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Old 05-24-2012, 12:20 PM   #1
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Ok Pet Owners Do you have Insurance

Do you have insurance for your pet? Should I or anyone who gets a pet get pet insurance?
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Old 05-24-2012, 02:55 PM   #2
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Yes, I have pet insurance, but only for one of my 3 pets. Pet insurance isn't entirely necessary since the vast majority of the care you will be paying for for your animals is preventative (insurance doesn't cover that AFAIK). It would be easier to just save up and make sure you always have an emergency animal fund with a few thousand dollars in it (or just have a savings account in general with emergency money). The reason I have it is because I have a breed of dog that can be prone to hip dysplasia (for which treatment can be expensive). I don't have it for my cats and don't need it.

It costs anywhere from $20-$40 per month depending on the plan, the pet, the insurance company, etc.
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Old 05-24-2012, 02:55 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Justin24 View Post
gets a pet get pet insurance
I have nothing to add (I do not have pet insurance and have never done so throughout my 21 years of owning pets in some capacity), but this phrase completely blew my mind. It makes total sense, but I had to read it like 5 times.
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Old 05-24-2012, 03:25 PM   #4
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Typing to fast lol.
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Old 05-24-2012, 05:04 PM   #5
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Get a mutt/crossbreed and the chances of needing pet insurance are greatly reduced..
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Old 05-25-2012, 12:37 AM   #6
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Get a mutt/crossbreed and the chances of needing pet insurance are greatly reduced..
Not exactly, it's far more complex than that.
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Old 05-25-2012, 12:44 AM   #7
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Have never had pet insurance and over many years and many animals I can't think of a case where I really would have used it.
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Old 05-25-2012, 12:56 AM   #8
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I have pet insurance, but only tied in with my car. So basically, if I'm taking my cat or dog anywhere in the car and they get hurt in an accident, they're covered. That's all that I can think that I would need.
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Old 05-25-2012, 01:03 AM   #9
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Have never had pet insurance and over many years and many animals I can't think of a case where I really would have used it.
I almost wish I'd had it with my first cat. $8,000 in medical bills in a single year. It would have been covered. But I don't see a reason for it with my current cats, because they are indoors. All of my cats have been indoors since the first one got FIV.
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Old 05-25-2012, 02:51 AM   #10
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I do not, but my sister does--and it can in handy for chemotherapy and other cancer treatment for her cat Max.
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Old 05-25-2012, 09:18 AM   #11
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I don't, but after last year and 7,000 later... wish I had.
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Old 05-25-2012, 11:45 AM   #12
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Not exactly, it's far more complex than that.
I was being funny on a day I forgot to use my standard -ey guy after trying to be funny, but crossbreeds generally do not have as many health issues or of the type of issue as pure breeds do. My mutt (13 years) is the healthiest dog alive and has needed zero medical intervention save the time he was poisoned due to human error. Meanwhile, every dog owner I know who has insisted on a pure bred dog has had medical issues out the wazoo. I know my evidence is rather anecdotal and the logic blatantly simplistic, but it's fairly widely known that crossbreeds are healthier as a general rule.

Plus, shelters are overrun with them because people only want the "cute" full breeds. You can do an unwanted animal - and your pocketbook - a favor by adopting a crossbreed.

But that doesn't have much to do with pet insurance..when my dog was poisoned, it cost almost 3 grand, and frankly had his illness not been due to human error like poisoning and simply from "natural" causes I would have had a hard decision to make. Since it was human error, the responsibility to keep him alive was pretty clear to me and so we raised the cash. Did I wish that I had pet insurance then? Absolutely. Do I have it now? No, and in the 8 years since then he's had not a single issue, so I have to say it would not be worth it for me. He's had a good long life, and when such time arrives that he is too sick anymore to enjoy life, I will say goodbye humanely and let him rest in peace. It won't be easy, but I don't believe in extending a dog's life if he can't live it as a dog should (ie with prosthetic devices etc). I hope that doesn't sound cruel, I grew up on a farm so life was treated a bit more simply ie gravely sick animals were put down rather than have them suffer till their last breath. I understand that many others would not be able to do this, however.
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Old 05-25-2012, 12:09 PM   #13
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It's reasonable to expect breed specific disorders or predispositions to be bred out through cross breeding.

Breed, bred, breeding all in one sentence
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Old 05-25-2012, 12:21 PM   #14
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LOL..I'm pretty sure I misused bred/breed once or twice in my post..yeah, I did
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Old 05-25-2012, 12:56 PM   #15
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Don't have one, never needed it.
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Old 05-25-2012, 12:58 PM   #16
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I had a mixed breed as a kid, never gave us a moment of trouble. We followed that up with a Husky that had lung problems, an American Eskimo that has had a seizure a month for 12 years, and a Beagle with chronic back problems. Now I have a mixed breed who hasn't had a sick day in her life so far, thank God (we really can't afford vet bills). Definitely digging mutts atm.
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Old 05-25-2012, 01:29 PM   #17
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My parents have the gold standard of pet insurance for their current dog. It's really expensive too, I think in the neighbourhood of about $100/month.

The reason they do is that the old dog had very serious health problems which ended up costing them thousands of dollars to address. He developed epilepsy relatively early in life (about 2-3), eventually the medication he was on caused liver failure, he also developed kidney disease and so on. When they got the next puppy they swore they'd get the insurance to avoid this and the stress each time of taking him to the vet only to be hit with huge bills.

The current dog is now a senior citizen, as he turned 10 earlier this year. His one and only health problem was a yeast infection in his right ear some 7 years ago which was treated with anti-fungals. This dog hasn't had so much as an upset stomach, it's absolutely incredible. And a bit funny that he's got all the insurance he has.

For the record, both dogs I'm talking about are purebred rough Collies.
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Old 05-25-2012, 02:08 PM   #18
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No way, do not have pet insurance and not ever entertaining the idea. From the prices others have quoted me it sounds like a huge rip-off. My dogs are healthy and I stack the deck in my favor based on the pedigree (I realize this isn't an option with shelter/rescue dogs, we took that gamble with Coke). We don't go to the vet unless we need to and I do my own heartworm preventative which costs me $40 per year for up to ten dogs and I only have 3. I can also get my own combo vaccinations which means the only regular thing I need an actual vet for is rabies, which is only required every 3 years here. I don't take my dogs to the vet unless there's something wrong with them and that has been rare, and even in those cases the pet insurance would have still been a total rip off. Nikon cost me about $300 last year with his foot problem but pet insurance would be costing me far more than that and it was a fluke thing. Because cost of living in west Michigan is so low, vet prices are sometimes 2, 3, 4 times less than what they are in other areas of the country. If I have a major emergency I can't cover out of pocket, I'm comfortable opening a line of credit and paying it off within a year.

Also because my GSDs are high level sport and possible breeding prospects they are basically "warrantied" (not common in Europe, very common in the USA) so if one turned out to have a genetic problem, he would be returned to the breeder, neutered, adopted out to a pet home, and I would get a different dog (or, if you're really attached already as I probably would be, you can usually neuter and keep the dog with the problem and get another puppy in addition). Nikon has a genetic problem but it does not effect his ability to be a high level dog or breeding prospect, plus I really love everything about him. So far Pan has been perfectly healthy. Nikon has OFA certified hips and elbows. Pan has hips, elbows, and dentition certified in Germany.

They are pretty much in the clear so far for the common genetic health problems that effect the breed. There are some other things that could still happen but these things tend to occur later in life and tend to present quality of life issues, so not all the money in the world really matters when it comes to making that decision. While pet insurance might help mitigate the costs of treatment/management, depending on the dog and the condition it might not be something I'm willing to even treat.

I do not agree with the current state of health care for humans in this country so I'm not going to support the same model for my pets and let more insurance companies rip me off.

I do have liability coverage for my GSDs as part of my homeowner's insurance though! I've considered getting an additional umbrella policy but with the temperaments of my current dogs it's not necessary (they aren't going to bust out the door and eat someone).
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Old 05-25-2012, 02:22 PM   #19
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I'm interested in your heartworm prevention, Liesje. Can you divulge or is it a trade secret?
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Old 05-25-2012, 02:28 PM   #20
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It's not a secret as long as you don't have a dog with an MDR-1 deficiency (Collies and other herding breeds). I use 1% injectible cattle ivermectin and dose about 8 times stronger than a Heartgard tablet (common heartworm preventative that uses ivermectin as the active ingredient). In my opinion the Heartgard tablets are dosed too low and dogs have gotten heartworm, but they are trying to avoid being blamed for deaths of dogs with MDR-1 deficiency. I don't dilute because my dogs are so large, I don't have trouble dosing with a 1cc syringe but for people with smaller dogs or puppies, dilution with propylene glycol is necessary to get the correct dosage. I give my dogs about .25cc each orally (I "inject" it into/onto a really good treat) once a month. However I should have mentioned above that I do still heartworm test every dog each year (April-ish) so I do go to the vet for that but I take all my dogs at once and am not paying exam fees. If they do have heartworm and you start giving prevention and it kills too many at once it can shock and kill the dog so I check before I start with the ivermectin. I don't do it year-round because it freezes here. I actually started in March this year though because we have had warm weather and had several 80-90 degree days already in March (and then it snowed again go figure).

What kind is your dog and what's the weight? I haven't taken chemistry in so long I had a chemistry professor help me with the dose that I wanted and thought I saved the equation somewhere...
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