Tuesday, October 27, 2009


Probably one of the biggest expenses we dog lovers have is veterinarian costs. The “average” money spent on a dog per year is over $400. That’s the average cost, not including any emergencies your dog might have. Also this doesn’t include breeding expenses like having the bitch tested before she’s bred, x-rays to determine if she’s pregnant or any other special procedures related to breeding. Then after a litter is whelped add on top of the other things already mentioned examinations, shots and worming and that $400 per dog per year has just increased ten fold!

With today’s bleak and sluggish economy, many people have had to lessen the amount of their dog’s usual veterinarian visits. It’s unfortunate that some animals are not being given the medical attention that they need because of their owners own need to provide for their human family first.

When one thinks of pet insurance for their pets, most people consider purchasing this for the “big ticketed” type of emergencies like an accident. Most animals if properly taken care of will never have a really big accident that will cost their owners thousands of dollars! So the chance that your dog will be involved with this type of emergency is small compared to the everyday expenses that most people take their dogs to the vet’s for.

According to my research for this article the top ten dog diseases that most pet insurance claims were for: ear infection, skin allergy, Pyoderma and hot spots, Gastritis and vomiting, Enteritis and diarrhea, Urinary tract infections, benign skin tumors, Eye inflammation, Osteoarthritis, and Hypothyroidism. With this list we can see that gastrointestinal problems and allergies are the two biggest reasons our pet visits a veterinarian.

Check around with different pet insurance companies just as you would your own. Some of these companies will not take on an animal that has a pre-existing health problem. Some will……so be sure to check before you sign up with a company.

Most basic pet insurance companies will cover things like medications, x-rays, laboratory and diagnostic tests, surgery, hospitalization, euthanasia. Some policies even cover basic preventative care that can include annual check ups, vaccinations and fecal examinations. And then some other policies will even include visits to specialists.

I’m always amazed when I do research for some of these articles the many things that I learn as well. According to a report by CNBC, pet insurance is now the third most requested sponsored benefit in the US! I never knew this!

Many companies will base your plan on the species, age and any pre-existing health problems your dog may have. Some companies have no age limit but most have and they can start about 6 weeks old to 8 years of age. Another interesting find pertaining to the German Shepherd Dog, some will not cover breeds that are prone to developing diseases common to the breed like hip dysplasia. So do check to make sure about this.

If pet insurance is not something that you can get or if you are turned down because of an existing health problem, there are a couple of other alternatives you may have for your dog. Check with your veterinarian if he offers Wellness packages which are discounted prices for shots, etc. Also you can check out a program called Pet Assure which offers discounts up to 25% on veterinarian costs and up to 50% on supplies and services. Lastly, if you are a pet owner who is in financial need, there are non-profit organizations that offer financial aid.

Depending upon which insurance program you decide to sign up with, the annual deductible is around $100.

Obviously preventative care is the best defense we have in insuring our dog’s health. Feeding the best food and supplements we can afford is always a good place to start. Having a clean environment for our dogs to live in is another way to help insure the animal’s health.

My rating: insurance….is it worth it? (4)

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