Pet Insurance, Pet Care Tips
Just as you research your own health plan, pet owners should do a little homework when shopping for pet insurance or wellness plans.
- Shop just as you would for your own health care coverage. Ask questions. Get the details in writing, and comparison shop. Research the insurance or wellness plan company. Check Angie’s List to learn about other pet owners’ experiences.
- Weigh your options. What makes the most sense for your pet? For a new puppy or kitten, a wellness plan aimed at preventive care as opposed to an insurance policy might be the best option. For older pets or pets with health problems, an insurance policy might be best.
- Will the plan cover YOUR pet? Some companies will not offer coverage for pets over a certain age, some pre-existing conditions or some breed-specific genetic ailments.
- Cost and coverage? What is the monthly premium compared to out-of-pocket costs? Will the premium increase as your pet ages? Is there a deductible or co-payment, and if so, does it vary based on the type of service needed? Does the plan cover things like regular office visits, vaccinations and dental care? What crisis-care or long-term care issues are covered?
- Is there a discount for multiple pets? If you have a more than one pet, ask about discounts on monthly premiums or fees.
- What is the maximum lifetime benefit?
- Start a file for your pet and use it for all receipts and insurance paperwork so you can stay on top of your claims and make sure you’re maximizing your investment in the plan or policy.
- Meds. Determine if your policy requires you to buy medications from a specific supplier. Shopping around may be a better route for you.
Regardless of whether you insure your pet, prevention is worth a pound of cure. Angie offers the following tips to keep your pet healthy:
- Regular checkups. Experts recommend biannual vet visits for most pets.
- Diet. Experts recommend you feed your pet two meals a day. Work with your veterinarian to determine the right food and correct portions for your pet.
- Grooming. Regular grooming deters the buildup of dirt and oil that can lead to secondary infections. Trimming nails once a month and cleaning ears is also important. Check for plaque buildup and bleeding gums every few weeks.