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"I started out using Purina Care Insurance(they were great) and was transferred to 24 hour pet watch when Purina sold their business to 24 hour. Unfortunately my" older lab developed serious health issues 18 months ago, passed away 6 months ago and I submitted many claims. They routinely would deny claims based on information omitted from the vet and when I resubmitted these claims with the information they claimed was missing they would reject them again. I couldn't understand their rejections until finally reaching someone in customer service who explained the resubmitted claims were rejected outright because they had previously been submitted(ignoring the fact that they had been rejected) . Although nothing in their documentation tells you this nor do their rejection letters explain that when you resubmit a formerly rejected claim you are supposed to specifically identify it so they know why you are resubmitting. Due to the ongoing struggle to get my claims paid I continued to get charged for the insurance and am now struggling to get a refund of monthly insurance I paid for after my pet passed away.

-Christopher B.

" is THE Best Pet Insurance company. My dog was diagnosed with cancer 5 years ago - not only did he need an extremely expensive medication" to help his immune system, but also needed chemotherapy and other treatments. Without help from , we would have had to make difficult decisions and gone into very deep financial trouble. I would recommend this insurance company to everyone who has a pet. We are so very grateful for the help. Our dog lived to age 13 in spite of all his ailments and had such a great quality of life. Thank you all at

-Marge O.

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Local Articles in Washington DC

woman with dogs

Animal Shelters & Rescues

The decision to adopt a pet is an important one that shouldn't be taken lightly. A companion animal may live for 15 to 20 years as part of your family. Factors to consider include: types of pet adoption; fitting a pet into your lifestyle; costs to adopt; common problems; and other options for pet adoption. Read this guide to learn more.

pet insurance

Pet Insurance

Is pet insurance worth the cost? How much are annual premiums? What does the policy cover? Read this Angie's List Guide to Pet Insurance to learn more.

cat sits on deck outdoors

A first aid kit for pets eliminates worry and helps you provide your furry friends emergency care in a hurry.

pet dog sits on rug (Photo by Brandon Smith)

Many know about child custody battles in a divorce — but what about fights for custody of a family pet?

PAWS (Pets Are Worth Saving) Chicago, a “no-kill” animal shelter, helps Chicago Animal Care and Control save lives. Unlike most traditional shelters — which often euthanize adoptable pets — PAWS Chicago offers medical care and finds homes for all cats and dogs unless they’re vicious or terminally ill. Watch the podcast to find out more.

Most pet owners will do anything for their furry friends, but health care costs for pets can skyrocket.

Angie's Answers



The first answer is pretty thorough but I would like to add a few points. 

First.. the type of food you are feeding your dog may be the key.  If you are using a food that is grain, rice or corn based in the first three ingredients, please change to a food that is meat or chicken based.  Many dogs are allergic to grain, rice, wheat and corn and these things are used as primary ingredients in many well known, name brand dog foods.  Secondly, all treats that have these ingredients should be cut out.  It takes weeks to months before a food change can show results so you must be patient.  Jumping from one food to another will be counter-productive. 

Some dogs are so allergic to flea or other insect bites that one or two bites can cause a severe reaction.  Once the itching/scratching cycle begins, it is hard to stop it.  Benadryl is good but I suggest liquid form.  You can get it inexpensively at one of the dollar stores.  The pills take time to break down in the digestive system so you get better and faster results with the liquid.One tsp= 5cc and most dogs of average size can tolerate that much and more if the dog is a larger breed.  

Allergy testing is very expensive and most dogs will test positive to some things.  That does not mean that the itching is coming from those things as many things in the environment can trigger positive test results.  Breaking the cycle of itching is primary and that can be done with prednisone ( short term and last resort after benadryl and bathing), allergy shots( same deal, last resort after easier methods).   This spring and summer have been particularly hard, weather-wise.

Good luck!



Sorry for the delay in updates.  We had a HUGE major setback and kitty trauma.  Apparently, phone books are NOT optimal for raising up your cat's litterbox if said cat is enormous.  All the websites and literature recommend that you raise up the litterbox to the height of the toilet, and the preferred material is phonebooks.  Not for a nearly 20 lbs cat. Erik hopped in his newly jacked up litter box to do his duty and it promptly shot off the phone books causing mass hysteria and trauma.  TERROR!!  HORROR!!  Meowing in the streets!!

It took a whole week for him to finally being using the litter box AT ALL.  He's been holding it and refusing to go until he heads outside.  We had to take the litter box back down to the ground and start "over" but, he seems to be finally okay with the litter box.  My husband has built a more stable riser for the box to go on that I think we may install this weekend.  I'm going to start setting Erik on the actually toilet trainer starting tonight, and then give him treats, to see if he starts to get the idea.  So, what I have learned:  Indoor/outdoor cats are more difficult to toilet train, big fat giant kitties are too much for phone books alone.

Unfortunately for Erik, he also just got all of his annual shots and a nice checkup from the vet, which involved far more poking in his hind-end than he's comfortable with.  Good news, though!  He's down to 17 lbs. from 25 lbs.  Not that he's happy about it. All that, and the rump-poking seems to have given the litter box trauma a run for it's money.  He's momentarily forgotten that the litter box is fickle and not to be trusted. I guess the answer is that whenever he gets toilet trauma to haul him to the vet for an exam.

So, we continue on in our struggle for a toilet trained cat, but I think this adventure will take much longer than previously thought.  I think that snow on the ground will much improve our chances of success, since he'll be less likely to "hold it"  If I can just get him up on the seat, I think it will be relatively smooth sailing, but I think that the transition from litter will be a doozy, too!! 


Frontline Plus is an over-the-counter product that does not require a prescription to dispense. When you buy medications for your pet, look for a pharmacy that is Vet-VIPPS

accredited and also look for their product guarantee.


~ Abby, PetMeds Pro


Pet Insurance reviews in Washington DC


This year my 2 year old Brussels Zuzu had to have two MRI's of her head and back to diagnose a painful congenital condition, COMS. The representatives even called me at home to tell me that they were processing my bill, and to see how Zuzu was doing, and just to talk about the health problem. I only had to pay 10% of the ...More bill, as when I opened my coverage I requested no deductible.
This year my 5 year old Yorkshire Terrier Caeli had to have a leg surgery that cost $5,000, and thanks to all I paid was $500, as I had chosen a coverage with no deductible.
When I get another pet in the future, I will always sign up my pets with the next day!
- Linda P.

They were honest. They didn't push the most expensive alternatives. They gave me options and they care. They're the best in town!

*monthly service is $62 - average cost of additional expenses is around $100, when it is needed.
- Jody V.

First: Signing up was very easy. All they needed was a credit card and for the vet to send over our dog's medical records.
The problem came up any time we filed a claim. Between needing invoices and full records each time, it was a hassle. More importantly, of the claims we filed, ALL of them were initially denied (but ultimately covered ...More as they should have been from the get go).
It appears that they may just automatically deny claims initially to see who will put up a fuss. For $500 a year, who wants to put up with the hassle? The claim they most recently denied was for my dog's GI distress (regular vomiting over a couple of days - the vet ran blood and fecal tests, and ultimately prescribed antibiotics to treat an infection.) This was denied as 'preventative care' even though the vet clearly stated on the record and invoice this was an illness visit.
Finally, having paid $1000 over two years, I decided it was time to cancel. This took a total of 2 hours on the phone, plus multiple emails back and forth plus three phone calls to accomplish. And I'm still not confident they're actually going to cancel and not charge my card next month.
My recommendation is to save your money on premiums and just put it in savings in case of emergency. If they actually did what they were supposed to, it would be worth for peace of mind. But as is, I can't recommend their services.
Ultimately, they may be the best of a bad bunch (and pet insurance companies tend to be shady) - but that doesn't mean they deserve your business!
- Noor A.

I purchased pet insurance for my GSD in April, 2014, when my pup was 3 months old. I researched online and found as the most highly rated. Currently I pay $38 for a $250 deductible with 80% coverage. The monthly premium does go up every year. I adopted an 8yr old GSD and got an estimate of around $58 a month. I decided not ...More to purchase for this dog..... A relative left out girl scout cookies and extra strength Advil in a spare bedroom and our GSDs got into them. We took them to the Vet ER in our area and they kept our 1 yr old for 2 days to flush his kidneys, give charcoal, etc. I submitted a claim to when he was released and it was painless. The only hoop I had to jump through was furnish ALL my pups records from when we brought him home. After that was uploaded the claim was approved in one day and we received a check within 3 days. His follow up blood test submission went very smooth since all the records were now on file with . That claim was approved in a day and we received a check within 3 days. Highly recommended, but make sure you have all your vet records to submit on first claim.
- Jared F.

To those who have pets:
A lengthy read, but worth the time for those considering pet insurance. The words below outline my experience with the Pet Insurance company. People have health insurance to help when a health problem or issue occurs. These days, you can get that for your pet as well. My experience with pet insurace ...More has been painful and upsetting. I hope not everyones has been so negative. Thanks for taking the time to read.
Two years ago I adopted a beautiful deaf french bulldog that I named Wonton. She has given me joy that I didnt think was possible. She has turned from a timid, shy dog that had been abused, mistreated, overbred and neglected to a friendly, loving sweet and devoted companion to me, my family and my colleagues. After adopting her, I was urged to get insurance for her, and I did. I chose to get insurance through . She has some typical frenchy issues, bad knees, skin allergies, infections. She also had corneal ulcers here and there. I understood that these issues were fairly common.
On Christmas day, she woke up paralyzed, having lost the ability to not use her back legs. After taking her to an emergency hospital and consenting to surgery, xrays were taken in prep for the procedure and it was discovered that her chest was riddled with cancer. She is terminally ill and soon I will be saying goodbye to her. After being mistreated for years, and used for breeding, then discarded like some sort of used , she was able to find happiness with me and my family for this short time.
I submitted several claims to , to be told that all of her issues are pre existing. All of them. Her paralysis was said to be pre existing since she had back pain before. Back pain can happen from anything. Jumping, playing, and moving - things that all dogs do. I submitted a claim to be reimbursed for her hospital stay, and was denied. I submitted paperwork asking to cover potential cancer treatment and it was said to be pre existing. Denied. She has mammary tumors, which are common in dogs that are spayed later in life. I never submitted claims to before. At my vets urging, I did. Every time I have called , I was asked to re tell my painful story to justify and explain my claim, only to receive an email saying no, pre existing conditions. I had to explain that she woke up paralyzed, and then was told she had terminal cancer to every person who answered. The young lady I talked to last week, told me that they paid a $52,000 claim for a client. I am not asking for $52000, I am asking for a little compassion and a little less coated script reading and covereage of a few claims totaling less than $3000. What kind of customer service is this? What kind of sensitivity training do they offer their employees? If my dog was a puppy, and not a rescue, would she get her claim covered? If my dog was a different breed not prone to health issues, would they cover it? Rupturing a disc in the spine can happen from any number of things, there is no way of telling what happened with MY dog. Cancer is NOT something that can be detected or predicted.
My point is this. What is covered? What animal does qualify? All of the things that have happened could have happened to ANY dog. Young or old. Who else is suffering this treatment with ? I am not the sort of person that writes things like this. I didn't even want this insurance. I don't review every service, restaurant, or experience I have. However in this case I feel compelled to let people know. They deserve to know what they are up against if they have an older, health problem prone dog. If you have a rescue with health issues, prepare to be told no over and over again. In the midst of all the terrible stressful events that are happening to your pet, they will make you discuss it's problems. Repeatedly. Most likely by someone that has your pets history on the screen in front of them.
All of these issues could happen to any dog out there. I feel terrible as I type this. I feel heartbroken because of what I am facing. I have to say goodbye to one of the sweetest dogs ever. I can't even entertain the idea of calling again to tell this story again to have them tell me no. I can't appeal again. I have a sick dog to care for. I wanted to get her cancer treatments in hopes that we could maybe have another 6 months together. I have a dog that I would like to devote all of my time to because she is dying. I need to take care of her, not sit on the phone with some heartless pet insurance company that takes my $ every month. All I can leave those that are reading my story is this- please, beware of this company and their claims to care about your pets. Maybe they care about other peoples pets, but they don't care about mine. They may not care about yours. Beware of their automated "sorry your pet is sick" emails. Beware of their operators that claim to care, and listen to you so intently. Prepare to repeat your experience, heartbreaking or not, over and over. My experience has been so awful with it makes me feel sick. I hope in the future they improve their policies, their scripts, and their treatment of the people and pets that trust them to be their insurance provider.
Thank you,

- Amanda V.

Only had insurance for 3 weeks when our dachshund was attacked by coyotes. Had made one $50 monthly payment and they paid for over $1000 of vet bills. Paid eithin 7 days of receipt of bills.
- Carey S.

This pet insurance company bases their payment reimbursement decisions on symptoms exclusive of a specific diagnosis. Our cat was diagnosed with Pancreatitis prior to our enrollment with symptoms of vomiting, lethargy, and refusal to eat. We realized that medical bills associated with this condition would not be covered since it was a pre existing condition. ...More Later, our cat was diagnosed with IBD with similar symptoms of vomiting, lethargy, and refusal to eat. Although this is technically a different illness, we were denied reimbursement because the symptoms were similar. This seems unfair to me since many conditions have similar symptoms but may not be related at all. I would not waste my money on this pet insurance. We did not receive one penny over the course of the 1-2 years that we paid premiums.
- Rodney K.

It's a good one. I just renewed my insurance. They have different policies. I pay $371a year for the annual insurance policy. Then I get a wellness plan on top of it. A lot of tests were done. Veterinary services in general are very expensive in this area. I had a wellness coverage plan. That was another $144. I paid about $500 in total. They paid ...More me back over $900 with the veterinary expenses. It certainly was worth the while. He is young, so he eats things he shouldn’t. He gets sick because he gets into things. It's been very helpful to have that when I needed to go. They have been good. With regard to price, I researched other places, I think it was the best. I would absolutely use them again; I just signed up again yesterday.
- susan m P.

Pet Insurance Plans in Washington, DC

Companies below are listed in alphabetical order. To view top rated service providers along with reviews and ratings, Join Angie's List Now!

Banfield Pet Hospital

6100 Arlington Blvd



Betty List


Little Seneca Animal Hospital

20630 Seneca Meadows Pkwy Unit E2



Mia Bella Pet Grooming

15807 Good Hope Road



Paw Pet Directory

22506 Iverson Dr

Pet and Home Care LLC

2710A Prices Distillery

Petplan Pet Insurance

3805 West Chester Pike Suite 240


5115 Douglas Fir Rd

The Playful Pup

PO Box 1327

Undertaker Pest Control

812 Jefferson Street, Apartment 126

Valarie's Animal Den

737 8th St SE

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