It’s one of every pet parent’s worst nightmares: Your dog is injured or has a serious illness that will be very expensive to treat. If you can’t afford the veterinary care, you will have to euthanize or give up your dog.
One way to prevent this nightmare from becoming a reality is by buying pet insurance. More and more pet parents are doing it: According to the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA), the number of U.S. pets covered by insurance has more than doubled since 2002.
Depending on the company, policies may cover up to 90 percent of everything from an annual wellness exam (which can easily cost more than $100) to surgeries and cancer treatment, which often can cost thousands of dollars.
The cost of this coverage can be as low as $10 per month. Note that pet insurance companies usually do have some exclusions. For example, they may not cover dogs that are older than 10 or those with pre-existing conditions (such as hip dysplasia).
“My 10-month-old puppy swallowed a bully stick whole and was choking,” wrote Pam in a testimonial on the Embrace Pet Insurance website. “I had to take him to an emergency clinic where he could be monitored overnight. The bill came to $1,500 to be paid up front. As I’m in the waiting room, a man was talking to the receptionist. His dog swallowed a corn cob and the required surgery was $7,000. He didn’t have any pet insurance, nor the funds to pay for the necessary operation. He decided to put his dog to sleep as he couldn’t afford the treatment. At that moment I knew I made the right decision to get pet insurance.”
Before you buy, be sure to check out pet insurance review sites to see what other pet parents think about their coverage from a particular company. These sites also allow you to comparison shop and see what each company’s policies do – and don’t – cover.
Sara M. is glad she purchased a policy for her dog.
“When our Great Dane bloated we rushed him to emergency, and after the doctor finished briefing us on his condition, she said we needed to discuss finances before they could proceed with the surgery,” she wrote in a review on the Pets Best Insurance website. “I was so grateful to say we had Pets Best Insurance and know we were covered. He had the surgery and came home less than 48 hours later!”
PHOTO: Charley, a winner of the i Love Dog Casts and Cones photo contest
Disclosure: This is a post written on behalf of BuyPetInsurance. The opinions expressed herein are not necessarily indicative of the opinions or positions of BuyPetInsurance or i Love Dogs.