Thinking of Getting Dog Health Insurance? Better Read This

Is dog health insurance a necessary and perhaps inconvenient but part of owning a pet? This depends entirely on your perspective.


A few questions to help you answer this question are:


How important is your dog’s health to you? Can you afford a policy, But on the flip side, can you afford not to have a health insurance?


And if you do decide to get insurance for your pet, just which one out of the dozens out there is the best dog pet insurance to go for? Will a Pet Insurance policy eventually be a cost saving necessity? Chances are that it will. Cos if you don’t think so, are you sure you will be able to cover your dog’s health needs without a policy and with out of pocket costs?


These are very likely some of the questions you need to ask yourself when considering whether to get insurance for your pet.


Just as humans have health and life insurance that assures and gives us peace of mind, our pets, dogs and cats need pet health insurance too, first for your own peace of mind, and more so as vet bills and medicines are and can be quite costly. Remedies too are expensive and treatments for any emergency can deplete your bank account, never mind how the dog suffers if no treatment is available.


So before getting to this stage, a pet insurance could be the answer for your dog. Some insurers include a pet policy along with your own health policy.


Dogs health can be costly, but dogs are a necessary part of our  lives. They unfailingly remind us, no, they compel us to be human and caring. They are also telepathic, so they read our thoughts, hear our tone, and respond to our feelings and actions. That is where the term Mans Best Friend comes from. They are our animal counterparts who understand our need for company, affection, and love.


Dogs  love unconditionally, and need us to make the decisions for them about their care, food, shelter, exercise and health problems.  They will guard us with their lives if necessary, so is it not only fair to give them the best care that you can?


When you consider  the cost of vet bills, food,  and care,  one also has to look at your dog’s need to be covered in an emergency, as life happens, sometimes randomly.


Not having a pet insurance can be more costly in the long run, as treating your dog with medicines off the shelf at a pharmacy, or your vet, can sometimes cost you three times what an affordable pet care plan may.


For a serious emergency, you would have to come up with fees of up to R15 000 or more, depending on the treatment needed. Who has that type of ready cash to lay out in medical bills for their dog in today’s economic climate?


In this case you may need to make an informed choice and look at all the options available to you. Here we cover the advantages and disadvantages of having a pet insurance plan for your best friend.


Why Pet Insurance May be Necessary:


I don’t think there is dog owner alive who has not been horrified at the cost of emergency treatment when their dog has been injured.


For instance, who has  $100 in ready cash to lay out if your dog runs into the road and is knocked down by a speeding car which leaves your best friend injured beyond the help that you can give him?


He needs a vet, emergency treatment and the medical assistance that will save his life.  In the above case your dog will need  vet  in house care, which can last up to a week or more, depending on the injuries,  then the medication, treatments,  and life saving drips and injections  plus plus plus, which costs can rapidly add up if you are not prepared.  Every action taken and treatment received has it’s price and all can cost a tidy sum.


Some dogs are inherently prone to certain problems, which may not show up in the puppy stage, but will show as the dog ages.  Pugs have breathing problems because of their face shape and the restricted airflow to their flattened noses.  This can lead to all sorts of respiratory illnesses.


Large breeds can suffer from hip displasia, which shows up as the dog ages. This is a costly problem for dog owners and may result in you losing your best friend. It is tragic to see a large lovable dog not being able to walk, dragging their hind legs behind them. If we suffer watching a dog doing this, imagine how much more painful it is for the dog.


Pet Insurance companies should understand the implications of medical treatment for your dog or cat,  therefore they exist, as they are most likely pet owners and pet lovers themselves.


These companies are geared to providing the best options available. To take out a pet insurance plan your first goal here would be the assurance of the life- long health and quality of life of your dog.


Take note of what your dog lover friends say. Do they have pet insurance?  Maybe the same pet plan, or a different one to the one you are considering. If so, compare the benefits and terms with your needs for your dog.


Ask around as word of mouth is the best advertising yet. People will quickly tell you what they love and  what they hate about most subjects and whether they had  a good or bad experience with an insurer, if asked. Who knows? You might just hear of the right plan for your dog.


Compare what each policy covers, does it meet your needs? Is it comprehensive, covering all possible dog health problems?  Will it be of benefit both to your pocket  and your pet’s well being?  What are your current medical bills for your dog?  Here you have to think long term as your  puppy grows up and becomes an adult dog with his own set of conditions and treatments needed.



  • Peace of mind knowing that any medical bills and treatments will be covered.
  • In an emergency your dog will get the best healthcare your policy provides.
  • On the death of a pet, cremation, burial or euthanasia may be covered.
  • Kennel fees are sometimes covered, depending on the situation.
  • Comprehensive and affordable standard options are a choice
  • Sometimes more than one pet is covered, depending on the plan
  • Online quotes
  • Mobile options re no paperwork.
  • In an emergency which can cost dearly, your dog is covered.



  • A capped and sometimes limited amount for most benefits.
  • A part fee may be payable before re-imbursement
  • Pre-existing conditions may not be covered
  • Deductibles may be part of the policy
  • Possibly a debit order which could increase over time.


As in any policy, read the small print and query something if it is not made clear.

An Alternative: A Savings Plan

An alternative  option for dog lovers is to start a health saving plan. You do not have to start big, just starting it is progress, then you can add to is as you like.  You do this by allocating an amount  you can afford each month or payday to a  dedicated savings fund that will cover your dog. Adding to when funds are high, and keeping to a set amount in lean times.


This may be necessary, especially  if you do not choose to use a pet insurance and also this way you control what amount you can or cannot pay on your dog’s health issues. Make sure your dog is in optimal health, by seeing that he has the best foods, exercise and care that you can provide. This will add to his well being, making sure that he  always  has fresh water, is tick free as distemper is a nasty and sometimes deadly problem.  Make sure he has a healthy wet nose as a dry nose is sometimes the first sign that something is not right.


So as you can see, choosing a pet insurance is not the easiest of decisions without knowing all the facts at hand. Always read the small print, ask questions, and be informed, as once you have paid two years premiums, if an emergency happens and you do not have the information beforehand, as a question asked at the start of the policy, cancelling the policy will lose you all of your premiums, and you might have to start from scratch again.


Plus your dog can suffer the consequences if you do not have a healthcare plan in place to take care of his needs or an emergency. Your dog will thank you for it, as there is nothing better than seeing a healthy active dog, shiny coat, clean teeth, playful and well cared for and part of a loving family.

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