Whether you’re the owner of a new puppy or kitten, or an older dog or cat, you’ve probably wondered about purchasing pet medical insurance. Is it something every pet owner should have? Many of the issues, good and bad, are similar to buying your own health insurance. You have got to read the fine print, choose the right deductible that fits within your budget, and READ REVIEWS!!!
Most pet owners know the common reasons dogs and cats end up in the vet’s office, like toy swallowing, accidental poisoning, hereditary conditions, cancer and car accidents. What they don’t know, however, is just how expensive veterinary care can be.
Advancements in veterinary technology mean longer, happier lives for our pets, but that doesn’t come without a price. In addition to routine pet health care like teeth cleanings and vaccinations, office visits, blood work, surgery, prescription medications and follow-up visits can lead to sky-high vet bills.
The pet sitters and clients of Walk and Wag often discuss this subject…should I or shouldn’t I, especially with older pets. Purchasing pet insurance may be able to help cut those bills down to size, however, according to Consumer Reports, pet insurance is not all it’s cracked up to be. In their August 2011 magazine, their article, “Pet Insurance: Rarely Worth the Price”, only in uncommon cases, when a pet required very expensive care, would the coverage have more than paid for itself.
That being said, I have several clients that carry the Optimum Wellness Plan through Banfield Pet Hospital (the veterinary arm of PetSmart stores) and are very happy with it. It is similar to some human plans that cover (free or discounted) office exams, vaccinations, physicals, etc. It’s not a catastrophic-type of insurance that most others are selling.
Here are a few websites that give you reviews of the most popular plans as well as allowing you to customize your own plan and finding the best fit.