We are lucky to live in a world where our ability to treat our animals is improving at an amazingly rapid rate. Even since I graduated, many conditions that where owners were told “there’s nothing we can do” are now very treatable. The unfortunate side-effect of this is vet bills are getting bigger. A broken leg can cost around $2800 to repair, cancer treatments can cost $5000, and cases referred to specialists in Perth can cost over $10000. This is why pet insurance is now so important. Pet insurance gives you the ability to obtain the best treatment for your pet without having to worry about the cost.
Should you get pet insurance for your dog?
Whether you need insurance or not depends on a several factors.
- What can you afford? Could you afford to treat your pet if they broke their leg, became very unwell or ruptured a cruciate ligament? If you can’t, insurance is essential.
- Does your dog have pre-existing conditions? If your dog already has arthritis, skin problems or other chronic illness, you may find you pay the same premium with less cover. After all, insurance companies won’t cover any conditions that your pet is already showing signs of at the time they become insured. This means the benefits of insurance may be reduced.
- Is your dog pure bred? Many pure bred dogs are much more prone to certain medical conditions. For example, Staffys are prone to skin disease, Great Danes have an increased risk of a twisted stomach and Cavalier King Charles Spaniels have high rates of heart disease. We strongly recommend insuring the majority of pure bred dogs.
What type of insurance is right for my dog?
Like any product, pet insurance varies depending on the policy type and company providing the policy. These are the things we recommend you look for when considering a pet insurance policy:
- Cover for the duration of each condition: this means that if your pet develops a chronic condition such as arthritis, skin problems or any other ongoing condition, the insurance policy will keep covering the bills. Some policies only cover for 12 months from when a condition is diagnosed, which are ok if the pet breaks a leg or has an acute illness, but are not much good for chronic diseases.
- Cover bilateral conditions: We recommend policies that will cover illnesses if they occur on both sides of the animal. For example, a dog that ruptures a cruciate ligament has around a 70% chance of rupturing the cruciate ligament in the other leg. Ensure your policy will cover both legs
- Cover accident AND illness: Some policies will only cover accident or illness. This means if your pet breaks its leg you may be covered, but if they develop a chronic illness such as diabetes, arthritis or skin disease then you may find you’re on your own.
- Cover for life: We also recommend policies that will keep covering your pet even when they get old, as many policies only cover the animal until around 10 years of age. Like people, when pets get old they tend to need more treatments an medications, so it is important to have a policy that will keep covering your pet as they age
Please feel free to talk to any of our staff about pet insurance, or find examples of policies available at www.petplan.com.au