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If you’ve ever rushed your pup to the emergency room at 2 a.m. then you’ve probably also thought about whether to get pet insurance.
No one wants to imagine their furry BFF getting sick or getting hurt, but the reality is that life happens… dogs eat things they shouldn’t, cut themselves on sharp objects and catch infections (poor babies). Sometimes, like humans, there’s no rhyme or reason to why they’re ill — maybe just genetics or bad luck. Yikes!
And just when you thought taking your sick pet to the vet or animal hospital was bad enough… the bill comes. Double yikes!
According to the 2021-2022 American Pet Products Association’s National Pet Owners Survey, a routine trip to the vet for dogs in the U.S. averages $242 while surgical vet visits average $458, but costs can easily add up to thousands upon thousands of dollars.
That’s where pet insurance comes in...
But deciding if you should get pet insurance isn’t so simple. The insurance itself can be pricey so it’s hard to know which option is best for a budget. And you always have to read the fine print since, oftentimes, insurance providers don’t include what you might expect… so, is it really worth it?
At the end of the day, deciding whether or not to get pet insurance is as personal as deciding what to feed your pet so it’s really up to you, as pet parents, to do what’s right for you and your fur baby. We hope our pros and cons list can help you figure that out!
1) Makes payments easy. Some of you may feel confident you’ll have enough cash lying around if a pet emergency pops up, but the rest of you may want to break up large amounts into smaller monthly payments. That’s kind of what you’re doing by paying your insurance premium! Taking care of possible vet expenses in advance means that, if the time comes, the payment aspect should be relatively smooth sailing. Some insurance companies also pay their portion directly to the vet so you won’t need to deal with coordinating or getting reimbursed.
2) Gives you peace of mind. You’ll never have to worry about how you’re going to afford pet care if you opt for insurance. And while you could always save money on your own, insurance guarantees that you won’t accidentally spend those savings on a leaky roof or last-minute anniversary present. Being a pet parent is stressful. While not every illness and injury is covered, some pet insurance policies reimburse up to 90% of costs — and hopefully that’s enough to help you chill out a little more than usual.
3) Gets your pet extra care. Some pet insurance policies cover holistic and alternative treatments like prescription pet food, acupuncture and behavioural therapy for destructive chewing and aggression. This means you may be able to give your pet extra care that you wouldn’t necessarily spring for if you had to pay out of pocket.
1) Paying more than you need. It’s definitely possible that you’ll pay more in insurance than you ever get back for medical expenses. Getting insurance is a bit like gambling but you’re placing bets on your dog’s health, which is unpredictable. You should also keep in mind that premiums may be higher for older pets and certain breeds that are more likely to have health problems so expect to fork out more money than some other dog owners under those conditions.
2) Your claim could be denied. Your insurance policy may not cover your pet’s issue(s) — especially if your pet has pre-existing conditions. This could cause you to feel a false sense of security and make your premium payments feel like a waste.
3) There are alternatives. Instead of paying for pet insurance, another option is to set aside savings each month to be dedicated to a possible pet emergency. That way, you’ll get to keep whatever goes unspent.
If you choose to get pet insurance, we suggest shopping around to find the best price and reading the fine print of your pet’s policy. Remember that your insurance provider should let you use whatever vet you want.
You might want to get pet insurance for only a portion of your dog’s life like when they are a puppy or a senior… or during a time when premiums are lower, such as when your pet is young.
FYI, Wetland Insurance says the average cost for pet insurance in Canada in 2021 was between around $20 and $60 per month. In 2018, Global News reported that basic coverage for a one-year-old American Bulldog in Toronto ranged from $70 to $105 per month. Prices vary depending on breed, age, where you live and the type of coverage you choose!
Stay healthy, stay happy, stay curious #healthygang!
Lots of love,
- The healthybud team
IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER: The information presented here is not meant to replace your vet’s advice or prescribed medications, but only to suggest additional options to explore, based on your dog’s condition.