I see a lot of social media posts about pet insurance. Most ask for recommendations on insurers, whether pet insurance is worthwhile, and which policy is ‘best.’
Since every dog is different, and everyone’s financial position/lifestyle is different, the selection of a policy is very much an individual exercise. It’s fine to do your homework, but ultimately you have to make a decision. Here’s how I made mine:
Sox came to me in March 2022. An ex-racing greyhound, like any adoption, he was an unknown quantity. Would he be healthy? Would he be accident prone? The risk of taking on a new dog is not knowing what the future holds.
To manage this risk, I decided on pet insurance with the idea that I would invest in a policy for at least a couple of years. By then, I would have more confidence in Sox’s health status and, most importantly, I wouldn’t face having certain conditions excluded as ‘pre-existing conditions.’
I used websites for all of the known pet insurers to run a policy quotation. I chose the most reasonable price with cover that was clearly understandable. Policy exclusions for dentals, for example, were understandable. There were substantive differences with the most expensive policy costing over NZ$1,500 per year. The one I chose was slightly more than $600 and with a $150 excess (deductible), bearing in mind that the larger the excess you are prepared to bear, the less the policy will cost you.
Good thing that I did.
Many greyhounds have upset tummies when they are re-homed. I kept Sox on what he was being fed at the kennels but he had regular bouts of a gurgly tummy and diarrhea every few days. It wasn’t fun for either of us. So I changed his food, then I tried a raw, chicken based diet, then tried another food, and so it went. After keeping a food diary, it was time to seek veterinary help.
He was wormed for 5 consecutive days to ensure that he didn’t have a deeply seeded whipworm infection.
He received Vitamin B shots for four weeks.
He had blood work.
He had an ultrasound.
He was diagnosed with Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD). And all of the costs, less the deductible (excess), have been covered
IBD is a lifelong condition, we can expect to have flare-ups. Sox is booked next week for a follow-up and blood test – which will be covered by his policy.
Kathleen Crisley, Fear-Free certified professional and specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, The Balanced Dog, Christchurch, New Zealand