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A friend and recently shared that his dog had a torn ACL.  This isn’t the first I’ve heard of such a thing.  Your dog can be playing in the yard or at the dog park and then they’re crying and limping.  The cost of the surgery (and surgery is needed) can run up to $4,000 – $5,000.  Are you prepared for this accident?

Pet insurance protects us from accidents

Some dog owners see pet insurance as something they need to cover medical costs of older dogs.  That’s only part of it.  I shudder to think of what could have happened to Rodrigo when he was attacked by a coyote.  When we were cleaning him up and putting pressure on his wounds, it did cross our mind that we were happy that we invested in pet insurance.

We have Trupanion pet insurance and for three dogs we pay $100 a month with a deductible of $500.  But we can change our monthly payment any time by adjusting our deductible up (lower monthly payment) or down (higher monthly payment).  When my boyfriend and I discussed getting pet insurance, our thought was that $250 each was much better than paying nearly $3000 (the cost of Riley’s care in 2012).

  • No payout limits for coverage
  • 90% of vet costs paid
  • One simple, comprehensive plan
  • Trupanion pet insurance gives you peace of mind in case of an accident or illness
  • Insuring your pet with Trupanion is part of being a responsible pet owner

We were skeptical of pet insurance at first…

When pet insurance first came on the market, it was kind of a scam.  I heard stories of people who paid $25 a month for their pets and when they needed their insurance, the carrier either denied the claim until the pet owner gave up or immediately dropped them after paying part of the claim.

After having one claim, pet owners found it difficult to quality for any pet insurance.

Times have changed over the past 15 years and pet insurance is a legitimate industry.  I think things changed for dog lovers when the owners of 1-800-PetMeds came up with the idea of creating an online “pharmacy” for pet lovers.  All of a sudden people noticed that we love our pets and then we started seeing holistic food, holistic are, and now pet insurance.

Don’t skimp on care!

I know it’s tempting to look for the cheapest deal.  Don’t.  Just like cheap dog food, you’ll pay for it in the end with higher vet bills.  When looking for pet insurance, look for the best coverage, not the cheapest premiums.  Cheap premiums can leave you with a big bill when you find out that your carrier doesn’t cover hereditary and congenital conditions, surgeries, hospital stays, and veterinary supplements.

I remember all too well the stress of covering high medical costs.  I emptied my savings account to cover Riley’s care in 2012.  Every day I felt guilty for wanting her to hurry up and get better, because I wasn’t sure how much longer I could afford her care.

Know your dog’s history and his breed’s history

We have three Australian Cattle Dog mix pups at home and common health problems of that breed include eye conditions, arthritis and hip and elbow dysplasia.  These, along with accidents, are covered under our Trupanion policy.

Are mixed breed dogs healthier?

I’ve read that mixed breeds are healthier simply because we’re not increasing the occurrence of common health problems through irresponsible breeding.  Our dogs are also mixed with Border Collie (Rodrigo), Labrador Retriever (Sydney), Australian Shepherd (Blue), and Large Munsterlander (Blue).  We have a mixed bag of potentially hereditary health issues that are covered.

  • Hip and elbow dysplasia, epilepsy, and collie eye anomaly and other eye problems, obesity (Lab), and knee problems

I take comfort in knowing that although we expect the best from our lives with our dogs, we’re prepared for accidents with the best pet insurance I could find.

UPDATE:  Rodrigo got into a curfuffle last week over another dogs ball.  The dog loved his ball, Rodrigo wanted to check it out, the dog kicked his little Border Collie mix butt.  I didn’t think much of the fight at the time.  Dogs fight.  The next day Rodrigo was yelping in the morning.  This repeated the next day (but not as much), then the next day.  We took him to the vet.  Turns out that the fight that I didn’t think much of caused an injury that Rodrigo is still recovering from.  It could have been worse, but it wasn’t – thank heavens.

I wanted to share this, because I know I’m promoting pet insurance a lot (Trupanion specifically) and it’s because of our experience and the experiences of others being caught off guard by an accident.  I do get a commission for everyone who signs up, but it’s pennies compared to the piece of mind it gives pet owners to know they’re protected.

Do you have pet insurance?  If so, what carrier have you chosen and what are your thoughts?  If not, what’s holding you back?

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