Pet insurance is one of those things that many pet owners hear about, and file away in the back of their minds in the ‘oh maybe I should get that for my own dog’ file,’ only to lose that so-called file and eventually regret doing so. I will be the first to admit that I am guilty of this myself, and it has cost me thousands of dollars over the years. I can not tell you the number of times I have been nervously sitting in a vet’s waiting room, crossing my fingers and praying to my own God that my beloved dog will survive his latest foray into sickness, while at the same time worrying because I am unsure if I will be able to afford the bill at the end of the day. Dogs get sick just like us but unlike us, they do not have to pay our bills when we need to go to the doctor.
Every time I go to the vet, I remember that ‘file’ I locked away in the back of my mind, the one featuring the good ‘ol pet insurance should I or should I not, and every time this happens, I mentally kick myself hard, very hard for not following up on it. Even as I write this today, I do not have pet insurance for my dog, and yeah I plan on kicking myself good and hard when I am finished writing this. Maybe I should actually kick myself for real, since this mental stuff does not seem to be working out.
When it comes to dog health pets are expensive, no doubt about it and vet bills can be simply outrageous, but those of you who actually do have pet insurance would most definitely vouch for the fact that you are glad you have it. Similarly to life insurance, car insurance or any other form of insurance you may own, pet insurance premiums are paid each month to the company who offers the plan and in return, your pet dog is covered financially for an array of medical procedures. There are a number of different types of pet insurance plans you can purchase for your pet, with, yup you guessed it, the more expensive ones covering more expensive medical procedures, and the less expensive plans not covering those more expensive procedures.
Before you choose which pet insurance plan is right for you, you definitely want to go over your options, maybe with your vet to insure that you will be in the best position to not have to mortgage your home to pay that vet down the road. Maybe I should take my own advice eh? For example, if you have a Labrador Retriever there is a fairly good chance that at some point during its life that damn dog is gonna eat something he shouldn’t, which will result in a mad dash to the vet office for a good stomach pump! Yeah, you got me, this has happened to me and the subsequent scope set me back $800, which definitely came out of my dog’s allowance!
Pet insurance plans have a wide range when it comes to those pesky monthly premiums with some starting as low as $10 and others going as high as $45 and up. Personally if I were to purchase pet insurance for my dog, I would go with a mid of the pack premium option, as it is this kind of pet insurance plan that would provide the type of coverage I would need. If you opt for basic pet insurance, you are covered for things that are considered to be basic vet procedures, which can range from nail clipping which is actually performed by a vet tech not your vet, to diagnosing of an ear infection, to maybe even your dog’s annual vaccine bill. If you choose a basic pet insurance plan and your dog eventually needs surgery, good luck as you are out in the cold on this one, which is exactly why I would not go cheap when it comes to coverage. Yeah I would opt to pay like $35 a month for coverage which works out to $420 a year but that 420 would not only cover my dog’s trips to the vet for basic stuff, but it would also cover expensive veterinary procedures such as stomach pumping, or in my dog’s case, his recent antibiotic regiment he needed to go on after he developed a very bad case of parasites! Trust me, after that incident I took some time to learn how to get rid of fleas on dogs and now I am well prepared on that front! I also used my coverage on my dog’s recent tibial plateau leveling osteotomy, TPLO on his left rear leg. This TPLO video is not of my dog, but the surgeon does a great job of explaining the procedure. It was a major operation and without my pet insurance coverage, he would not have received it!
For those dog owners with multi dog households, you can also purchase pet insurance for multiple pets and if this is what you end up doing, you will most certainly receive coverage at a discounted rate!
I drink a lot of coffee, far too much coffee actually and more often than not, I find myself at Timothy’s, our local coffee shop that my brother and I seem to have adopted as our home away from home. If I had to guess, I have paid for many years of pet insurance coverage over the years in liquid gold, otherwise known as coffee. This is my way of saying that if I can throw money away on overpriced coffee on a daily, sometimes bi-daily basis, then revamping my budget should allow me to pay for pet insurance without me breaking my bank to do it. Stop and think for a second, about something that you buy on a daily basis, something that you know damn well that you spend too much money on. Maybe its coffee, maybe it’s a pack of cigarettes. I myself will not do this because I know that I spend too much money on coffee and would be much richer if I did not drink the stuff.
Having good pet insurance is like having an ace in the hole, everybody would love to have it! You may pay for pet insurance each month and in the end, never need to fully use it but knowing what I know now, it would make me feel a lot better knowing that I, and Bar were covered. The next time you are at your vet, take a look on an end table or counter top for you will surely find a stack of pet insurance pamphlets that will detail some of the more popular pet insurance plans that are out there. Ask a lot of questions to make sure you are well aware of what you are signing up for, and remember, no question is a stupid question.
If you would like to read more quality articles on all aspects of owning a dog then check out