Modern dogs and cats are sitting pretty when it comes to veterinary care. In many places animals can receive medical care that’s as good, if not better than, human medicine. But all of this great vet care comes at a cost. Today it’s no longer a question of if we will be faced with a high veterinary bill, but when. Are you prepared with the best pet insurance plan for your pack?
Latest Vetscapade Covered by Pet Insurance
At least once a year, Tripawds Spokesdog Wyatt Ray reminds us of the importance of pet insurance. Last week he did it again. Monday he was unwilling to do his usual Tripawds workout and seemed tired. Thursday he woke up with raspy, labored breathing and a runny nose. When our voracious foreign object eating dog turned down breakfast, we knew something was seriously wrong. Off to the nearest AAHA-accredited emergency vet clinic (VCA Valley Animal Medical Center Emergency Hospital) we went.
Forty eight hours later, we were handed a diagnosis of aspiration pneumonia and a $4,300 bill.
Thankfully we have a pet insurance Accident and Illness plan to cover most, if not all of the bill. But the diagnosis served as another reminder that as much as we grumble about paying those premiums, keeping him insured means we never have to face the heartbreak of economic euthanasia.
When Tripawds Chief Fun Officer Jerry was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, pet insurance wasn’t even on our radar. On that sweet little puppy’s Gotcha Day in 1998, it never occurred to us that veterinary care would cost thousands of dollars over the course of his life. And he really didn’t cost us much up until his diagnosis. Wyatt is a different story altogether. He’s the gold-plated German Shepherd!
It’s not always easy paying for Wyatt’s pet insurance plan. Our premiums started low but they’ve gone up as he ages, because older dogs are at greater risk of disease. The premiums keep getting larger, but even at a cost of $910 a year for an Accident and Illness policy that caps out at $5,000 annually, it’s worth the struggle to pay for it. We never want to have to choose between paying our rent and Wyatt’s life.
Since 2011 Wyatt’s insurance company has paid out $7,006 in claims and his newest $4,300 ER visit brings that up to $11,306! There is just no way we would be able to give him the kind of care he deserves without pet insurance.
How to Choose the Best Pet Insurance for Your Pack
If you haven’t looked into pet insurance, we urge you to do the research now. Money is always an issue but maintaining pet insurance is such a critical part of our modern pet parent world. If we all want to save our pets from accidents and illness and give them the life they deserve, pet insurance can help us do that.
Here’s how to find the best pet insurance for your pack’s needs.
Step 1: Read Pet Health Insurance: a Veterinarian’s Perspective. This short, 80-page book lays out the facts about finding the best pet insurance. It’s written by Doug Kenney, DVM, a veterinarian in Memphis, Tennessee who founded Your Pet Insurance Guide, a website the explains how pet insurance works.
Step 2: Listen to the Pet Health Insurance Guide Podcast on Tripawd Talk Radio
Step 3: Compare pet insurance plans with these companies.*
*Tripawds receives a small commission if you enroll via certain links above. Thanks for your support!
5 thoughts on “Saved (Again) by the Best Pet Insurance Plan for the Pack”
Which insurance you have for Wyatt? My dog was diagnosed with OSTEOSARCOMA and front leg was amputated. Bill is getting bigger by the minute. If I am able to get insurance for Dakota will be a great help. Thank you
We have been very happy with the Pets Best emergency policy we have for Wyatt.
Good news / bad news
Here’s the bad, and I’m starting with this part as informatinal: I had one of the most common brands of pet insurance — twice — and both times I cancelled it. It was like dealing with a human insurance company, their agenda was to do their best to avoid paying the claim. So if you have the time, willingness and organization of your bills and records, you can perservere. In my case they denied a claim of treatment for severe ear infection. Their response was that this was a pre-existing condition. The dog had had one ear infection 4 years prior. I said, “If my dog had an ear infection for 4 years without treatment, you should be on the phone having me arrested.”
Then at my vet’s pet fair there was a booth with Trupanion. I signed up, sometimes for 3 very big dogs at once. It was not cheap. Not prohibitive, but something to definitely factor into a monthly budget. Trupanion charges a premium every month based on your location, because some areas average higher bills. And that’s it. You choose your deductible, maybe $250 or zero per event, and after that they pay 90% of the bill. So my pit bull’s extensive cancer surgery and treatment cost $7,000 and I wound up paying $400 (a few things were disqualified).
So onto my tripawd, the ever mischievous Jack Russell pup Able. At 8 weeks old he was hit by a car and abandoned at a vet’s office. They asked me to take him and I did. Rushed into surgery, they had to take his back leg and hip and then put the rest of his insides back together. The medical bills came to almost $10,000. Because he was a new dog, there was no insurance on him but my amazing community raised the money. And you can bet the minute I’d had him for the 6 week waiting period I signed him up for Trupanion. We have so far used it for 3 trips to the ER!! A one year old Jack Russell is a catastrophe waiting to happen, so thank God for Trupanion. Great service, I love them.
Wow. Thanks for the feedback!
Poor Wyatt!!! Hope he gets better fast! Thanks for this blog. I have contemplated insurance in the past but just continue to use Care Credit.(for now).
Tracy & Spirit Maggie