12 Best Pet Insurance Companies of July 2021

·28 min read

Pet insurance helps pay for your pet’s medical care, with many policies covering up to 90 percent of your vet bill. However, this can be less if a procedure is excluded from coverage or surpassed your annual expense cap. The best pet insurance company is the one that meets your pet’s needs when you need them.

Most leading pet insurance companies give pet owners comprehensive coverage at an affordable monthly premium. Yet, a study we conducted in March 2021 on pet ownership found that only 25% of pet owners have pet insurance. Shop around, do the research into what pet insurance coverage costs, and then make a well-informed decision about the insurance that’s best suited to care for your pet and your pocket.

Money’s Top Picks for Best Pet Insurance of 2021

  • Healthy Paws – Best for Dogs

  • ASPCA – Best Budget Coverage

  • Figo – Best 100% Coverage

  • Pets Best – Best for Competitive Pricing

  • Pumpkin – Best for Puppies

  • Petplan – Best for Cats

  • Trupanion – Best for Hereditary Conditions

  • Embrace – Best for Dental Illnesses

  • Nationwide – Best for Exotic Animals

  • PetFirst – Best Preventative Care

  • TrustedPals – Best Customizability

  • Spot – Best for No Caps

Honorable Mentions: 24PetWatch, Hartville, Pet Assure

12 Best Pet Insurance Companies Reviews


Pros

  • No caps on claim payouts

  • Unlimited annual benefits

  • 99% of claims processed in 2 days

  • Submit claims via email, fax, online, or using the Healthy Paws' mobile app

  • Visit any licensed veterinarian

Cons

  • No wellness plan or preventative care

  • 15-day waiting period for accident and illness

  • Charges a one-time $25 fee

  • Limits deductibles and reimbursement options for pets over age 6

Healthy Paws plans start at $20 per month for dogs, with no limit to how many claims you can make, making it the best value compared to the competition.

Healthy Paws offers one comprehensive pet insurance plan covering:

  • accidents

  • illnesses

  • surgeries

  • prescription medications

  • hospital stays

  • and emergencies

You can visit any licensed 24-hour emergency animal hospital and see specialists such as ophthalmologists, radiologists, cardiologists, oncologists for cancer care, and internal medicine experts without a referral. Healthy Paws covers pets aged six and older with a full accident and illness policy with unlimited lifetime coverage. Potential customers should be aware that pets must be at least 8 weeks old and under age 14 at the time of enrollment.

Preventative care such as vaccinations, flea control, heartworm medication, deworming, nail trimming, and grooming are not covered. Neither are parasite control, spaying, and neutering, or dental healthcare.

Age restrictions also apply, with pets older than eight years old restricted to 60% reimbursement and a $750 annual deductible. If your pet is older than six, Healthy Paws requires that your pet have a physical exam within 30 days prior to policy purchase or within the first 15 days of issuing the policy.

Healthy Paws Foundation’s Every Quote Gives Hope Program donates a homeless pet’s medical care with every free pet insurance quote.


Pros

  • No waiting period for preventive care

  • Visit any vet - no network required

  • Affordable monthly premiums

  • Reimburses alternative therapies

  • Covers microchip implantation

  • Multi-pet discount of 10% for each additional pet

Cons

  • Preventive care riders work on an itemized basis, not an annual limit

  • Unlimited coverage is not an option

  • 14-day waiting period for accidents and illnesses

  • Not managed by ASPCA itself

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) offers several pet insurance policies underwritten by the United States Fire Insurance Company. There’s no network — you can visit any vet in the U.S. or Canada, and they offer a 24/7 pet telehealth line.

ASPCA’s Complete plan covers:

  • accidents

  • illnesses

  • hereditary and congenital conditions, including hip dysplasia

  • and behavioral health issues

They also offer accident-only coverage and stand out from most pet insurers by providing two different policies for horses: Colic, Accidents, and Illnesses or Colic and Accidents.

All pets can have two different wellness riders added to their policies for preventive care. While exact limits on treatments differ by animal, these riders work on an itemized basis, rather than the more common annual limit for any wellness procedure.

ASPCA monthly premiums are more affordable than most insurers, with annual limits going as low as $3,000. Additionally, you can get a 70 to 90 percent reimbursement for covered costs deposited directly or paid via check.

Somewhat confusingly, the policies aren’t managed by the ASPCA itself, but rather underwritten by the United States Fire Insurance Company, and produced and administered by C&F Insurance Agency, Inc., a subsidiary of Crum and Forster.


Pros

  • 24/7 virtual vet visits and customer service through easy to use app

  • Zero network needed across the US, Canada, and Puerto Rico

  • Short waiting period of just 3 days for injuries and 14 days for illnesses

  • 30-day money-back policy, provided you haven't filed any claims

  • May reimburse up to 100% of vet bill

Cons

  • Some policies have lifetime limits of $100,000

  • Unlimited policy has an annual $20,000 upper limit in Washington and Massachusetts

  • 6-month waiting period for knee injuries

  • Doesn't cover routine or preventative care

FIGO offers easy online access, robust coverage, and 24/7 access to a live vet.

There are three different plan tiers to choose from, all of which cover hereditary, congenital, and chronic conditions. Each policy (click here for a sample policy) has its annual limits, starting at $5,000 up to “unlimited.” Depending on the state and age of the pet, some policies may also have a lifetime limit of $100,000 for the most inexpensive plan.

All of FIGO’s plans cover the same expenses:

  • hospitalizations

  • emergency care

  • diagnostic testing

  • cancer treatments

  • hereditary, congenital, and chronic conditions

  • vet examination fees coverage available as a rider

Based on your plan, deductible, and reimbursement choice, you can receive up to 100 percent back of covered procedures — though this will require a higher premium.

You can reach customer service representatives via live chat, text, email, Twitter, and over the phone. The app also sets up reminders for veterinary appointments and even has a Pet Cloud feature to connect with other pet parents and places.


Pros

  • Offers accident-only and wellness plans for a flat rate

  • 24-hour helpline staffed by veterinary experts

  • Very low premiums

  • Direct reimbursement to your vet, meaning less out-of-pocket for you

  • Wide range of deductible choices

Cons

  • Doesn't cover holistic, herbal, or experimental therapies

  • Accident and Illness plan won't cover prescribed diet, vitamins, or supplements

Pets Best does not have a maximum age limit, so you could still get coverage on your aging pet. But, like all insurers, Pets Best won’t cover pre-existing conditions.

Pets Best has three different Accident Illness policies to choose from (Essential, Plus, or Elite). All plans cover:

  • accidents

  • illnesses

  • cancer treatments

  • hereditary and congenital conditions

  • emergency care

  • behavioral conditions

  • and more

You can also add two different wellness coverages to all three plans for your pet’s routine care needs.

Finally, Pets Best allows pet owners flexibility with regards to annual limits, deductibles, and reimbursement levels, which go up to 90 percent.

If you’re on a budget and are ok with more limited protection, consider Pets Best’s 70 percent reimbursement rate, which could cost just $9 a month for an Accident-only policy. Regardless of your choice, monthly fees rarely go over $50 for even the most comprehensive coverage levels.


Pros

  • Refund on puppy vaccines up to four months after vaccination

  • 14-day waiting period for all conditions

  • Fast and easy online claims processing

  • Covers dental illness and optional preventative care coverage

Cons

  • Only two annual coverage limits, no additional reimbursement options

  • Just one year in business

Pumpkin plans for puppies are similar to its regular dog insurance plans, but are more affordable and include an optional preventative care pack.

Plans include 1 annual wellness exam fee, 4 puppy vaccines, and 1 yearly fecal “poop” test. Pumpkin will also refund any vaccines that your puppy has received up to four months prior to taking out your policy.

Their accident & illness coverage includes:

  • MRIs

  • CT scans

  • surgery

  • prescription meds

  • hospitalization

  • some less common behavioral issues

  • microchip implantation

  • alternative therapy

Dental disease counts as a covered illness as well, (including exams, procedures, and medication) but it will not cover routine dental cleanings. Adding an optional non-insurance preventative care pack to your policy will allow you to get refunded for annual wellness exams, vaccinations, and lab tests for parasites.

Households with multiple pets can apply for Pumpkin’s pet insurance and qualify for a 10% discount for each additional pet. Pumpkin plans also include coverage for older pets who won’t be subject to either reduced or outright denial of coverage due to old age.

Monthly premiums for Pumpkin’s policies will depend on the pet’s age and breed, as well as the deductible and annual limit. For cats, the maximum annual coverage tops out at $15,000, while dogs can be insured for up to $20,000. After the deductible is met — $100, $250, or $500 — Pumpkin will cover 90% of expenses related to accidents and illnesses.


Pros

  • Coverage from just 6 weeks

  • No sign-up fees

  • VirtualVet visits included

  • Boarding fees reimbursement for up to $1,000

  • No lifetime or per condition claims limit

Cons

  • No preventive care coverage

  • For coverage to apply, you must take your dog or cat to the vet within 48 hours of noticing symptoms

  • No multi-pet discount

Petplan insures pets beginning at six weeks old for kittens with no age limit. When you buy a policy this early, you won’t have to worry much at all about exclusions for pre-existing conditions.

Petplan covers some hereditary and congenital conditions if symptoms aren’t present before you bought coverage. All cat breeds are covered for hereditary or chronic conditions, like diabetes or cancer. Pets age 10 and up are limited to a policy with a $15,000 annual limit, $750 deductible, and 70% reimbursement for covered services.

Comprehensive dental care is covered, including dental injury and disease to all teeth, as well as coverage for chronic and hereditary conditions. Petplan will also reimburse you up to $1,000 for boarding fees if your pet needs to be hospitalized — no copay or deductible required.

Since Petplan doesn’t provide additional coverage, no form of preventive care is covered, including routine & wellness exams, microchipping, vaccinations, and grooming.

Monthly premiums start at $19 for both dog insurance and cat insurance. Annual benefit caps can be set anywhere between $2,500 to unlimited, while deductibles range from $100 to $1,000.

Reimbursement is available for non-standard expenses such as trip cancellations and owner hospitalization, and what the company calls a “reasonable reward” for any ad costs incurred from trying to find a lost pet.


Pros

  • Lifetime per condition deductibles

  • Coverage for hereditary and congenital conditions

  • Pet owner assistance package

  • All plans include 90% coverage

  • 24/7 customer service

Cons

  • No preventive care coverage

  • No discounts

  • Trupanion only accepts monthly payments

Trupanion stands out from the field by offering just one policy for dogs and cats, including coverage for hip dysplasia and other hereditary conditions such as diabetes, thyroid disease, and upper respiratory infections.

Monthly premiums start at $59 for dogs and $32 for cats. Trupanion policies cover:

  • new, unidentified issues, such as vomiting, diarrhea, and cough

  • congenital conditions, such as heart disease, cataracts, and nervous system issues

  • for an extra cost, recovery and complementary care for non-clinical procedures, such as acupuncture, behavioral modification, and rehabilitative therapy

There are no set limits for any benefits (whether per-incident, monthly, or lifetime), and you could even set your deductible at $0. Trupanion also offers a lifetime per condition deductible, where you only pay a deductible if your pet develops a new condition. Once your deductible is paid, your policy pays out at 90% for anything related to that condition for the rest of your pet’s life.

If your veterinarian uses Trupanion’s direct payment software, Trupanion pays the vet directly without you filling out a claim.


Pros

  • Accident-only plan available

  • Emergency care and hospitalization at any licensed clinic

  • Vet exam fees covered

  • Optional Wellness Rewards Program

  • 24/7 Pet Health Line

  • Diminishing deductible

Cons

  • No unlimited benefit options

  • Accident and illness only covers pets age 14 and younger

  • Limited wellness benefits

Embrace provides high coverage for dental illnesses: $1,000 per policy year in most states. The company covers extractions, root canals, crowns, gingivitis, and broken, chipped, or fractured teeth.

Basic coverage is under $6 per month for cats and $12 for dogs, covering:

  • alternative therapies

  • rehabilitation

  • behavioral therapy

  • emergency veterinary care

  • specialist care, diagnostic testing (including x-rays and MRIs)

  • hospitalization & surgery

  • prosthetics & mobility devices

  • prescription drug coverage

Routine care like cleaning and annual checkups are not included in the policy but can be reimbursed with a wellness rider. This Optional Wellness Rewards plan offers additional coverage for wellness exams, training, grooming, vaccines, and spaying or neutering. This plan reimburses up to $650 per year.

Another Embrace benefit is its shrinking deductibles. They can be set between $100 and $1,000, and for every year you don’t file a claim, you’ll receive a $50 reduction. If your pet is healthy, your deductible can be reduced to zero after several consecutive claim reimbursement-free years.

Reimbursements can reach 90 percent, annual benefits are capped at $15,000, and monthly premiums start at $13 for dogs and $9 for cats. All claims can be submitted online, via email, fax, or mobile app.

Pet insurance coverage from USAA and Geico can also be obtained through Embrace:

USAA Pet Insurance Review

USAA offers accident-only or accident and illness policies through Embrace, with an optional wellness rider. Claims and customer service are also handled through Embrace. We didn’t like how sparse USAA’s pet insurance page was, with very little information on policies.

GEICO Pet Insurance Review

While GEICO does offer more discounts than other insurers — including multi-pet, spaying/neutering, and annual pay — it falls short of other companies in other ways. There’s no unlimited annual benefits option, full reimbursement, or $0 deductible.


Pros

  • Lifetime per condition deductibles

  • Current Nationwide members save 5% on a pet insurance policy

  • No age restrictions

  • Whole Pet with Wellness has complete preventative care coverage in one plan

Cons

  • No plan customization

  • Limited online services

  • Policies are more expensive than average

Nationwide is the only pet insurance company of its size that offers coverage for exotic animals, including most birds, reptiles, small mammals such as hamsters, guinea pigs, and rabbits, and even goats and pot-bellied pigs. Exotic animals that fall under venomous or endangered categories and any animal not explicitly listed on their website aren’t eligible.

Plans vary by species, and you might need to call to find out which options are available.

Nationwide’s monthly premiums start at $34 for dogs and $18 for cats, and there are three pet insurance plans: Whole Pet with Wellness, Major Medical, and Pet Wellness.

Whole Pet with Wellness includes complete coverage and wellness protection in one plan and 90% coverage on vet bills:

  • accidents and illnesses

  • surgeries and hospitalization

  • prescriptions

  • medical conditions

  • vaccinations

  • hereditary conditions (no waiting period)

  • wellness exams

  • flea/heartworm prevention

  • and more

Major Medical coverage is a more budget-friendly plan for standard medical costs such as accidents and illnesses, surgeries and hospitalization, prescriptions, and chronic conditions. Some hereditary conditions are covered, but only after a 1-year waiting period.

The company offers two types of reimbursement models. The first is based on a percentage of the invoice (up to 90 percent) and has no limits. The second has a benefit schedule and reimbursements are capped at a set amount depending on the condition.

Annual deductibles are set at $250, with all claims filed via snail mail, fax, or email.


Pros

  • Accident coverage after just 24 hours

  • Extensive coverage and customizable limits

  • IVDD and cruciate ligament issues are also covered after a 6-month waiting period

  • Offers a Senior Pet Insurance Plan

Cons

  • No accident-only coverage

  • Low annual limits

  • Preventive care treatments have individual annual limits

PetFirst Pet Insurance’s routine care coverage excels precisely because it defines preventive care so broadly. You could buy a plan to cover your pet’s vaccines, dental care, parasite prevention, spaying and neutering, and even behavioral training.

Riders for routine care can be purchased with annual benefits between $125 and $575.

However, each specific treatment carries its own limit per policy term within that total amount.

PetFirst offers three plans, each with a $250 deductible and 80 percent reimbursement rate for covered expenses. Each plan sets a different annual coverage limit, between $2,000 and $10,000.

PetFirst is owned by MetLife, a leading dental, health, and auto insurer.


Pros

  • Covers prescribed behavioral training, therapy, and treatment

  • Includes prescribed drugs, nutritional supplements, and pet food

  • Claims paid in up to ten days

  • $0 deductible and 100% reimbursement options available

Cons

  • Wellness plan has a $750 reimbursement limit

  • 12-month waiting period for ligament and hip dysplasia

TrustedPals provides standard coverage for dogs and cats for pets aged 8 weeks and older. There’s no maximum age limit, making it a great option for senior pets. There are no restrictions on chronic illnesses if they begin after the policy effective date.

TrustedPals covers expenses for:

  • vet visits

  • surgeries

  • hospital stays

  • lab work

  • and prescription medications

TrustedPals offers a wellness plan as an add-on, covering yearly vet exams, vaccination, preventive dental cleaning, and spaying or neutering. Your policy will also cover vet-prescribed alternative treatments such as acupuncture and hydrotherapy. See their sample policy to learn more.

Once you apply for a quote, TrustedPals will present four different premium options to choose from. These include annual benefit limits ranging from $4,000 to $15,000 and an unlimited benefit option. You can then customize your policy by selecting your deductible (from $0 to $750 per year) and the amount of your reimbursement percentage (from 70% to 100%).

You’ll get the same coverage regardless of the premium paid, as the cost of insurance isn’t tied to benefits. Instead, your premiums will be determined by what type of pet you have (cat or dog), the age of your pet, your location, and how you customize your plan.


Pros

  • No annual, per incident, or lifetime caps

  • Virtual training with animal behaviorists such as C?sar Mill?n and Sarah Hodgson

  • Visit any vet, emergency clinic, or specialist in the U.S.

  • Wide range of deductions, annual limits, and reimbursement options

  • Covers virtual and mobile vet visits

Cons

  • 14-day waiting period for accident coverage

  • No coverage for exotic pets

  • Curable pre-existing conditions clause doesn't apply to ligament or knee conditions

  • Pets must be eight weeks old

Spot is a relatively recent arrival to the pet insurance industry, but has received a lot of attention thanks to its status as the only pet insurer recommended by its Chairman, César Millán, also known as “the dog whisperer.”

Spot offers accident & illness coverage that includes:

X-rays, MRI, and CT scans

  • vet treatment

  • surgery and hospitalization

  • prescription food and medication

  • alternative therapies

  • end of life expenses

  • stem cell therapy

  • cancer treatments

  • chronic conditions

  • dental treatment, and more

The company also offers accident-only plans and an optional wellness rider for preventive care. Pre-existing conditions are covered if the pet has been deemed cured and has not shown symptoms during 180 days. This does not include ligament or knee conditions.

While Spot’s coverage is comprehensive, where it really stands out is its flexibility regarding payment structures. There are multiple deduction options available, from $100-$1,000, as well as several annual limits options (starting at $2,500 to $20,000, or unlimited). Likewise, customers can choose between 70%, 80%, or 90% reimbursement options.

Like ASPCA pet insurance, Spot’s policies are managed by C&F Insurance Agency, Inc., which handles claims, billing, and customer service. The policies are underwritten by United States Fire.

Other Companies We Considered

When we were narrowing down our list, a few companies stood out but didn’t quite meet the requirements we’d set for our top ten list.

24PetWatch Review

Pros

  • No waiting period for accidents

  • Coverage for chronic conditions after 24 months symptom-free

  • Covers invoiced amount, including exam fees

Cons

  • Limited enrollment age

  • CCL (ACL) injuries are considered a bilateral condition

  • Only has an 80% reimbursement option

  • No unlimited payout options

While 24PetWatch offers policies and wellness plans with short waiting periods and low deductibles, they didn’t make our list due to its complicated pricing structure and limited policies. Dogs age out at 10 years and cats at 12, as well, when it’s difficult to find another company willing to begin coverage. Further, few discounts make their plans slightly more expensive than the competition.

Hartville Review

Pros

  • Unlimited annual coverage limit

  • 30-day trial period

Cons

  • Costly to start with, prices go up after 5 years old

  • Preventive care reimbursement is limited

  • No budget option available

The only company to partner with the ASPCA, Hartville has a long history in the pet insurance industry. Their policies offer excellent coverage, but it comes at a price — expect to pay a minimum of $15 per month per cat and $25 per month per dog. What’s more, once your dog is over 5 years old, illness benefit premiums go up considerably. And individual wellness benefits are capped at a specific annual limit.

Pros

  • 45-day money-back guarantee

  • Multi-pet discount

Cons

  • Not pet insurance

  • No coverage for specialist services

  • Won't cover prescription food or medication

To be clear, Pet Assure is not pet insurance but rather a discount plan that offers 25% off on all in-office medical procedures. While the program has participating veterinarians in all states, Puerto Rico and Canada, the number of providers by location is limited. Though we liked their affordable rates and lack of exclusions (pets of all ages are accepted, even with pre-existing conditions), Pet Assure didn’t make our cut because it’s not pet insurance. However, it can be a great alternative, provided your vet accepts it.

Pet Insurance Guide

Types of pet insurance plans

When you’re looking to insure your pet, the first thing to do is take a good look at your finances — and how much you’re able and willing to spend in case of an emergency. Each type of pet insurance policy will have different types of coverage and come at a different price point. Knowing what each type has to offer is crucial for understanding how to buy pet insurance.

  • Accident-only policies – An accident-only plan may suit you best if your main concern is your cat or dog’s propensity for mishaps. They’re usually more affordable than plans with more coverage.

  • Accident & Illness policies – These are the all-inclusive plans of pet insurance, covering both accident and illness coverage. They can be expanded to be truly comprehensive by adding wellness coverage, which is usually an add-on rather than an integrated part of the plan.

  • Comprehensive policies – Some insurers offer truly comprehensive policies covering everything, from accidents to illnesses to wellness to routine care. For example, they may cover the cost of dental care, chiropractic care, spaying, vaccinations, behavioral therapy, and more. Naturally, these plans have the heftiest price tag, but are worth it for the peace of mind.

Remember that, if you want to evaluate whether an insurer is right for you, it might be a good idea to download one of their online sample policies. Read all its inclusions, exclusions, and restrictions thoroughly, and if you’re comfortable with them, you can then move on to enroll your pet. Remember to take into account your pet’s needs.

How Pet Health Insurance Works

  • Waiting periods – Your insurance cover won’t pay until you’ve completed a waiting period. Most companies require at least 14 days after enrollment before reimbursing you for a vet visit that your pet needs for an illness.

  • Exclusions – Pet insurance policies usually exclude specific conditions in the policy’s language. Be sure to read your policy before buying it, so you’ll know how your pet insurance works.

  • Network restrictions – Pet insurance companies generally don’t have networks. However, some insurers may limit certain coverage to specific vets. Some may not cover your pet while you travel in Canada or Puerto Rico. We recommend insurers with no restrictions to ensure you’re covered anywhere in the United States.

What Increases and Lowers Premium Costs

The average monthly cost of pet insurance with accident and illness coverage is $49.51 for dogs and $28.48 for cats, which partially answers how much does a dog cost and how much does a cat cost.

Pet insurance costs vary widely based on several factors, including the pet’s breed, gender, age, location, and your chosen coverage options and deductible.

  • Pre-existing conditions – Pet insurance providers will not reimburse you for conditions your dog, cat, or other pet already had before you bought the pet insurance policy.

  • Preventative care add-ons – You’ll get the best value from an accident or illness coverage plan, but you could add coverage for preventative care. Policies that cover routine care and accident or illness care are called comprehensive coverage.

  • Pet’s age – After your dog or cat reaches age 12, your choices for new coverage will diminish significantly. To have the most options, buy a policy before your pet reaches an advanced age.

  • Deductibles – With many plans, you set the deductible, which is the money you must pay before your insurance policy kicks in. Watch out for per-incident deductibles. Per-year deductibles provide a better value.

  • Where you live – Generally speaking, pets that live in urban areas will have higher pet insurance rates due to higher costs of veterinary care, among other socioeconomic factors. Some states may also have higher costs, such as New York or California.

If you’re on a tight budget and need a policy with more affordable premiums, take a look at our best cheap pet insurance page.

Additional expenses to keep in mind

  • Reimbursements – You pay for all vet visits and charges and then file for a reimbursement. The best plans typically reimburse 90 percent of a covered expense.

  • Payout caps – Most plans stop reimbursing after you’ve reached your policy’s maximum coverage amount. Most policies have an annual expense cap, but some have caps per incident (illness or injury) or even for the animal’s lifetime. Expect to pay higher premiums for higher caps.

Veterinary Care and COVID-19

During the coronavirus pandemic, the rise in pet ownership overall has veterinary services in high demand. But when should you take your pet to the vet? Before running out to visit your pet care provider, consider the following:

Urgent Care vs. Routine Checkups

Urgent Care

Routine Checkups

Accidents, respiratory problems, and poisonings require immediate medical attention

Routine checkups and elective procedures should be postponed as long as possible so that veterinary offices can avoid a higher number of patients.

For emergency trips, make sure to adhere to CDC guidelines regarding masks and social distancing.

Pet owners should make use of telemedicine alternatives instead of making in-person visits to the vet.

Keep in mind that depending on the hospital, staff may be operating in-person or with curbside service, and many health providers are offering alternatives for non-urgent yet essential procedures (e.g. booster shots, vaccinations, physical therapy).

Caring for Your Pet in the Social Distancing Era

Aside from the aforementioned veterinary care, there are other measures you can take as a pet owner to keep your furry family member healthy and happy:

  • Make sure to have enough prescriptions, such as heartworm, parasite, flea, and tick medicine, as well as any maintenance drugs.

  • Stock up on food. Consider using online services that deliver the food directly to your door to avoid unnecessary visits to the pet store or the supermarket.

  • Work on your mental and physical health. Pets pick up on their owners’ feelings, which means that your anxiety can also affect them, especially now that people spend more time at home. Take care of yourself and other household members so your pets can feel more at ease with such an unusual amount of human contact.

  • Exercise your pet as much as you can. Stay-at-home ordinances and self-isolation protocols can limit the time you spend with your pet outside. Still, there are other ways to keep them active, for example, playing fetch, basic training techniques, and food puzzle activities. If you’re fortunate enough to be able to enjoy the outdoors, take them for a walk following safety precautions.

  • Make the most of telemedicine services to keep your pet healthy while limiting visits to the vet.

Telemedicine

More vets than ever are incorporating telemedicine alternatives to their practice as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. An example of telemedicine is the vet using a video chat service to observe a patient and provide medical advice without having direct physical contact. This can serve various purposes, such as postoperative follow-ups or visual confirmation to determine whether a case is urgent or non-urgent. It also reduces the chance of spreading COVID-19 by reducing physical contact with others and their pets.

Can My Pet Get Coronavirus?

The CDC states there is no evidence that pets can significantly spread the virus and animal-to-human transmission is highly unlikely. Nonetheless, there have been recorded animal cases and deaths related to COVID-19. Although the chances of spreading the virus are extremely low, it doesn’t hurt to be prepared.

The general rule is to treat your pet as you would a person, maintain distance whenever possible, and wear a face covering to avoid transmission. Extra precautions should be taken if you have either received a positive test or suspect being infected. Have another person take care of your pet while you’re infected, if possible.

Though extremely rare, there have been cases of serious illness in pets who have contracted the virus that causes COVID-19. You may be interested in pet life insurance if you wish to cover your pet’s economic value or burial costs in the unfortunate case that they pass away from Coronavirus-related complications.

Pet Insurance FAQs

Is pet insurance worth it?

Knowing whether pet insurance will pay off for you depends on your needs and your pet’s health care needs. Before trying to enroll your pet in a plan, consider its costs vs. its potential benefits. Any kind of pet insurance cover provides a service that’s not measured as a dollar amount — giving you the peace of mind that comes with knowing you won’t be facing expensive vet bills all on your own.

How much is pet insurance?

Pricing your pet insurance premium will depend on many factors, your pet’s type, gender, and breed; 2) your pet’s age; 3) your location; 4) coverage types; 5) deductible and reimbursement level. The more expensive it is where you live, whether it’s California or New York City, the more expensive your pet insurance will be.

How does pet insurance work?

Pet insurance is a policy that comes with a monthly premium. With pet insurance, if your pet is sick or injured, you pay the bill upfront and submit a claim for reimbursement. You can take your pet to a licensed veterinarian and then submit a claim to get reimbursed for issues that are covered under your pet insurance plan.

What does pet insurance cover?

It depends on the specific plan. Standard pet health insurance will cover most accidents and injuries. Still, you can also buy a policy that covers only routine vet visits for checkups and vaccinations, usually called wellness plans. “Things like ultrasounds, blood tests, or procedures such as MRIs or CAT scans — they’re now available [for pets],” said Dr. Jerry Klein, Chief Veterinary Officer for the American Kennel Club.

What is the best pet insurance?

The best pet insurance for you will depend on a combination of different elements, mainly your budget and your pet’s needs.

How We Found the Best Pet Insurance Companies

To thoroughly assess the top pet insurance companies and find the best, we researched several different policy aspects that make these providers stand out and spoke to veterinary doctors who have spent time in the field. We looked at pet insurance costs, including average rates, flexibility with premiums and deductibles, and any potential limits on payments to policyholders. We also compared and evaluated coverage options while closely reviewing the claims processes for all the featured companies. Finally, we sought out pet insurers that offered multiple ways to contact customer service agents.

Summary of Money’s Best Pet Insurance Companies of July 2021

  • Healthy Paws – Best for Dogs

  • ASPCA – Best Budget Coverage

  • Figo – Best 100% Coverage

  • Pets Best – Best for Competitive Pricing

  • Pumpkin – Best for Puppies

  • Petplan – Best for Cats

  • Trupanion – Best for Hereditary Conditions

  • Embrace – Best for Dental Illnesses

  • Nationwide – Best for Exotic Animals

  • PetFirst – Best Preventative Care

  • TrustedPals – Best Customizability

  • Spot – Best for No Caps

Honorable Mentions: 24PetWatch, Hartville, Pet Assure

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