The best thing you can do to keep your pet healthy for years to come is to schedule bi-annual health exams with your veterinarian. Regular veterinary check-ups reduce the chance that your pet will suffer from untreatable illnesses or conditions.
The earlier you and your veterinarian can catch problems, the earlier he or she can prescribe treatment and get your pet healthy again.
Keeping your pet up to date with vaccinations, heart worm pills, flea treatments, and other regular medications prevent and postpone many health conditions, prolonging your pet's life and the time you spend enjoying together.
What is pet insurance?
Pet insurance can help make sure you'll never have to make a financial decision about your pet's well-being. With the costs of veterinary care rising, there's never been a better time to protect your pet!
Pet insurance, like medical insurance for humans, can help reduce that risk of caring for a pet and lessen the frequency of "financial euthanasia," the decision to put a pet to sleep rather than incur a large debt attempting to heal.
Pet insurance is common in many European countries. However, it remains rare in the U.S. There are about 130 million pet cats and dogs in the United States, but only a handful of pet owners (fewer than 300,000) take advantage of these policies.
There are a few different pet insurance companies, each of which offers many types of policies and varying degrees of coverage.
Some policies pay for all types of veterinary care, including annual checkups and immunizations.
Others only cover accidents and illnesses.
Some have pre-set annual or incident limits and some have deductibles. Premiums vary depending on the plan and can run from $99 a year for a simple HMO type discount plan up to $500 for a select breed indemnity plan.
Each plan has its pros and cons, and each must be carefully examined (especially the fine print) so that you can select a plan that's best for your pet. A carefully chosen plan can give you peace of mind that your pet will be able to get the best medical care regardless of cost.
Who should consider pet insurance?
Pet owners should ask themselves, "Do I want ‘a’ pet, or do I want ‘this’ pet?" A bad candidate for pet insurance is a pet owner who wants "a dog" but put him to sleep instead of spending large amounts of money to save him if that dog gets sick or injured.
If you are the type of dog owner who would devote an unlimited amount of time and money into healing your dog, then you are a good candidate for pet insurance, because it will probably save you money in a bad situation. Unfortunately, many pet owners put a dollar value on their pets' lives. When the bills start to add up, many pet owners consider euthanasia at around $250. Pet insurance is still very rare.
Ten Things to Ask Before Buying Pet Insurance
Make an educated decision about pet health insurance. Get answers to the most important questions you should consider when looking for a pet insurance provider.
1. Does the company have stability and proven success?
2. Does the company employ certified and trained professionals?
3. Does the company receive veterinary recognition?
4. Are you offered annual policies with clear renewal terms?
5. Will you receive renewable benefits?
6. Do you understand how reimbursements are determined?
7. Are pre—existing conditions always excluded?
8. Does the company provide broad coverage?
9. Does the company believe in routine care for your pet?
10. Are you limited to a veterinary network or required to pre-certify?
What are Some choices?
ASPCA Pet Health Insurance was developed with the same devotion to protecting animals that has defined the ASPCA's 140-year history. Coverage from ASPCA Pet Health Insurance was designed to give you protection and service worthy of the ASPCA name.
The American Kennel Club (AKC) understands the concerns and needs of dog owners, being the largest registry for purebred dogs in the world. This includes understanding the high costs of modern veterinary treatments, surgery and prescriptions, and the financial burden these costs create when you need to provide the very best care for your dog. The AKC Pet Healthcare Plan is designed to protect you against the growing costs of veterinary treatments if your pet becomes ill or has an injury or accident.
Pet Assure covers all pets, animals of all ages and any health condition — regardless of pre-existing conditions. The plan is five years old and has no health-related exclusions and helps owners save on food, boarding, training, and vet bills.
Veterinary Pet Insurance (VPI) is the nation’s oldest and largest health insurance provider for pets. The company was founded in 1980 to help end “economic euthanasia” of pets and is committed to making the miracles of veterinary medicine affordable for all pet owners. Coverage is available for dogs, cats, birds, and exotic pets. Policies are available in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.