Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Pet Insurance: Yay or Nay?

When we adopted our sweet, lovable yellow lab years ago, the Humane Society supplied us with a long list of information about him: past owner, housebreaking status (although, does "sort of" count as a status?), temperament and more.

Sure, I listened. But honestly, all I saw was this:

And I already knew that it was love.

As time went on, something I realized that they never talked about? Pet insurance. Although even if they had, would I have paid all that much attention? I'm pretty sure that hearing anyone talking about dog or cat insurance services would have been something that I would have put right up there on my list of Useless Things To Spend Money On.

As it turned out, most of the money we spent on Luke went towards his food, failed attempts at dog training classes, and the occasional boarding (no joke, he stayed at a posh pet hotel) when we went on extended vacations. So would putting money into premiums have been a waste? It would have seemed like it.

But, in the end, when the vet gently brought me over to the x-ray that clearly showed the unexpected cancer was already too far along to be able to stop it, would I have gone against her recommendations if we had a pet insurance plan in place? With so many more treatments that were once reserved for humans now available for pets, making major health decisions for our animals has turned our four-legged friends into family members even more.

So... sometimes I do wonder. There are so many what-if's in life already that is this one of the ones that I could have changed?


I sure miss that messy bundle of energy and craziness sometimes.

What do you think about insurance for pets? Is it worth it or something that you would ever consider?


Holly said...

I'm sorry about your dog. There is no doubt that pets are family, and I've often debated whether or not to purchase pet insurance.

A couple of years ago my cat was breathing really funny and after a quick scan the vet at the animal hospital told me that it was "probably heart failure" and immediately asked me if I wanted to put her down. Um, no thanks? I demanded that they run more tests, and I certainly paid for it (a couple thousand dollars). Turns out my cat had a different condition entirely... one that we are able to manage with a few pills a day.

After everything was said and done I was disappointed to find out how restrictive pet insurance is. It would cover any of kitty's incidents on pre-existing diagnoses unless she went 12 months completely healthy.

In the long run decided to pay an arm and a leg for xrays and overnight animal hospital stays over pet insurance. I would consider it for an animal that goes outside (like a dog) because accidents or whatnot can occur. For an indoor cat though, I think the likelihood of needing coverage is slim.


ShanimalsCrackers.blogspot.com said...

As much as I LOVE my cats, I would not get pet insurance. Heck, I can't even afford MY OWN insurance.

Anonymous said...

I always said I wouldn't waste my money on it - but my parents just got a pure breed and just one trip to the "emergency room" for a stick she swallowed cost $600. They are looking into it.

I don't know what coverage would be for it though... probably depends on the plan you buy.

Paige said...

nope, I would not get pet insurance. My best friend did for her cat, but it is not something I would even consider :)


Unknown said...

We have pet insurance for our two dogs. One of them especially is quite a daredevil and I was always worried about something happening to her, so we went ahead and got it. She has scared me way too many times so I am definitely glad we have it.

Anonymous said...

I think it's good to have for those who want that extra protection. It's something we can't afford. That being said, if I was like my aunt with only pet kids I would have it. My cats are our family members. "ET" our cat who just turned 12 has allergies and has to go in for shots, and medicine. It adds up. I guess it just depends on owners:)

Unknown said...

I would say nay! Maybe if it was really cheap.
That picture reminds me of my boy and dog last week except the pool was a bowl of dog food! Yuck, but funny and I was happy to find out my dog will share her food :)

Karen Propes said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Karen Propes said...

I'm so so sorry about your loss. I'm still on the seesaw on which way to go. We had our little dog (beagle) put down because she had a large mass of cancer that would sometimes press on her little heart. We had the option of going thru the chemo but it would have only given her another month or two. I woke up the next morning and I didn't hear her moving around and she was at the foot of our bed and wasn't moving. I shook her a little and she took a deep breath. But she had already stopped eating her food. We feed her hamburger out of our hands, but sometimes she couldn't eat because of the location of the mass. I took her to the Vet and she was her same usual self running around, but when the doctor felt the mass, she told me that it's a miracle she's so active. I second guessed myself but I called my husband and the doctor talked to him. We decided to put her down. The doctor said I was being a good mama, so she wouldn't suffer but afterwards, she just layed there. I don't know who it was harder on me or my husband. She was our little baby since our daughter had moved out at that time. Our little Daisy went everywhere with me. Helped nurse me through almost all my surgeries. Being disabled, I guess I thought she would always be with us. Looking back at pictures she really was aging and I just didn't pay any attention to it. I still miss her badly. But I think we did the right thing and insurance wouldn't have changed our decision. We had discussed insurance but didn't know much about it.
I do have a friend that her dog has cancer and she is going thru the chemo with him, but it's not helping her doggie feel better, really worse and she is living now what I felt when Daisy died, I'm afraid she will have to go thru all the heartache after he dies. But I'm not one to tell anyone else what to do

Jenny said...

We had 2 pure breed Abys and both of them ended up requiring lots of medical attention in their later years. I calculated it out and it was over $200 a month to care for them. We did it though, as they were our fur babies. Even after that, I still don't consider pet insurance worth it.

For some people though, it might be.