Best Pet Insurance For Your Dog

Best Pet Insurance
Most dog owners would do anything for their beloved pets. Modern advances in veterinary care allow these dedicated owners to provide their dogs with everything from checkups and preventative medicine to organ transplants and chemotherapy.

The costs of these procedures can add up quickly. In fact, the American Pet Products Association reports that US pet owners spent $1.3 million at the vet in 2012. Pet Insurance can help owners ensure that their dogs have access to the best care.

What is Pet Insurance?

Pet health insurance is similar to the insurance that covers human conditions. In the past, plans were mostly designed to offset the costs of unexpected illnesses or accidents. However, many now offer wellness coverage to help pay for standard preventative care such as checkups and vaccinations. Today’s plans provide comprehensive coverage with flexible payment options including co-pays, deductibles and percentage-based payments for many conditions.

Benefits of Pet Health Insurance

Pet owners know that it’s not always possible to predict a dog’s behavior. The characteristics that make dogs so endearing such as exuberance, curiosity and flamboyance can also get them into trouble. An altercation at the dog park or a foray into the garbage can lead to unexpected vet bills. Even some plants commonly found around the yard or on an everyday walk route can make dogs sick if ingested. Pet insurance helps to pay for the consequences of these unforeseen circumstances.

A good policy also serves to cover part or all of the cost of cutting-edge medical procedures that can save and prolong the lives of ill pets. Vets can now use diagnostic tools such as MRI and ultrasound imaging to screen pets for serious diseases or help uncover the underlying causes of health problems. Cancer surgery may be accompanied by anti-tumor vaccines or medications. Dogs with degenerative diseases that require surgical intervention can also benefit from advances in medical technology used to treat pets.

Whether or not they’re suffering from an illness, all pets need routine care from the vet. As with humans, preventative care is the best way to keep dogs healthy throughout their lives. However, since even the best preventative measures can’t always keep pets from getting sick or suffering injury, dog insurance can be invaluable for pet owners. Having insurance can allow owners who might not otherwise be able to afford regular vet visits to bring their dogs in for checkups and purchase medications to address health concerns.

Common Dog Health Problems

Pet insurance gives dog owners peace of mind when it comes to common health conditions. All pets have particular diseases and complications that come up over the course of their lives. Dogs are especially prone to:

• Ear infections
• Skin allergies
• Pyoderma (hot spots)
• Vomiting and diarrhea
• Parasites such as worms, fleas and ticks
• Dental disease
• Infections or functional disorders of the lower urinary tract
• Hypothyroidism
• Bloat

Age-related health conditions including cataracts and arthritis are common among senior dogs and may or may not be covered.

Breed-Specific Diseases

Certain breeds of dogs are more prone to developing diseases than others. This may be due to genetics or physical characteristics that compromise overall health. Pit bulls, for example, often develop cataracts as they age, and many dog breeds including Rottweilers suffer from both contact and food allergies.

Dysplasia, a condition involving loose or poorly formed joints that results in wearing of cartilage, appears commonly in larger dogs. Other large breeds such as golden retrievers are prone to obesity if not given enough exercise.

Small breeds including Shih Tzu and pugs can develop respiratory problems due to the compacted shape of their faces and heads. Back pain and loss of coordination from intervertebral disc disease occasionally develops as well.

Owning one of these breeds doesn’t automatically mean that complications will arise. However, dog lovers should keep the potential for health problems in mind when looking to adopt a puppy or adult dog. Dog insurance may be helpful for those caring for breeds with known associated health issues.

Should Owners Invest in Insurance for Their Dogs?

Pet insurance may be a good idea for owners who:

• Live in high-traffic areas or other locations where accidents are common
• Have a “high risk” animal such as a dog that spends a lot of time outdoors or that is known to be prone to illness or injury
• Invested in a pure breed or other expensive dog
• Expect age- or breed-related health expenses in the future
• Are having trouble covering routine vet expenses
• Are concerned about the lifelong health of their dogs and consider insurance to be an investment

To find the best pet health insurance, dog owners must consider what they’re most likely to need covered by an insurance plan. Doing a comprehensive comparison allows concerned owners to make informed decisions when it comes to covering the care of their dogs. Since plans and payment options differ, it’s important to find out what is and isn’t covered by the desired insurance. Coverage may or may not include:

• Veterinary checkups
• Vaccinations and common medications
• Genetic or breed-related conditions
• Pre-existing conditions
• Chronic diseases including heart disease
• Age-related degenerative diseases
• Cancer, including ongoing coverage after diagnosis

Owners should weigh the potential cost of veterinary care against the cost of insurance for a dog or puppy to determine what kind of plan to purchase. Reading pet insurance reviews offers insight into other dog owners’ experiences with various plans and provides useful information for those who find the available options overwhelming or confusing.

Having a pet health insurance plan to cover routine wellness and unforeseen difficulties over the course of a dog’s life can substantially reduce the cost of vet visits and medical procedures. Dog owners who want to be able to provide the best possible care have many options when it comes to coverage. Choosing a comprehensive plan ensures that, no matter what health concerns may arise, owners can afford to care for a dog from his puppy days on into the autumn of life.

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