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25 April 2007
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 any of these links. Thanks for your support!
22 February 2013
WYATT! WYATT! WYATT!! ANOTHER ANNUAL HOLIDAY SEASON VETSCAPADE?? REALLY?
Glad to hear you’re doing vetter sweet boy. A d thank goodness your pawrents have INSURANCE!! You are a GOLD PLATED GERMAN SHEPHERD INDEED!
This is such an important topic. Thanks so much for this invaluable information and great links. I really, really, really need to look into getting insurance for Frankie and Merry Myrtle.
And thanks for going into detail on what you pay monthly, what his expanses were, etc.
Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle and Frankie too!
Happy Hannah had a glorious additional bonus time of over one yr & two months after amp for osteo! She made me laugh everyday! Joined April's Angels after send off meal of steak, ice cream, M&Ms & deer poop!
25 July 2009
Hey Sally, we’re glad you found it useful. Pet insurance isn’t an easy thing to tackle but it’s worth the effort even when a pet is older. I can’t imagine where I would be without pet insurance. Yikes!
Wyatt Ray Dawg . . . The Tripawds Leg-A-Cy Continues!
Read all about my adventures at my Tripawds Blog
27 July 2014
It looks like Wyatt is making sure you get your money’s worth of vet care.
After I saw Mona’s amputation surgical room with all of the equipment and support staff I quickly realized it’s expensive to run a vet clinic. Of course these costs are passed on to the patient.
After Mona’s amputation I decided to put money aside monthly for my pets’ vet visits. I’ve always thought of cats as an inexpensive pet but now would consider insurance for the future.
Thanks for the reminder King Wyatt! Hope you’re feeling better.
8 November 2017
What kind of coverage should I be looking for Sebastian, who has already had his osteosarcoma diagnosis and amputation?
25 April 2007
What kind of coverage should I be looking for Sebastian…
The one that works best for your needs and your budget.
Seriously…the two basic options include plans that cover everything including wellness ($$$), and those that cover accidents and emergencies. The Pet Health Insurance Guide Podcast on Tripawd Talk Radio is an interview with the author of the book Jerry posted above. Both are filled with information to help people decide which plan offers the best solution to meet their specific needs.
Some plans include coverage for cancer, but not as a pre-existing condition. Wyatt has Pets Best coverage for emergency care, because he’s good at having those. He had his amputation before we got his insurance, and he does not have cancer. Hope this helps!
25 April 2007
Confused about pet health insurance? Here’s a great article from the Dog Cancer blog that makes it easy to understand.
The cost of veterinary care can leave us feeling overwhelmed, but recently, we got some good news: pet insurance for dogs now covers cancer — as long as it’s not pre-existing. And, even if your dog does have cancer, your dog might still qualify for cancer coverage if she has been in remission long enough. Most pet insurance companies consider a condition as ‘cured’ if there hasn’t been any signs or treatment for 6 months.
We recently had to change companies for Wyatt Ray . Stay tuned for an update on why we did it and what we found to be the best plan for him.
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