Puppies are adorable little balls of fur that are full of energy and curiosity. With all this excitement and sense of adventure comes major responsibility for you as the pet owner. You’ll need to keep an eye on your puppy as he explores his new world and ensure you have a local vet nearby to care for his annual exams and any potential emergencies (a puppy’s curiosity gets him into trouble sometimes).
Have you thought about enrolling in puppy insurance? With so many views and opinions, it can be hard to tell if you could benefit from pet insurance. Let’s review some of the pros and cons of a puppy insurance plan to help you decide if you need it for your pup.
Pro: You’ll Never Have to Choose Between Your Wallet and Your Pet
Some dog parents have had to face the heartbreaking decision of whether they can afford to save their pup’s life or not. In serious situations, some have been left with only one option—euthanasia—because of the high costs of medical treatment.
Emergency veterinary care can be a heavy financial burden for pet parents to shoulder. Insurance can lessen this burden by providing extra resources. With this support, you don’t have to feel like your family’s finances are on the line if you choose to get your dog the medical treatment he needs.
An affordable pet insurance plan for your puppy can give you a sense of peace. It will be there to lighten the blow if your furry friend falls ill or gets hurt.
Con: There is a Cost to Pet Insurance
Nothing in life comes for free, and that includes puppy insurance. To have this safety net at your fingertips, a policy premium will need to be purchased. The more comprehensive your insurance plan is, the more expensive it will be. You should also note that your dog’s age will affect the insurance premium rate. The good news is that puppy plans tend to have lower premiums. Senior dogs on the other hand tend to have more health issues and therefore carry a higher premium. Additionally, many pet insurers offer multi-pet discounts offering a percentage decrease for a household of furry friends.
Even though puppy insurance has a monthly cost that you have to budget for, it’s better than having to pay a significant amount at one time. According to CNBC, the average cost of emergency pet care can range from $800 to $1,500. If those sums twist your stomach into knots, you’ll be happy to know that your pet insurance company will cover the majority of those costs. The peace of mind that comes with knowing you can care for your puppy is enough to make the cost worth it.
Pro: Pet Insurance is There When Accidents Happen
Curious puppies get into all kinds of trouble. Even if you try to be super vigilant, things can happen. That sock that missed the laundry basket this morning? It becomes a dangerous chew toy for your puppy, and chunks of it end up obstructing his bowels. The family cat your puppy is obsessed with? She gets tired of the pup’s energy and gets his eye with her claw. So much can happen unexpectedly. For a list of the most common dog injuries to watch for, head to Fetch by WebMD.
One of the biggest pros of puppy insurance is the relief they provide for accidents. When your pup gets into mischief and ends up hurting himself or getting sick, insurance can cover a significant portion of the medical bills. Enjoy every minute you have with your puppy without worrying about needing to cover the costs of his treatment.
Con: Accidents Might Not Happen for a Long Time
It can be hard to commit to puppy insurance because you think the chances of an accident are slim to none. Perhaps (and hopefully) this is true. Many dogs don’t need the help of insurance until they’re older. At this point, insurance is helpful because senior dogs are more likely to get sick. With a puppy, you’re usually more careful about keeping a close eye on them, so the chances of them getting hurt are slimmer.
However, an accident may still happen while your furry friend is young. You never know when you’ll need the extra resources to pay for veterinary bills—but that’s the good thing about insurance; it’s there when you need it.
Pro: Getting Insurance for a Puppy Can Ensure He’s Covered When He’s Older
While your puppy may have fewer illnesses than an adult dog, it’s still a good idea to enroll in pet insurance. Signing up your puppy for insurance can save you money in the future when your dog is older.
Remember seeing something about “pre-existing conditions” in the policy plan’s restrictions? This means you will not receive reimbursement for medical treatment from an illness or injury that your dog had prior to purchasing insurance. You can avoid the lack of coverage for many health issues by enrolling your dog in a plan while he’s still a puppy. Your insurer will cover any illness or injury he experiences after the waiting period.
Con: Pre-Existing Conditions Are Not Covered and Restrictions May Apply
Like health insurance plans, many pet insurance providers do not cover pre-existing conditions. These conditions include diabetes and hip dysplasia. If your dog shows signs or symptoms of any health condition before enrolling in insurance, your insurer will not reimburse you for the costs of treatment. That’s why we suggest signing up for an insurance policy while your dog is still a puppy.
It’s also important to note that some insurance providers have other restrictions to coverage. For example, some breeds may be charged a higher premium for coverage, while other breeds are not covered at all. Before signing up for a plan, always discuss any restrictions they may have with the insurance company. You don’t want to pay for a plan that doesn’t help your pup.
Pro: Choose Your Own Vet
You know how you’re restricted to finding an in-network primary care doctor for you and your family with your health insurance? You don’t have to hassle with finding an in-network veterinarian. You can keep using that vet your pup knows and loves. And if you move, there’s no hassle here either! Claim reimbursements are managed between you and the insurance provider.
Love to travel with your puppy? Some plans even cover care in countries outside of your own so you can travel with ease with your furry best friend.
Con: Not Every Health Condition Is Covered
Besides pre-existing conditions, there are some health conditions that your insurance provider may not reimburse—even if your pet develops symptoms of this illness after you become a policyholder.
One of these illnesses is cancer. Many providers do not cover cancer because of all the expenses associated with treating this disease. Unlike the other guys, Odie does offer reimbursement for cancer treatment and other chronic conditions. Get your puppy covered (and your wallet reinforced) for anything life may throw at him with Odie.
Many insurance providers also have exclusions to their policies, meaning they do not cover certain illnesses. Terms you’ll commonly see in the exclusions section include:
- Hereditary Condition: This is a condition that your pup is born with. It may or may not be evident at the time of birth.
- Congenital Condition: This is a discoverable condition that your dog is born with and occurs in certain breeds or because of inbreeding or a mutation.
- Developmental Condition: This is a condition that occurs from a failure to develop normally early in life.
Pro: Packages for Supplemental Care
While pet insurance policies place restrictions on the health conditions they will cover, some, such as Odie, will offer supplemental care packages. These packages can reimburse you for unplanned office visits and exam frees, take-home prescriptions, routine care, and even rehabilitation, chiropractic, and acupuncture care. With customizable plans, you can design a policy that meets your needs. It’s not too much or too little coverage—it’s just right.
Accidents Happen, Insurance is There
Pet insurance is just as valuable as feeding your puppy high-quality food and taking him on regular walks. You do your best to care for your furry friend, but when something unexpected arises, your pet insurance is there to give you a helping hand. You will not be faced with the decision of whether to save your pet or save your money.
We know it can be hard to determine if pet insurance is right for you, especially if your pup is still young. That’s why we created this list of pros and cons of puppy insurance. Hopefully, this will answer some of your questions and help you see the value in getting insurance for your dog—no matter how old he is. After all, accidents happen to any person and any dog.
If you still have questions and would like to speak with a professional, give us a call! We would love to answer your questions.