Usually I have fun and or funny posts because that is my nature, but sometimes I feel the need to write about serious topics that are important to us dogs such as staying off thin ice, the need to brush your teeth or that you should always wear a seat belt in a vehicle. Today, I am going to throw in my doggy dog opinion on pet health insurance. Keep in mind that this is just my opinion from my own experience but I want to make sure that all pets and their parents think about this subject. Lately a lot of my friends have found themselves with major health issues and some of their pet parents are struggling to pay for their care and this makes me sad so I want to offer my thoughts on a way to help alleviate this problem for other friends in the future.
Mom used to laugh at the thought of pet health insurance. That is for crazy people she said, or only in America. She had had some hefty vet bills in the past from ill pets but never took the insurance idea seriously. In Germany her dog Trine stopped eating from one day to the next and a week later she was gone. She passed away from pancreatic cancer. Mom took her to the vet who was her friend and they did everything they could for her but there was no cure. Normally, this would have been a very expensive week but because mom’s friend was her vet, charges were minimal. When we moved to the US, mom’s vet friend was an ocean away but mom did not think much about vet costs.
At my 2 year old check up here in the US, the vet found a lump in one of my many breasts, it was an odd lump and it was decided to send it in for testing. The vet informed mom that it could very well be cancer and that as with humans, cancer can strike at any age. Mom spent several days worrying, thinking about the costs of taking me to big clinics, etc, but she knew she would do anything to save me. We got lucky and it was just a cyst which disappeared on its own a few months later. It did get mom to realize, though, that she should check out pet health insurance to see how it works and if it is worth it or not.
After checking with 3 different companies she decided that it would be a good idea to have, so for us dogs mom took out insurance, just for accidents, illness and cancer, routine exams and shots are an option but she did not need that part of the plan. So far it has worked really well. We, knock on wood have not had any major emergencies, but for things like an ear infection or Katie’s arthritis medication it has helped cover the costs. Our provider is very good and mom gets a check within a couple weeks of submitting a claim, no questions asked.
Bert, my cat bro, had a blocked urinary tract in the winter and had to go to the emergency vet and then our regular vet all of which cost over $1000 but he was not insured so mom had to pay for it all herself. She did not think about the cost for the cats. Once it happens it is too late. Just because the animal is smaller does not mean that care will be cheap, it can also be quite expensive.
I just want pet parents to think during the good times for a moment about the awful case that your pet has something terrible happen. Mom says pets used to be just pets and the vets did not do much when they were really sick but now us pets are family and care is available for almost any illness or accident and it is expensive. Can you afford several or more thousands of dollars to treat your pet? If you can, great, but if you can’t or are not sure, insurance may provide you with peace of mind. At first the monthly premium may seem like a strain but now it is simply in our budget and it is not that much money really. You will still have to pay your deductible and depending on your policy a portion of the total costs but that is much better than having to face the entire bill. Vet costs, especially emergency vet costs, add up quickly and you need to be prepared. If you have specific questions, mom and I are happy to help, just put them in a comment or send me an email. My email is on my about Emma page.
Since I am thankful that mom has insurance for us I have joined in the Thankful Thursday Blog Hop – join in the fun!
Stay healthy friends!