What Health Insurance for Dogs Should Absolutely Cover

Health insurance for dogs varies substantially by coverage and by company. There are several different policies you can get, including coverage for puppies, senior dogs or even purebreds. Since coverage varies so widely, it's important to know what to expect when shopping for quotes and what events or circumstances should absolutely be covered on your policy. Also compare additional services and consider the future needs of your dog.

Accidents, Injuries and Poisoning

When shopping quotes for health insurance for dogs, there are a few key coverages you'll want to make sure are included in the policy. One of the more expensive problems that dogs face is the accidental ingestion of a foreign body or substance. Often, this event requires emergency surgery for removal or treatment of poisoning, which can cost more than $1500. Coverage for this type of surgery should always be included in health insurance for dogs, as well as coverage for other types of accidents, such as those involving a car, lacerations or broken bones. You may even find a policy that offers coverage for accidental death and euthanasia, if an irreversible or untreatable problem occurs.

Illnesses and Disease

With the growing number of dogs that are experiencing major health issues, you'll want to be sure your health insurance for dogs covers common illnesses and ailments. Many dog insurance policies cover all illness, surgery and hospitalization, up to certain limits. This may be the best option, but research the fine print for limits on each instance, annual limits and lifetime limits for coverage. If some illnesses or disease are excluded from the policy, be sure the most common and costly diseases are covered. These would include problems like back problems, lung cancer, hernias, gastrointestinal problems, cataracts and bone or brain cancer.

Covered Veterinarians and Clinics

Some of the best health insurance for dogs don't limit the type of veterinarian or clinic you can visit. Depending upon your situation, location or lifestyle, you may prefer a traditional veterinarian, discount clinic or even alternative, chiropractic or holistic therapy services for your dog. Additionally, if your pet experiences a problem that requires a diagnosis or treatment from a specialist, you'll want to make sure these services are covered.

Additional Coverages and Discounts

Since you know your dog better than anyone else, there may be additional coverages that you might seek when shopping for health insurance for dogs. Many companies offer an addendum to cover certain events or problems that you'll find helpful to your situation. While you may not find this coverage when purchasing a basic policy, opting for a company that offers these services as an addendum may provide you with future options. Keep the following extra coverages in mind when shopping dog insurance policies, and be sure to read all the fine print and compare policies by coverage and limits. Check for certain potential discounts as well. 

  • After-hours emergency care
  • Prescription medications
  • Behavioral treatments
  • Pregnancies
  • Purebred hereditary problems and genetic disorders
  • Burial or cremation
  • Acupuncture
  • Boarding kennel fees
  • Wellness
  • Prescription food
  • Lost pet and recovery costs
  • Coverage for dogs in a rental unit
  • Multi-pet discount
  • Microchip discount
  • Group benefits discount
  • Real-time claims processing