If you treat your dog like your biological child, you’ve probably at least thought about signing up for pet insurance, if you don’t already have a plan dedicated to Fido.
There’s a lot of things that can go wrong with dogs — from eating a sock to picking up a disease from the dog park — that might land them in the vet office. And when your pup ends in the vet office for an accident or illness, you end up with a fat vet bill.
The best pet insurance companies of 2022
Since dogs (even active ones) can be so accident and illness-prone, pet insurance will give you some peace of mind for your fur baby. We recommend pet insurance for folks who can afford a $10 to $50 premium per month, but might have a hard time paying for expensive vet bills in case of an emergency.
How does pet insurance work?
In general, pet insurance works similar to human insurance, with a monthly premium and annual deductible you have to meet before the plan starts paying for vet care. Where pet insurance differs though, is that they often feature a reimbursement model where you pay upfront for the veterinary care, then file a claim with the insurance company to get reimbursed.
Pet insurance usually features reimbursement rates from 70% to 90%, and sliding deductibles can range from $100 per year up to $2000 per year. Most pet insurance plans are pretty customizable, so you can select the reimbursement rate and annual deductible that works for your budget. Some plans include an annual limit as well, which puts a cap on the amount of money you can be reimbursed during one year.
Many pet insurance plans feature age limits for dogs, which is important to note before signing up. Most plans completely cut a dog’s eligibility at a certain age — usually 14. Other plans only cut enrollment at a certain age, but will cover your dog for their lifetime. We’ve also seen a rare few plans that don’t have any age restrictions, but these are more rare.
Also related to age, some plans will hike up your monthly premium as your dog gets older, so beware of that when choosing a pet insurance policy for your furry friend.
The biggest thing to keep in mind about pet insurance is that pre-existing conditions are never covered. This means that it’s best to enroll your dog young and stick with that insurance plan for their lifetime to avoid missing out on coverage for any sickness they might develop.
What does pet insurance cover for dogs?
The vast majority of pet insurance plans only cover accidents and illnesses. This means that if your dog gets into some dangerous food or hurts themselves while playing, you’re totally covered. Some plans even cover dental care and behavioral therapy (ideal for anxious pups).
Things like preventative care, monthly flea and tick preventatives, and yearly vaccines aren’t covered under normal pet insurance plans, but most companies now have options to add on an additional wellness plan that can help with these costs. Spoiler alert though — none of the wellness plans we’ve looked into are that great. When it comes to yearly vet costs, you might be better off setting aside some money every month to cover these kinds of predictable vet costs.
How much does pet insurance cost for dogs?
We hate to tell you this, but it depends. Monthly pet insurance fees for dogs vary greatly depending on their age, their breed, their size, and where you’re located. Monthly costs for someone who lives in an extremely rural area might be higher simply because there’s not as much available veterinary care.
Your monthly price will also depend on some of your choices too — namely, the chosen deductible, annual limit, and reimbursement rate.
We found that pet insurance plans for small, young dogs tended to be the cheapest, starting at around $20 per month, while monthly pricing for larger, older dogs could get over $100 per month. Typically though, we’ve found that prices range from $40 to $80 per month on average.
If you’re ready to dig into the nitty gritty of the pet insurance world, we’ve compiled info for our top five picks for pet insurance for dogs.