We love our Goldendoodles and dogs. Every year more Americans become dog owners, even as the cost of owning a dog increases. A big portion of the cost of owning a dog is the vet bills that come up from check-ups, vaccines, illnesses and accidents. Pet insurance for dogs can protect you from some of these larger expenses.
Close to 70% of households own a pet based on a American Pet Products Association survey. It is estimated that 1 in 3 will require an emergency visit to the vet each year. Those visits impose a large expense to pet owners. The average cost of an emergency veterinary visit for dogs and cats is $800 to $1,500 depending on where you live.
According to a Bankrate survey only 39% of Americans have enough in their savings for a $1,000 emergency.
Eve Kaplan, a certified financial planner and investment advisor at Kaplan Financial Advisors in Berkeley Heights, New Jersey recommends you add a line item to your budget for an emergency fund. You should set aside $5,000 to $10,000 as an emergency fund.
“It’s easy to say that you wouldn’t put that much money into a dog or cat but when it’s happening you don’t even think about it,” said Kaplan at Kaplan Financial Advisors. “It’s a family member.”
Another protection for these unexpected emergencies is pet insurance. There are several reputable companies and we will discuss several of them shortly.
If you plan to do this we recommend and veterinarians recommend you get it while your dog is young and healthy. The reason is like with our own health insurance the price is impacted by age and pre-existing conditions.
The Best Pet Insurance For Dogs
Now we just broke down many reasons you need an emergency fund and or pet insurance for dogs. This is to help you understand the importance.
We have dealt with this first hand and had to have a sist removed from the neck that was over the esophagus and first required an ultrasound running $400 then an autopsy of it to determine if it was dangerous or not and the lab work that went with that which ended up being just over $1,000 and finally the surgery to remove it running us over $1,000. In the end we got reimbursed some $1,200 dollars and our pet insurance was only costing us about $45/month at the time.
Embrace Pet Insurance For Dogs
- Customized policies for dog needs
- Easily submit and track claims online
- Covers some pre-existing conditions
- A top pick for emergencies
- High coverage for dental illnesses
Embrace offers catastrophic pet insurance plans with deductibles of up to $1,000 plus $15,000 in coverage each year and there is no per-incident limits. The monthly cost makes it a great affordable pet insurance plan. They also cover chronic conditions, behavioral therapy, diagnostic testing and more. You can also add on the Wellness Rewards care plan for reimbursements on routine care. Premiums start at $13 for dogs.
Embrace also provides high coverage for dental illnesses at $1,000 per policy year in most states. It covers extractions, root canals, crowns, gingivitis, broken, chipped, or fractured teeth. Routine care such as cleanings and annual checkups are not included in the base plan it can be added through the wellness plan at an extra cost.
Another nice part of Embrace is their shrinking deductibles. Every year you don’t file a claim you will receive a $50 reduction in your deductible, if you have a healthy dog this could lead to a zero deductible.
Learn more by visiting Embrace.
PetPlan Insurance Coverage
- 24 hour 7 day a week customer service
- Pets 6+ weeks are eligible
- Use the PetPlan app to submit claims
Petplan also has no upper age limit. A key item they state according to their claims data is every 6 seconds a pet parent is faced with a vet bill for more than $1,000. This data reinforces our need for pet insurance.
Their plans vary from as low as $20 a month to $100+ a month. It is based on your dog’s age, dog’s breed, where you live, your annual coverage, your chosen reimbursement level and what annual deductible you pick.
Their plans cover accidents, injuries and illnesses. They also cover some hereditary, congenital and chronic conditions as a standard. However, they do not cover pre-existing conditions, routine visits, teeth cleaning or wellness items.
Getting a plan early with PetPlan starting a 6 weeks can mean no worrying about preexisting conditions exclusions.
Trupanion Pet Insurance
- Vet direct pay
- Lifelong health insurance
- Direct vet and hospital bill pay
- Top pick for hereditary conditions
- One plan regardless of breed, age, or gender
Trupanion is unique in that they offer coverage for hereditary conditions which can be a big deal. Examples such as hip dysplasia which can be very expensive. Some other companies will cover them if they were not noticed or diagnosed before your policy started.
Trupanion covers both hereditary conditions and congenital conditions along with the usual illnesses and accidents. They offer one easy plan for whatever may come up. They reimburse at 90% and never impose payout limits.
They recommend enrolling in pet insurance for dogs early while your puppy is young and healthy to make sure any future conditions are covered by the policy.
We use Trupanion and are very happy with it for our 2 dogs and cat!
Learn more by visiting Trupanion.
Pet First Insurance Coverage
- Top pick for preventative care coverage
Pet First covers several things some others do not. Dental cleanings, vaccines and spaying and neutering are all covered to some degree under their routine wellness care plan option. This can save you a lot over your dog’s lifetime.
PetFirst insurance coverage can also be applied at any vet, specialist or emergency clinic in the U.S.. There are 5 different care options that you can add onto your coverage that can add coverage for examinations, vaccines, teeth cleaning, microchipping, preventive treatment for parasites, spaying and neutering, and behavior training.
They process their claims in less than 2 weeks.
Learn more about their pet insurance for dogs by visiting PetFirst.
PetsBest Insurance Coverage
- 90% coverage, no annual limit
- Covers dogs regardless of age or breed
- Easy, straight forward claims process
- Top pick for older dogs
The big take for PetsBest is they will accept dogs over age 12. They have no upper age limit. Their rates do go up as your pet ages though but the peace of mind is usually well worth it.
PetsBest insurance plans cover emergencies, cancer, illnesses and other accidents. They have an add-on pet wellness plan also for routine care and vaccinations.
Their deductibles run from 0 to $1,000 and they offer 70%, 80%, or 90% reimbursement. Dog plans start as low as $9 per month for accident only coverage. Comprehensive accident and illness plans tend to run $35 to $58 per month.
Learn more about their pet insurance for dogs by visiting PetsBest.
How Much Does Preventitive Dog Medicine Cost
Even preventative measures quickly add up. An average visit is $50 to $400 and dental runs on the high end of that too. Yearly vitamins, flea control and heartworm medications will run you another $300 to $400 per year. Pet insurance falls into this category of medical expenses and can be well worth it.
How Much Do Dog Vaccines Cost
Vaccines also add up with a dog needing kennel cough, canine distemper, canine hepatitis, canine parainfluenze, coronavirus, heartworms, leptospirosis, lyme disease, parvovirus and rabies. Many having to be renewed and costing between $60 and $70 and rabies $15 to $20 according to the AKC.
How Much Does Dog Flea Treatment Cost
Flea pills and treatment is another critical aspect and these will run you upwards of $200 a year or $30 to $40 for flea shampoo with regular bathing and grooming.
How Much Does Dog Heartworm Treatment Cost
Heartworms take many dogs lives each year. It is easy to prevent and treat. The heartworm preventative medication runs about $15 a month while treatment for heartworms starts around $400 so it is highly recommended they get regular preventative treatments.
Most Common Dog Emergencies
There are numerous reasons you may need to take your dog to the vet. Here we discuss some of the costs that pet insurance for dogs can help cover. The common emergencies and symptoms that will alert you to this immediate medical need are:
- Difficulty Breathing (Cost $500 to $5000)
- Restlessness, panting, inability to lie down comfortably, unsuccessfully attempting to vomit, and abdominal distention (Cost $500 to $10,000)
- Seizures (Cost $500 to $6,000)
- Collapse or profound weakness ($2,500 to $6,000)
- Profuse hemorrhage or major known trauma ($250 to $10,000)
- Protracted vomiting and/or diarrhea ($500 to $8,000)
- Struggling to urinate ($500 to $8,000)
- Not eating or drinking ($500 to $8,000)
- Loss of use of rear legs ($800 to $10,000)
- Known exposure to dangerous poisons ($200 to $3000)
If your dog displays any of these symptoms, don’t wait. Call your vet immediately and get your pet medical treatment as soon as possible.