I get teased from time to time due to the fact that I have health insurance on my dog, Huck. The cost is around $400 per year, which may seem steep to some, but let me offer some insight.
We live in the wilderness. Montana’s blue skies call us to hike and boat and hunt, and participate in a plethora of other physical activities. Dogs are largely off leash, flitting down the trail saying “Howdy!” to any other canines they meet along the way, hunting in prickly underbrush, crossing frozen lakes, and being exposed to all manner of insects, and viruses. This is a recipe for illness or injury, and with vet costs being extraordinarily expensive these days, the tab for these things adds up quickly.
Huck came to me at about 14 weeks old, and had already had a hernia operation to repair a hernia he had at birth. That was paid for by his original breeder. He lived a healthy, carefree existence until March of this year (2018). In March, he mysteriously went off his feed, and long story short, ended up having emergency gastrointestinal surgery, followed by months of tough recovery, and two other additional surgeries. He also contracted an eye infection, urinary tract infection, and tumor growth due to the fact that his general body and immune system became depressed as a side-effect of the much needed medications he was receiving to aid his difficult recovery. At the end of this all, no one was laughing at my decision to health insure my pup. I just added up what PetsBest Insurance has paid out on Huck since March, and it’s currently $4,381.66, plus one outstanding invoice they are reviewing for $512. That would bring this year’s total reimbursed back to me at $4,893.66. I’d say that my $400 policy was a pretty wise investment. Please note that this wasn’t the entire total of the bills, as they pay a percentage and I also pay a $500 deductible. You can imagine what a burden it would have had to pay the entire bill.
I felt it necessary to share this with you all, as the majority of my clients have similar “horror” stories, but had no idea that you could even obtain pet insurance. Several now have their dogs insured, and have gained peace of mind that if Fido cuts his paw on a rock while hiking, contracts giardia from contaminated water, is attacked by a wild animal, or eats something he’s not supposed to, they will have help in paying the vet bills to make him well again. Having Huck insured sure made the decision to do emergency surgery a no-brainer. Even though it costs thousands, I knew I’d have help to ease the financial burden, so only had to stress about his recovery, not paying the bill.
These four-legged creatures are so special to us, and I hope you all have many happy days in the sun with yours!