If you have a dog, it is a very smart idea to have pet insurance put in place for them. Nowadays, you can even get insurance that is tailored specifically to dogs, so that your beloved furry companion’s needs are perfectly catered for.
One thing that it is crucial to remember, however, is that different types of dog insurance cover different aspects of your pet’s health. This article explains all about pet insurance, what it covers, and how to get the best insurance cover for your dog.
By the time that you have finished reading, you will be ready to select the right insurance for your dog with the utmost ease. So let’s get started.
The basics: what is dog insurance?
Dog insurance give you peace of mind. Insurance policies work by having you pay a small fee either monthly or annually to an insurance provider. Usually, you will not need to cash in your policy.
But, if something happens to your dog (such as a broken leg or the need for surgery), your insurance policy will cover either all or part of their medical fees.
To put things in stark contrast, if you do not have any insurance cover for your dog and they wind up having an accident and needing to have surgery, you could end up having to personally pay your vet thousands of dollars to cover surgery, overnight stays, medication and checkups.
If you have got insurance cover in place, though, you will usually not need to pay them a dime.
What will dog insurance usually cover?
In general, dog insurance covers the costs of dealing with accidents and emergencies for your dog, as well as regular medical treatments. So, usually insurance for your darling pet would cover:
- Routine checkups at the vet.
- Broken bones.
- Infections and short term illnesses.
- Preventative flea and worm treatments.
- Treatment for serious or long term illnesses such as cancer.
However, one thing that you will need to take into account is the fact that there are several different types of dog insurance cover. We will take a look at the main types now.
This type of insurance will cover the costs of emergency surgery or other veterinary attention for your pet in the case of accidents such as:
- Swallowing a foreign object.
- Road traffic accidents.
If you have an ‘accident only’ insurance policy for your dog, your insurance will only cover these types of eventuality. If you want to get cover for illnesses, vaccines and so on, you may need to take out additional policies. These are examined below.
Dogs can suffer from numerous illnesses which can necessitate veterinary attention. These illnesses can include, for instance:
- Viral infections.
- Bacterial infections from bites.
Insurance policies that provide illness cover are highly recommended. You never know when your pet pooch might fall ill and if the illness is a chronic one it could result in long and costly courses of treatment.
Many dog owners like to add preventive treatments to their insurance packages. These include cover for the costs of:
- Flea treatments.
- Tick treatments.
As you may have guesses ‘preventive’ treatments are so called because they are designed to prevent your dog getting sick from flea bites, worm and tick infestations or vaccine-preventable illnesses.
Does your dog need something extra?
If your dog needs a little extra therapy, you may be interested to know that you can also get insurance cover for:
– Alternative therapies such as chiropractic care, acupuncture, low level laser therapy, hydrotherapy and physiotherapy.
– Behavioral therapy designed to stop issues such as anger problems, chewing carpets and furniture, or separation anxiety.
Every dog is unique, so if you think that your dog needs some of these extra types of care it is definitely worth while getting the relevant insurance policy for them.
What is not covered by dog insurance policies?
So far, we have looked at what dog insurance cover will pay for, and as you can see this involves quite a lot! However, please do bear in mind that usually there are certain key things that dog insurance cover will not apply to. These include:
- The cost of what the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals has deemed to be an ‘inhumane treatment’ of your dog, namely ear cropping, tail docking or claw removal.
- Congenital or pre-existing conditions. For the purposes of insurance, a pre-existing condition is any ongoing condition that your dog is suffering from prior to you taking the cover out.
- Grooming procedures and supplies. These are more like luxuries. However, insurance will usually cover any pre-surgical shaving or trimming of your dog’s hair, and it may cover the removal of matts from the dog’s coat if this comes under the remit of medical treatment (for instance, treating a flea infestation).
- Experimental therapies.
- Homeopathic remedies.
- Pregnancy costs.
- The cost of boarding your dog whilst you are away.
- Travel costs to the veterinary clinic.
As a rule, it is always very important to read the small print of your insurance policy for your dog so that you are absolutely clear on what it does and does not cover.
Can I mix things up a little?
Dog insurance cover can, as we have already seen, be categorized into themes such as ‘accident cover’ and ‘illness cover’. But can you mix these together? Of course you can! You can easily take out insurance for your dog that covers them both for accident and illness – and you can throw in some preventive cover too. In fact, many standard pet insurance policies do just this!
One final caveat.
Do you love traveling with your dog? Many people do, especially as planes are getting more and more dog friendly!
But, when traveling to another country you will need to double check whether or not your dog’s insurance policy will also cover them whilst abroad or whether the cover that it provides is limited to treatments for accidents and illnesses administered in the US.
If it does not, it would be wise to take out an additional policy for them for the period within which you will be traveling. And do not forget to take out travel insurance for yourself as well!