Pet Insurance for Your Dog: What to Expect

Dog Insurance

Finding yourself at the animal hospital at 3 a.m., when your beloved double-coated dog is pawing at you in distress, and you having no idea what’s wrong is stressful enough. In fact it’s so stressful you’re willing to pay pretty much anything to make them better again.

Pet owners face a dilemma when it comes to giving their pets the most reliable veterinary care. We all adore our dogs and want them to live the healthiest and happiest days possible, but many times we have to make difficult choices because of the high price of veterinary care. Sadly, double-coated dogs get ill, and accidents happen.

Wouldn’t it be better when these unexpected, unfortunate situations happen, if you could make the choices regarding your pet’s health without thinking of the financial requirements the care will entail?

But the good news is… you can, with dog insurance.

Here’s a breakdown to help you decide ‘Is dog insurance really worth it?’

Pet insurance is a relatively new concept that is becoming more and more popular as pet owners are learning more about its value. How does pet insurance operate? Pet insurance is much the same as the regular health insurance we all have. Every provider will have different processes and methods, but mostly, all pet insurance providers have a similar structure. Unlike health insurance for their owners— where you pay an ‘out-of-pocket’ periodic payment— Dog insurance is largely a process of reimbursement.

‘You will need to pay the full insurance cost up front’

However this cost then gets reimbursed. This also means you need to have the funds available when taking up the insurance.

How it works is once your veterinary fees for a year exceeds your deductible, your pet insurance provider will meet the remainder of your bill. With pet insurance, if your puppy suddenly needs an $800 surgery, you no longer have to calculate before deciding if you can afford to spend the substantial sum to pay your veterinary bill. 

Instead, you would spend up to your deductible, and your pet insurance provider takes care of the balance. The amount paid will, of course, vary depending on the insurance payout limits your provider is likely to have.

You may be imagining that there is a hidden catch… there isn’t. However, it is essential to know precisely what your pet insurance will cover. 

So, here’s a quick guide to help you understand the things dog insurance covers, and the things that it doesn’t.

What Dog Insurance Does Cover

A typical misconception about pet insurance is that it’s too limiting in its coverage. While pet insurance doesn’t meet every pet-related item you can think of, it covers a lot of the important stuff. It typically includes:

  • Illnesses: As dog owners recognize all too well, an illness for your pet can happen suddenly. Whether your dog is facing digestive issues or if they are looking too tired, your dog’s condition is covered by the insurance.
  • Accidents: There are few times more nerve-wracking in raising a pet than when they experience an accident. With dog insurance, you’re able to think solely of your pets’ well-being, as accidents are covered.
  • Preventive and Wellness Care: There’s a whole list of things you can do for your dog that will limit the likelihood that they require veterinary care. Preventative care is covered by pet insurance, so your double-coated dogs can take advantage of annual examinations, vaccinations, de-worming, dental cleanings, and more.
  • Chronic Conditions: Chronic conditions are conditions like allergies, diabetes, and cancer. With insurance, your dog is covered and can receive medication for these chronic diseases unless they are pre-existing.
  • Some Behavioral & Alternative Care: Some insurance companies and plans will extend coverage for your double-coated dog to receive behavioural and alternative therapy. These often require examinations, testing, and medication, which are also covered.
Dog Insurance

What Pet Insurance Doesn’t Cover

As you learned above, dog insurance covers a whole lot of pet-related expenses. There are however, a few things that pet insurance won’t cover. They include:

  • Inhumane Treatment: As troubling, sad, and challenging as it is to comprehend, dogs (and other animals) can be mistreated and abused by their owners. Pet insurance providers do not cover injuries induced by mistreatment. They are also illegal. If you see or hear someone is mistreating their pet, you should report them to the relevant authorities for the protection of the pet.
  • Pre-existing Conditions: As is the case with many health insurance plans for people, pre-existing conditions are not covered by pet insurance providers. If a vet has diagnosed your pet before purchasing insurance, any expenses associated with that diagnosis may not be covered. Some pre-existing ailments are treated separately than others. If your pet has a pre-existing condition, consult with your vet and your provider for eligibility. Several providers will have different wording and waiting periods for when a prior diagnosis is no longer considered to be pre-existing.
  • Breed-specific Conditions: Speak to your vet to get an idea about your pet’s possible breed-specific health concerns, and ask them which insurance they’d advise. If you choose catastrophic coverage (usually the ideal cost-to-savings alternative), go for the highest deductible you are able to afford.
  • Age Limits: Many providers do not offer plans for a dog under the age of 6 weeks and after 8 years of age. It is best to ask specific providers for their different criteria.

Is Pet Insurance Right For You?

Can you afford a $1,500 vet bill? Medical care for pets, including emergency care, diagnostic tests, and treatment alternatives, is growing increasingly more refined and more expensive. So perhaps a small monthly payment plan would put your mind at ease in case an emergency pops up. You’ll live a happier, stress free life furnished with the certainty that you’ll be able to give your pet the care they need in case an unforeseen illness or accident happens. 

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