Monday, October 12, 2009

Insurance For Dogs

Are you looking for top dog insurance? We weigh the pros and cons of dog insurance.

In this article I have compiled some dog insurance statistics so you can weigh out the pros and cons of getting insurance for your dog.

Should I get Insurance for my Dog?

According to the American Pet Products Manufacturers Association, an average of $785 in vet bills was spent last year by dog owners. Per data collected from the American Animal Hospital Association and Consumer Reports, dog owners are looking at the following in medical costs for their dogs:

Average cost of Vet bills for a dog


Average Cost (National)

Repair a broken limb


Sew a torn knee ligament


Gastrotomy (to retrieve swallowed object)



$58 for the first, $36 for each additional

Anesthesia (per half hour)


Preanesthetic sedation


Preanesthetic exam


Anesthetic monitoring


Procedures for Dogs

Average Cost (National)

Adult canine wellness visit

(Includes physical examination, rabies vaccine, DHLPP vaccine, coronavirus vaccine, bordetella vaccine, leptospirosis vaccine, Lyme disease vaccine, heartworm combination examination [difil/direct/occult] and fecal examination.)


Canine spay

$147.90 to $194.60 (depending on weight of dog)

Canine neuter

$127.70 to $156.10 (depending on weight of dog)

For those that have done any amount of research into what it costs to own a dog, they should not be too surprised by the astronomical costs of medically treating their dog. All those looking to purchase or rescue a dog, before even considering what type of dog it is you want, you must consider the cost of owning a dog throughout its lifetime. While the worst may never happen, you can only ensure to be as prepared as possible for the unexpected.

To offset some of the medical costs when owning a dog, insurance for dogs is an option you can turn to; dog insurance could very well save you money in the long run. These companies operate in a very similar way to health insurance for humans, complete “with deductibles, co-payments, annual premiums, and limitations for pre-existing conditions.” If you opt for insurance for your dog, it is essential that you do the research so as to be as well informed as possible when choosing which company you will entrust your dogs health with. There are a considerable number of options to choose from and it can all be overwhelming and bewildering when trying to fully grasp all the information. Every premium varies according to a number of criteria including your dogs age, pedigree and even location.

Insurance for dogs is primarily designed to protect you and your dog against the unexpected, like illness and accidents. Generally, routine care of your dog (vaccinations, regular vet visits) is not covered but there are companies out there who do.

How to choose dog insurance plan

There are any number of monthly plans with various levels of coverage; what you pay monthly depends on the plan you choose; if you are going for full coverage which includes (at some companies) unlimited for accidents, unlimited coverage per condition per year, $600 dental per year and $360 special category/per year, you can then select the deductible you want to pay and then based on that, your monthly payout will then be calculated (a $400 deductible for the unlimited plan above will cost approximately $82.85 per month). If you choose to go with a higher deductible, your monthly payments will be lower.

How to choose what dog insurance is right

Essentially, there are four fairly simple steps to purchasing insurance for your dog, after you have chosen which company to go with: choose the coverage you want, waiting period (time between purchase of insurance to time coverage becomes effective), making a claim (see your vet as usual, pay the bill and then ensure your vet fills out and signs a claim form), receipt of your claim cheque. In addition, if you have more than one dog, some insurance companies will allow you to both customize and choose a different plan per dog in your household.

Example of How Dog Insurance Works

Below is an example of what one can expect in terms of payout from a pet [dog] insurance company. Again, every company is different, so you must do your homework (do watch out for plans that have exclusions on things like pre-existing and hereditary conditions – like hip dysplasia).
$375 Hospitalization (3 day stay in an emergency facility)

$125 Exam

$1200 Treatment/Diagnostics

$60 Recheck with regular vet
Total invoice = $1,760
Invoice $1,760 (initial treatment)

-$352 (20% Co-insurance)

= $1,408 (Sub-total)

-$100 (Deductible)
= $1,308 (Insurance Reimbursement)

Dog Insurance cost

You must keep in mind that over the entire life span of your dog, it is possible that you could pay out more in total expenses than what you recoup in premiums and other costs, however, there really is no price you can put on your dog, particularly for the vast majority that love them like their own child. In the end, you have to ask yourself if insurance for your dog is really worth the investment. If your dog is a member of the family and for you, there is no price too high to save them from what may end up being just routine surgery, then you have already answered that question. After all having dog insurance may just help save your dogs life when you can not afford to.

Plentyofpuppies strongly recommends Embrace Pet Insurance but encourages dog owners to look around at other dog insurance companies before making a decision.

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