Rethinking Pet Insurance

toby and me

Toby helps me write a blog post

Two weeks ago our golden retriever Toby tore ligaments in both of his back knees. Toby had been favoring his right back paw for about a week and was due for X-rays. When he tried to hop in the back seat of our car to go cool off in the Battenkill, he missed the jump and tore the ligament in his other knee, leaving him hobbling gamely and painfully on both his back paws. 

Our veterinarian, whom we like a great deal, explained that Toby’s injuries were in part genetic. X-rays showed that the ligament in his right knee had been fraying slowly over time. The left knee blew out when he missed his leap into the back seat. Unless we wanted Toby to be limping badly for the rest of his life (he’ll be seven years old this fall) the only reasonable plan was to get surgery. 

While we agreed to the surgery right away, such procedures, as one can imagine, do not come cheap. I’d always thought of the pet insurance industry that is slowly growing, as rather, well…insane. But, each day it seems our pets are becoming more integral parts of the weave of our families. We do more and more to keep them healthy and happy. 

Out of curiosity, I went online to see what pet insurance companies offered for products. 

I found that there are many more pet insurance providers than I thought, and the product and price for the product in return for what you get if your pet needs surgery, chemotherapy, or other costly treatments, are pretty good deals. 

I see in most coverage, Toby’s surgery costs would have been covered up to 80%, for as little as $9 a month. 

So, in my case, in hindsight, what once seemed insane now seems perfectly reasonable. 

What is your take on pet insurance? 

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