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5 Reasons Why You Should Buy Pet Insurance for Your Dog

Pet Insurance for Your Dog   by Janice Jones  |Last Updated 12/03/2020

Your dog is like a family member. You would do anything to ensure that your dog remains safe and healthy throughout her life.

But like humans, dogs fall ill too. You may not know what's causing the illness, and before you know it, the hospital slams you with a costly medical bill. It often comes as a surprise to many. Why does treatment for dogs cost so much? They are, after all, animals, and their treatment charges should be less than humans.

A small dog is wearing an Elizabethan collar.Pet Insurance for Your Dog Can Give You Peace of Mind

That's a misconception that many dog owners have. Instead of questioning why the treatment is so expensive, it's better to focus on why you should buy pet insurance for your dog.

Types of Pet Insurance for Dogs

There are three different types of pet insurance, accident, illness, and wellness. 

Accident Pet Insurance Plans

As it implies, accident insurance covers injuries caused by mishaps such as pulled ligaments, broken bones, lacerations, and bite wounds.  Costs to cover and treat accidents can mount up, especially if your dog has been hit by a car or attacked by another dog. 

Illness Pet Insurance Plans

Illness insurance covers typical illnesses seen in dogs from minor issues such as ear infections to more severe conditions such as cancer, urinary tract infections, and heart problems.   There are many diseases that pet insurance companies cover, such as diabetes and thyroid conditions.  Before deciding on a plan, be sure to see what is and what is not included.

Wellness or Preventative Care Plans

Wellness plans, also known as preventative care, are often offered by some insurance companies for an extra fee.  Those companies that do offer these plans do not provide them in all states. 

These services, if available, include routine puppy visits, vaccinations, spay/neuter operations, and heartworm preventative.  If this is something you would be interested in, you need to be sure the insurance company you choose offers these plans.  They may not be cost-effective for your situation.

If you think you may want to opt for a pet insurance plan for your dog, plan to join a program early in the life of your dog.  The older the dog gets, the more costly the deductibles and monthly fees. 

Furthermore, many if not all policies will not cover pre-existing conditions.  Puppies as young as 8 weeks are generally very health and do not have pre-existing conditions so you will never need to worry about this clause of the policy.

5 Reasons to Buy Pet Insurance for Your Dog

Here are a few smart reasons why purchase pet insurance is beneficial for you and your best friend:

1. Pick your veterinarian

For individual health insurance policies, you may need to visit the hospitals appointed by the insurance company. But that isn't how it works for pets. Suppose you take your dog to the nearest hospital for a checkup. The veterinarian there knows your dog's case history for years.

One day he falls sick, and you take her to the same hospital. You receive the treatment bills, and you submit them to the insurance company for reimbursement. The insurance company will pay you in some time. They won't ask why you chose that hospital.

It is a huge benefit because the veterinarian that treats your dog already knows her case history. It allows him to manage her quickly instead of going through the case files again. Imagine if you had to go to a pet hospital nominated by your insurance company. It would take so much longer to start the proper treatment.

2. Increases options for treatment

When you buy pet insurance for your dog, you don't have to compromise on her treatment. If the vet says that she requires prosthetic limbs after an accident, you wouldn't have to think about your bank balance before saying yes. Consider your dog as your kid. Would you want anything less than the best for your son or daughter? You wouldn't. Similarly, you wouldn't want to provide a substandard treatment to your dog because of budget constraints.

3. Offers peace of mind

It's sad when you see your dog suffer but can't do anything because you don't have enough money for the treatment. Buying pet insurance can save you the trouble of not being able to provide proper treatment to your dog. You can sleep peacefully, knowing that whatever happens to your dog, she will get the appropriate treatment to make her healthy all over again.

It is essential to get pet insurance as soon as you bring a dog home. The earlier you buy the coverage, the lower the premium you may have to pay. Moreover, it saves you a fortune in case your dog suffers an injury or becomes sick in the future.

4.  Allows you to budget more effectively

Most pet insurance policies offer an add on clause that allows you to elect a wellness plan.  These plans will cover many of the routine visits, vaccines, heartworm, and fecal testing.  Do read the fine print so you are sure this is what you would like to have. 

For example, many wellness plans add-ons will include annual exams, spay/neuter, flea treatments, and dental cleanings.  These can add up over the cost of the dog's life, but you will pay a premium for these services not typically included in a pet insurance policy. 

5.  Less risky than a pet saving plan

Many pet professionals will recommend that you open up a savings account for your dog.  You would then deposit a fixed amount in the account each month, say the amount you might pay a pet insurance company. 

Having savings to fall back on in the case of an emergency is always a good idea.  The problem comes in when an illness or emergency arises shortly after you start your savings plan. 

There won't be enough money in your account to cover the current expenses.  Since bank accounts typically yield you little in the way of interest, you are not investing, just stowing money away if you need it.

Which pet insurance plan is right for me?

There are many different companies offering pet insurance to dog owners and it pays to shop around for the plan that best meets your needs.  Pet insurance plans can be as complicated as their human counterparts so before you pick a plan consider these options.  What are your options?

  • Do you need low monthly premium?
  • Do you prefer a low deductible?
  • Does your plan need to cover accidents, illnesses, surgeries, prescription medications, hospital stays, and emergency care?
  • Will you need dental coverage? 
  • Percent of reimbursable costs
  • Can you manage yearly limits
  • Does the plan cover cats or other types of pets other than dogs?
  • Does the plan offer discounts for multiple pet households?

Since this is a long list of consideration, it is important to understand what options you have.  Bone up (no pun intended) on the most popular pet insurance companies and that they can and can not offer you.

Pin for Future Reference

Two dogs are running side by side down a path.Pet Health insurance for Your Dog (Pin)

Last Words

It is essential to get pet insurance as soon as you bring a dog home. The earlier you buy the coverage, the lower the premium you may have to pay. Moreover, it saves you a fortune in case your dog suffers an injury or becomes sick in the future. 

There are definite advantages in investing in pet insurance, the most important one being peace of mind.  You don't want to be left in a situation where you must euthanize your beloved dog because you can't pay for his care.

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About Janice (author and voice behind this site)

Having lived with dogs and cats most of her life, Janice served as a veterinary technician for ten years in Maryland and twelve years as a Shih Tzu dog breeder in Ohio.

Her education includes undergraduate degrees in Psychology with a minor in biology, Early Childhood Education, and Nursing, and a master's in Mental Health Counseling.

She is a lifelong learner, a dog lover, and passionate about the welfare of animals. Her favorite breed for over 50 years has been the Shih Tzu, but she has also lived with poodles, Maltese, Yorkshire Terriers, beagles, English bulldogs, carin terriers, and a Cocker Spaniel.

When not writing, reading, and researching dog-related topics, she likes to spend time with her eight Shih Tzu dogs, husband, and family, as well as knitting and crocheting. She is also the voice behind Miracle Shih Tzu and Smart-Knit-Crocheting

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