Having a pet is a great experience, but it can also be a costly one. When you got your puppy you may have thought that your only costs would be in the way of food and toys, but you might find out rather quickly that one of the biggest costs of dog ownership comes in the form of veterinary care. Just how much does vet care cost for dogs?
|Share This Graphic:||<a href=http://kimspets.com/><img src=http://kimspets.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/infographicdogcare.png>|
In the above graphic you can see some of the types of things that dogs often require treatment for. These prices are estimates based on various quotes, but you should keep in mind that the price depends on your location. A health facility is totally free to charge whatever price they feel their services are worth. Is any of this making you suddenly want to watch your dog like a hawk? It may seem like these would be rare events, but that’s not the case. A foreign body removal might be one of the most common problems on the list, because dogs are experts at eating things that they aren’t suppose to! Even if your dog is being a good boy, and he’s only chewing on his bones or toys if a piece comes loose and gets lodged in his throat or hung up in his intestinal tract you’re off to the vet for a pricey removal. While pet health is not something that most parents want to think about the reality is that it doesn’t take much to end up at the emergency vet’s office. How can you protect yourself? These days it’s easy to get animal insurance for dogs that is quite affordable. Cheap pet insurance is readily available for pet parents who are ready to spend some time looking for it. While for many dog owners this seems an unnecessary expense the opposite may be true. Is dog insurance worth the money? I think the image above speaks for itself.
You may feel like that your dog won’t suffer any health problems, especially if they are young. The problem is that pet insurance for older dogs in comparison is either completely unavailable or much, much more expensive. If your dog is over the age of around five to seven years old most pet insurance companies will not cover them at all. Insurance companies of all kinds are their to protect their own investment, which means limiting how much they will have to pay out to their clients. If though, you had insured your dog before this age you can get life long pet insurance. That means that their health will be protected for the rest of their life as long as you continue to pay the policy. The terms of the policy can’t be changed after the fact to exclude them.
If you’re the owner of a pure breed dog it could be even more important to insure your pup. The American Kennel Club has a big list of required health testing for dog breeds for good reason. It’s because these dogs are very prone to these types of disorders! This can include a lot of different congenital diseases or defects that could have the ability to pop up at any time during your dog’s life. Whether you have a bulldog that’s prone to respiratory issues, a German Shepherd that’s known for hip dysplasia, or Great Danes who can acquire Dilated cardiomyopathy, a not uncommon heart disease this particular breed is known for. A proper policy that features life cover insurance for dogs will protect you and your dog in the event of one of these problems popping up, but you have to get a policy before it happens. If you discover this disease before getting a policy you’ll be shut out under most insurance company’s pre-existing condition clause.
Is There Any Pet Insurance That Covers Pre Existing Conditions?
I’ve yet to find any policy that will cover pre existing conditions in dogs. A pet insurance pre existing condition policy if available would most likely be prohibitively expensive. It’s just not in an insurance company’s best interest to take on a policy that guarantees they will have to pay out. It’s a big loss for them, and none of them want to take it on. The only available option in this case is through a “discount program”. While these are not really insurance policies they do offer discounted veterinary care through their partners, and you can typically save around 25% on your dog’s medical bills. If your dog already has a serious medical condition like cancer or heart disease this is most likely your only option for any help with their care. If your dog has a pre existing condition that is curable then you might still be able to get coverage for it at a later date. Typically if this is the case there will be a waiting period before your dog will be able to get treatment if it happens again. This period is typically around 180 days.
Where Can I Get Dog Insurance?
If you’re interested in insuring your dog there are a lot of options available. You can try searching for your state in google for things like “dog insurance nj” or “dog insurance ma”, but most providers will cover all states in the country. A lot of these companies are also online, and it’s easy to get insurance quotes for dogs from the comfort of your sofa. The best pet insurance for dogs in California is likely to come from the same provider as one from another state. Your policy can be affected by your location so it might be wise to seek multiple quotes before making a decision. Does your home state have a high cost of living? It’s likely that your veterinary care costs more to compensate. The insurance companies will know this, and you might end up paying more for your policy than someone from a state with a lower cost of living.
How Much Does It Cost To Insure A Dog?
Fortunately, insurance for dogs is much cheaper than insurance for humans. It’s possible to insure your dog with a premium policy that covers everything you’ll ever need for less than $30 per month with a plan like one from the providers we’ll be going over in a minute. There are a few things that effect the cost of your pet’s insurance premiums. Some of them you can change, and others you won’t be able to do much about unfortunately. The average cost of pet insurance will depend a lot on these factors. Let’s take a look!
Your Dog’s Age
A younger dog will always be cheaper to insure than an older dog. Why? They need less health care. The older your dog gets the more likely it is that he will need medical treatment. Insuring your dog at a young age can lock you into a plan that can protect him for life, and you could get a better deal on your premiums as well.
Where You Live
The costs of every service and commodity vary by location. Veterinary care is no exception. If you live in an area with a very high cost of living then services will try to compensate by raising their prices. If you live in a high priced neighborhood you can expect to pay more for everything, and that includes your insurance policies. There’s not much you can do about this one unless you’re keen to move.
Your Policy Coverage
How much coverage do you want? What’s your deductible look like? All of these items can effect the price of your policy. Look over the option carefully. If there’s something you don’t really need you might be able to drop the price a little bit. For example, if you only want this insurance in case of a major accident such as a broken limb or a debilitating disease like cancer you could get a plan that does not include routine visits or wellness. This would protect you from major expenses, but you’d be responsible for smaller medical costs.
Insure Multiple Dogs Under The Same Policy
Do you have more than one dog? You’re in luck, because many insurers will give you a discount if your have an insurance policy for all of them. Pet insurance for 3 dogs will most of the time net you a discount verses the price an owner with only one dog would pay.
The Top Rated Pet Insurance Plans
Now that we know what pet insurance is you might be wondering what is best pet insurance for dogs? To answer that question you need to first ask what type of policy you’re looking for. The best of anything depends on your individual situation. Do you need pet insurance with preventative care? Are you looking for life long pet insurance that your dog can use forever? Or just cheap pet insurance for dogs to cover only serious accidents and illnesses? Once you’ve identified your reasons for seeking coverage it’ll be much easier for you to choose a plan that will provide a good balance between price and coverage for your pup. Below you’ll find reviews for the top rated pet insurance plans. We’ll compare all of the pet insurance plans including the pros and cons of each provider that you should be aware of so you can make an informed purchase. When seeking insurance quotes for dogs, keep in mind that it’s important to obtain multiple quotes to get the best price based on your situation.
Healthy Paws Pet Insurance Reviews
Best Lifetime Benefit Dog Insurance
Healthy paws is a relatively new player in the pet insurance scene, but they’ve gathered a lot of attention very quickly, and for good reason! Pet parents everywhere have been enamored with the level of service from the Healthy Paws team, and the ease of filing a claim. When you’re experiencing a stressful health problem with your dog it’s always a relief to be able to have your claim go through quickly and easily without a lengthy fight with an insurance company.
Above you can see the Healthy Paws app which is available for both iPhone and Android devices or you can even use it on your tablet. Your pet(s) will be registered in the app, and they’ll have their own sections. All you need to do to file a claim is to select the right pet, and then upload pictures of the invoices you get from your vet. You can easily take pictures of these with your camera. Then you submit your claim, and Healthy Paws should re-imburse you within 7-10 business days. It could be as short as 72 hours if you have an easy to handle claim. Alternatively, you can also submit your claim through the website if you don’t want to or can’t use the available smart phone apps. This is probably the most convenient option available in the world of pet insurance, and it’s certainly a breath of fresh air, but what does Healthy Paws cover? Let’s take a look at their coverage chart.
Healthy Paws only has one coverage plan. So, if you were looking to cut out some things there’s not really an option to do it here. If you want to be prepared for absolutely everything then Healthy Paws offers a very good service. If you’re interested in a policy that covers preventative care they don’t do that, so keep that in mind. Though routine vet visits are typically the cheapest of expenses you can have, and they’re not a big deal to handle yourself. Their plans also offer life time coverage so no matter what happens once your dog is insured he’s insured for life. This is very valuable if you have a dog that you are concerned for his health in the future. Perhaps you know that one of this dog’s parents had a medical condition or they belong to a breed that’s prone to a serious ailment, a life cover policy like this is a great way to protect yourself against disaster!
While you’re totally covered anywhere you go in the United States you should be aware that Healthy Paws will not cover your dog if they are injured outside the country. While the amount of people who travel internationally with their dogs is probably slim, I feel this should be pointed out. If you’re looking for a plan that will cover you internationally this one is not it. They do have an exception where they will provide limited coverage in Canada, but your travel time is severely limited.
Healthy paws does provide some very good coverage. Especially if you’re taking the long haul method of keeping an insurance policy for the life of your pet. They have an unlimited lifetime benefits offer with no limit on your claims. They also feature an annual deductible instead of a “per incident” model that some insurance companies will use to try not to pay out as much. They also will pay for alternative care treatments which are becoming more and more popular as pet parents seek out more natural remedies for their pet’s ailments instead of treatments that might have unknown after effects.
Healthy Paws Pet Insurance Pros
- Covers all emergency care (Emergency vet visits, after hours care)
- X-Rays and Blood work (All tests used to determine medical status of injuries/illness)
- Surgery (Amputation, removal of growths, other surgical work)
- Hospitalization (Includes fees associated with overnight boarding)
- Specialty Care (Anything requiring a specialist)
- Hereditary Conditions (Anything your animal was born with. but not known about)
- Cancer (All care involved in treatment of cancer in animals)
- Diagnostic Treatment (Biopsies or other tests)
- Chronic Conditions (Parvo, kidney disease, ect.)
- Prescription Medication (anti-biotics, pain medications, or other treatments)
- Accidents (Broken limbs or other injuries)
- Illnesses (diabetes, hyper activity, ect.)
- Congenital Conditions (Heart conditions, spinal deformities, ect.)
- Ultrasounds (Non-invasive for obstructions or pregnancy)
- Alternative Treatments (Accupuncture, massage, homeopathic therapy, ect.)
- No Claim Limits and Has Lifetime Benefits
Healthy Paws Pet Insurance Cons
- Doesn’t cover pre-existing conditions (Anything your dog has previously been treated for)
- Doesn’t cover vaccinations (Standard rabbies and other vaccinations required regularly by law)
- Doesn’t cover spay/neuter (This is not included in their care plan)
- Doesn’t cover preventative care (Check ups, vet visit, ect.)
- Only covers cats and dogs (No other animals covered)
- Only covers care within the United States (If you travel abroad it will not cover anything.)
- Doesn’t cover pets over 5 years old
Embrace Pet Insurance
Most Comprehensive Pet Insurance Plans
While Embrace and Healthy Paws share a lot of the same qualities. There’s also some key differences that may affect your decision when choosing an insurance plan for your dog. While Healthy Paws mostly focuses on large accidents and disease, Embrace will also help you with the smaller bills! This insurance provider covers office visits, wellness and routine care which is an area where our previous entry was severely lacking. Let’s take a look at their chart.
While Healthy Paws provides zero coverage for office visits, wellness or routine care, you can expect Embrace to pick up the bill for you. If you anticipate a lot of vet visits or check ups this could be a welcome helping hand. If your dog gets sick a lot it could be important for you. They also interestingly enough cover behavioral care which seems to be rare for insurance policies. If you have a dog with severe behavioral problems that requires medication or therapy you’re good to go with Embrace.
The next big difference is with the way they handle billing. With Embrace your deductible is calculated first. With Healthy Paws your co-pay happens before everything. With the way Embrace handles your claim you could save a significant amount of money. Especially if you have a lot of small claims they can add up fast. This might happen if you have an illness or injury that needs repeat office visits to your vet for treatment, therapy, or check ups.
Embrace Pet Insurance Pros
- Covers Breed-specific conditions
- Covers Cancer treatment
- Covers Diagnostic testing and imaging (e.g. X-ray, ultrasound, MRI)
- Covers Prosthetic limbs and devices including mobility aids
- Covers Surgery, hospitalization, and nursing care
- Covers Alternative therapies and rehabilitation
- Covers ER & specialist care
- Covers Prescription Drug Coverage
- Covers Behavioral therapy
- Covers Pets For Life
- Covers Pet up to 14 years old!
Embrace Pet Insurance Cons
- Doesn’t Cover Pre-existing Conditions
- Doesn’t Cover Anything Related To Pregnancy
- Doesn’t Cover Injury From Other Pets In Your Home
- Doesn’t Cover Cosmetic Procedures Such As tail docking or Ear Cropping
- Doesn’t Cover DNA testing
- Doesn’t Cover Organ Transplants
- Doesn’t Cover Stem Cell Therapy Not Deemed Medically Necessary
- Doesn’t Cover Avian Flu
- Doesn’t Cover Treatment For An Illness Related To The Teeth And/Or Gums
- Has Annual Claim Limits That Limit Your Policy’s Benefits
Embrace has a much smaller list of exclusions than Healthy Paws does. Their plans have the benefit of providing much more comprehensive care. They’re also one of the few providers of pet insurance for older dogs. While most pet insurance companies will completely cut you off once your dog reaches age five that’s not the case with Embrace. You can get insurance for dogs as old as 14 years which is probably the best offer of any pet insurance company in the industry. If you have an older dog than this may be the only option for you. Though I’m sure that to insure a dog at this age you can expect a much heftier price tag. You can expect to pay a little more for Embrace than for Healthy Paws, but they offer a lot more care. That might actually make them a better deal in the long run. Keep in mind that Embrace does have annual claim limits. You’ll have to select how much coverage you want, and if you exceed that amount in a calendar year your policy will no longer pay for your dog’s care.
Pet Premium Pet Insurance
Cheapest Pet Insurance Plans
If you’re looking for more plan options that might allow you to get a better price then Pet Premium might be a good option. They offer both an accidents only plan, and a complete coverage plan. If you only need essential accident and illness coverage for you dog in the case of hidden disease or protection for a pup who likes to play rough then this is a good option. Their accident only plans are much more affordable than our other two options, and they can be as little as $11 per month for younger dogs. Total coverage is available for around $25 per month which makes Pet Premium the cheapest option on our review list, but how does their coverage stack up?
Here’s the coverage breakdown for Pet Premium Pet insurance. The best thing about this insurer is that they offer a lot of options. If you choose the accidents only plan you’ll lose some coverage, but you’ll save a lot of money. Using their quote engine, this plan starts at a little over $10 per month which is a huge savings over comparable plans if you’d like to have pet insurance, but you don’t really have the budget for a more comprehensive plan. If you go this route you’ll be covered for on going conditions, accidents, alternative therapy, and you can optionally purchase preventative care. This policy will cover your dog for broken limbs, removal of ingested objects, poison ingestion, and more items that fall under the “accident list”. Keep in mind that this plan does not cover any illnesses or hereditary conditions.
Their second plan is more expensive, but still the cheapest insurance coverage on our list for your pup. You’ll be able to get most of the coverage offered by other comparable plans, but this policy does have claim limits. When selecting a policy you’ll be able to choose an annual coverage limit between $2,500 or unlimited. Choosing the unlimited option will raise even the accident only plan to over $25 per month. If you want unlimited claims then one of the other options may turn out to be cheaper. If you don’t feel you’ll need that much coverage then you have the option to save a lot with this provider by accepting an annual care limit. You can also play with the deductible, and the reimbursement level. This allows you to control all aspects of your policy to find the best compromise between price and coverage that will suit your needs.
What will be most attractive about this insurance provider is that they will cover dogs of any age. This is unheard of in the world of pet insurance, but Pet Premium claims to put no limits on your dogs age. Unfortunately, this is going to cost you, a lot. I did a test quote for a dog of 16 years old, and the premium for the plan came out to $81 per month! If your dog is under 14 years old then Embrace might offer you a better deal. If your dog is older than that it might not be worth the cost to insure them unfortunately, because the premiums will be exorbitant.
Pet Premium Pet Insurance Pros
- Covers Dogs Of Any Age
- Most Budget Friendly Pet Insurance Provider
- Many Different Options For Plans You Can Customize
- Covers Accidents Like Broken Limbs or Ingestion Of Foreign Items
- Covers Illness or Diseases Like Cancer
- Covers On Going Conditions
- Covers Hereditary Conditions
- Covers Congenital Conditions
- Covers Alternative Therapies
- Covers Behavioral Treatment
- Optional Preventative Care Plans Available
Pet Premium Pet Insurance Cons
- Doesn’t Cover Pre-existing Conditions
- Doesn’t Cover Things Like Tail Cropping Or Ear Docking
- Doesn’t Cover Any Dental Related Treatments
- Has Annual Coverage Limits
- Older Pet Coverage Can Be Expensive
Most Comprehensive Plans Best No Limits Coverage Best Budget Plans