Should I get pet insurance for my puppy? I’m glad I did.


If you have a puppy or are getting a puppy, you should look at a pet insurance plan right away. This post will answer the question should I get pet insurance for my puppy. It will give you an understanding of why I say yes to this question.

Is pet insurance worth the money?

Emphatically YES.  Yes, it is another bill each month. It could be something you’re paying for and never need to use it.  You should count your blessings if this is the case. That first time you really need it, it will save you a lot of money and you won’t have to make any hard decisions. (I truly hope this never happens to anybody.)

Ziggy (My Puppy) – Why I’m thrilled we have pet insurance

We got our puppy Ziggy towards the end of April. She’s an 8 month old Jack Russell Terrier. I’ve had 3 Jacks before and I love the breed. (I also love my 85lb rescue mutt.) So if you’ve heard of the breed, you know they have crazy amounts of energy and tend to be pretty smart. They are considered a smaller breed and Ziggy is just a little bit smaller than my last weighing in at 10 lbs.

I honestly forgot about insurance when we brought her home. While we should have done it sooner, we decided to get insurance for both of our dogs in August. I say we should have gotten it sooner because we had a bill close to $1000 for a visit to the emergency clinic that turned out nothing was wrong.

We had puppy insurance in the past and had used it a couple of times but we didn’t have many situations that warranted a trip to the vet outside of normal check ups. I believe we switched to a wellness plan and canceled insurance. Thankfully we didn’t have any emergencies or extra treatment during that time period.

Back to Ziggy. She was sneezing last week and also had a bit of a limp that came and went. We couldn’t tell what was wrong. She was happy as could be and switching between all feet and three feet on the ground running. So of course she didn’t limp at all when we took her to the vet. She checked out as fine that day. The next few days we tried to catch her running on three legs and get video. We finally managed to get video a couple of times.

Knee of small dog: normal and medial patellar luxation

This time, the vet could see how she was running. They got x-rays of her back legs and identified the problem. She has a luxating patella, or in laymen’s terms, her kneecap keeps shifting out of the groove where it’s supposed to sit. She was given some anti inflammatory medication and we were told to limit her activity. (Have you met a Jack Russell??) So we tried to limit her activity but probably not as much as the vet would have liked. We have not been back for a follow up yet.  Here’s a clip of how she was running: Click here

Here’s the thing though. As a freaked out puppy parent who heard the words “may need surgery,” I’ve been googling and looking up information almost everyday. I didn’t have any idea of the cost until I started researching. It could be a few thousand dollars. I’m really hoping they say she doesn’t need surgery, but I know we won’t have to say no, because we have insurance.

You can probably understand why I said yes you should have insurance. Luxating patella is apparently common in smaller breeds and can be congenital and hereditary. While we bought insurance for the possibility of the puppy chewing on something or eating something she shouldn’t, we know we are able to make an educated choice as to the next steps in her treatment without being limited financially.

Shopping insurance plans – What you need to know

Based on your needs for your puppy, there are a significant number of options and companies to research. It is important to know what to look for in a pet insurance company. Some insurance companies don’t cover certain breeds or hereditary conditions. The majority of the insurance companies will not cover preexisting conditions, so you need insurance before identifying any new conditions. Many companies also have a waiting period before you can claim covered items. (It was only 15 days for the plans we have.)

You want an insurance company that is going to insure your dog as your dog gets older. Some companies have a limit on how old of a dog they will insure.

You should know that the premium for a puppy is much lower and very affordable. (Have you had to try to pull anything from your puppy’s mouth that he shouldn’t be chewing on?) The premiums are based on many factors, age being one of them.  Another factor in your decision is the deductible.  It’s just like our health insurance or car insurance.  There’s normally a deductible.  Our current plan has a deductible of $250 per pet.  You’ll also need to know what isn’t covered.  There are some companies that don’t cover some procedures.  There are also companies that don’t cover the exam portion of the bill.  Make sure you know how long it takes for the company to respond when you file a claim.

If you’re interested in not paying for your regular vet bills, there are a few insurance companies that offer routine care coverage for puppy related expenses including all their vaccines and procedures they might have.

What is the best pet insurance for my puppy?

You’ll have to decide what plan best fits your needs. You want a plan that will cover your puppy for life. You’ll need to ensure that if any of the chronic conditions they might have will be covered.

Many plans have a deductible (normally not too high) and some plans have a lifetime limit. You’ll want a plan that does not have a lifetime limit in case something does happen.

Another important factor you should know when choosing the plan for your puppy is the deductible and co payment percentage. Most companies will have different coverage amounts depending on the plan you choose.

Other items to consider in your decision include illness coverage, wait time for chronic and hereditary conditions, alternative therapies, direct payment to vet or reimbursement, and so many others. Take your time to read through the policies and the fine print.


I hope you learned why it is so important to get pet insurance as early as possible. It has saved me a lot of money in the past and if Ziggy needs surgical treatment (which I hope she doesn’t) we’ll be able to afford it.

In the near future I will review these companies and others:

Petplan, Embrace, Pets Best, Trupanion


Have you had experience with using a pet insurance company? Did you have a good or bad experience?



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