We all want the best for our pets. It’s relatively easy (and fun) to provide our furry friends with meals, exercise, and snuggles on a regular basis, but that’s not all that goes into quality pet care. We have to think about the not-so-fun stuff, too—in this case, pet insurance.
Pet insurance may be the last thing you want to think about, especially when you’re already adding up your other pet expenses. Do you really want to spend $50 or so per pet each month for something you’re not really sure you’ll need?
The important reality is that pet insurance could potentially save your dog’s life. Learn more about the importance of pet health insurance and how to choose the best dog insurance plan for your pooch.
What is Pet Insurance?
Like human health insurance, dog health insurance is a monthly financial investment that ensures that your pet has health coverage for major to minor accidents and illnesses.
Unlike human health insurance, pet health insurance plans are generally reimbursement plans. This means that you would typically pay the initial bill upfront, requesting an itemized receipt to send to the insurance company along with a claim form in order to get reimbursed.
There are a number of pet health insurance providers to choose from, so be sure to do plenty of research before enrolling your dog in a coverage plan.
Is Pet Insurance Necessary?
When you break down the costs of dog health insurance, it may seem like a lot of money each month for something you’re not sure you’ll need. That’s exactly the point, though—you can’t predict an accident or emergency.
If your dog happens to need emergency surgery or is diagnosed with an unexpected illness, pet insurance will come in handy. No one wants to have to turn down care for their pet because they can’t afford the bills. With pet insurance coverage, you can be prepared for the worst while expecting the best.
That being said, don’t wait to see if your pooch has health issues before deciding to enroll in a dog insurance plan. This is especially important because pre-existing conditions are generally not covered by insurance providers. For example, if your furry friend develops a chronic ear issue before he’s covered by insurance, any of those uncovered ear-related vet costs will have to come from your own pocket.
If you choose to enroll Fido in a dog insurance plan, do it as early to get coverage for as many health conditions as possible. When it comes down to it, you want the option to choose the care that’s best for your pet—not just the most affordable.
Choosing the Right Insurance Plan for Your Pet
There’s no simple answer when it comes to health coverage for your canine. Every dog has different health needs, and every pet owner has a different budget.
Some breeds are more prone to health issues than others; some health insurance providers will not provide coverage for specific pets or breeds. Talk to your vet about your dog’s health needs and research your coverage options. Your vet may be able to recommend the best dog insurance plan for your pup based on their assessment of his health.
Most dog insurance is broken down into three categories:
Accident-Only: This type of insurance provides coverage for incidents such as torn ligaments, broken bones, bite wounds, poisoning, and other emergencies. If your dog is generally healthy and you want a more affordable option, this may be the right plan for you.
- Accident & Illness: This type of insurance covers conditions such as skin problems, allergies, illnesses, and other health issues. It’s best to get this type of coverage as early as possible, as many companies will limit coverage as your pet ages and takes on more pre-existing conditions.
- Wellness: Wellness coverage typically covers preventative care including annual exams, vaccinations, routine testing, and flea & tick treatments. This type of coverage is not always offered by providers or may only be available as an add-on to one of the above-mentioned plans, so depending on the company you enroll with, these costs may need to be out of your own pocket.
The right plan for your pet depends on his existing health conditions, breed, genetics, and lifestyle… not to mention your budget and priorities as his owner.
Of course, even if you have the best dog insurance plan, you’ll still want to do what you can to keep your pet as healthy as possible and avoid any extra vet visits. Feed your pup a well-balanced, nutrient-rich diet, and provide him with plenty of mental health support and physical exercise as part of his low-stress lifestyle.
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