Dogs are smart, but they don’t always act that way. They are notorious for getting themselves tangled up in bizarre situations that’ll have you scratching your head and reaching for your wallet.
Going to the vet is no walk in the park, either. Not only are you worried about your dog, you’re also concerned about what it might cost.
Your concerns are certainly valid because vet costs have risen over 10% since 20151. In fact, a trip to the emergency room could start at as much as $1,0002 and end up in multiples of $10,000.
How much is your dog’s life worth?
How much is too much? $2,500? $5,000? $10,000? Our pets are priceless to us, but the truth is, when you’re faced with life or death treatments without insurance, this is a calculation you’ll have to make, and you won’t have a lot of time to think about it.
What if it’s not life or death?
Even if you don’t end up in the emergency room for a life-saving procedure, insurance can help you afford many treatments that can drastically improve your dog’s quality or length of life, like joint or limb surgery.
What are your options?
If you don’t have insurance and you don’t have the money, you’ll be forced to take out a loan or use financing. This could have the potential to impact your credit, and you could be paying interest for years. Plus, when your family member is in a life or death situation, who really wants to think about money?
Are dogs more expensive than cats?
The answer to this does depend on the dog’s breed and size, but in general, dogs are more costly than cats. That means, many cat owners may choose to forego pet insurance because the bills on average are lower than for dogs. (Though, we still recommend insurance for cats too.)
So, should you get pet insurance?
This is a personal decision you’ll have to make based on what makes the most sense for you financially. If you have an older dog with a lot of pre-existing medical conditions, an emergency fund might be the better option.
However, in most cases, dog health insurance will be a great cost savings to you should you ever face a medical issue with your dog, which is almost inevitable at some point no matter what precautions you take. Just make sure you compare companies and plans to find the best dog insurance for you.
Do you really need puppy insurance?
You might think that a young dog will not have any medical issues for a long while, so why bother? This is actually the best time to get insurance, because there are likely no pre-existing conditions yet and younger dogs cost less to insure.
Young dogs are also not immune to illness or accidents. Not only do puppies tend to think every object is edible, but have you ever seen a puppy trying to navigate stairs for the first time?
Having a policy from the moment you bring your dog home will help make sure that when the unexpected happens, you’re able to focus on getting them the best care available, rather than the cost.
Yes, you should get dog insurance.
That’s the simple answer. The extended version of that answer is that you need to do your research, compare quotes and make the final decision for yourself.
- Sullivan, P. (2018, October 12). Pets are Like Family. But as Health Costs Rise, Few are Insured That Way. New York Times. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/12/your-money/pets-health-costs-veterinarians.html
- Horch, A. (2019, June 20). Most Americans Own a Pet, But not the Insurance 1 in 3 Faithful Companions Will Need. CNBC. https://www.cnbc.com/2019/06/20/most-americans-own-a-pet-but-cant-afford-to-pay-their-medical-bills.html