Should I get my Pet health insurance?

Adopting a dog means taking on certain responsibilities…  emotional  (such as loving your hound), physical (playing and walking), and monetary. The last one can often times become a big burden.

With modern advances in pet healthcare, our best friends can be treated for ailments that, in the past, might have forsaken them. Veterinarians can perform MRI’s, kidney transplants, even radiation therapy. These procedures can often cost between $1000 to more than $5000. In 2013 alone Americans spent an estimated $54 billion on their pets, with one estimate putting vet bills at about 27% of that number.

Pet insurance is similar to our health insurance. There is a monthly premium and in return, your pet is covered for many procedures. There is typically a deductible per visit and you will be expected to pay something around 20% per procedure. You will have to do some math and figure out if you typically spend enough on your pet a year to make the price tag worthwhile.

An alternate route may be to put some money in a high interest savings account. Making monthly payments to this emergency pet savings account might make more sense (although in this economic climate, I don’t know if there is such thing as high interest!).

Sometimes it might make sense to buy pet insurance for peace of mind. Think of this scenario: your dog needs surgery that will cost $3000. With insurance, you might only have to pay 20% of that – which is still a hefty $650, but it is easier to justify than a $3000 decision. You may have enough money in your emergency pet savings account, but $3000 dollars on surgery for your dog can be a mentally tough decision to make for anyone, whereas $650 may be easier to swallow.

Whether you decide pet insurance is right for you or not, make sure you do your due-diligence and check out a bunch of different quotes before making any decisions. Also ask your vet to recommend a few companies to you so they are more credible than something you might find randomly on the net.

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