Should you purchase pet insurance for your old dog?
Have you ever experienced sticker shock after a vet visit when your senior pet has been sick?
Veterinary medicine has improved to provide testing and treatments for pets to help them live longer, healthier, happier lives. Pet insurance can be a good way to help manage the cost of veterinary care for senior dogs. This industry is available to help with expenses surrounding accidents and or common ailments like arthritis, cancer, diabetes, and other metabolic diseases. Ultimately, you must decide for yourself if buying pet insurance is “worth it”. Even an inexpensive plan can make sense for an older dog with no preexisting conditions.
Pets can become sick or injured suddenly. No matter their age, however, senior dogs tend to have higher incidence of illness as they age. Vet bills continue to increase and can be prohibitive financially for many pet parents.
When considering pet insurance for your senior dog you should consider a few things.
1. How much money would you have available to spend on a sudden illness or injury for your pet? Majority of pet insurances works on a reimbursement plan though some may start paying at the visit. Historically though with pet insurance, you pay the vet bill at time of service and submit the invoice to your insurance company for reimbursement based on your plan.
If you can only afford $1000, be sure to consider this when you choose your plans details. You will have to pay that $1000 and be reimbursed a percentage of the bill from your plan.
2. Know the company you choose to work with. On average monthly premiums for dogs 8 years and over range from $20-$90 according to the PetPlan Insurance website. Some companies will increase your premiums with age, and some do not.
Realize that pets are living longer, and the chances of a cancer diagnosis goes up with age. The average cost of cancer treatment can cost $1300 - $10,000 or more - according to Petcarerx.com.
3. Along with age you should consider your pets breed and the life expectancy. A large breed like a mastiff on average only lives 7 -8 years compared to their smaller counterparts chihuahuas and toy poodles can live 15-18 years on average. Some companies will even have an age limit while some do not. Ask them if any criteria that make them cut off a pet's coverage such as a certain age.
4. Understand your senior dog’s pre-existing conditions at the time of enrollment. If your pet has had allergies no treatment for this condition will be covered. However, it is unlikely that allergies will be your dog’s only ailment as he ages. Considering the cost for the things that could develop pet insurance can make sense for some families. Conditions that would be covered for senior dogs could include accidents, illness, hospitalizations, surgeries, diagnostic tests, x rays, ultrasounds, holistic care, alternative medical therapies, emergency care, cancer treatments, and other medical expenses.
Over their lifetime our dogs provide a wealth of love, loyalty and unforgettable memories. As they age, we want to ensure they live a happy and healthy life. Older dogs can be more expensive than puppies. Even if getting a plan later in their life, doing so before their health gets worse is important. Don’t face the expensive vet bills alone. With insurance for your senior dog, you can have the peace of mind that you can afford any care they need for years to come.
Be sure to check out the podcast episode featuring Dr. Angela Gamboni and her experience with her senior dog Mr. Cole and her pet insurance plan that helped give him his best life and her the peace of mind pet parents are searching for during these later years with their pets. You can check out this podcast with the link below.