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  • Writer's pictureHeather Brendle

Don't forget pet insurance!

If you have had a pet before, you know how expensive their care can be. As we have more options for their care, those expenses have grown, and I love being able to give my pets the best care possible. I try my best to ask all my puppy clients if they have insured their puppy yet, but sometimes we get in a groove and it doesn't come up, so this blog post is for you!

We have had up to 5 dogs at one time, and during that time, there was no way we could have afforded the monthly expense of insurance premiums. Having said that, we also had a dog that herniated a disc and we had to make the choice of doing an expensive surgery ($8,000) or euthanizing her. Suddenly, we were paying almost $700 per month for 12 months to pay off the surgery bill that came with fixing Remy. Suddenly, approximately $250 per month in premiums didn't feel so bad. We have had 8 dogs as adults, and we would have greatly benefited financially from having insurance for 7 of them. But as my good friend and co-host of our podcast, Sometimes There's Side Eye, reminds me on Episode 8 - Pet Insurance, it isn't just about the money.

Having pet insurance takes money off the table when making decisions about our pets. It allows us to partner with our veterinarians and dig deep to find the root of the issues that are happening. It allows us to go to the specialists that may be needed to get to the real solutions. It allows us to erase the burden of "how are we going to pay for this" and focus on the pet that we love and getting them through the medical issue they are experiencing. It allows us to plan our annual pet expenses versus flying on a wing and a prayer.

I am knee deep in Thiago and Tater and their pre-existing conditions (no insurance), but I will tell you this, I won't own another dog (adopted or purchased) without pet insurance going forward. It doesn't matter if that dog comes to us as a puppy or an adult, they will be insured from day one in our home. I want a clean slate, with no pre-existing conditions! Keep in mind, pet insurance isn't just for things like elbow dysplasia, entropion, or allergies, it is also for the freak things that happen in life. An emergency visit due to a scorpion sting, a snake bite, a fall off the porch and now they can't walk, or any other random thing that can happen while you and your pets are enjoying life. It is for emergencies and for regular care like an ear infection or a cyto-point injection for allergies.

I am linking some articles about things to consider below. If you are reading this and have a pet without insurance, I strongly recommend you spend some time doing research, considering your financial situation (which can always change), and think about what stress having pet insurance can eliminate. Consider different companies and be sure to look at not just their premiums, but also their deductibles, coverage, any annual limits, etc. Be thorough and then make the best decision for your family. Honestly, I hope you do it and in 10 years you feel like it was a waste, because that means you had a wonderful, healthy life with your pet. But at least you will have it and have the peace of mind knowing that anything that does happen, is covered and you never have to make a hard choice when considering their care.

rottweiler sleeping on bed in pen after a medical procedure
Thiago, after a shockwave treatment for his elbow dysplasia. This treatment has been super helpful for his discomfort, but costs about $1400 for 3 sessions (2021) and requires a specialist.

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