Escondido, CA

Ask the : Cost of veterinary care

Dr. David Knox

It is no secret that pet ownership has it’s associated costs. It’s also no secret that those costs can unexpectedly rise above our comfort levels. However, it is the rare person that creates a savings account for their pets. So what do you do when you are suddenly faced with a veterinary bill that you are not expecting?

The two most common options are paying for the services out-of-pocket or making use of pet insurance. There are many companies available and many different levels of coverage and cost. I frequently have clients that develop an interest in obtaining pet insurance immediately after an expensive or chronic diagnosis. As with any insurance, once the problem is diagnosed, it’s too late.

Having pet insurance is,  obviously, not a requirement of pet ownership. However, it has been shown to greatly expand the ability to provide care to pets and therefore enhance and prolong your pet’s quality of life. As you might expect, the insurance coverage will be less expensive the younger the pet is. This also happens to be the time when puppies and kittens tend to get into mischief.

When investigating the different companies, look carefully for exemptions. All companies are happy to tell you what they cover. The real question is “ what DON’T you cover?” Your veterinarian would be a great resource to get ideas of the companies that they work well with. Then call the company and speak to a representative to get a more complete idea of the company’s coverage. The coverages range from major medical coverage to whole pet wellness and everything in between. In my experience, the more broad base coverage you have, the happier you will be. Look into it!

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