The decision on whether to take out insurance for your pet is a hard one.  It really depends on how much you would be willing to pay out of your own pocket to keep your pet pain free, healthy and happy. That doesn’t mean a definite yes - but you should be aware that many common injuries in dogs and cats can cost hundreds and often thousands of dollars to fix.


Of course pet insurance tends not to be that cheap relatively. This is actually because the likelyhood of you needing to use it is high, hence the dividends are high. Many people only think of taking insurance out when their dogs gets older. However, many injuries that require serious amounts of vet bills occur in younger, very active dogs. Also, if your dog picks up a serious disease or the dreaded paralysis tick or snake bites, the cost of keeping them in hospital, on a drip and with appropriate medication can again run into the thousands.

Jessica our customer service representative at Pets Unleashed has had two ocassions where she was glad she had pet insurance:

1. Her 11 yr old Beagle was diagnosed with Bladder Cancer. Six months of Chemotherapy, Radiation, Medications, Emergency Visits, Xrays, blood test, Medications and surgery cost a total of $10,000. Luckily her dog was insured and she received $7,500 back.

2. Her 1 yr old Beagle with an inknown infection presented the symptoms; shaking, vomiting and high temperature so was rushed to an emergency vet. Overnight stay at the vet with Xrays, blood tests then the following day care at local vet with more Xrays, fluids and medications cost a total of $2,500 received back $2250.

Be sure to read the fine print of any policy as well.  Like other insurance policies, most will have an excess fee which can be reduced by increasing your monthly premium.  There are also varying levels of cover available such as full "all expenses" cover which includes accident and injury as well as vaccinations and some general care costs. It is best to chose an insurance plan that covers Congenital and Hereditary diseases and to insure your pet as soon as possible so there are no pre-existing conditions that will be excluded from cover.

So, there’s no easy way to answer this question – if you can afford to pay the insurance then, yes it could well be a good investment. There is many a vet story of the vet not being able to help or save a pet because the owner cannot afford the bill. However, you should definitely shop around – there are numerous insurance companies, some attached to your bank, car, or house insurance as well as many other insurance companies and even the RSPCA. There are numerous different levels of coverage, different inclusions and various amounts of excess. Some will help pay towards  certain items through the year such as vaccines and flea treatments. So do your research.

And finally, here’s hoping, even if you have pet insurance, you never need to use it.