Here’s how pet insurance saved me a lot of money

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Pet insurance covers expensive medical procedures, allowing you to focus on your pet’s recovery.


Key points

  • It can cost upwards of $22,000 over an animal’s lifetime to keep it healthy.
  • Pet insurance allows a pet owner to minimize the cost of caring for a pet.

If you’re a pet owner, you’ve probably noticed how expensive veterinary care has become. Depending on veterinary costs in your area, lifetime healthcare for a dog can cost between $700 and $1,500 per year. If a dog lives 15 years, that’s between $10,500 and $22,500 spent on veterinary care alone.

And it’s the cost of veterinary care that explains why my dogs are covered by pet insurance. Back when I first purchased coverage, pet insurance was a niche product. There were few companies to choose from, and honestly the coverage was spotty at best. Today, once I meet a $500 deductible, 90% of my pet’s care is paid for by insurance.

I also carry wellness coverage for both dogs, mostly because of how quickly things like teeth cleaning, heartworm testing, and flea and tick prevention add up. Insurance allows me to budget for day-to-day expenses and avoid costly surprises.

Why I rush for insurance

When my husband and I were young, in college and dead broke, we adopted a dog. We fell in love with her but had no idea how much her care would cost. We found a low cost vaccination clinic to keep their vaccinations up to date, but I had a nagging concern. What if she got seriously ill or was injured? How would we pay for this?

Later, when we were out of school, I found pet insurance. As mentioned, those early policies weren’t as comprehensive as they are today, but having a policy for her still provided me with a measure of peace. It could only happen if she was seriously ill or injured, but it was better than nothing.

Today, pet insurance covers everything from vaccinations to stem cell treatments. Having a cover in place not only eases my mind, but also saves tons of money.

How Pet Insurance Saves Money (and Anxiety)

I am a pet mom. I take care of the puppies in a way that annoys non-animal lovers. How can I know? I have been told – more than once. However, my pets are part of the family and I want to make sure they are taken care of. Pet insurance allows me to do this without breaking the bank.

Wellness care

In our area, the cost of annual treatments such as vaccines, boosters, heartworm testing, deworming, teeth cleaning and office visits total approximately $1100 per dog.

Wellness coverage for each animal costs $64 per month or $768 per year. That’s an annual savings of over $330 per dog. Most importantly, insurance keeps you up-to-date with the checkups and treatments dogs need to live long, healthy lives.

Full coverage

The puppies rarely saw a vet due to illness, but I’m still glad I bought full coverage as soon as we got them home. Because they were still relatively young, I only pay $27 per month for each dog. Even better, the price is fixed. This means that the premium will not increase with age. That way, if one of them develops a health problem when they’re older, there’s coverage in place.

In the meantime, both dogs have anxiety issues that require regular veterinary care. We adopted one after she was abandoned twice and she still gets nervous every time we leave the room. The other could be a meteorologist, quivering like a leaf as storms approach.

Because our vet understands their history and quirks, he is able to offer advice (and occasional medication) to improve the dogs’ lives. Being able to make regular visits to the vet without taking out a second mortgage is important. And not having to pay for calls to the office makes it easier to take them if something goes wrong.

A life of savings

Veterinary care in our region costs a little more than in other parts of the country. If my dogs live to be 15, the wellness care alone will add up to at least $16,500 for each of them. If one of them is sick or injured, that number will likely reach $20,000 to $25,000. By paying a monthly insurance premium, the amount I am responsible for paying for the care they need is minimized.

Customizable policies

One of the benefits of pet insurance is that an owner can tailor it to their budget. By comparing pet insurance companies, they can decide which coverage best suits their pet’s needs and which company offers the most affordable policies.

Having seen coverage evolve over the years, I can tell you that pet insurance has been more than worth the price for me.