F.M. asks from Darien, IL on August 26, 2009
I will be getting a dog that I adopted on Friday. I have not had a dog in many years and noticed there are a ton of different types of pet insurance. Does anyone recommend a specific type? I went to PetSmart and noticed they have a vet clinic inside the store that offers economical pet health cost. I have not looked into it much, but wondered if anyone has experience in this arena. The dog I am getting has all her shots and it is neutered so I know I do not have to pay for that, but how about other health concerns and teeth cleaning? Any inputs? Thank you.
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V.N. answers from Chicago on August 26, 2009
I think acquiring pet insurance depends on your situation. Pet insurance can be perceived as a waste, however, emergencies occur and pets get sick. Will you be able to finance or pay up front 2000-5000 if your shih tzu slips a disk? Pet insurance will not pay for everything but helps with emergencies, routine and needed procedures such as regular dental care.
I personally recommend VPI. I know a lot of people who use it and our quite happy with the benefits and security. I think insurance is a personal decision and not for everyone.
The good thing about pet insurance is you do not need to get it right away so you can take all the time you need before getting it and maybe talk it over with your vet first.
Good luck and enjoy your new pet!
E.R. answers from Chicago on August 26, 2009
Pet insurance, in my opinion, is a huge waste of money. I am a dog breeder and have shown dogs for my whole life. It's kind of a scam.
That said, if it makes you feel comfortable, go for it. But I think it's a waste of money and I don't do it and tell my puppy people not to.
Petsmart vets are... not great. I would try and find a vet in your community that has been there a long time and is very well trusted.
C.T. answers from Atlanta on August 26, 2009
We have two weims and have had insurance on both of them since we got them. However, I do think it is a waist. We pay $40 a month for the two of them. Our oldest dog has a health issue, pancreatic... it doesn't work. He has to be on medication twice daily, which costs $130 every 6-8 weeks. Luckily, it was only a blood test to confirm, so no big vet bills there. The insurance only gives us back $165 a YEAR.
They do reimburse costs for yearly shots and checkups, spay/neuter, heart worm and flee meds. Other than that it has been a waste. We are afraid to cancel the insurance because if our oldest needs tests or pancreatic surgery it will cover SOME of the costs, exactly how much we don't know. Pet insurance policy's are just as heard to read and understand as medical insurance. Try to figure out what a surgery or testing would reimburse, impossible. As for our youngest female... she can live without. My advice would be to take the $20 it would cost for a policy and put it into a vet savings account monthly. It will be there when you need to cover large vet bills, god willing you won't need it. You won't be throwing it away either.
D.N. answers from Chicago on August 26, 2009
I agree that pet insurance can be a waste. But I worked with a woman years ago that had some plan that she paid about $15 a month. It gave her discounts on the normal vet bills and did cover about 10% of other stuff. Her dog had surgery when it got hit by a car and the bill was over $1000. I think she paid about $10 for shots so she figured it was worth it. You really have to weigh the pros and cons of it before taking it.
Personally, if I had a dog, I would look to see if it was predisposed to any problems based on the breed and decide from there. I would probably choose to deposit the money into an account if the cost is high. Also, I have taken my cat to Petsmart for shots since they are cheaper. But for other things I would take her to a regular vet.