I’ve met far too many dog owners who’ve said, “I wish I would have gotten pet insurance.” So before even getting Gus, my Boston terrier, I’d made the decision—I’d be making the investment for my future dog’s health. Boy was I glad I did! Here’s my story about surgeries, bee stings, and some serious savings.
First off: if you’re thinking about getting pet insurance, do your research. The insurance companies all operate differently, and you’ll want to know what’s important for you and your dog’s breed. Since I have a Boston terrier (so handsome, am I right?), I was looking for:
- Hereditary and congenital coverage (hip dysplasia, brachialcephalic, or flat-faced dogs, etc.)
- Coverage per condition, not incident
- Coverage for approved conditions for the lifetime of the pet
- An affordable deductible
- No payout limits
- Simple to understand coverage with friendly customer support
To get some lingo out of the way, when you sign up, you choose your deductible. The deductible is the amount that you pay, or your contribution, before the pet insurance kicks in. In my case, I didn’t know what my financial situation would be at any given time, so I chose a $0 deductible, which resulted in a $62 monthly payment. My carrier? Trupanion. I signed Gus up at around one year of age. If you wait to sign up until later in a dog’s life, the price can, and most likely will, be higher.
So, What the Heck Happened?
Yes, there have been a few incidents that made me grateful for my pet insurance. Gus would like to show you photographic proof.
Incident #1: The Bee Sting
Pretty self-explanatory, right?!
Total veterinary bill: $34.22
Incident #2: Mast Cell Tumors
Unfortunately, Gus had not one, but two mast cell tumors by the time he was 3 years old. One on his arm, and one on the rump. If not treated, mast cell tumors can metastasize and turn into cancer. Needless to say, we were getting those things OFF. Something to note here—since the tumor on his rump was so close to his urethra, we had to see a surgical specialist for the removal, which absolutely upped the cost.
Total veterinary bill: $4278.32
Gus wants you to know he felt VERY relaxed while taking the pain medicine post-surgery.
Incident #3: Tooth Removal
Gus and a friend had a simple disagreement, which led to one of his back molars being chipped. That, in turn, exposed the nerve. Because the dead nerve could allow bacteria into the opening, we opted to extract the tooth. Something to note about this claim: While under anesthesia, Gus also had his teeth cleaned, but my insurance plan does not cover dental cleanings as they consider them routine care. The cost of the cleaning was not reimbursed.
Total veterinary bill: $1477.53
Incident #4: Aspiration Pneumonia
Gus began vomiting more regularly. While in my car one day, he vomited so hard he fell over and fainted. After a trip to the emergency vet and some X-Rays, we found out that some of his forceful vomiting had caused an aspiration in his lung. He had beginning stages of pneumonia because of it. He healed right up, and of course got a lot of love from his mom (that’s me!)
Total veterinary bill: $353.89
Total Veterinary cost: $6143.96
Total Reimbursed: $5529.57
My pet insurance has literally been a life saver. To be completely honest, I am a young pet parent, and would have struggled financially to cover all of his specialist care were it not for Trupanion. Gus is happy and healthy now, and I always rest easy knowing a trip to the emergency veterinarian is NEVER out of the question. If you’re thinking of getting pet insurance, look into all of the companies, call them with questions, and make sure the provider you pick has your pet’s health as their #1 priority.
Now go on and kiss your dog!