If you haven’t put that much aside in an emergency fund, you probably need pet insurance

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No one should have to sacrifice the welfare and safety of their animal because it costs too much. Unfortunately, millions of dog parents in the US don’t have pet insurance and simply can’t afford vet bills over $1,000.

Many parents choose to set aside an “emergency pet fund” to cover unexpected medical expenses. However, experts say that if you don’t have at least $5,000 set aside, you may not be able to afford your dog’s essential medical treatments.

Vet costs in numbers

If you’re wondering whether you should invest in pet insurance, consider these numbers:

  • The American Pet Products Association reported that: Americans spent $31.4 billion on veterinary care in 2020.
  • An average vet visit can vary anywhere from $250 to $8,000† The visit itself can still cost $100-$150even if it is a false alarm.
  • Alone 2.8% of the 64 million cats and dogs in the US are covered by pet insurance. Yet, 61% of Americans Can’t Cover a $1,000 Expense
  • The costs of short hospital stays for dogs range from $600 to $1,700and the cost of long-term hospitalizations range from $1,500 to $3,500.
  • Emergency surgeries can cost $5,000 or more. A routine check can cost between $50 and $250.
  • According to the ASPCArecurring medical expenses for a dog can range from $210 to $260 (depending on their size.)
  • Cancerdiagnosed in 12 million pets a year, can cost a parent an average of $2,033 in treatments.
  • Pet insurance prices range on average from $25 per month to $45 per month depending on your pet’s breed, age and where you live.
  • California, Hawaii and Washington DC are the most expensive places in the United States for veterinary costs. On average, pet parents who live there spend $1400 a year.

When the choices are between making your dog suffer, putting him to sleep or paying for expensive surgeries and treatments, you naturally want to have the option of choosing the latter.

The most common expensive vet costs


In addition to treating the problem itself, vets should perform tests to determine what is causing your dog’s pain or discomfort. While it is necessary to properly treat the problem, these costs can add up.

Rob Jackson, CEO and co-founder of Healthy Paws, explained to NBC News:

“Your four-legged friends can’t tell you what they ate or where it hurts, so the vet will have to do several diagnostic tests, and often you’ll be looking at $1,000 to $2,000 to diagnose a problem before you’ve started it.” even treat it.”


Ingestion of toxic substances

Constipation or gastrointestinal upset are one of the most common reasons parents take their dog to the vet. According to a study by HealthyPaws Pet Insurance, the treatment of stomach disorders can go up to $6,500.

If a dog eats something they shouldn’t, the vet will often want to do X-rays. Veterinary radiography usually costs between $100 and $500.

Allergy testing

Dogs, like humans, often suffer from allergies, including skin conditions and food allergies. Vets need to determine the allergen and how to prevent your dog from encountering it to avoid further discomfort. An allergy skin test will likely cost $195-$300, while a blood test ranges in price from $80-$200.

cruciate ligament injuries

Dogs are prone to tearing or tearing of the knee ligament. Surgery to repair these injuries can cost thousands of dollars, depending on the severity of the tear. But left untreated, your dog will have a lot of difficulty and pain when walking.

gum disease

According to the American Veterinary Dental CollegePeriodontitis is the most common disease in dogs and cats. While it is preventable with proper dental care, treating dental disease is very costly. It’s especially expensive if diagnosed late, which means your dog may need to be cleaned under anesthesia or have some teeth removed.

emergency veterinary procedure

In addition to these more common ailments, something like a car accident or an animal attack can cost dog parents thousands upon thousands of dollars in treatments. Sure, you can create a fundraising page and hope for the best, but the bottom line is that you suddenly need $10,000 to save your dog’s life.

What is pet insurance?

Pet health insurance works the same way as human health insurance. Your policy quote will vary in monthly price depending on the breed, age of your dog and where you live. Typically, as a pet parent, you will spend about $25-$45 per month.

Some plans cover accidents and illnesses, while others only cover accidents. Certain plans cover breed-specific diseases and others do not. It all depends on the type of coverage you choose.

Pet insurance is largely about peace of mind knowing that you won’t be completely overwhelmed in an emergency. Enrolling, even if your dog is young and healthy, will ensure adequate coverage should they require expensive medical care later on.

Deductibles, waiting times and reimbursements

Usually there is a waiting period for your pet insurance benefits to take effect. After that waiting period, you are responsible for paying your deductible (ranging from $100 to $2,000, depending on the plan you chose.) After you pay your deductible, the insurance company reimburses you a predetermined percentage of the your dog’s medical expenses.

Unlike human health insurance, most pet insurance companies pay you, the policyholder, rather than the practice or doctor. In other words, you don’t need to find a vet “in the network”. You can go to any vet you choose, and if you pay the fees up front, your pet insurance company will reimburse you later.

Pre-existing conditions

While some specific plans cover pre-existing conditions, most do not. When adopting a dog, make sure you are familiar with the common medical conditions associated with their breed.

Compare pet insurance

There are so many different insurance policies. This site will help you compare pet insurance so you can get the right coverage for your dog’s needs.

Veterinary care has never been more advanced, but access to the right procedures and treatments can be overwhelmingly expensive. As a dog parent, you never want to be in a position to have to make that difficult decision because you didn’t have the money saved for emergency surgery.

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