Dogs are great. What’s not so great is unforeseen vet bills that pop up from time to time.
Depending on what’s wrong, vet bills can hike up to thousands of dollars, unless you're one of the lucky (and perhaps smart) dog owners who decided to get pet insurance.
For a monthly premium, your beloved dog is covered.
But policies across Canada vary based on your dog’s breed, age, size, and where exactly in Canada you live. It’s a polarizing topic for many Canadians. On average, the insurance premium in Canada is approximately $39 a month for a dog ($29 for a cat).
So is pet insurance worth it? For Datis Mohsenipour and his pup Juniper: Yes.
Datis's last dog, Kingston, was a French Bulldog who got dealt a rough hand medically.
"Our last dog, Kingston, was a French bulldog who got dealt a rough hand medically. We were in and out of the vet's office frequently and I was extremely thankful that we had coverage on him.” Datis explains.
According to a PC Financial poll, only 4.6% of Canadians insure their pets, despite knowing that a serious illness or injury can take a major toll on their financial health.
Cancer treatments, for instance, can run upwards of $5,000. Paralysis, which is more common than we think, can run up to $10,000.
Datis spent roughly $25,000 and would have had to spend upwards of $60,000 if he didn’t have pet insurance.
“100% it was worth it. Our last dog was a French bulldog, which is a "higher risk" dog, and his IVDD surgery cost $9,000 before physical therapy, acupuncture, etc.”
So when Datis decided to bring a new member into the family, it was a no brainer to sign up for pet insurance right away.
Datis feels confident in his choice to get pet insurance again, “Juniper is on a plan. She's a mixed breed dog, so it's much cheaper and I get really great coverage with them. We're grateful we did, as we recently found out that she has hip dysplasia, a lifelong issue that many large breed dogs face that will require physical therapy or hydrotherapy, daily supplements, and hip surgery at some point in her life. Hip dysplasia surgery can cost anywhere from $4000-8000.”
A dog owners nightmare, especially without pet insurance!
If you’re considering getting pet insurance, Datis does warn people to remember some downsides to insurance, like deductibles.
“Some will have an annual deductible that resets each year (pet plan, pet secure, and most others follow this model) and others will have a one-time deductible associated with individual illnesses (Trupanion is the only one I know that does this). So if your dog is diagnosed with allergies, once you have paid your deductible, you won't have to pay it again for the life of your dog with a company like Trupanion. Whereas with Petplan, every year the deductible resets but it's applicable to all illnesses and injuries."
He also recommends to do your research and know what is and isn't included in your plan.
Things like dental work, physical therapy, acupuncture, etc. are a few to inquire about.
"There is so much information available on the internet... but you'll also want to do some additional leg work by looking into the fine print of each provider and jumping on calls with them to sort out any questions you may have. "
So if you find yourself questioning pet insurance, according to Datis, don’t. You may find yourself in a situation where you could be financially crippled by an illness your dog is facing and simply won't be able to afford the medical treatment necessary.
“Hopefully, you'll never have to use your insurance and you just pay for peace of mind. "
Want more tips from dog owners like Datis? Join the next Meet-Up on November 2nd in False Creek! Download the app for the details and to RSVP!