Banfield Wellness Plan vs. Pet Insurance


  • Banfield’s Optimum Wellness Plan covers routine, preventative care.
  • There are different options you can choose from based on your pet’s breed and age.
  • While the coverage is fairly comprehensive, it’s important to be aware that it may be more costly than other options, and there are a few location restrictions.

Banfield offers an Optimum Wellness Plan designed to cover routine, preventative care. While it differs from traditional pet insurance, it’s a great option for pet owners wanting just wellness coverage or to add additional wellness coverage on top of a standard policy.

What is the Banfield Wellness Plan?

The Banfield Optimum Wellness Plan (OWP) is a pet wellness plan designed to cover only routine, preventative care like vaccines, physical exams, and more. Rather than needing to purchase it in addition to a standard pet insurance policy, you’re able to purchase it as a standalone product.

Each OWP is complete with a package of services relevant to the pet’s breed and age. For example, OWPs for puppies and kittens will include spaying and neutering procedures, but packages for older dogs and cats won’t.

The plan can be used at over 1,000 Banfield locations in the United States, and comes with 2 virtual office visits, 24/7 advice from a licensed vet, and one coaching session on pet nutrition.

It’s important to note that most Banfield locations can be found inside PetSmart stores, so make sure you have one close to you before purchasing a plan.

Banfield OWP Options

Each OWP is designed to meet your pet’s unique needs depending on their breed, age, and lifestyle.

Puppies and Kittens

For puppies and kittens, you’ll have two options to choose from — Early Care and Early Care Plus.

Early Care covers all the basic needs of a young pet, like:

  • Comprehensive exams (eg. ears, eyes, rectal, weight and nutrition, etc.)
  • Vaccinations
  • Diagnostic testing (eg. heartworm, lyme disease, etc.)
  • Fecal exams (for detecting parasites and other health issues)
  • Deworming medications
  • DNA testing

It also provides you with a 5% discount on most other services that aren’t covered by the OWP package.

Early Care Plus covers everything Early Care does plus spaying and neutering procedures. It also comes with a 10% discount on Banfield products and services that aren’t included in your pet’s OWP package.

Which Plan is Best?

If your pet has already been spayed or neutered, opt for Early Care. If not, Early Care Plus will likely be the better option.

Dogs and Cats

For dogs and cats, there are three options — Active Care, Active Care Plus, and Special Care.

Active Care includes coverage for:

  • Comprehensive exams
  • Vaccinations
  • Diagnostic testing
  • Fecal exams
  • Deworming medications

It also includes a 10% discount on other Banfield products and services that aren’t included in the OWP package.

Active Care Plus includes all the services in Active Care, plus dental cleaning. It also comes with a 15% discount on excluded products and services.

Special Care is the most comprehensive of the three, offering the same coverage as Active Care Plus with additional diagnostic testing, exams, and x-rays. It also has a 20% discount on excluded products and services.

Which Plan is Best?

It depends on your pet’s needs. Special Care is perfect for breeds that are predisposed to more complex medical issues who need ongoing check-ups, diagnostics and repeat medications or pets with chronic health issues. If that doesn’t sound like your pet, it’d be best to opt for Active Care Plus or Active Care.  Breeds more prone to dental problems may be best advised to use the Active Care Plus option.

How Much Does it Cost?

The cost of a Banfield OWP will depend on your pet’s breed, age, and location. As an example, here are the costs for an adult male Labrador in Dallas, Texas.

Coverage LevelCost/month
Dog Active Care$38.95
Dog Active Care Plus$59.95
Dog Special Care$65.95

You’ll also be subject to an enrollment fee, typically ranging from $50 to $70 depending on your location. If you plan to purchase an OWP for multiple pets, however, you’ll receive a $15 discount on their enrollment fee.

Once you purchase a package, you’ll either be able to pay once per year, then re-enroll each year, or you can select a 12-month payment plan, where payments would be automatically withdrawn from your bank account each month.

The Banfield Wellness Plan vs. Pet Insurance

According to Banfield, their OWPs are different from traditional pet insurance because they are proactive rather than reactive. Instead of reactively covering an accident or illness, Banfield’s OWPs give you guaranteed coverage for a specific set of services.

It also allows you the option to purchase just a wellness plan, as where with traditional pet insurance, you’re often only allowed to snag a wellness plan if you tack it onto a standard pet insurance policy.

Additionally, if using Banfield pet hospitals, you won’t have to wait for reimbursement. With a Banfield OWP, all covered services are free, and Banfield will pay the provider directly. With traditional pet insurance, you’d need to foot the bill in full, then wait for reimbursement.

Drawbacks to the Banfield Wellness Plan

While the plan might sound lovely upfront, there are a couple elements to consider before making the jump to purchase a policy:

Cost. Some other wellness plans cost just $10 per month. So, in comparison, Banfield’s OWPs are on the higher end. In some cases, it may be more cost effective to purchase a wellness add on from your current traditional pet insurance provider, rather than purchasing separate coverage from Banfield.

Location restrictions. Covered services will be free at Banfield locations. If you choose to visit a different provider, however, you won’t be covered.

FAQs About Banfield Optimum Wellness Plans

Here are some of the most commonly asked questions about Banfields Optimum Wellness Plans:

Can The Wellness Plan Be Used In Conjunction With Other Types Of Pet Insurance?

Yes. You can purchase a Banfield OWP as an addition to a standard pet insurance policy.

Can The Wellness Plan Be Used At Any Banfield Location Or Only Specific Locations?

The Wellness Plan can be used at any Banfield location. However, Banfield is not available in Alaska, Hawaii, Maine, North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming.

How Do You Enroll For The Wellness Plan?

To enroll, simply follow the onboarding process on Banfield’s website.

How Does The Wellness Plan Handle Emergency Care?

The OWP is intended for preventive care, not emergency care. If you’d like coverage for pet emergencies, it’s best to purchase a traditional pet insurance policy alongside an OWP.

The Banfield Wellness plans are on the costly side compared to some, but they are extremely comprehensive. Regular pet insurance is recommended to cover those unexpected veterinary bills, but pet owners often underestimate the cost of routine care which is not covered by traditional pet insurance. All dogs are recommended to have certain preventative treatments, such as vaccinations and parasite prevention, which are hugely important to health and wellbeing. The expenses can mount up, however, so a wellness plan such as the Banfield options can give more financial certainty and allow the provision of optimal care without monetary constraint.

Dr. Lizzie Youens, Veterinary Surgeon

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Grace Lemire

Grace is a lover of pups and personal finance. She’s passionate about helping people navigate the financial side of life decisions — from budgeting for a furry friend to making decisions about pet insurance.