The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

I read yesterday of a woman’s 3 year old Dachshund being diagnosed with IVDD (intervertebral disc disease) and at the same time I received an email saying my Trupanion pet insurance trial was about to expire. Panic stricken, I had 3 hours until midnight to decide whether or not to take the plunge and kiss $60-$100 goodbye every month, or take the risk and hope I can afford Oliver’s vet bills (should anything happen).

Like every other pet owner you need to ask yourself before you get a pet, “How deep is my commitment to this animal?” When I adopted Oliver I said to myself no matter what happens, if he needs a wheelchair, daily medications, etc I was going to provide him with that. I don’t talk about it too often, but my dog has saved me by pulling me out of a very dark place emotionally and I consider it my duty to go above and beyond for him with anything he needs. The moment I first held him at 8 weeks old something happened and I felt I found that piece of myself that was missing.

At our last vet visit, Oliver was due for his rabies vaccination and the vet had done a full body examination (as she usually does). She asked about his habits, jumping, running, climbing, etc. It was decided that he’s very high risk of back issues, as he does all of those things. I was informed that back surgery can cost upwards of $5,000, and immediately I knew that that was a cost that I would not be readily prepared to pay at any given moment. So she gave us a trial for Trupanion, and we started our 30 day coverage. I asked a friend about her dog’s pet insurance (as this dog has cost over $30,000 in vet bills), and she also uses Trupanion. I’ve had coverage through PC Financial for both our cat and dog in the past, but when it came down to pay, they got their way out of every bill I sent them and decided that they could take their coverage and stick it where the sun don’t shine. After speaking to a representative at Trupanion and discussing my dog’s breed it was decided that we needed the extra coverage on top of the standard to make sure all of our bases were covered. So if you’re wondering how much this is costing me per month, here it is: $62.00/month with a $500 lifetime deductible per incident. What this means is I’ll pay $500 for IVDD before they’ll pay, or $500 for a knee replacement before they’ll pay, or even $500 for a broken tail before they’ll pay. Now that sounds a little crazy, but I said yes because that $5,000 back surgery number is floating around in my head.

Now pet insurance isn’t just for Dachshunds. Every dog breed has their issues, for example:

  • German Shepherds commonly suffer from orthopedic problems
  • Pomeranians commonly suffer from luxating patelas
  • Labradors commonly suffer from bloat or elbow issues
  • American Pit Bull Terriers commonly suffer from hip displaysia or allergies
  • Huskies commonly suffer from cataracts

As as responsible pet owner it is your job before you adopt to be aware of what may happen to your future pet based on their breed/type. If you are not willing to buy pet insurance, and you can’t afford those hefty vet bills, you may want to think about owning a different type of pet. You should also be aware that buying pet insurance after the fact is not beneficial as pet insurance companies will not pay for existing conditions. To read about Trupanion visit their website here. I should also mention that Trupanion will also directly withdraw from your bank account so you don’t rack up your credit card bill, something I really appreciate!

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2 thoughts on “The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

  1. I used to have insurance for Leni… but as she only had few problems with her teeth.. of course that stuff isnt covered, and it came out of my pocket (xrays and all). Since then, I decided (after reading many reviews) to NOT GET INSURANCE and put the same amount of money that would be going towards the insurance company, into a shoebox in my closet dedicated JUST to leni… that way, I don’t need to worry about my money going elsewhere which wont help her.. I can pick up the money when I need it for her and use it towards any procedure (hopefully none!)

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