Health insurance for dogs has been around for many years. But until recently, the options for providers has been slim. A number of companies have entered the market in recent years to help fill this void. These new companies provide a number of coverage options to fit your family’s budget and needs.
Before choosing an insurance provider for your dog, you need to do your research. Here are a few questions to consider when choosing the right provider for your loved one.
Is your dog pure-breed or mixed-breed?
Mixed breed dogs are actually easier and cheaper to insure because they are not at risk for many of the congenital and hereditary diseases that many pure breeds are. And if your dog is a mixed breed and you don’t have the breed-specific illnesses to worry about, you may want to opt or an ‘Accident only’ plan which is the most inexpensive route to take for covering your pet.
Are there any inherent diseases within my dog’s breed or bloodline?
If you have a purebred dog, know what diseases are inherent in your breed, and make sure those illnesses are covered under the plan you are seeking. One of the problems with the old-school providers of insurance for dogs is that they never covered congenital diseases. If your dog came down with one of these illnesses that are breed specific, trey denied your claim and left you with this vet bill and all subsequent bills for this illness. This leads into the next question you have to ask.
Do they cover preexisting conditions?
Preexisting conditions is a tricky and touchy topic between dog owners and insurance providers. Make sure you understand what the provider defines as a ‘preexisting condition’ before you sign up for their program. Most insurance providers (even the good ones) will try to find a way to link two completely unrelated diseases together because their symptoms appear similar. The more reputable companies will provide, up front, a list of preexisting conditions that will or will not be covered.
Is lab work covered?
One of the most frustrating expenses for dog owners is lab work. A routine visit to the vet can easily blossom into $400 or more just because of tests and lab work. Even on simple procedures, lab work can be up to 40% of the cost of the procedure.
Is dental work covered?
Many veterinary offices are pushing teeth cleaning for your dog. It is a very simple procedure which takes a minimal amount of time for the vet and the vet can make a pretty decent profit. But this is a procedure that is very important to the health of your dog. Small breed dogs in particular need to have regular teeth cleaning to stay healthy. Terriers and toy dogs are susceptible to tooth loss and gum disease if regular cleanings are not maintained. So if you have a breed that may be prone to these conditions, check to see if it is covered by the plan you are looking into.
How old is the dog you want to insure?
Many insurance providers will not cover dogs aver the age of 6-8 years with a typical plan. Some companies do offer a Senior Plan to provide insurance for dogs over 8 years of age. And almost all will not provide insurance for dogs under the age of 12 months due to the initial cost of puppy-hood.
Do they cover preventives?
Preventive medicines are another topic to check before deciding on coverage. It is usually not covered except under the most advanced plans. But covering your pet with flea control and other parasitic dangers can save thousands of dollars in surgical care and treatment later and may also add healthy and happy hears to your dog’s life.
These are just some of the important questions to ask when considering an insurance plan for your dog. The cost may seem high at first. But when you consider the cost of today’s veterinary medicine and how important your dog is to your family, I think you too will realize that health insurance for dogs is well worth the investment.
QuickCare Pet Insurance has many Programs to fit your particular needs and budget.