So you have just purchased or adopted your new puppy or kitten, taken it to the vet and discovered that there are multiple sets of vaccines that are needed, a spay or neuter, and now they are recommending spending money on pet insurance too!! With so many costs in a pet’s first year, is paying for pet insurance really worth it? YES!!!
We think one of the hardest parts of our job, and our team would agree, is trying to marry the fact that we want to save every pet that walks in our door to the fact that we need to be able to pay our rent, pay our employees and also get paid for what we do. As the care that we are able to provide for our patient evolves costs for emergency procedures, surgeries and unforeseen events can get quite expensive. Having insurance takes finances out of the picture when trying to make a difficult decision as to what is the best next step for diagnosis or treatment of your pet. Yes, there is a chance you will pay for it and be lucky enough to have a really healthy pet and never need to cash in on it, but if the cards go the other way, it is horrible to be forced by the reality of your financial situation to have to let go of your friend.
Both Dr. Fleming and I have had pets with serious and chronic medical conditions. My black lab, MacKenzie has a rare liver disease that has required 2 major surgeries and daily lifelong medications, and my lovely kitty Ella has had 2 major surgeries after suffering a fracture. Dr. Fleming has 2 dogs with orthopedic problems, one of which will be having surgery to the tune of $3500 (Oliver Frances the French Bulldog) and the other takes 2 supplements, 3 different medications, a special diet, and 2 different eye drops daily (Emma the very spoiled English Bulldog). We have been on the other end of the counter to pay a large veterinary bill and know that it can be both stressful and unexpected.
The best time to get pet insurance is when you first get your pet. If you have ever been through applying for insurance yourself, you know that if you have been to a doctor for a specific problem, that problem is excluded from what is covered. Hopefully, at your first routine visit you have a healthy little pal who would therefore have no exclusions on their policy. We try to have this talk with all new pet owners. Many have come back to thank us when months or even years later, there is a medical or surgical emergency in the night that costs a pretty penny and are thrilled that they had someone else to send the bill to!! There are lots of companies out there now offering insurance for pets. Please call us to discuss which we would recommend for you!
Dr. Ilana Smolkin