What is a Pet Health Plan?

Many people don’t ever consider purchasing a health plan for their pet. They believe the rumors that pet health plans are too expensive, that pets don’t need a health plan until they’re older, or that it is too difficult or time consuming to file a claim on a pet health plan. The fact is that pet health insurance can save you money on every veterinary visit — not just for emergencies.

Types of Pet Health Plans

Many companies offering pet health plans have a ton of variety in terms of their individual plans. Usually, you start picking a pet health plan by choosing the type of pet you’re covering. Whether you have a kitty or a puppy, a parakeet or an exotic reptile, there’s probably a basic pet health care plan for your needs.

Puppy and kitty health plans will start by covering beginning of life expenses like spay and neuter, vaccinations and boosters, and poisoning and foreign object swallowing provisions for that sneaky little puppy mouth. As these animals get into their adulthood, they’ll need routine dental work (just like you) as well as booster shots and vaccinations, coverage for various types of infections and emergency coverage. As your best friend gets older and moves into more mature years, you’ll want to make sure you’re covered for incidences of cancer or other serious diseases like kidney problems or arthritis. Taking care of your pet means taking the pet to the vet when it becomes necessary, and a pet health care plan can make these trips to the vet less expensive.

Picking the right pet health plan can mean the difference between having effective or ineffective coverage for your dog, cat, or ferret’s needs.


If you’re looking for emergency coverage only, there are very affordable plans that will help pay for broken bones, bite wounds, or other emergency injuries. If, on the other hand, your precious pet needs the best of the best, you can get a “nose to tail” coverage plan that offers total reimbursement for disease, injury, and even routine veterinary needs. Yes, the costs vary widely from state to state and from plan to plan, but at least you have the option of purchasing a pet health plan that matches your family’s needs.

How to Pick a Pet Health Plan

As with picking insurance for yourself or your family, you’ll want to find a pet health plan offered by a reputable company that has plenty of experience in the field. You’ll also want to make sure that you fully understand the claims process, and that the rates aren’t too high for you to keep up for the life of your dog.

When it comes to reputation, there are plenty of pet health insurance plans offered by companies who have been in business for many years — this is no flash in the pan business. VPI Pet Insurance, for instance, has been in the pet health plan business since 1982 and boasts more than a million satisfied customers. Look for a company that your pet-owning friends trust, or ask your veterinarian for what pet health plan they use or would recommend.

Another important factor in choosing the right pet health plan — ease of use. Every pet health insurance plan I’ve ever heard of has involved filing a claim after paying the initial fee in full at the time of service. Don’t expect to waltz into the vet’s office, get thousands of dollars worth of treatment, then walk out having dropped a co-pay or partial payment. Remember that you’ll still need to pay the vet upfront, or arrange a payment plan, before your pet health plan comes through with a reimbursement. Depending on what pet health care plan you choose, some may respond faster while other plans may be notorious for delaying payment until the last possible minute. Do your research on any pet health insurance plan before joining, the same as you would with any personal health insurance plan.

Health Plan for Indoor Pets?

I hear people say all the time that they don’t need health insurance for a pet because the pet is “indoors” only, or an “indoor pet”.

The fact is that pet health care isn’t limited to “outdoor” dangers — there are injuries and other problems your pet can get from indoor dangers as well. Imagine if your dog or cat accidentally ran out of the house and was hit by a car, or if an older dog took a small fall down a set of stairs or some other high surface. Remember that routine checkups and visit to a vet for procedures like dental care, tests, urinalysis, and other procedures recommended by your vet will keep your pet healthy and detect disease before the symptoms appear. With a pet health plan, you can have these procedures performed at a much more reasonable rate and avoid future expenses while they’re still affordable.

Pet health insurance is for pets of all types, and because you can decide your level of commitment, you can build a pet health plan perfect for you and your pets.

The Four Ps of Pet Health Plans

Peace of mind

You can rest easy knowing that no matter what accidents or diseases your pet encounters, you and your family have someone at your back helping you get through it.


Veterinary work can be expensive, and you don’t want to have to choose between debt or the loss of a pet. Think of pet health plans as long term budgeting for your pet’s health care needs.

Prevention of disease

Rather than spending tons of money on cancer treatments or treatments for kidney disease later in life, give your pet the care they need now to avoid contracting these diseases.

Part of the Family

Your pet is part of the family — and every member of your family needs a health plan. Why should your pet be given any less consideration? Make your entire home free from medical worries, and purchase pet health insurance for your loved ones.