Is Pet Insurance Worth Getting for Your Dog?

Is Pet Insurance Worth Getting for Your Dog?

Whether getting a brand new puppy, an older rescue dog or inheriting a relative’s pup, with all the exciting energy floating around, pet insurance may not be one of the first things on your mind. If you are wondering if dog insurance is worth it, then this is a good article to read as a starting point. Let’s look into the main reasons to consider dog insurance, the average veterinary costs for a dog and some common canine illnesses that your dog could encounter. 

A simple vet visit for a regular checkup may be an expense you can easily pay out-of-pocket, but what happens when while you weren’t looking Fido ate a sock or if Rover get’s into an accident? How does pet insurance even work? We’re not experts and we highly recommend doing some research to find a pet insurance company that you can question in detail, but let’s go over the basics. 

For the most part, dog insurance plans work a lot like car insurance — they help you pay for unexpected veterinary costs, expensive treatments, surgeries, and life-saving emergency care. In most cases, rather than paying the vet directly, your insurer pays you a reimbursement after you pay for initial vet costs. The average cost of unexpected vet care for dogs can run anywhere between $800 and $1,500. Some treatments, surgeries, and procedures can even cost thousands of dollars and unfortunately, statistically 1 in 3 pets will need emergency veterinary care each year. So think about this carefully and consider all your options! 

As we know, dogs become members of our family, but they’re still costly. The average cost for caring for one can reach $1,500 a year alone for basic needs. (Something to consider before taking home a furry friend!) Your dog needs the recommended nutritional food (hey, hi! *wink*), a leash and collar, toys, grooming, etc. Dont forget one-time expenses like training or boarding can easily add another $500-$1,000 in the mix and that does not include any unanticipated health expenses, which are on the rise as the cost of vet care increases. 

According to the ASPCA here are the most common chronic health conditions that dogs may develop: 

Breathing difficulties : small-breed dogs and dogs with short noses, can require emergency trips to the vet. 

Arthritis : common in older dogs, especially larger breeds. 

Hypothyroidism : especially in large dogs, should be treated with medication in order to prevent more serious complications. 

Benign skin growths : Surgeries under local or general anesthesia can exceed $1,000.

These conditions aside, we know that healthy pets can unexpectedly get sick or injured. If your dog socializes with other dogs or plays at dog parks, he or she may be at risk. Though an issue may only happen once, treatments can get costly. 

Kennel cough : $300 for antibiotics 

Canine parvovirus : $500 to $2,000 per dose 

Ringworm: $100 for medication 

Pancreatitis : $200 to $1,000 per episode 

Ear infections : Up to $800 for diagnosis and meds 

Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) : Up to $600 or more for diagnosis and treatment Orthopedic problems : Up to $986 or more for diagnosis and treatment 

*Source: (https://www.cbsnews.com/media/10-common-pet-health-problems-and-how-much-they-cost/) 

Even if the costs of some of the treatment for the illnesses listed above seem affordable, other illnesses and injuries can cost thousands of dollars to treat. (We’ve been there, and let us tell you, it’s not funny. $$$) The purpose of this article is not to deter anyone from getting a dog and many of these illnesses or injuries are uncommon but it’s safest to assume your dog will need some type of major treatment or operation once during their lifetime. These types of expenses can be difficult for most people to pay for and with a pet insurance plan, you’ll end up paying a fraction of the bills you could potentially run into. 

Ultimately, insurance gives you peace of mind. Even on routine vet visits you can go in with confidence knowing you’ve got a coverage for anything unexpected. If worse comes to worse and your dog needs lifesaving care, you won’t have to worry about whether you can afford treatment or not and likewise, you won’t have to make the impossible decision of whether or not you must euthanize your pet because you can’t afford the necessary care. Emergencies aside, If your pet is born with a congenital illness like heart disease or cataracts, you can shop for a pet insurance plan that covers those as well. 

Whether you’re a new dog parent or you’re just starting to explore your pet insurance options, you’ll want the best for your furry friend. Getting the right pet health insurance will help ensure your dog always gets affordable care and in our opinion it’s definitely worth it!

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