'The true Soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because He loves what is behind him.' -G. K. Chesterton

25 April 2011

Dog Insurance And A Request

I'm soliciting thoughts, ideas and recommendations from anyone inclined to give them.

With the new pup on the way I'm giving some thought to insurance. Both Trooper and Chrisi had some very expensive surgeries. Trooper had a hip replacement that cost us upward of $7000. Chrisi's was actually more complex if a little less costly. She had a procedure to correct hip dysplasia that involved cutting her hip socket free, turning it so that it had better coverage of the top of the femur and re-attaching it with plates and screws. Call it right at $2500. Trooper's diabetes was intensive if not nearly as costly as it could have been but we had to buy supplies and testing materials and vet visits, etc. Throw in cuts, x-rays, minor surgeries and the like and we're probably talking $10,000 for Trooper and another $5000 for Chrisi in medical costs over their lives.

Now I don't feel a bit bad about any of it. Our dogs are part of our family and medical costs are part of the deal. Still, if I could decrease those potential impacts on out budget it would be helpful. Though I'm praying the new pup can avoid those kinds of issues there's no way to be certain. My breeder is conscientious. They make sure their breeding stock is as defect free as is possible. Hips eyes, ears, elbows and all the things pure bred Labs are susceptible to have been checked for in Momma and Poppa but stuff happens.

Lu sent me a link to Best Friends Animal Society which offers insurance fr as low as $28.00 a month. That's $336 per year. If the dog lives for 15 years (Trooper was 14 years 9 months. Chrisi is 14 years 4 months and counting) that would be $4340, not allowing for increasing costs. Call it somewhere around $5000 for the life of the dog. The insurance seems very similiar to people health insurance; deductibles, lifetime caps and a percentage covered (80% seems to be pretty standard). At those numbers I'd have saved probably $5000 on Trooper's medical care and done no worse than break even on Chrisi.

My question is have any of you had pet insurance? If so do you have any thoughts, tips or recommendations? I get the lowest rate and best coverage if I begin the coverage immediately, before any conditions can be determined to be pre-existing, so I'm motivated to do my due diligence and at least make a quick yes/no decision. I have no attachment to Best Friends so if you have another insurance group you'd care to recommend it'd be welcome.

I appreciate any and all input anyone would care to pass along even if it's to forget insurance completely. If I can find a best case solution I'll post it for all to see.

Thanks in advance.



Sarge said...

We had care-credit when we had to put Millie down. The tests to locate and diagnose the fatal tumor and her cremation run a little over 500.00 so we were glad not to have to come up with that out of pocket. But keep in mind it's just another credit card with a high interest rate. I would check with your Vet??

Kanani said...

Yeah, I did. It was okay.

Six said...

Thanks Sarge and Kanani. I appreciate the input.