Trustworthy pet insurance can be very difficult to find. Most vets charge by the minute and if you are on a budget and find yourself with a poorly pup or moggy, it can be terrifying to know what to do. If you are on benefits or low income, you may qualify for free and low-cost vet care so check here first. If you see a street dog with a homeless person, there are charities that offer free vet care to dogs of homeless people.
One way to help keep dogs safe (and reduce vet visits) is this book to keep your dog safe. It’s packed with fun illustrations, but includes important safety information on everything from toxic foods to avoid and garden safety, along with info on every other topic under the sun, and an illustrated first aid guide.
Animal Trust is England’s first non-profit vet. This means that staff still get paid, but prices are more realistic for the average person. Hopefully a sign of things to come?
Some issues with pet insurance include:
- Not offering lifetime cover. All other policies are better than nothing but risky if your pet develops an ongoing condition like diabetes, as it won’t be covered long-term.
- Not covering older pets or pre-existing conditions. But if you have old pets, not-very-well-pets (that still have quality of life) or certain breeds, it may be an idea to just make a rainy day account and put money away, in case of emergencies.
- Some only allow for ‘one dietary indiscretion’. So if your dog eats chocolate once, they will cover it. But often not after that.
- Some don’t offer important policies like covering for you if you have to go into hospital, or even putting animals peacefully to sleep.
- Some will only insure pets who have up-to-date worming and vaccinations etc. This sounds good in theory and it is. But some pets (especially older ones or ones with weak immunity) are sometimes best not having ‘the whole bunch’ as it can do more harm than good for some (this is a debate, usually between vets and holistic vets who often don’t agree with the blanket ‘injections and boosters every year’).
Some shelters pay for vet bills, if you adopt pets with pre-existing conditions. Otherwise, go for lifetime cover if you can afford it. Go for companies that don’t confuse with jargon with lots of charts. This is designed to make you fret and not to help. We are not going to list any particular companies, because even though some have 5-star reviews, all of them have circumstances where the guardians are heartbroken, when things go wrong. Just use your own judgement but don’t rely that any is going to be perfect.
In the US, Healthy Paws Pet Insurance has nearly 100% positive reviews (unheard of for most pet insurance). Founded by two animal-loving entrepreneurs who met at the shelter, it has simple policies that cover all ages, and offers some holistic treatments. Profits help animal adoption drives.