Veterinarian-written / veterinarian-approved articles for your dog.

Pet Insurance = Peace of Mind

Pet insurance for your dog gives you peace of mind.

It was a dog owner's worst nightmare. In the middle of the night, Buddy awoke his owners with low moans punctuated by a horrible retching sound. Craig and Linda Green1 jumped out of bed and found their big Labrador pacing, moaning, and trying unsuccessfully to vomit. They called their veterinarian's office and got the after-hours machine, suggesting that they contact the local animal emergency clinic.

A Harrowing Emergency Room Visit

The technician at the emergency clinic said that it sounded like Buddy needed to be seen right away, so the Greens loaded him into the van and took him in. By the time they arrived at the emergency clinic, Buddy seemed weak and painful, with heavy panting and unfocused eyes. The emergency clinic personnel rushed him back for x-rays and quickly told the Greens that he had GDV. They explained that this meant that Buddy's stomach had become bloated, then twisted within his abdomen. Without immediate emergency surgery, Buddy would die. The surgery would be $4000, and that's if there were no complications. The Greens didn't hesitate and told the emergency room staff to save Buddy.

A Positive Outcome Due to Pet Insurance

Four months later, Buddy is back to his happy, loving, spoiled self but the Greens still remember the dread they felt the night that he got sick. Craig says that the only thing that would have made that night worse would have been if they hadn't had insurance. You see, the Greens are among a growing number of families using pet insurance to mitigate their pet care costs. They say that the peace of mind the insurance gives them, knowing that they are free to make medical decisions for Buddy that are based on factors other than money, is priceless.

How to Choose a Pet Insurance Company

There are many pet insurance companies to choose from. It can be hard to know where to start. Below are some factors to consider when researching and choosing your pet insurance company:

  • Does the plan use a benefit schedule? This means that the insurance company has defined a maximum amount that they will pay for each diagnosis. If your dog requires more treatment than average for that diagnosis or if your veterinarian has higher prices, you may go over the cap and have to pay the rest yourself. Plans that pay a percentage of each bill, regardless of the diagnosis, are easier to understand and allow you to better plan for the costs that you will be responsible for.
  • Does the plan cover genetic conditions? Some pet insurance companies do not cover medical conditions that they consider to be genetic. In dogs, this can include a large number of diagnoses such as hip dysplasia, a very common canine problem.
  • Can you go to any vet? Some plans only pay if you go to a certain veterinarian. You may not be able to get a second opinion or see a specialist.
  • Are there per-incident caps? Some pet insurance plans only pay up to a certain amount for each incident. So if your dog has a broken leg and requires several surgeries, the plan may stop paying at some point.
  • Does your plan cover wellness items? Some plans do not cover regular preventative care items for your dog. These include wellness exams, vaccinations, heartworm and flea preventative, dental cleanings, and more.
  • If a plan does offer routine care, do they dictate what amount is spent on each item? Some plans do. For instance, they will pay a certain amount for heartworm preventative, a certain amount for wellness exams, etc. Other plans just cover a certain amount per month for any routine care, and you can spend it where you need it.

Which Pet Insurance Company Do We Recommend?

At, we recommend Healthy Paws Pet Insurance & Foundation.

  • They do not have claims forms. Simply send a copy of your veterinary invoice through their easy-to-use app.
  • You can receive reimbursement as a check or through direct deposit to your bank account.
  • They do cover genetic conditions.
  • They do not have per-incident or lifetime payout caps on non-pre-existing conditions.

A Note from Dr. Schelling:

When I first learned about Healthy Paws Pet Insurance & Foundation, I thought Wow—this seems like an amazing company. Great benefits, affordable prices, and people who really care. The right pet insurance plan can be a huge help in caring for your dog. And getting insurance in place before something happens is a smart idea. It only takes two minutes to get a free, no obligation quote. Don't wait until an emergency happens. Please visit Healthy Paws Pet Insurance & Foundation TODAY for your free quote.

1The story and names in this article are fictional, but the story is a conglomeration of a number of similar experiences known to the author.

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