You love your pet. You don’t just love your pet like a family member, your pet is family. We know that because you’re here reading, researching, and trying to make a solid financial decision that will benefit your pet’s life. And you’re doing that by being sure you’ll have the money you need, when you need it to pay for those unforeseen medical expenses.
The cost of pet ownership
You know that there are real costs associated with ensuring the health and vitality of your cherished family member. Pet ownership has many benefits but there’s no doubt with those benefits comes a very real financial cost.
Over the course of that first year of beautiful life a dog or cat begins to show that cost. That first year of puppy ownership will easily set you back $3,000 dollars, while a kitten is more likely to run you $2,000. Major expenses in both cases is vaccination, flea prevention, spay/neuter, food, pet insurance, microchips, and the vast array of necessary and fun items you will know doubt buy. That first year is a big year. You’ll feel its impact on your heart, your happiness, your family and your bank account. While expected annual pet ownership costs do tend to reduce it’s definitely not insignificant. For a dog you can still expect upwards of $2,200 dollars and a cat $1,600 dollars.
How does pet insurance fit in?
From a financial perspective, you must keep in mind that the total lifetime cost of a pet isn’t simply multiplying the average monthly cost (as described above) by their final age when they pass away. Well, that would be the ideal scenario. We can all hope for a healthy well loved pet that experiences no sickness, no accidents, no injuries, no disease and passes peacefully at a ripe old age when the time is right. I’m sure somewhere some lucky owner has experienced that ideal. But the reality for the rest of us is that it’s highly likely that at some point in your pet’s life they will experience some form of sickness, accident, injury, or disease. For the rest of us this is where pet insurance comes in. Pet insurance allows us to mitigate financial risk and ensure that we have the money we need to properly care for our best friend when they need it most.
At its core, insurance is about providing peace of mind and reducing financial risk. You’re making the bet that by paying a small monthly premium for your pet insurance that you’ll be able to avoid:
- Large, unplanned, and emergency veterinary medical expenses;
- For example, we’ve heard that treatment for hip dysplaysia cost one pet owner upwards of $14,000
- Making heartbreaking decisions as to whether to move forward with costly yet necessary veterinary treatments or not.
Fundamentally, there are only three financial outcomes that will occur when you buy pet insurance. The total amount you pay in premiums over the course of your pets life will either:
- Be less than the amount you pay in medical bills;
- Equal to the amount you pay in medical bills;
- More than the amount you pay in medical bills.
If you knew with certainty that the amount you’d pay in premiums was going to be more than the total medical bills and you knew you’d have the necessary chunk of money available when you needed it then congratulations pet insurance is not for you. You’re one of the lucky few!
Veterinary medicine and medical techniques continue to improve. New treatments that were once unavailable, now are, giving some pets a renewed chance at a long and happy life. But with these advancements come rising costs. Not only are there new techniques but now preventative plans and treatments are becoming available to our pets. And these can be as good for our pets as they are for us but again they come at a cost.
So again, pet insurance is important because it enables you to provide for the loving care that your pet deserves in the good times and in those times of emergency. It allows you to provide this care unconditionally. Without worry of financial repercussions. It enables you to avoid having to make hard choices, the kind that pits love versus money.