Puppy Insurance – Pet Insurance For Puppies

Takeaways:

  • There’s no specialist puppy insurance – you just need to take out a normal pet insurance plan for your dog
  • Insurance for your puppy works the same as any other pet insurance
  • It’s best to take out pet insurance on your puppy as soon as possible so they’re more likely to be covered if they have a health issue
  • Find out how much different providers cost below

Pet insurance- It is cheaper and better to buy it 5 years early than 1 minute too late! Emergencies don’t give you any warning, but they tend to leave a sizeable impact. Our pets’ lives are riddled with uncertainties. While there is no way to anticipate the future, there are multiple ways to prepare for it. Investing in good pet insurance for your puppy is one such way. Let’s chat about it.

How does Puppy Insurance work?

The basics of pet insurance are pretty straightforward. Enrolled members have to pay a monthly cost to get coverage for all new injuries or illnesses during the lifetime of the pet. Pre-existing conditions are generally not covered.

After you submit an invoice, the insurance company will collect the pet’s medical records, reach out to the veterinarian directly in case of questions, and after investigation, pay the claim to the member or directly to the veterinarian. Depending on the plan, the member would have to pay only a portion of the bill.

Importance of taking insurance right from puppyhood

A canine goes through various life stages as they grow from puppy to senior-

  • Puppy (Newborn until they are able to reproduce)
  • Junior (when they’re teenagers. This age ranges between 6-12 months)
  • Adult (1 – 7 years)
  • Mature (this is when dogs can be called ‘middle aged’ and they’re typically older than 7 years of age)
  • Senior (when they have reached the last quarter of their life expectancy)
  • Geriatric (when they’re still going strong after they have reached their life expectancy)

Every stage comes with its fair share of health issues and care requirements. Investing in a good pet insurance policy at an early age is a great way to care for them while not being too burdened with the financial aspect of it. Here’s why it makes sense to buy pet insurance at puppyhood:

Puppies are prone to illnesses like Distemper, Parvovirus, Giardia, Adenovirus, etc., especially before they receive all of their vaccinations. While your pet insurance may not cover the costs, vaccinations can prevent your dog from suffering from issues like these.

– Several illnesses such as heart conditions, kidney diseases, liver diseases etc. don’t show up for a few months/years of your puppy’s life. It may be too late to invest in a pet insurance plan after they develop a condition. Investing in a pet insurance plan at puppyhood may ensure the necessary coverage when needed.

– Insurance premiums are the cheapest for puppies. Most puppies aren’t prone to as many health concerns as aging dogs. This is primarily why insurance premiums are the cheapest for puppies. Some companies like Trupanion lock the premium cost for pet parents depending on the puppy’s age at which the insurance was bought. Meaning, if a Labrador Puppy is enrolled at the age of two years old, they will forever be priced at that, even when they age into their senior years

– A growing puppy is likely to visit the vet quite often as these explorers tend to vacuum the ground with their mouths, thereby repeatedly upsetting their systems. Insurance may be able to lend a helping hand with the vet bills

– Puppies are less likely to have pre-existing conditions and several of their allergies may also be unknown to pet parents. Buying insurance after a dog has been diagnosed with a condition may make them ineligible for coverage for that condition.

Is there pet insurance specifically for puppies?

While there is no insurance in the market specifically made for puppies, several of them make for a great investment when done during puppyhood. Make sure to research the health issues your breed is likely to face in the future. For example, German Shepherds are prone to hip dysplasia later in life. If your pup’s breed is prone to health issues, it is wise to buy insurance early.

The right time to get pet insurance for puppies

After spending hundreds of dollars (thousands in some cases) while buying a puppy, the last thing anyone needs is a vet bill that exceeds the cost of getting the puppy! It is impossible to predict the health concerns that our little (or not so little) companion may suffer in the future. Thus, investing in good pet insurance must be one of the preliminary things to check off as soon as we welcome home the pup.

Important things to look for while buying pet insurance for puppies

With the plethora of options available in the market today, pet owners are spoilt for choices when it comes to pet insurance. However, determining individual needs and the pet’s needs comes foremost while choosing the right plan. Once that is out of the way, look out for the following while scouting for pet insurance for your puppy –

1. Coverage

Some policies provide comprehensive coverage, which is the most popular choice. Some of them provide accident and illness coverage. Some specialize only in accidents while some policies cover only wellness-related expenses such as routine veterinary checkups, flea and heartworm prevention, and vaccinations.

2. Deductible

The deductible is the amount a pet parent pays for health care services before the insurance plan starts to pay. Some insurance policies have annual deductibles that you will be required to pay every year while seeking insurance coverage for health care services. On the other hand, some policies have a per-condition deductible, meaning, you would only have to pay the deductible once for every new condition, without a reset every year.

3. Reimbursement

When you buy a plan, you will be required to choose a reimbursement percentage. The most common reimbursement choices are 70%, 80% or 90%.

4. Insurance waiting periods

The waiting period is the time between the date on which the policy is purchased vs when the coverage begins. While some companies like Embrace have a waiting period of only 2 days, some others have 14 days to a month.

5. Insurance discounts

Some companies provide discounts when you buy insurance for multiple pets whereas some policies provide discounts to pet owners for routine procedures like spaying, neutering, vaccinations, etc.

6. Exclusions

Fetch covers vet examination fees whereas Trupanion excludes it. However, they also make up for it by providing 100% coverage, unlike Fetch. Make sure to consider all these aspects.

Why don’t some pet insurance policies cover puppies?  

Unfortunately, today there are as many, if not more, unethical breeders as there are ethical breeders. The physical and mental condition of the pups being bought/adopted from unethical sources is highly questionable. They may come with a variety of pre-existing health conditions.

Furthermore, many pet parents are opposed to vaccinating their dogs, which makes the pups more prone to health conditions like Distemper, Parvovirus, Rabies, etc during puppyhood. Thus, many companies prefer beginning their coverage for slightly older dogs (6 months +) to prevent the likelihood of insuring a pup from a possibly dubious past.

Important health milestones for puppies  

Keeping track of a puppy’s important health milestones is a part and parcel of being a puppy parent. It also comes with a fair share of rounds to the vet’s clinic. Knowing these milestones well in advance will help you prepare for them.

Puppy’s ageCompulsory Vaccines/ testsOptional but recommended vaccines/ tests
6 – 8 weeksDistemper, ParvovirusBordetella
10 – 12 weeksDHPP vaccines (Distemper, adenovirus, hepatitis, parainfluenza, and parvovirus)Influenza, Leptospirosis, Bordetella, Lyme disease Tests: Fecal exam to check for intestinal parasites.Chemistry and electrolyte tests to help evaluate internal organ status.A complete blood count (CBC) to screen your pet for infection, inflammation, or anemia and other blood-related conditions.
16 – 18 weeksDHPP round 2, Rabies round 1Coronavirus, Leptospirosis, Bordetella, Lyme disease Tests: Start parasite control (through the use of prescription medication) to treat intestinal parasites and prevent heartworm.Begin protecting your puppy from flea- and tick-borne diseases.

Top 10 Pet insurance quick comparison table

Insurance PolicyMaximum Annual CoverageDeductibleReimbursement
Fetch$5,000, $10,000, or $15,000$300, $500, $70070%, 80%, 90% 
TrupanionUnlimitedPer condition deductible50% to 100% 
EmbraceUnlimited100$70%, 80%, 90% 
ManyPetsUnlimited$100, $250, $50070%, 80%, 90% 
Pumpkin$10,000, $20,000, Unlimited$100, $250, $50090%  
Spot$2,500, $3,000, $4,000, $5,000, $7,000, $10,000, $15,000, $20,000, Unlimited$100, $250, $500, $750, $1,000 70%, 80%, 90% 
Lemonade$5,000, $10,000, $20,000, $50,000, $100,000$100, $250, $50070%, 80%, 90% 
Healthy PawsUnlimited$100, $250, $50070%, 80%, 90% 
Met Life10000$$50, $100, $250, $50070%, 80%, 90% 
ASPCA$2,500 to unlimited$100, $250, $50070%, 80%, 90% 

In Conclusion

Pet insurance is increasingly becoming popular due to the ever-increasing veterinarian charges. Many pet owners also prefer to forgo pet insurance and set aside money in a savings account for their pet’s medical needs. However, a surprise vet bill costing thousands of dollars can make quite a dent in the wallet. Pet insurance is a smart way to guard against racking up credit card bills.

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Siddhika Bhat

Siddhika is a certified dog trainer, behaviorist, and professional pet writer. She has the qualifications and experience in the theoretical as well as real-life applications of science-based dog training techniques. With the expertise to write about a plethora of dog-related topics and a personal interest in dog cognition and behavior, Siddhika is an out-and-out canine nerd.