Last year my Border Terrier, Dash, received advanced canine dental treatments to the tune of more than $2,500 (described in "Improve Your Dental Acuity," Whole Dog Journal July 2008). Her root canal, surgical extraction, and periodontal treatments were necessary to improve her health, but they certainly stretched my checkbook until I could hear the twang! Fortunately, I was able to afford these procedures. But, who knows what could happen next to either of my two dogs, and how much it might cost? And how can I be prepared to provide a lifetime of high quality healthcare when my next puppy comes along? For the first time I am seriously considering the benefits of pet health insurance for my dogs (both seniors), and, especially, for any young dog who joins my family in the future.Advances in veterinary science have led to the availability of high-tech wellness care, diagnostic testing, treatments, and surgical procedures. Cancer care, MRIs, pacemakers, joint replacements, and, yes, advanced dental care are increasingly common. Many private veterinary practices now offer high-tech procedures previously offered only at regional, specialty referral clinics. The American Pet Products Association (APPA) estimates that, in 2008, dog owners spent more than $10 billion on veterinary care. The APPA's 2007/2008 national pet survey reported that the average "routine veterinary visit" for a dog cost more than $200, and the average "surgical vet visit" cost more than $450. Advanced, high-tech treatments cost much more. If you want to provide your dog with high quality healthcare throughout his life, pet health insurance deserves a serious look. And since you can't buy health insurance for your dog when you really need it most, like in an emergency, or when a pre-existing condition erupts into a critical situation, now is the best time to look into health insurance that could save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars.
We hear about a lot of amazing people who are doing great deeds for and with dogs – people involved with rescuing and fostering dogs, search and rescue, training service or therapy dogs, etc. We also know that dog lovers are asked, frequently, to donate money to these and many other animal-oriented good causes. But because our primary mission is to provide our readers with information they can use to benefit their own dogs, we don’t often highlight these admirable canine-oriented social services in the pages of Whole Dog Journal.
American dogs and other pets now find themselves included in the complexities surrounding medical expense insurance coverage. Costs of veterinary care are rising, and increasingly sophisticated and expensive treatments, such as Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and chemotherapy, are more widely available. Pet health insurance and medical discount plans can help defray veterinary expenses. Whole Dog Journal explains which plan would be most beneficial for you and your dogs.