Living in Canada, we are used to the idea of subsidized health care for ourselves when we get sick. Doctor’s visits, diagnostic testing and even many treatments are (with some exceptions) covered by provincial health care systems. While client service and wait times are often noted as down-sides of this system, it certainly is nice at the end of a hospital stay when we can simply walk out without a bill. My wife recently gave birth to twins, and I cannot even begin to imagine what 3 weeks in the neonatal ICU would have cost if we were to pay for it. Being a patient in the human health care system always gets me thinking about the way veterinary care works for our animal patients. When it comes to veterinary medicine and care for our pets, everything from wellness exams, diagnostics, surgical procedures and medications have costs associated with them. Wouldn’t it be nice if this wasn’t the case? Since our focus this month is on puppies & kittens, I thought this was a perfect time to discuss pet insurance.

For a growing number of people, pet insurance is the way that they provide safety and security for the furry members of their family. Just like other types of insurance (home, Auto, Life, etc.), pet insurance works by paying a small monthly premium to have coverage in case medical care is needed. If care is required, most insurance companies will reimburse a portion of the cost of the invoice directly to you. The cost of the insurance is based on the type, breed and age of your pet and the area that you live in. Some policies have deductibles just like other types of insurance, where the pet owner agrees to pay the first portion of a medical bill, and then the insurance company pays for the rest; this is used as a way to decrease the monthly premiums. Other policies will pay for everything from Wellness exams, blood tests, flea & tick medication and even yearly anesthetic dental procedures.

The companies, costs and extent of coverage are outside of the scope of this article, but feel free to talk to any of the team members at Caledon Mountain Veterinary Hospital for help choosing the right insurance company. Questions to ask might include:

  • What is covered and what is excluded?
  • How are claims made?
  • What happens to my premiums after claims?
  • How do I choose what level of insurance is right for me?

Many pet insurance companies will have online quote generators, so it takes only a few minutes to see the different plans specific to you and your pet. This can be very helpful in determining the risk level that you personally are comfortable with.

Working at an animal hospital, one of the hardest things for any of our staff is when we feel we have to change patient care over budget constraints. We understand, absolutely, everyone has a limit to the amount of money that they can spend on their pet, but wouldn’t it be nice if that weren’t the case? If you never had to ask yourself “Can I afford to do the right thing for my best friend’s health”? Pet insurance is one step that you can take down that road & we would be happy to help you find the right insurance for your pet. Further, as this month’s focus is on new pets- a new kitten or puppy in the house if the perfect time to start a new insurance plan. There will be no exclusions based on previous health concerns, curious new animals are often the ones we see getting into trouble, and most insurance companies offer discounts or trials to new pets. Ask our team how to get started today

-Dr. Rob