Katherine Marraccini is an animal lover, advocate, and veterinarian, who enjoys informing pet parents about taking the best care of their pets. In the following article, Katherine Marraccini discusses pet insurance for dogs, and if it is worth the cost for pet parents.
With around 70% of households owning a pet, it’s clear that that the United States is a nation of animal lovers. And dogs might be man’s best friend, but is forking out for pet insurance worth it, or is it just an added, unnecessary expense at a time when all are having to tighten their belts?
Protecting Against the Unexpected
Katherine Marraccini says that all insurance serves to give the purchaser peace of mind. For those who never make use of their premiums, it can seem like a waste of money. But for those who come up against life events that make it necessary, insurance can be lifesaving, at least financially.
There is always the chance that a dog will live out a long, healthy life and never need to visit the vet, save for yearly check-ups and shots. But should the worse happen, and the dog becomes sick or is in an accident, the vet bills can be as crippling as the animal’s physical injuries.
Katherine Marraccini says that it comes down to personal choice but the best way to think of it is like this: if my dog gets sick tomorrow, can I afford to give it the best care possible with the money I have?
And if the answer is no, then dog insurance is almost certainly the answer. But that doesn’t mean purchasing the first premium found when searching online. A little research goes a long way.
What to Know Before Purchasing Dog Insurance
There’s no one-size-fits-all insurance plan, and a lot depends on personal circumstances, for both the dog and its owner. Some things to keep in mind include:
Some Dogs are Cheaper to Insure than Others
This can be down to a wealth of factors, but the general rule of thumb is that the more expensive a dog is to purchase, the more it’s going to cost to insure them.
Katherine Marraccini says that its not because a vet is interested in a dog’s pedigree papers. Titles and trophies mean nothing to medical professionals. Instead, vets know that pedigrees are bred so carefully that they’re at risk of a host of genetic problems.
From back problems in German Shepherds to breathing issues in French Bulldogs, heart defects in Boxers to joint problems in Great Danes, the dogs with the most impressive pedigrees are a nightmare for many owners to insure.
Dogs known for pre-disposition to certain health issues are a red flag for insurers. However, for the everyday mixed breed, insurance is much cheaper because the risks of genetic ailments are less.
Cats are Cheaper to Insure
Katherine Marraccini reports that both the household cat and dog may be loved in equal measure, but the canine companion is the one that’s going to be costlier. Premiums for cats are cost around $340 a year, but for dogs it can be as much as $580.
It can simply be that dogs are bigger, which explains the price difference. Medications, and especially anesthetic, cost more as the animal gets bigger.
Get Insurance While the Pet is Young
Young, healthy dogs with no issues are perfect for insuring. Premiums are cheaper when there are no existing illnesses, and the likelihood is much lower that they’re going to develop problems anytime soon. So, as soon as the puppy comes home, get some insurance quotes.
Katherine Marraccini says that this doesn’t mean that older dogs shouldn’t be insured. On the contrary, they’re the ones most likely in need of care, if not now, then in the future. And vet bills for aging dogs will always outweigh the cost of monthly premiums.
Premiums Can be Bundled
Katherine Marraccini says that many insurers will give discounts for second and third pets if the first one is already covered. It’s more reason to get insurance: more pets means more chance of vet visits, but cheaper rates of cover.
Chances of Vet Visits are High!
In the knowledge that 1 out of 3 pets will require an emergency vet visit, chances of a dog needing treatment is high. Katherine Marraccini says that insuring a dog means not just being able to afford to have it treated, but to have treatment provided to a high standard, and for a beloved pet, there is surely no question that this is necessary.