Dog and scope

“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”.  We’ve all heard it, right?  But do we practice this when it comes to our pets?

Next to a dog’s food consumption, his health care is the most expensive part of pet ownership.

The health and wellness of your dog goes far beyond routine vaccinations and a balanced, nutritious diet.

Dr. Louise Murray, VP of New York’s ASPCA Animal Hospital has said: “the truth is, the best way to save is to be really good about preventive care” for your dog.

Preventive pet care includes not only vaccinations but also spaying and neutering, annual well exams and regular dental care.

Yet, even the most conscientious dog owner may encounter an emergency or illness that requires expensive treatment.

Pet insurance is gaining popularity as a financial tool for discerning Pet Parents.

While pet insurance has been available in Europe since 1924, the first policy written in the U.S. was in 1982 for the classic TV star “Lassie”. Fast forward to today with over a dozen insurance providers, both private and public, offering comprehensive medical coverage for our own furry celebrities.

This emerging segment of the pet-care industry now offers  programs that allow the Pet Owner to choose the Provider (which hopefully includes your family Vet) and tailor their dog (or cat’s) insurance plan according to need, age and condition of their pet.

Plan costs range from $20 to $100 per month. Most of them pay a specific percentage of your vet bill (up to 90%), while others compensate according to a pre-set amount.

Doolittle’s Doghouse highly recommends Healthy Paws as “lead dog” for Fido’s insurance needs.  Healthy Paws offers not only affordable premiums but has also received stellar ratings for customer service and performance.  (visit:  www.consumersadvocate.org/pet-insurance  and  www.best-5.com/pet-insurance for comparisons)

There are several providers to choose from, so do your homework to determine if this is a good choice for you and your family.  As a starting point, see our link under Partners & Products/Pet Insurers to obtain a quick quote.

I think we all agree with Kristen Lynch, executive director of the North American Pet Health Insurance Association from Winnipeg, that “Generations ago, pets were in fields, where we didn’t worry about them, and then they moved into the backyard, and now they’re in our homes and sleep in bed with us.”

They have moved into our hearts as well.

I sincerely hope you don’t ever have to make the heart-wrenching choice of expensive emergency surgery to save your pet.  While pet insurance may seem like an unnecessary financial concern now, knowing you’re covered in the future may be worth it.

If you do find yourself in that unenviable and uncomfortable position, and do not have pet insurance, please know that companies like CareCredit.com offer financing to cover clinical expenses. Much like other plastic in your wallet, CareCredit offers no interest for balances paid in full within 6-24 months.  Payments on balances after 24 months are calculated at 14.90% APR through 60 months.  Credit repayment plans are available for every member of the family (both 2 & 4-legged).

We hope you enjoy the upcoming holidays in good health and happiness!





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