Question of the Week
Lake Mathews, California
Pet insurance is a good idea if you have a single dog, but very expensive if you have multiple dogs. Instead, I put the same amount that I would pay an insurance company into a dog savings fund every payday, and then when something happens, I use that fund to pay the bill. This way I get the interest and have the necessary funds available when I need them.
Sherman Oaks, California
Well, I can say for a fact that I do have medical pet insurance, at the request of my vet and dear friend: She explained to me what I had been paying out for many years without insurance. She weighed everything and then proved to me that I needed to get coverage, and that the yearly costs would in fact be less when I would be getting a percentage back. I did this over five years ago and have never looked back. I structured my deductible and coverage with my vet’s directions so that I did not go overboard or get less than what I would need. All of my dogs are covered correctly. There are a lot of companies out there today, and the best approach is to discuss them with your vet first and foremost.
Gig Harbor, Washington
I take my chances. My (now retired) irreplaceable vet Doc Ries once told me, “I’d go broke if I had to rely on your dogs: They’re all so healthy.” I was blessed with Portuguese Water Dog show/ house pets who lived long, pretty healthy lives: Our dogs, to ages 13 and 15; bitches to 13 and 14.
Grass Valley, California
I always thought pet insurance was for pets until a year ago this weekend, when one of our girls had horrendous back pain. It turned out to be a C5 fracture; she’d jumped down from a chair and fell the wrong way. It was Good Friday, and it seemed every veterinary neurologist had taken the long weekend off. We finally found an emergency clinic that would take her, but they couldn’t assure me she’d be seen until Tuesday. The quote was $12,000 to $14,000. Thankfully we got her into UC Davis, which could keep her comfortable until Monday, when the team would evaluate her. The quote from them was $8,000 to $11,000. It was funny: She was admitted as a Poodle mix, but the veterinarian who called said we are thinking she is a special breed. Yes, she’s a Champion Dandie Dinmont Terrier, and in good trim. After this experience we decided we needed pet insurance for catastrophic events and went with Pet’s Best Pet Insurance. We decided on a $1,000 deductible and 80 percent coverage with no limit, which would have saved us $6,000 on this bill. We pay $75/month for coverage on our three dogs.
Only one of my dogs has health insurance. Wish I had that for all my dogs; there are only benefits, as unexpected issues can happen and pretty much break the bank. Health-insurance rates are relatively low compared to the cost of emergency treatments.
Piedmont, South Carolina
My dogs do not have insurance. I work at a vet clinic, so my employee discount gives me more savings than insurance would. I personally think that the availability of pet insurance has helped drive up the costs of vet care, much as has been the case in human medicine.
I do not have pet insurance. Too many dogs, so it doesn’t make sense for us. I have long periods with no visits to the veterinarian. Then again, I have spent over $20,000 (includes two ER visits!) so far in 2022, so perhaps this is a mistake!
New Holland, Pennsylvania
Yes, all my dogs are covered by Embrace Pet insurance. We started insuring our dogs 10 to 15 years ago when Purina offered insurance, and it was by far the best ever. Embrace is good, a little pricey, and I wish routine care wasn’t a separate policy, but they pay quickly and are always there to talk to.