The Real Cost of Veterinary Care for Your Pup

. 3 min read

These days, our pups have their own coats, horoscopes, and of course, custom, fresh meals delivered to their (human’s) home. But one of the most important things pet parents can do for your dog is make sure they have quality veterinary care—and coverage you can afford! Because even the most responsible dog moms and dads might not be prepared for an emergency like a foreign object removal (which can cost upwards of $5,000) or a torn ACL. Because September is National Pet Health Insurance month, we want to make sure you're prepared for the worst for your pup:

The price of the most popular vet visits

In the last decade, veterinary care has progressed immensely, so procedures like knee replacements, advanced allergy testing, minimally invasive cancer surgeries, and chiropractic care are now routine. Unfortunately, with incredible care comes a high price tag. The American Pet Parents Association (APPA) reports that in 2017, pet parents spent more than $17.1 billion at the vet! For 2018, it’s estimated to hit $18.3 billion. After diving into over 500,000 claims filed from June 2017 to 2018, Healthy Paws Pet Insurance assessed the top ten reasons why pet parents bring their dog to the vet with the corresponding costs:

  1. Skin Conditions – $6,000+
  2. Stomach Issues – $6,500+
  3. Ear Infection – $1,000+
  4. Eye Conditions – $6,000+
  5. Pain – $3,000+
  6. Growth – $10,000+
  7. UTI – $5,000+
  8. Allergies – $3,000+
  9. Cruciate Ligament – $6,500+
  10. Cancer – $10,000+

While regular occurrences can run around $50 for diagnostics and lab tests, these conditions can add up and their costs can quickly snowball: Healthy Paws customers have seen chronic skin conditions get into the thousands! Pet insurance allows you to say yes to life-saving procedures or treatments without breaking the bank.

The way pet insurance works

Pet insurance is for those unexpected accidents & illnesses that you just can’t plan for — even every day occurrences that need vet attention like when the dog scarfs down a bar of chocolate (diagnosis: toxicity), or chronic conditions like arthritis and diabetes. Many pet insurance companies operate on a reimbursement plan; i.e. if your pet gets sick or injured, you’ll pay the vet up front and then get reimbursed based on what plan you’ve chosen (deductible and reimbursement level). Just like home or auto insurance, pet insurance providers rate differently, so it’s important to compare plans and prices. It’s especially important to note what kind of coverage you’re getting: Are there any limits on claim payouts? Are there restrictions for any conditions? Is alternative care included?

The cost of pet insurance for your pup

Your monthly premium can vary based on where you live, what breed your pet is and their age. Additionally, deductible and reimbursement levels affect your premium as well. For a 2-year old dog, medium sized mixed breed living in Denver, CO, you’re looking at approximately $35 per month for Healthy Paws’ most popular plan, for example. If you’re ready to explore pet insurance policies for your pups, start by comparing plans at review sites such as PetInsuranceQuotes.com and ConsumersAdvocate.org and CanineJournal.com.

Content provided by Healthy Paws Pet Insurance. Healthy Paws is one of the leading pet insurance program providers in the U.S. for dogs and cats, and is ranked #1 by customers on leading review websites. Click here to get up to 10% off Healthy Paws pet insurance!

(Policies are underwritten and issued by ACE American Insurance Company, Indemnity Insurance Company of North America, ACE Property & Casualty Insurance Company, Atlantic Employers Insurance Company, members of the Chubb Group.)

The Ollie blog is devoted to helping pet parents lead healthier lives with their pups. If you want to learn more about our fresh, human-grade food, check out MyOllie.com.