We love our pets. The simple enjoyment of their company is such a reward that according to the CDC, most households in the United States have at least one pet. However, there is more to gain from owning a pet than cuddling on the couch.
Studies show that pet owners enjoy health benefits such as decreased blood pressure, alleviation of stress and loneliness, increased physical activity, exercise and more. These very important benefits can be had simply by living with your pet.
British researchers from Plymouth University and the University of Exeter collaborated with the National Marine Aquarium and found that watching fish can create a calming and happy mood and alleviate stress. A recent study by KGW showed that dogs deter burglars. In addition, as any pet owner or cat video expert can tell you, our pets also make us laugh… and laughter is good medicine. How many reasons do we need to own a pet?
Most of us do have pets in our homes
More and more of us (an estimated 1 to 2% in 2018) carry pet insurance to defray medical costs. Veterinary care has become very sophisticated in the past few years. Pets commonly have major surgery, chemotherapy and many other complex procedures. You may have asked yourself, “Is pet insurance worth it?” One key item encouraged by experts is to read the policy carefully and compare the type of coverage and cost.
There are many factors that affect the cost of pet insurance. The species of your pet is one. The breed of your pet is another. Cats are less expensive to treat than dogs. Older pets often need more care, so the cost of insurance increases as your pet gets older.
Specific illnesses are associated with certain breeds. Insurers may charge more for coverage or exclude specified illnesses in the policy, but according to our research this does not occur very often. Consider the breed of your pet and ask your insurer whether this kind of exclusion may affect you. Some information on breed specific illnesses can be found here.
Your policy will likely not cover cosmetic procedures such as docking of tails or anything related to breeding or pregnancy, injury due to dog fighting or racing or illnesses for which there is a vaccine. ValuePenguin has put together a very interesting web site on the cost of pet insurance with the data provided in many different ways. This link can be found here.
According to Consumer Reports, pet insurance is less expensive when it is purchased while your pet is still young. However, the premiums may be higher as your pet gets older.
Is pet insurance worth it? You may or may not come out ahead over the life of your pet, but pet insurance will do what it is meant to do; and that is to ensure that your pet’s health care is affordable when you need it most. Pet insurance can help provide expensive but necessary services whether or not you have the funds available.