Dog Health Issues – Do We Need Pet Insurance?

Dog Health Issues – Dog and cat insurance is becoming more common these days.  Do we need pet insurance?

I think this is a very good question.  I am aware of several situations where the veterinarian cost for treating a pet’s disease or injury has gone through the roof.  Some young pets have not been treated because the medical costs are just too high.  This is one of the major dog health issues.

So in general, I am in favor of pet insurance.  My dog is 8 years old.  He is a very important part of our family.  He has hardly ever been sick – just annual trips to the vet for shots, etc.  But we are thinking about getting insurance for him.

I feel that pet insurance should not be used to cover routine office visits.  Instead, it should be used for “major medical” situations.  In this situation, we know that a major illness or injury for our pet will be covered by insurance for he most part.

The pet owner has complete control (to a large extent) of the pet insurance cost.  The pet owner is responsible for analyzing the cost and benefits of the pet insurance.  The owner must consider the monthly cost.  Does it fit into the owner’s budget?

Also, if there is a major medical situation, can the owner afford the “out of pocket” cost to provide medical treatment to the pet?

As far as pet insurance, the owner is responsible for the type of insurance coverage he can afford.  The owner can shop around.  He can find the insurance company that provides the best value for the money he can afford to pay.

This forces the pet insurance company and the veterinarian to be competitive.

This is slightly off the subject.  I feel that this type of approach is critical in “fixing” our crazy medical insurance system for humans.

When an employer pays for a high percentage of the medical premium cost and the employee’s out of pocket cost is low, then the employee doesn’t care how much an office visit or a medical procedure costs.

As a result, the medical costs for humans skyrocket.  The employee doesn’t feel any responsibility to shop for a medical provider that gives the most value for the money.  If they did, I feel that our medical costs would come down because of competition.

Sorry, I have gotten off the subject here.  I found an article written by a veterinarian, Teja Bain, DVM.  She does a great job of laying out reasons for patients to have pet insurance.

The name of the article is, “Expect The Unexpected.”  Her reasoning makes a lot of sense.  Here is a brief quote from the article:

As a veterinarian, I know firsthand how expensive health care can be for your pet. We have health insurance for ourselves, cars, homes, boats and our two-legged kids, so why not our pets? The same way we cannot predict when an unfortunate event will happen to us or our property, our pets can also get sick unexpectedly.

Everyone knows how bad the economy is, and money is tight for almost all of us. For this reason, having pet insurance is important, now more than ever. Unlike human hospitals where you can be billed, most veterinary clinics require payment at the time of service, which sometimes prevents people from getting their pet the proper care that they need. This is  always hurtful for the owner because as responsible and loving pet parents, most people want to do what is best for their pet, but unfortunately sometimes cannot do so due to financial constraints.

The complete article can be read here.  I encourage you to read the entire article.  Dr. Bain provides some great information.

What are your thoughts on the subject?  Do you have pet insurance?  What are the reasons that you have it?  If you don’t have insurance, what are your reasons there?

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