The costs of owning a dog can be high. Not only can purchasing a dog be a considerable expense (especially with certain breeds) but providing them with everything they need can be expensive too. Food, toys, grooming – it can all add up. And then you need to think of vet bills.
Dogs are much like humans and can run into health problems at any time. Unexpected accidents, age-related illnesses, and sickness and disease are all possibilities when you own a dog. And when they arise, the vet bills aren’t cheap. That’s where dog insurance comes in.
What is Dog Insurance?
Did you know that 1 out of 3 pets will need emergency medical care in their lifetime? And emergency care for your dog can be expensive. Not only do you have to factor in the cost of veterinarian bills, but you also have to factor in the cost of any medications or surgeries that your pet might need.
If your dog needs emergency medical treatment outside of regular veterinarian hours, you’ll also have to consider the increased costs associated with emergency veterinarian services. All in all, it adds up in bills.
This is where dog insurance comes in handy. Dog insurance works much like many other types of insurance, providing you with coverage if your pet needs emergency medical care. Like other types of insurance, you will pay a monthly premium for your insurance.
Policies can differ greatly but will outline the cost of your plan, what is to be covered by your plan, your reimbursement rate, the deductible, and the maximum payout limits.
What Does Dog Insurance Cover?
There are three basic types of plans for dog insurance: accident-only plans, accident-illness plans, and Accident/Illness + Wellness plans.
Accident-only plans generally cover any costs related to unexpected injuries caused by an accident. If your dog ingests a foreign object or breaks a bone, accident-only plans can help to cover the medical costs associated with the emergency.
Accident-illness plans cover unexpected injuries but also cover unexpected illnesses. If your dog suddenly develops cancer, hip dysplasia, or some other form of illness or disease, accident-illness plans can help to cover the medical costs associated with them.
Accident and illness plans generally help to cover things like emergency care costs, test and diagnostic fees, surgery fees, and medication fees. Depending on how comprehensive the policy you select is, some or all of the costs may be covered.
Some companies also offer the option of a wellness package which helps with fees associated with regular care and maintenance. Included within wellness insurance are regular checkup fees, vaccines, and routine care.
You can also purchase additional add-ons offered by some companies that cover alternative therapies like acupuncture, massage, hydrotherapy, and chiropractic care.
Note: In most cases, pre-existing conditions are not covered by dog insurance.
How much does Dog Insurance Cost?
The cost of dog insurance in Canada can differ significantly depending on the company you select, your location, and the types of services you request. Obviously, the more comprehensive the plan, the more you should expect to pay.
For example, you should expect to pay more for accident/illness plans than you would accident-only plans. Similarly, you should expect to pay more for accident/illness + wellness plans than you would accident/illness plans.
Other things to consider when determining the cost of dog insurance include what types of treatments are covered under the plan, what the payout limits are, what the level of reimbursement is, and whether or not the plan covers pre-existing conditions. Again, the more comprehensive the plan, the more you should expect to pay.
Having said all of that, the average premium for dog insurance in Canada is $39 per month.
Is Dog Insurance Worth it?
If your dog is in good health, you should probably expect to pay somewhere between $200-$300 annually for check-ups, vaccines, and other regular care. But when emergencies arise, they can become much more costly.
Trips to the emergency vet are only around $120, but if your dog needs additional care, the bills can add up. Just one night in hospitalization can cost upwards of $1200. So when you factor in the costs of tests, diagnostics, surgeries, and medications, you could be looking at a bill worth thousands of dollars.
So given that dog insurance can help pay for much of these expenses, it is well worth the small fee each month. It may seem like a lot of money up-front, but you will be very glad you have it in the case of an emergency.