Should You Buy Pet Insurance for Your Pooch?

Are pet insurance policies really worth the money? Considering that pet owners spend billions (yes, billions!) of dollars every year on veterinary bills for their furry friends, an insurance policy might be worth it, if it makes those bills more manageable. This article will help you decide if you should buy pet insurance.

Size Matters

When considering pet insurance for your dog, first consider how much your vet bills are likely to be. You can ask your vet how much exams, vaccinations, and emergency care might cost.

Then consider your ability to cover those costs from your savings and income.

It’s important to note that larger breeds tend to incur higher veterinary bills over their lifetime. In fact, it can be up to 10 times that of smaller breeds!

Among the 10 most expensive dog breeds to own, vet bills due to a myriad of health issues are one of the major costs. If you own a larger breed, pet insurance may be a wise investment.

The Sooner, The Better

buy pet insurance when pup is young

Although it is possible to buy pet insurance for older pets, as with humans it’s better to have a policy in place before anything goes wrong.

If you have insurance before your vet documents any issues, there is less chance your insurance company will deny coverage due to a pre-existing condition.

What Kind of Insurance

Once you start digging into pet insurance, you will discover it can be pretty complicated.

Here are some of the questions that you will need answers to:

  • which pets will be covered?
  • does the policy cover congenital conditions such as hip dysplasia?
  • how are reimbursements calculated?
  • is there a deductible and how is it calculated?
  • does the policy cover a condition that was first detected last year?

You can find more details about pet insurance policies here.

Location, Location, Location

The average cost of pet insurance for dogs is less than $50 per month, although premiums can be considerably more if you live in a large city. In major metropolitan areas, veterinary charges tend to be higher, and your policy could pay for itself after just a few visits.


Another way to protect yourself against a large vet bill is to start a Pet Savings Account. If you faithfully deposit money every month into a special account for your pooch, you’ll be prepared in the event of an unexpected health expense. Consider this your “premium”. If no emergencies arise, you get to keep that money instead of sending it to the insurance company.

Be Proactive

One of the most important steps you can take to reduce your vet bills is to become actively involved in your dog’s health.

For example, do some research on dog health. You could read Betsy Brevitz’s book The Complete Healthy Dog Handbook. This is a comprehensive book that discusses such important topics as:

  • dog and puppy nutrition
  • weight control
  • exercise and your dog
  • your dog’s teeth
  • fleas and ticks
  • heartworms
  • your dog’s ears
  • vaccinations

Following the simple steps that Dr. Baker outlines could possibly save you lots of money and protect your precious pet from unneeded problems.

Should You Buy Pet Insurance?

So, let’s ask again: do you need pet insurance?

It will all depend upon your finances and how big you think your vet bills might be. You could also check on the average vet bills your breed typically incurs.

With a good backup plan, you may not need pet insurance to have peace of mind. If your dog isn’t super active, didn’t make the “clumsiest dog list” and lives a fairly peaceful life, a savings account may adequately cover veterinary visits.