Veterinary Pet Insurance – Is it right for you?

 

Have you considered pet insurance for your dog? Is it right for you? What do you need to consider?

The word “insurance” often evokes feelings of stress in many of us. Insurance companies seem to have confusing policies with a variety of rates and sometimes it is difficult to determine whether we need it, what we need, and if it is a good value. I’ll try to help you determine if pet insurance is right for you.

 

 

First, let’s step back and consider…”what is insurance?” Insurance is a form of risk management used to minimize the risk of financial loss. Pet insurance pays costs if your dog needs veterinary care.

The purpose of pet insurance is to ensure you can properly care for and treat your dog when an unexpected medical problem occurs. Pet insurance offers you the security of knowing that you can do the best you can for your dog without the burden of financial considerations. Financial concerns often cause dog owners to make a decision to euthanize their dogs when unexpected and unaffordable expenses take place.

So…how do you decide if pet insurance is right for you and your dog?

It really comes down to a financial decision. If your dog was unexpectedly hit by a car and required emergency veterinary care estimated at, say…$2000.00, could you do it? If you could without a problem, then you probably don’t need pet insurance.

If the $2000.00 (or more) expense would be a big burden or you would need to consider euthanasia because you could not afford the care, then I’d strongly consider pet insurance.

I find dog owners with pet insurance often feel relieved when something does happen. They don’t have to make a tough life-or-death decision about what happens to their dog.

They can try to do the best thing by treating their dog without the pressure of financial considerations. I actually find it a relief as well because I know I can do the best for their dog without compromising care.

There are different types of policies. What are some of the differences in policies?

Some policies pay only for medical problems or accidents; others will also pay for preventative health care such as spays, neuters, parasite control, and vaccinations. The amount of benefits you receive will affect the premium.

Some policies will cap the total sum they pay out in a year or have a cap on a particular disease or accident/event.

Most companies will require that you pay the bill and then they reimburse you.

The number of dog owners with pet insurance is growing. The number of companies offering insurance is also growing. In the U.S., approximately 2 to 3 % of pets now have health insurance, which is up from just 1% a few years ago. Pet insurance is very popular in other countries such as the U.K. where more than half of all pets have pet insurance.

Pet insurance companies will give you basic information as well as estimates of your premiums for what you want and your specific pet. Policies are generally less expensive for puppies; conversely, premiums may increase for older dogs.

I hope this gives you a little more information about pet insurance and help you determine if it is right for you. Being able to afford medical care when they need it is critical to maintaining a healthy dog.

(Article from petplace.com)

At our clinic, we have a few clients that use insurance; the vast majority don’t. It is genuinely helpful in some cases. Like the article says, it can relieve a lot of stress when a big procedure is needed. The company that we’ve been most familiar with is called VPI (Veterinary Pet Insurance), their website is http://www.petinsurance.com

They are completely independent of us, if you have questions we are happy to answer what we can – but best to call them or check out their website.

 

Newsletter – 5 Ways Pets Reduce Stress

We hope that everyone has been having a Happy Holidays!!!! We wish everyone the best as we head into the NEW YEAR! 2016 has been a politically charged year, media seems to be constantly reminding us of every problem in the world. It is has been nice to focus on the holidays, wishing each other Peace and Joy. I am so glad that we have our pets, they seem to wish us Peace and Joy no matter what. Their lives are a bit simpler and they inspire us, what matters to them is shelter, food, love, maybe a nice walk, maybe some cat nip, a good cuddle. We could learn a few lessons from them. In FACT, there are studies and it is well accepted that pets help reduce our stress. . . .

651e9c48a0853d1a68df83a4f9e9b1b3

Arden Moore is an animal expert and author,”There’s something about the animal kingdom that possesses the ability for us to enjoy life a little better” she says. Spending time around animals can be beneficial to your well-being. Here are 5 reasons to include some animal time in your day.

1) They relax you. Petting your cat or dog may be noticeably enjoyable for them, but the act can relax you, as well. Your touch relaxes the animal and releases “feel-good” endorphins in you too, reducing your heart rate.

2) They may reduce blood pressure. Communicating with animals may lower your blood pressure and improve your overall health. Moor suggests that engaging animals in “happy talk”, or speaking in an upbeat tone is soothing. Thinking happy thoughts when talking to your pet or speaking to birds and squirrels in your backyard may seem silly, but the conversation can put you at ease (even if it’s one-sided).

3) They’re therapeutic. Animals from dogs to rabbits are often used for therapy in hospitals and nursing homes. There’s something rejuvenating, renewing about coming home to a friendly animal that greets you like a rock star. Moore suggests that the strong human-to-animal bond could be related to fond childhood memories. People often feel more comfortable being themselves around animals.

4) They can improve human nutrition. Eating in the company of an animal may improve your eating habits. In some cases, the companionship of animals has helped the nutritional habits of their humans. For example, says Moore, research has shown that recipients of the Meals on Wheels program who were allowed to eat near their pets improved some of their eating patterns.

5) They improve your relationships. A good relationship with your animal friends may spill over into better relations with humans. An animal doesn’t care who you are or what outfit you’re wearing; they want to play and be around you, says Moore. This carefree, playful attitude, she says, has made many animal-lovers more prone to live in the moment. Taking care of an animal can also teach responsibility and stimulate feelings of trust, openness, and companionship. Psychology-Man-Dog-Cat-27980490_ml-21

On a more direct note. We want to remind everyone that DENTAL MONTH(s) are approaching. It is a great opportunity to provide proactive health care for your pet. Dental disease not only can cause oral discomfort, but the bacteria associated with dental disease can affect the health of the entire body. We offer 10% off on the dental procedure, including (if needed) dental radio-graphs, extractions, etc. This has been a popular promotion in the past, in fact we simply plan on Dental month extending through February and March, and possibly longer if demand warrants. Visit our website for more information on dental (qstreetanimalhospital.com).

Dog Park Related Conditions

As the weather improves, many people take there dogs to the dog park more often. DVM Magazine ran an article recently noting the most common maladies that occur associated with dog-park visits. Sprains and soft tissue injuries are the most common conditions. Not hard to imagine the dogs joyously running with reckless abandon and either running into something or straining themselves. Lacerations and bite wounds are second – also not hard to imagine that some people don’t realize their dog may not be appropriate for the dog park (and it ends up biting another dog). Hyperthermia, parasite infection, infectious disease are also on the list.

There are some general rules worth following to reduce illness and injury.

  • Obey posted park rules
  • Pay attention to your dog at all times. BE aware of other pets too.
  • Make sure the dog is up to date on vaccines and has a valid license.
  • Keep collar on dog
  • On very warm days, avoid pard during peak temperature hours
  • Look for sign of overheating (profuse panting, bright red tongue, thich drooling, lack of coordination).

 

They did a study of the top 10 cities for Dog Parks. I’m proud to say that Portland was rated #1 with 5.7 dog parks per 100,000 residents. San Francisco was a worthy 4th with 3.3 dog parks per 100,000 residents.  Though they didn’t include communities the size of Springfield/ Eugene, I’d like to think we are doing quite well too!