Dogs are family; we give them birthday presents and a family portrait is not complete if they are not included in the picture. They are part of our life and influence our decisions in terms of the car we drive, the house we live in, the places we go on vacation to, and so on.
Both pet pawrents, as well as those who are thinking about having a pet, share the same fears that keep the latter hesitating and the shelters plenty of adoptable fur babies waiting for their forever homes. At the top of dog ownership barriers are veterinary expenses, because any responsible pet parent knows that an active lifestyle, a healthy diet, and regular veterinary visits will help their babies live longer and happier.
Regular checkups and vaccinations costs can be easily assessed and will vary depending on the dog’s characteristics, health condition, and age. However, pet owners’ main concerns are the costs involved with emergency visits, accidental injuries, surgery, and the management of age-related health conditions that could arise in a senior pet. The reason being that these are unpredictable, and the vet bill is always more than expected.
Pet insurance will cover the unexpected costs of emergency care by reimbursing the owner the total or a percentage of the cost of the care that the pet received. It offers pet parents the opportunity to customize the coverage by choosing the level of co-insurance, therefore managing health expenses with fixed payments.
Advantages of Pet Insurance
When considering the average veterinary costs of the most common conditions that healthy dogs and cats experience along their life, you are looking at a minimum of $250. If you search amongst the broad variety of plans offered by different pet insurance companies, you will find a wide range of monthly rates for each type of coverage available. Even though most pet insurance customers spend around $30 -$50 monthly, you can still find pet plans below $10/month.
Pet insurance offers financial protection in cases where your dog needs emergency care. As with humans health insurance, when the unpredictable arises, your peace of mind and the confidence that your pet will receive the best treatment for healing and recovering are priceless.
Most pets will visit the emergency room at least one time. The reason that makes pets require urgent care are varied and goes from acute conditions such as food poisoning, allergic reactions, and accidental injuries to emergencies derived from chronic conditions like a diabetic seizure.
For your pet
Buying pet health insurance allows you to give your pets the care they deserve at an affordable price. The peace of mind insurance provides allows you to take fast action to get your pets the health services they need, thanks to its prepaid quality, and thus possibly prevent future health problems. Having your pet regularly screened for potencial health issues, rather than only for healing or recovering, is certainly the type of preventive care that we want for all our loved ones.
Genetics and other intrinsic characteristics are determinants of a pet’s susceptibility to certain illnesses. Knowledge of these determinants and regular checkups can allow for better health management, reducing painful complications and the chances of needing emergency care.
For instance, if you know that your dog is prone to suffering from arthritis, you can give them supplements, helping them reduce their susceptibly to contracting this condition or mitigate its effects.
Preventive medicine is crucial to ensuring that your pet will be healthier during their senior years.
Well-informed dog parents that care about protecting their pets from diseases or injuries can do so by helping reduce the effects of aging. Thus, we have put together a list of resources that provide information about:
- the most common disorders that affect senior dogs;
- the scientific and medicinal advances aimed at reversing or delaying aging;
- the most effective anti-aging supplements and treatments for senior dogs; and
- the perfect nutrition and exercise plan for optimal health.
Types of Pet Insurance
Pet insurance companies diversify their offers through two main categories of insurance: non-lifetime and lifetime. They offer different plans with coverage for different situations and procedures.
- Non-lifetime: the coverage includes all veterinary expenses during the course of a policy year. However, a claimed condition may be excluded from the policy upon renewal.
- Lifetime: it covers the costs associated with a condition throughout the pet’s lifetime. The amount covered and the timeframe during which the expenses can be claimed could be limited per condition. Thus, once the maximum amount or the time limit has been reached, the condition will no longer be covered. Even though this coverage can be expensive, it is well suited for long-term, ongoing conditions, such as arthritis or diabetes.
An accident-only plan for your pet will cover any treatment and procedure required solely in the event of an accident, but will not cover the treatment for diseases.
A comprehensive coverage plan could include routine visits, preventive treatments like vaccinations, deworming, and flea treatments, dental care, alternative veterinary practices and, in some cases, prescriptions drugs. Elective coverage for lost pet recovery, accidental pet death, and procedures like spay/neuter may also be available.
In many cases pets with existing illnesses are not covered. Excluded health conditions vary by company, policy, and could be breed specific. In other cases, the coverage may be subject to review of the pet’s medical history before a final plan is offered.
However, some other insurance companies include coverage for pre-existing conditions, which allow for pets to be insured faster and reduce the costs of care for senior dogs thus facilitating their adoption. They also provide special discount policies and special prices when purchasing insurance for more than one pet.
Does your pet have a pre-existing condition excluded by your pet insurance?
What To Look For
Types of pets
Most companies offer coverage for dogs, cats, horses, and other pets. Some even offer bundle plans for families with more than one pet.
Changes in coverage
Will the cost of the plan increase as the pet ages? Senior dogs need more medical care and prevention than a puppy. Insurance companies know this, so many increase their premiums as the pet gets older and most of them no longer cover a pet after they reach a certain age. When deciding which plan or which type of pet insurance is right for you, consider your family’s and your pet’s lifestyle.
Treatment of hereditary conditions
Some breeds are more prone to certain conditions. Make sure to ask whether the plan will cover congenital ones, such as obesity, diabetes, respiratory problems, hip dysplasia, allergies, and other breed-specific health problems.
When trying to decide which emergency plan to purchase, a good option is to ask your vet, or the animal hospitals in your area, if they have any special plans or work with any specific pet insurance companies. If any unexpected situation or problem arises, chances are that you will go to the nearest emergency room.
For other kinds of coverage, the best course of action is to explore different companies and look for discounts and promotional packages. You will be surprised to learn how much you can save by switching to plans and companies that allow you to start saving on veterinary costs without waiting periods.
How To Discover Your Dog’s Unique Healing Talent – Interview with Judy Fridono, Surf Dog Ricochet’s Trainer