- Flea and tick prevention and treatment is typically part of wellness care coverage rather than standard pet insurance
- The cost of flea and tick treatment depends on the type of treatment chosen.
- There are lots of ways to treat ticks and fleas, but treatment can become expensive
The size of a tick and the potential problems it can cause are inversely proportional to each other. ‘Do pet insurance cover flea and tick treatment?’ is one of the most frequently asked questions by pet insurance buyers. Knowing what a pet health insurance company includes and excludes from their policies can make a big deal of difference in deciding which one could be right for you and your dog.
Do pet insurance cover flea and tick treatment?
Flea and tick prevention and treatments usually fall under preventative care and are not covered by the majority of pet insurance providers. Some companies that cover wellness care may provide coverage for certain components of flea and tick treatment.
Having said that, if your dog ends up getting diagnosed with flea and tick-related diseases like Lyme disease and tick fever, they are typically covered by most insurance policies.
The different types of flea and tick treatments?
When it comes to fleas and ticks, there is no one size fits all approach as different pets have different needs. Furthermore, some dogs may also be allergic to certain components of flea and tick medications. Trial and error is usually the best way to figure out the best flea and tick treatment option for your dog. Some popular ones are stated below –
- Spot on treatments
Also known as topical drops, this type of medication is applied in three to four dots-like drops over the dog’s body. They usually go down the full length of the back from the neck to the tail. They are quite effective for 25-30 days or the next bath after which the medication needs to be repeated.
- Flea and tick collars
Flea collars are one of the safest and quite convenient to use as they go on the dog’s neck along with their normal collar and are great for pet parents who want to stay away from any kind of medication. They are also more of a preventative measure as they act as repellants.
- Oral medication
Oral flea and tick medication, as the name suggests are edible chews and pills that manage to kill eggs and adult ticks that latch onto the dog’s body. They are more suitable to treat existing tick infestations and don’t make great repellants.
A dip is usually a concentrated liquid that is diluted with water and applied directly to the dog’s body with a sponge or a towel. Dips are quite effective as the concentration of chemicals in dips can be quite high. It is a viable solution for heavy tick infestation and is suitable for adult dogs who are not sensitive to chemicals
Shampoos act as great cleansing agents but not as good repellants. They help in killing and washing away existing ticks and fleas. They generally need to be combined with a good repelling product to prevent new fleas and ticks from latching onto the dog’s body.
- Sprays and powders
Sprays and powders are quite convenient to use and easy to apply. They are generally applied all over the dog’s body massaged into the fur and skin. They make great repellants and are also frequently used on beds, carpets, and other household areas frequented by the dog.
The approximate cost of flea treatment
If your pet is already suffering from fleas and ticks, the cost of treating them would depend on:
- The severity of the infestation
- Number of products to be invested in (shampoo, medication, lawn cleaner, house cleaner, brush etc)
- Type of the dog
- Size of the dog
- Whether the treatment will be done at home or in the clinic
- Whether the tick would be further sent for lab testing
- The type of treatment chosen
Treatment for fleas and ticks can cost anything from $100 up to $400.
Which pet insurance offers flea and tick treatment coverage
The coverage for flea and tick treatment generally falls under wellness plans. Multiple insurance companies provide wellness packages as an add-on to their primary pet insurance package. Here are some companies that may provide part-coverage for flea and tick prevention if it falls under their wellness programs –
- Flex Care
Flex care policy provides an optional add-on coverage of wellness and preventative care for pet parents. Their wellness care includes certain vaccinations, dental treatments and flea and tick prevention. This is, however, subject to change.
While they do not provide coverage specifically for flea and tick treatments, the buyer has the option to add it to their base plan for a little more per premium per month.
- Embrace flea coverage
Embrace doesn’t cover flea treatment under their basic plan but will cover it under their Wellness Rewards policy.
- Pets Best Flea coverage
Like several other companies, Pets Best also does not offer coverage for flea testing, treatment, or prevention on their basic plan but does cover it under their EssentialWellness and BestWellness plans.
How to get coverage for flea and tick treatment
Insurance companies generally don’t have standalone coverage plans for wellness care procedures like spaying, neutering, flea and tick prevention, etc. When it comes to prescription drugs, most pet insurance plans cover multiple kinds of medication. However, most companies only offer them as add-on options along with their primary illness and accident coverage plans. The only way to get coverage for flea and tick prevention is to invest in a holistic pet insurance plan that offers an additional wellness care option.
Tips to keep your pets safe from fleas and ticks
Based on your pet’s health and lifestyle, your vet would be able to make some good recommendations in terms of flea and tick prevention and treatment. However, there are several precautionary steps you can take to protect your dog against fleas, ticks and other parasites, such as
- Comb and groom your dog thoroughly at least twice a week
- Make sure to check every part of the body while grooming including paw pads and the insides of the ear
- Disinfect your yard. Keep the grass mowed and shrubs trimmed.
- Disinfect your home. Use a good anti-bacterial cleaning liquid to clean areas that your pet frequents the most
- Practice prevention. Use preventive and repellant sprays on your dog to protect them from a potential tick infestation
- Make sure to lab test the tick/ flea found on your dog’s body to prevent serious diseases
Arm yourself with as much information about pet insurance inclusions and exclusions as you navigate your pet through a healthy lifestyle. Make sure to ask as many questions as possible to be sure the policy you choose is the right one for you.