We grew up with big dogs. First it was a German Shepherd that was bigger than we were. Then it was a rescued Standard Poodle. No slouch; she wrestled an errant muskrat she found trespassing in her yard. She won the fight, but had to endure some nose patching afterwards. A couple of black Labs followed, and then a dynasty of Rhodesian Ridgebacks once I reached adulthood.
We loved our dogs. They were part of the family. Every night, they slept on the beds even though they weren’t supposed to. There was nothing we wouldn’t do for them. You’re probably the same.
But what happens in this era of modern medicine when your dog’s health care could cost more than your own? My last dog started experiencing seizures when she was only six. Her monthly seizure meds cost more than a luxury car payment, and that MRI she needed was in the thousands.
When you love your pets, it’s hard to say “no.”
Two out of three American households own pets, according to Jo Craven McGinty of the Wall Street Journal. Americans shelled out over $17 billion last year for their vet care. Food, toys, and other necessities added on even more.
If you’re a loving pet parent, you need to plan ahead for those inevitable medical dog- or cat-astrophies. Otherwise, those pricey specialty treatments will end up on your credit card, and may not get paid off for months or even years.
So what’s the secret to taking good care of your pet, without digging yourself into a financial hole?
You might want to take a look at buying pet insurance. It’s now a $1 billion market in the U.S., and can save you money if your pet needs expensive knee surgery, or specialty cancer treatment.
“Compared with auto, home and human health coverage,” says the Journal’s McGinty, “pet insurance is the runt of the litter. But that puppy’s growing.”
Popular insurance providers include Healthy Paws, Pets Best, and Trupanion, among others (you can check out pet insurance reviews online at sites like Canine Journal and LendEdu). Typical monthly pet premiums might range from $25 to $80, depending on deductibles, type of pet, and limitations.
With pet insurance, you can focus on loving your furry friend and helping them get better, rather than stressing over how much it’s all going to cost.