Thank you for your question!
As an emergency vet, I see first hand the tragedies that can strike our beloved animals at any time. Having a sick pet is stressful enough without having to worry about how to pay the unexpected vet bills. It’s estimated that 1 in 3 pets will require emergency veterinary care every year so there’s a very good chance that, if you have a couple of furry friends in your household, you will end up in that situation at some point.
Whether your dog has injured its leg or your cat has decided to eat the tinsel off the Christmas tree, pets are unpredictable! They can also suffer from medical conditions just like people; cancer, metabolic disorders and diabetes. Surgical and medical expenses for pets can sometimes extend to thousands of dollars for a major illness or accident and pet insurance can help provide a financial support so you can focus on nursing your four-legged pal back to health.
If you do decide to take pet insurance, here are my top tips when choosing a policy:
1. Have a look at the policy options available. Some policies are accident only, while others offer accident and illness cover, plus there are different types of benefits available and you can choose coverage depending on your pet’s needs.
2. Make sure you check the level of annual benefits and the percentage of cost coverage of individual claims
3. Be aware of any specific breed exclusions as some breeds of cats and dogs have a higher tendency towards congenital or hereditary health issues
4. Remember some pets cannot get insurance past a certain age, typically past the age of 8
In the end when considering whether or not to take our pet insurance, it often comes down to peace of mind. Have a chat with your vet about their experience with the various insurance options and what might be the best one for you and your pet.
Dr. Alex Hynes