receive discounts of up to 30 percent on purchases including pet food, supplies, boarding, grooming, sitting, training, treats, toys, kitty litter, and vitamins.

Another purveyor,, is an on-line store offering prescription and non-prescription medications. Even natural homeopathics are available, along with vaccines and pet supplies. This company has recently partnered with so you can purchase what you need for your pet at the same place you purchase pharmaceuticals for yourself.

Did we get your attention with the mention of homeopathic remedies for pets? To get a sense of where this trend might be going, visit The holistic care of animals includes homeopathy, acupuncture, chiropractic, and nutrition.

What does the future hold? Watch for services available for humans to be made available for pets, internationally. At you can create a memorial for your pet on-line. Thirty bereaved pet owners have already have taken advantage of this unique opportunity on a website that can be translated into Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, and Spanish. Can you see the global approach?

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