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Is Pet Insurance Worth It?

By Sandy Smith | August 9, 2021

As a pet owner, you cannot know what the future holds, and you are in the dark regarding if and how your pet will fall sick and the cost of medical care. The lives of our pets are swamped with uncertainties. Regardless of how careful you are, disaster is always one paw away. Think of your kitten falling off a high fence, your puppy getting hit by a cyclist, or your grown dog being diagnosed with cancer; the dangers are endless.

Your pets are verified members of your family, and you should go the extra mile to ensure that they are well-taken care of in case of tragedy. With pet insurance at your disposal, you will be shielded against unexpected vet fees.

The majority of pet owners cater for their furry friends’ medical expenses from their own pockets, and that can prove overwhelming, especially when you have to pay an emergency vet bill worth $1,500. The fact remains that the appropriate pet insurance plan is a lifesaver. This brings us to the question, is pet insurance worth it? Absolutely worth every cent!

The Costs of Caring for Your Pet

To get a general idea of how critical pet insurance really is, the first step would be to glimpse the kind of expenses typical pet owners encounter daily.

Everyday Costs Every Pet Owner Has to Content With

According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), the average dog owner splashes around $335 to $650 per year on dog food, treats, toys, and other miscellaneous stuff, contingent on the breed, size, and area of residence. And you haven’t even added occasional purchases such as carrier bags and cages, which can cost you a pretty $470 to $560 extra!

Meanwhile, on average, periodic vet wellness visits or health checkups will cost from $50 to $300, depending on the intricacies. Remember also to incorporate vaccines, which cost from $100 per core vaccine.

Now, here comes the clincher. As far as your pet’s vet fees are concerned, wellness visits, vaccines, or regular care aren’t what you should be concerned about! In the event your pet catches an illness or the regular checkup unearths something wrong, the vet bills will shoot considerably. In a nutshell, the lifesaving nature of pet insurance becomes clearly evident when there are unanticipated emergencies and surgical procedures.

Medical Emergencies Costs

Unexpected and costly emergency vet care is hardly easy to anticipate, and unfortunately, it is all too prevalent. As a matter of fact, every year, one in every three pets will require emergency vet treatment.

Between fractures, ingestion of various alien objects, illnesses, and dog bites, pet owners are likely to pay thousands of dollars in treatment. For instance, ligament intervention (repair) in dogs will set you back from $3,000 to $7,000, and that’s not counting anesthesia, assorted X-rays, and progressive physical therapy.

For your cat, treating an obstruction of the urinary tract will cost upwards of $3,000, what with lab tests, antibiotic doses, and probably surgical intervention.

So you can see that on the lower side, the typical cost of unanticipated pet vet care can start from $80 to even as high as $1,500, if not higher! And keeping in mind that nearly 70% of Americans have set aside less than $1,000 for emergencies, imagine the outcome in case a family is swamped with a couple of thousand dollars in vet fees?

In worst-case scenarios, your pet’s medical emergency can be the beginning of many years of vet expenses. This can wreak havoc on your budget, and in addition, if you aren’t able to sustain the regular professional treatment and care needed due to financial constraints, the overall health and quality of life of your pet will be affected.

An Illustration of the Cost of Common Pet Emergencies 

If your dog is injured and has a limp, and you take her to an emergency vet facility, you will pay an exam fee of $100, $180 for radiographs, pain injections amounting to $50, and oral painkillers worth $60.

All this amounts to $390, and that’s being fair. It is important to note that emergency costs vary according to the facility, and the amount can go drastically higher. One facility may charge $75 as an exam fee, while another asks for $180.

Pet Emergencies Can Cause Long-Term Expenses

If a pet emergency is not handled properly, mainly because of financial impediments, a critical issue can be overlooked and cause extra treatment costs. For instance, lack of funds to meticulously investigate an issue may cause life-long chronic pain for the pet and recurring medical expenses for the owner.

Significant pet expenses can also cause massive debt, where the interest accrues progressively. You can avoid such a situation by getting pet insurance in the first place.

Breed-Specific Health Issues

If you are still not convinced about the importance of pet insurance, you should be wary of specific health risks associated with various breeds. Case in point, according to the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals, pugs are seven times more to develop hip dysplasia compared to poodles, and it costs from $1,700 to $5,000 to treat.

Also, French Bulldogs are at high risk of developing a spinal deformity called hemivertebrae, where the vertebrae takes on a wedge shape and form an angle in the spine. Diagnosis will require digital imaging, and treatment will most likely involve surgery, setting you back thousands of dollars.

Pet Insurance: The Best Gift for Your Pet

From all the above reasons, you can see how absolutely necessary pet insurance is. From the financial peace of mind that it’ll grant you to the fact that your pet will receive top-notch care and treatment when needed, pet insurance is the best gift you can gift your pet.