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Having a dog can be the most wonderful thing; a loyal friend who is always by your side, an exercise partner, a snuggle buddy for lazy days and an ecstatic face that meets you at the door when you come home from work. Yes, a dog can significantly better your life, in many aspects, but having a dog could also get ridiculously expensive.
Most responsible doggy parents are prepared for the costs in terms of dog food, annual shots, toys, walking gear and more, but what happens if your dog gets ill or hurts him- or herself in an accident? These are situations you can’t usually prevent, but you can prevent a hefty veterinary bill by properly insuring your dog with reliable pet insurance.
Finding the Best Pet Insurance
How Pet Insurance Works
There is no set rule for how pet insurance works, as it may depend on the policy and the company behind it, but the main purpose is for it to have your back if your dog needs extensive veterinary care, so that you don’t end up with thousands of dollars in vet bills; or worse – that you are forced to say no to a life-saving procedure due to lack of funds.
Every year, thousands of pet owners across the globe opt for euthanasia instead of surgery or treatment, and while it might seem cruel – many are left without a choice. Veterinary care is expensive, and the concept of pet medical insurance was invented to make sure that everyone can afford to give their furry friends the medical care they deserve. Dog health insurance costs money, but it guarantees that your dog can get medical help if needed.
How much is pet insurance?
Most policies are paid monthly, bimonthly o annually, and you pay a set fee to the dog insurance company of your choice, even if you don’t end up needing during the time you have been paying. Some nay-sayers believe it to be a waste of money, as you may end up paying months and years of insurance without ever having to use it, but is it really worth the risk not to be insured? Top pet insurance for dogs works the same way human health insurance works; to make sure that everyone can afford proper care (in this case for your pet).
The best pet insurance companies will usually offer one or more policies, where you can choose based on what you need it to cover, and how much and what the policy covers depends on the policy package you choose and how much you wish to pay. You choose a deductible and a level of reimbursement, and if or when something happens – you pay your vet and then your pet insurance company reimburses you.
Benefits of Insuring Your Dog
We can only love and care for our dogs to a certain point, and the rest is out of our hands. It can be hard or impossible to prevent for example illness, as many dog breeds are prone to certain health conditions that reveal themselves later in life. Serious health concerns are probably the last thing on your mind when you bring home a new puppy, but the truth is that most dogs get sick at some point in their lives, and the responsible thing to do is to make sure they can receive good vet care when that happens.
Having pet health insurance means that you never have to worry about more than having the deductible saved for emergencies, and dog owners report feeling a lot more relaxed knowing they won’t one day sit there with $10 000 in vet bills. Does it sound a little exaggerated? It is not. Treating a dog long-term for diabetes will land you with a bill that big, and surgery and treatment for hip dysplasia (very common in some dog breeds) will often cost you close to $8 000 in the United States. Even smaller procedures cost money, and with the best dog insurance, you get the benefit of knowing what the maximum amount (the deductible) you will end up paying is.
When it comes to our dogs, it is always better to be safe than sorry and to act already before something happens. Our dogs are always there for us, so why wouldn’t we be there for them? Not using health insurance for dogs could seem like a way to save money at first, but if something happens, you will end up paying a lot more than what dog insurance cost.
Choosing the Right Pet Insurance Policy
When finding the best pet insurance for dogs, the first thing to do is to make sure you enroll your pup as early on as possible, since it can potentially be more expensive to ensure an older animal, due to a higher likelihood of pre-existing condition. Ensuring a healthy puppy makes the insurance company feel more at ease, as they see it as less of a risk of them losing money. Nobody wants to lose money, so be smart and get pet insurance already when your pup is young.
If acquiring an older dog, it is important to talk to the different pet insurance companies to see what they offer, what restrictions there are and how good the coverage would be for your older pup. Some companies do not insure certain pre-existing conditions, or where a condition is suspected to have been pre-existing (even if you did not know about it when ensuring the dog), and it is important to know this before deciding which policy to get. Does the insurance cover teeth- and oral problems? Will the insurance kick in if your dog gets arthritis? Keep an open dialogue with the insurance company you are considering, and don’t be afraid to ask questions.
In a way, choosing dog health insurance is all about knowing what you want, but it is also about knowing and understanding what dog pet insurance can actually do for you and your dog, and how to find a policy that gives you your money’s worth in case of an incident. Compare pet insurance and compare dog insurance from different providers, review pet insurance comparison charts, pet insurance plans and the cost of pet insurance, to see what would be right for you.
You should always look up the pet insurance provider properly before signing up for anything, to make sure it seems legit, and your veterinarian can help you with recommendations of trustable pet insurance companies they work with regularly. Reading pet insurance reviews (pet insurance reviews for dogs specifically) is another good way to see what real clients think and what their experiences were. A company website will give you important facts, but it is through dog health insurance reviews that you will learn about user experience.
“How much does pet insurance cost” is not the question you should be asking yourself, but rather “how much money can the best pet insurance help me save?
Pet Insurance Could Save Your Dog’s Life
There are many different situations where dog medical insurance could save you from having to use all your savings, or from having to put down your dog. Some veterinarians will not provide emergency care unless you have proof that you can pay, so don’t hope for a miracle or that a veterinarian will help you out of the goodness of their hearts, because the truth is; if you don’t have money to pay, your dog is unlikely to receive help and care. Showing an animal hospital or a vet that you have pet insurance will work as a form of guaranteed payment and a safety feature for both you and your dog.
Your dog may have lived a long and healthy life without any big scares or issues, but then she starts limping for no obvious reason, and when the vet has a look at what you thought was the result of an intense play session with the neighbor dog – it turns out she has cancer. Your vet believes the cancer is treatable, but the treatments are many and very expensive. Without insurance, you would have to pay the full amount out of your own pocket, but with cheap pet insurance (assuming the policy you’ve chosen covers cancer), you pay the same deductible as you would for a regular check-up – giving your dog premium care for the much lower pet insurance cost.
There are other situations where you may not have much time to make decisions, such as if your pup would get the much-feared bloat condition. While some dog breeds are more prone to it, it is a life-threatening condition that can affect any dog – purebred and mix breed dogs – and unless you get help fast, the condition will have lethal consequences. The dog can be saved in most cases where they are brought immediately to the vet, but keep in mind that even if the veterinarian fails to save your pup – you still must pay for the surgery. It is difficult enough to imagine losing your best fur friend, and even more difficult to picture walking home with a massive vet bill instead of your dog.
It is not just a medical condition that might threaten your dog’s wellbeing, but there is also the risk of accidents. You can be the most caring dog owner in the world, but what if the leash breaks one day; causing your beloved fur baby to run into the street and get hit by a car? Then what? Or what if you are walking down the road when – before you know it – a large dog shoots out through an open gate and sinks his teeth into your pup? These scenarios are awful, but far from uncommon, and they are completely out of your control.
The point made here is that you cannot protect your dog from the world and from accidents and illnesses, even though you wish you could, at least not physically. What you can do is to make sure your dog gets help and care if something happens, and the best way to do that is to either have a large amount of money saved for emergencies (which is not an option for everyone) or to be smart and use affordable pet insurance for dogs. Yes, you do have to pay a monthly or annual fee, which builds up over time, but it is far from as much as it would cost you to have your vet save your dog’s life in the case of an emergency.
Investing in the best pet health insurance could be what saves your dog’s life one day.
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