Is Pet Insurance Worth It?

Affordable ways to keep your dog healthy

The Pros and Cons of Pet Insurance

When it comes to your pet, it’s important to hope for the best but prepare for the worst. Health problems are a frequent occurrence in the lifespan of most dogs, and unfortunately, treatments can be very expensive depending how serious and how long-lasting the affliction might be. Though buying insurance for your pet can be costly, there are some instances in which it might just be worth it.

For example, surgery for a dog’s torn ACL can cost between $3,000 and $4,000, and cancer treatments can be upwards of $5,000. Even emergency treatments related to toxic foods or severe allergies can cost over $1,000.      Furry puppy sitting on a pile of cash

Pet Insurance Options

There are numerous pet insurance plans to consider depending on your pet’s medical history, age, size, breed, and a variety of other factors. The four most popular providers of pet insurance are Embrace, Nationwide, Trupanion, and Healthy Paws. All of these companies have a large assortment of plans to fit the needs of different kinds of pets, but in general, Healthy Paws offers the lowest premiums and might be the most affordable option for your pet.Lab dog at the vet with a cast on his leg

What Makes Pet Insurance Different

Even if you have experience choosing health insurance plans in the past, there are a few things that set pet insurance apart from most other types of plans. First, most pet insurance plans require you to pay your veterinarian bills and then submit them for reimbursement after the fact. Trupanion recently began the switch to covering payments without having to ask for reimbursement, however, and it is possible that other providers will soon follow their lead.

Additionally, most policies do not cover pre-existing conditions or breed-specific issues. If they do, you will likely be charged more to cover them.

Puppy in vet's arms chewing on stethoscope

Other Ways to Keep Your Pet Healthy on a Budget

While some health problems are unavoidable, there are precautions many pet owners choose to take in order to avoid future illnesses, injuries, and expenses.

Consider spaying or neutering your pet, which can prevent dozens of future complications, including cancer. For low-cost or free procedures, contact nearby shelters and ASPCA chapters for their services and recommendations.

Joint disease affects at least 20 percent of dogs at some point in their lifetime, which can lead to expensive treatments and surgeries in serious cases. A joint support supplement is both a preventative measure against osteoarthritis and a soure of pain and inflammation relief.

Makes sure your pup is getting all the vitamins and nutrients he needs to support an active lifestyle. Daily multivitamins for dogs formulated by veterinarians ensure that your pet is well-nourished through all stages of development.

When getting your pup vaccinated, ask your vet which vaccines might not be necessary. While most are important in fighting off common and sometimes serious diseases, a few vaccines such as the ringworm vaccine are known to be ineffective and only prevent mild medical problems.

Try to avoid fleas and ticks at all costs. These parasites spread diseases that range from mildly irritating to deadly, and there are many affordable ways to keep infestations at bay before they can do any long-term damage. Try a skin and coat supplement like this one that defends against pests and helps relieve the pain and itchiness related to allergies.

Pet owners should not have to worry about paying huge medical bills to keep their pups happy and healthy. Always remember to do your research across the major pet insurance providers before making final decisions, and take the necessary precautions to make sure that your dog doesn’t have to suffer through an avoidable illness or injury.