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August 23rd, 2007, 09:58 PM

We have a new puppy named Hershel. He is a goldendoodle - half golden retriever half miniature poodle. We are looking into pet insurance. Would anyone have any advice regarding whether or not to get pet insurance and why? Or if you could please recommend a pet insurance company and plan we would really appreciate it.


Hersh ;)

August 23rd, 2007, 10:12 PM
I've got 4 cats and 2 dogs. Never bothered with pet insurance. Too be honest, I've never looked into what advantages it might have.


August 24th, 2007, 05:46 AM
I use a company called Vetinsurance. I pay the premiums but haven't had the opportunity to use it yet, thankfully. I only have it on one of my dogs because the other has a pre-existing condition that would make it very expensive to insure her.

Out of curiousity your golden doodle is mixed between a golden retriever and a miniature poodle. Was the poodle the dad?
I have heard of people breeding a standard poodle with a golden but there is quite a difference in size between a miniature and standard.

August 24th, 2007, 09:41 AM
I also have VetInsurance. This company is Canadian based but is trying to branch into the US (your profile does not indicate where you live). Over the past several years we have had a few plans - back in the day when only deluxe pet insurance packages were available, which in the end paid zip! And we had major surgical bills. We eventually went to the savings account method. But when we got our Eskie, an acquaintance who had suffered same experience we had with deluxe plans told us about VetInsurance and how it was much more afforable and offered coverage up to $12,000 per lifetime of dog (it now has been raised to $20,000). You can look at the website and read how they pay claims. What I really like is that there is not a breed deductible, an administration fee deductible, a per year maximum per condition or a lifetime maximum percondition, etc. etc. I initially did not sign up for VetInsurance as it does not cover hip dysplasia and I have an Eskimo, but ironically, it would have paid for my last mini Dachshunds back surgery, but plan had not been in existence when we adopted our last little back guy. But at 13 months after watching those long Eskie legs go down the street (he is not overly coordinated) and also is something fo a hoover, I decided to sign him up The cost of services is way up these days - if there is an annual limit on a condition such as a blockage or a broken leg, the annual limit will not pay the cost of treatment - actually one plan I looked at would pay only 1/2. My guy has been very healthy - only made one claim when he came down with a virus 2 years ago - and they paid it! My guy is a 20 lb. Eskie so chances are good he will not get His Dysplasia, but is a good candidate for Patellar Luxation and Cruciate Ligament. Since he did not have a prior incidence of either - with one leg being affected, should he develop either condition, Vet Insurance will pay. There is a requirement that if you adopt pup under age of 12 months that pup be spayed/neutered in order to be covered for hormonal related diseases (including diabetes). If an older dog is adopted through a rescue you have X amount of time to have spayed/neutered. They told me at sign up that only 1 in 50,000 dogs ever "spends" the whole $12,000 - well with me they would have had 2 in 50,000. So I am happy with this plan. Many people who adopt dogs who have a condition very common to a breed - say Pancreatitis etc. "save" the insurance to cover treatment of said disease. I would have done this with my Dachshunds. The plan does not cover annual exams etc. or the initial consultation - or Teeth. Except it will cover restoration of a Canine Tooth of accidentially broken. So much for my threat to have a "canineectomy" performed on my Eskie. He is a 20 lb. dog with super big teeth!

August 24th, 2007, 09:53 AM
I have my animals registered with PetPlan (canadian). I love them. The service is professional, personable, and exceptional. I know a lot of people think I'm nuts for shelling out money every month for the premiums rather than set money aside for an "emergency fund", but let me tell you (from experience) it's a life-saver.


* unlike an "emergency fund", the money never runs out. When you have multiple pets or one accident-prone one, it's pretty easy to deplete any savings quickly, and then have nothing left over when the next emergency arises. For example, we've had 1. skin biopsy under sedation ($600) 2. Fever of unknown origin with 4 days of hospitalization ($1600) 3. Urinary tract infection with radiographs and medication ($500) 4. Abcesses requiring drainage under sedation and medication ($600)...IN ONE YEAR!!! It would take forever to replenish the emergency fund at this rate. Insurance covered all of this (and the premiums pay for themselves).

* the monthly premiums are predictable and something you can budget for. They are deducted from your bank account monthly, so there's no way you CAN'T put money aside for it...this is especially helpful for people like me who have a hard time saving money.

* if a pet DOES get sick you never have to worry about picking and chosing can run all the diagnostics you need and get a diagnosis quickly, therefore treat the problem more quickly and effectively...because you don't have to worry about the money.

* depending on the plan you go with, the insurance will cover long-term or chronic illnesses, replenishing the available money every year.

I think insurance is a MUST-HAVE for any pet owner. All it took for me was to see two close friends go into debt trying to save their beloved pets...I'll take predicable, budgetable, monthly premiums over that any day.

August 25th, 2007, 10:08 PM
Not really 100% related I guess, but a recent experience with Petland and their 1 year (2 optional) insurance/warranty.. We bought the extra 1 year (1 is included, extra is $50)

I live in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Bought our dog in Jan last year at the Deerfoot Meadows Petland. He's just shy of 10 mos. now.

He had a very minor case of Cherry Eye. Vet needed two visits to confirm that is wasn't an inflammation of/or something else, after two different eye drops prescribed. (one anti-biotic, then one steroid - but I'm no expert) This was across about two weeks we tried this.

(I also google'd about petland and their warranties, and didn't exactly have a good taste in my mouth - if you know what I mean... To be fair, most of it was US, and not - I guess - directly applicable to Calgary, AB, Canada)

When we called the Petland warranty line (FYI: local area code number), we got the "please leave a message" voice-mail. Uhh-oh, here it begins.

Got a call back less than 2 hours later, telling me to fax in a copy of the warranty, and that surgery would be covered in full. (?!?) I called back once to confirm if vet visits would also be covered. Honestly, I was only expecting one, as their warranty has a bunch of "within one week, call us first"-type stuff in it. I wasn't expecting any of the meds (they were pretty cheap anyways) to be covered, as we bought one at the grocers, and not the vet.

This time, had the person's direct line. Yup, everything is covered. Confirmed that I didn't need to pay anything to the vet upfront. Nope, all done. Asked how I would be reimbursed for the vet and meds. Here's the kicker:


Dropped the guy off, got my credit, both visits, all meds.

Now, I have a bunch more stuff to say about pets/stores/breeders/mills/etc in general, so if you have a question/comment, I don't mind taking it to another forum (just trying to keep this on track! ;).

Just thought people would like to know my experience.

August 26th, 2007, 10:31 AM
we put money into a seperate account for vet bills and we also have a petcard from a company called medi card.its great for those large deposits the vet wants upfront.

August 26th, 2007, 01:08 PM
When I got Buster last June I got insurance for him from PetPlan. I did this because Harley had been diagnosed with blastomycosis in January 2006. After a lot of money was spent, Harley was OK but I didn't want to have more Vet bills with Buster. Unfortunately, I never got insurance for Harley...... maybe if I had he would still be alive today. :shrug: At least I could have gone ahead with the thousands of dollars of tests they were suggesting.....:sad:

August 26th, 2007, 01:45 PM
When We got our pup "Rio" the English Springer breeder provided us with 6 weeks coverage on Petplan. We did have to use it. One day Rio wasn't feeling well-not eating/drinking. She stayed in the hospital, started on antibiotics and received soft food to take home with her. That bill was about $240.00 and PetPlan paid for 80% of it.
Subsequently after the 6 weeks we put her on full time, our Standard Schnauzer and our cat.
Reasons for-
1) security knowing the health care of my animals is a shared venture.
2) I really can't afford the full brunt of major illnesses in them
3) I look on the monthly premiums like....look at all the years I paid monthly for a fitness membership I never used!!
4) Some people say that they have a separate account for paying pet bills. That is great but, how do you pay for $4000.00 plus for orthopeadic surgery, or radiation/chemo tx etc. Thats alot of put 20 dollors into the account!!!
5) I would be devastated if I wasn't able to financially provide for somehing my dogs needed.

August 26th, 2007, 02:42 PM
I wish we had pet insurance for our lab. He just turned two in July and has already cost us close to $10 grand. :eek:

August 26th, 2007, 03:11 PM
Ouch, Rainbow! I hear ya though. We were going to get insurance for Tommy when we got him, but he got sick before we did. He's going to be a year old next month and we've spent almost ten thousand on him already. It adds up fast once you start looking at anything more than a blood test, and if you need a specialist it's incredible how much they can be! I really, really wish I'd gotten the insurance first, and I'll definitely do it for any other pets we get.

October 4th, 2007, 01:23 PM
I have Pet Care insurance for the Dynamic Duo. They have several plans for cats, one is an indoor plan which I have for them and its about $10 for each. I can get a higher plan at any time and luckily I've never had to use this, but its peace of mind.

I mean yes its about $20 some odd dollars a month, but I'd spend that money on garbage anyway. Knowing its going towards insurance for my babies makes me feel better.

What Crazydays said is true. My best friend told me to cancel the insurance and just put money aside for them, but its hard for me to save money, when I don't make that much to begin with. Heaven forbid something should happen, and it costs a couple of thousand dollars to care for one of my pets, I don't have that to spend. At least the pet insurance helps a little.

October 4th, 2007, 11:47 PM
We learned the hard way. When our last dog got sick, it cost us a fortune and we didn't have insurance. It just made a difficult situation even worse because we had the added stress of mounting vet bills. After thousands of dollars, our dog ended up passing away anyways.

So, when we adopted Toby we immediately signed up for PetPlan. We just felt that it would be easier to manage the monthly premiums rather than dealing with the uncertainty and stress of paying a huge bill all in one chunk should something catastrophic happen.

So far it has paid off. Toby's first year or so with us he managed to get stomach problems and a lot of ear and skin infections. We definitely made good use of the insurance! Actually - because we had so many claims in a short period of time they increased our premiums temporarily, but promised to lower them again if he didn't have any vet visits for the next 6 months or whatever.

He hasn't been to the vet in awhile for anything but check ups, so I expect the next letter we get from PetPlan will be to say the premiums are back down.

I would 100% recommend getting insurance for your pet. You don't want to have to deal with the huge bills at a time when you are emotionally burnt out by a catastrophic illness or accident!!

February 23rd, 2008, 02:04 AM
[QUOTE=SnowDancer;468629]I also have VetInsurance. This company is Canadian based but is trying to branch into the US (your profile does not indicate where you live).

SnowDancer, Vetinsurance now has a branch in the US called Trupanion. Was just reading about them on a New York Times site.

February 23rd, 2008, 11:06 AM
After reading this thread, I'm definitely getting pet insurance. I've never had problems with any of our pets, thank goodness, so it just didn't occur to me that it would be so horribly costly.

I got a good laugh out of one of the PetPlan coverage options- if you have to cancel your vacation because your pet gets sick, you can get between 500-2500 of it covered, depending on what plan you pick. If only you could get that for your kids! Or husband, in my case -whenever we try to go anywhere, DH gets sick or injured.

February 25th, 2008, 06:34 AM
I'm leaning towards PetCare insurance, for two reasons.

1) They have an inexpensive indoor cat program, perfect for our Butterscotch.

2) They allow $150, without deductible, towards wellness checks, vaccinations, etc, per year.

I just need to arrange to get both pets in for a full vet check up within the next month before I sign them up.

February 25th, 2008, 08:16 AM
I have PetCare for all 5. I have the Fantastic Four on the indoor program and I have Czarina on I believe the Gold program. They give you a discount if you have more than one pet, so that saves a few dollars.

Yes, it is a good big of money monthly, and friend of mine said it's a waste, but if you think about it, it's the same as your own health insurance.

It pays for itself the day you need it.

March 16th, 2008, 01:22 PM
ooh im glad to find this as you know im adopting a cat and she comes with a months insurance and im :shrug: whether to renew it. I know she has an existing ear problem which the vet in the place thinks is polyps so it may be operation time which is making me think.... insurance would be much more viable in the long run... (only if its covered i imagine)

is petcare the main one?

March 16th, 2008, 01:31 PM
Duttypaws, as far as I know pet insurance plans will not cover pre-existing conditions.

March 16th, 2008, 01:41 PM
Duttypaws, as far as I know pet insurance plans will not cover pre-existing conditions.

yeah... oh well out of pocket it comes... :) shes such a dolly i couldnt pick another one! :lovestruck: i get her home in a month (after I move) then I will take her to the vet for a overall check up (she has extra paw pads... we dont see this in the uk!)

March 17th, 2008, 11:04 AM
PC Financial also offers pet insurance...Bear's quote was 39$ per month for the ultra plan, versus $72 for the same coverage with other insurance providers.