The story below came in from Jim, a subscriber of this blog, who also partcipates in dog fostering.
During a recent visit to the animal emergency hospital (the foster dog was having seizures), the doctor at the hospital informed Jim that it would be at least $2,000 – $4,000 just to stabilize and treat the dog’s condition.
Unfortunately, when the costs are this high to treat a dog’s condition, the question then becomes whether or not the dog should be euthanized. This is a very tough choice to make, especially since that magnitude of money can be used to save many other dogs out there that are being put to sleep each day in shelters around the country.
While dog owners can be argue that it is slightly easier to make this decision with rescue dogs that haven’t been in your family for years and years, it none-the-less got me thinking about the cost of pet health-care.
Previously on this blog, I have covered several aspects/issues involving ownership of dogs, cats, and pets in general. A summary of these topics and links to the articles I have written can be accessed below:
My Personal Finance Journey Pet-Related Articles
Pets becoming less of functional “tool” and more of a friend, companion, and part of the family.
Because of this deeper connection, pet owners are now more likely to fork over large portions of cash to keep their pet alive.
The rising cost of health care in general.
Even though there has been a lot of media coverage in recent years about the rising cost of health care and pharmaceuticals, I believe that people tend to forget that these costs have directly carried over to veterinarian clinics as well. In fact, if you look at the parent companies of most of the animal health products, they are the same companies that provide their products to humans.
- Non-lifetime coverage insures the pet for most conditions suffered by their pet during the course of a policy year but, on renewal in a following year, a condition that has been claimed for will be excluded.
- Lifetime coverage covers a pet for ongoing conditions throughout the pet’s lifetime so that, if a condition is claimed for in the first year, it will not be excluded in subsequent years.
- Birds and exotic pets
- Lab tests
- Major medical dog insurance policy
- Monthly premium
- $500 deductible, $22 premium
- $250 deductible, $27 premium
- $100 deductible, $31 premium
- Maximum yearly benefit = $14,000
- Routine care amendment to policy
- $22 extra per month. Wow!
- Category A –
- Are the type of person that will feel emotionally destroyed if your pet died from a medical condition that you could not afford to treat.
- Category B –
- Are the type of person that believes that pets should be loved while they are alive, but that if they get hurt, it is just their time.
If you fall in to Category B, I would say that should not buy pet insurance.
If you fall in to Category A, you should think about doing the following steps:
- Examine the list of costs for common health problems at the link below for your pet.
- If you cannot readily afford to pay the costs for severe problems that may come up (like a slipped spinal disc), you should purchase pet insurance.
What are the key things to watch out for?