I was never an animal person before my daughter was born. I like order and clean houses and the idea of pet hair and poop and misplaced urine in my home disgusted me. As such, I’d never owned a pet as an adult.
Then my little girl started to show signs of being a hardcore animal person. My amazing daughter, who struggled with both developmental and physical setbacks, seemed to connect with every animal she met.
It was something magical. Something special. And something that eventually wore me down.
I started taking her to the shelter hoping that would give her the animal fix she needed.
Within a year, we’d adopted our first pup.
Then the cat.
Then our other pup.
The point is, my animal loving child changed my heart—in ways I didn’t even know were possible.
I had no idea what I was doing when we brought our first pup home. So when the vet recommended pet insurance, I did what I was told, signing up for a policy that night.
He turned out to have some serious GI issues that year, and the pet insurance policy (which comes with a $300 deductible followed by 90 percent coverage up to $10,000) had more than paid for itself within his first six months in our home.
But it’s been our girl pup, Gwen Stacy, who has really solidified the importance of pet insurance to me this year.
In January, shortly after her first birthday, she stopped eating and started vomiting bile. When I took her to pet emergency, they found an obstruction in her bowel. My choices were to commit to nearly $6000 in surgery on the spot, or let her go.
It was because of pet insurance that I was able to say, “do what you need to do,” instead of walking my daughter out of that office without her dog.
Later in the year, we found out she has some serious joint issues and a suspected autoimmune disease.
This dog, who is so sweet and goofy and fun, also turned out to be kind of a mess.
After a lot of back and forth with various vet specialists, it was again decided that she needed surgery—two hip replacements this time, to the tune of about $9000.
Because our policy resets in March, the first surgery and these two were thankfully on different policy years. Insurance paid 90 percent of all three. And it’s because of that our dog is still alive.
So yes, I’m a huge proponent of pet insurance.
I had a friend recently adopt one of our foster puppies. She was asking me about insurance and I gave her my typical spiel.
“If you are comfortable enough financially that you could come up with a couple thousand on the fly if something happened, then it’s probably not worth it,” I told her. “But if producing that kind of money quickly would be hard for you, if it might even leave you in the position of having to consider leaving your dog behind—do it.”
We have PetPlan and are happy with it, but I’ve heard good things about all the big names in pet insurance. I really don’t care what kind you get (and you might want to check with your vet—they often have discounts to those they work with most often). I just think you should get it.
My pets have far better insurance than I do, and for cheaper—which obviously speaks volumes to how crappy the U.S. healthcare system is. (But again, another story for another time). In the case of our sweet Gwenny girl, it has literally saved her life. And for that, I’m so much more grateful than my former pet-hating self would have ever believed.
So get the pet insurance. I promise you’ll never regret having it.
But not having it might just break your heart.
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