Some consumer reports compare pet insurance to buying an insurance warranty for your washing machine, dryer or other appliance. They also sometimes compare premiums paid for a hypothetical 3-5 year return. Unfortunately they miss the point when it comes to the value we place on our pets and the very rational for pet insurance. Here are a few reasons this comparison just doesn’t stack up:
1. First, cat and dog insurance, like any insurance plan, is designed to reimburse you or help pay for something you might otherwise not be able to afford. Pet insurance is not an “investment,” per se. Insurance, in general, is for future unknown events that may happen. Pet insurance, in itself, was created to help pet owners afford care for unexpected accidents and illnesses that often cost owners thousands of dollars, or more.
With a pet insurance plan an owner may “hit the jackpot” in terms or reimbursement, when a serious illness or accident befalls their pet, where they could receive thousands of dollars in benefits. On the flip side, a pet may not have an immediate need for pet insurance for years. You just never know.
It always amazes me how we tolerate little annoyances from our pets that we would never tolerate from our spouse or another human.
If my wife edges to my side of the bed while asleep, I’ll nudge her back– yet I become a contortionist, even to the point of being uncomfortable, to avoid disturbing Torrey, my tiny Chihuahua! But I suppose that’s just how pet lovers and pet insurance enthusiasts behave with their pets.
Why do we yield to our animals this way? Torrey, short for “little Tornado,” hogs the bed, snores, insists on me petting her at inconvenient times and generally dictates what I should do and when I should do it. Even when I grow annoyed at her demands, she keeps insisting, and I end up complying.
I just found out my pet has a chronic kidney disease which is very costly to treat and none of the dog or cat insurance companies will cover this condition. Why does pet insurance exclude pre-existing conditions?
Dr. Jack Stephens’ Answer:
Insurance is purchased to protect against future, unknown events. Take car insurance for example. Once you’ve already been in a car accident you can’t call to get insurance coverage for repairs. No insurer would reimburse for damage that’s already occurred. If you think of pre-existing health conditions in these terms, it’s easier to understand why a pet insurance company isn’t able to cover things that exist prior to enrolling in a policy. Insurance transfers financial risk from you to the insurance company for future events in exchange for your monthly premium. If the insurance company covered pre-existing conditions, the premium cost would be much too high for the customers to even afford.
Pet health insurance operates by insuring thousands of pets and then pooling the premiums to pay claims for the insured. Some pets will have no claims, while others will have quite large claims. Being insured may help pet owners afford costly pet care for accidents and illness.
By Dr. Matheys, a veterinarian and blogger for cat insurance provider, Pets Best Insurance.
It’s that time of year again to be on alert for various “invaders” from the plant world. As temperatures soar and rain is scarce, grasses and weeds dry out and seeds begin to scatter. This can mean trouble, by way of cheat grass, for cats that roam outdoors. Because of this, it’s a good idea to consider pet insurance for your cat since cheat grass can be very dangerous and costly to remove.
Cheat grass is one of the more common and invasive weeds found in many parts of North America and especially in the West. It is also known as June grass, Downy Brome, grass awn, foxtail, or by the scientific name, Bromus tectorum.
The danger for cats lies in the invasiveness of the dry seed pods found in late summer and early fall. These pods have one-way microscopic barbs that allow the seed to work its way into fur, skin and mucous membranes, but not work its way back out, much like the one-way movement of a porcupine quill. These annoying and troublesome weeds have been found in the skin, eyes, ears, nose, mouth, rear end, and between the toes; basically anywhere on the body.
Many times they will even migrate deep into tissue. They can even work their way through skin into body cavities such as lungs and abdomen, causing life-threatening infections. Cats are better at grooming and removing them from their coats, so we most commonly see them in their eyes and ears.
We have seen several cheat grass cases in just the past two weeks. One cat patient, without cat insurance, had two grass awns in her eye and suffered severe ulcerations from the barbs scraping against the cornea of the eye. Do not underestimate the potential seriousness of this common problem.
Cats will show signs relating to where the awn has penetrated. Cheat grass in the ear typically causes scratching at the ear and head shaking. Cheat grass in the nose can cause intense sneezing fits and nasal discharge, and awns stuck behind the third eyelid usually cause squinting and rubbing of the eye, sometimes with severe swelling of the inner eyelids. Cats with an infected grass awn penetration will show signs typical of an infection: lethargy, anorexia, pain or signs of drainage. Any time you see your cats showing any of these signs, have them checked by your veterinarian as soon as possible to prevent further damage.
Since most cats that go outside roam freely, it can be difficult to keep them out of grassy fields and roadsides where cheat grass grows. Keep your own yard free of these nasty weeds and try to identify any neighboring areas where they might exist and can be controlled. Keep long haired cats trimmed and free of mats. Check your cats after they have been outdoors. Daily skin and foot inspections plus quick removal will reduce or eliminate potential serious and expensive problems. For more information about pet health and pet insurance, visit www.petsbest.com.
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Having been a veterinarian as well as the founder of the pet insurance industry in the US, I’ve lost (and found) many pets. And I know that losing a pet can be emotionally devastating. Here are a few quick tips that can help you locate your furry friend, should your dog or cat go missing:
1. Look around the vicinity
Your pet may have wandered off and become confused. Be sure to leave a garage door or back yard gate open should they return while you’re out looking. Time is of the essence in finding your pet before they stray too far.
2. Expand your search
Look in areas that are easier for pets to travel through, such as green belts where a confused and lost pet may seek refuge.
3. Call for your pet while searching
Your voice may bring them out of hiding. Remember to call in calm, soothing voice; otherwise they may think they are in trouble.
4. Post signs
Be sure to include a photo, description of your pet and your contact information. Many pets are picked up by good Samaritans who may contact you if they see your sign.