Planning matters

Budgeting for Your Pet

Have you recently welcomed a new pet into your home and family? If not, chances are good you know somebody who has. Along with all the cuteness and excitement of having a new furry friend comes the associated costs that need to be factored into the budget. And while adjusting your finances to accommodate for the monthly and yearly routine expenses, there is also the decision on whether to buy pet insurance to help manage the potential emergency veterinary bills that could wreak some havoc on your budget. Let’s look at a few items to consider:

  • First, research and understand the differences between pet insurance and pet wellness plans. Each offer different types of coverage and they are not interchangeable. Typically wellness plans help you spread the cost of your pet’s routine veterinary care while insurance helps cover treatment for illnesses or emergency treatment. You will need to determine if one or both will give you the best value depending on the needs of your pet.
  • The best time to obtain insurance coverage is when your pet is young and healthy because costs are typically lower. Wellness plans can also offer the most benefit for younger puppies or kittens because that is when they receive a majority of their preventive care.
  • Some factors that contribute to the amount of your premium include:
    • The type/breed of the pet
    • The age of the pet
    • The area you live in
    • Which company you select coverage from
    • The amount of coverage you select
  • If opting for just a wellness plan, be aware that this does not cover the costs of treatment for an ongoing health condition or veterinary care needed for an accident.
  • Research the insurer and make sure they are reliable in paying claims. Read the fine print on the policy disclosures.
  • If you do not obtain a pet insurance policy, you may want to consider putting funds aside in your budget to cover emergency veterinary care that may come up for emergency treatments due to an accident or for treatments of an ongoing illness that may arise.

Since there are many different types of plans available, as well as a variety of factors that contribute to the overall costs, it may take some research to find the right plan that fits both your pet’s needs as well as your budget.  However, by making sure your pet’s healthcare needs are factored into your budget and planned for, you will help to ensure your pet will have the best possible health and life throughout the years to come.

Written By Lana Alvarez