If you are considering adding a German shepherd to your family or already own one, many things are necessary to be a responsible pet owner.
Some are free like time, patience, and love and others need to be purchased like food, a dog bed, blanket and crate, toys, leash, and collar.
Another detail that can quickly turn into a large payment is not something material. It’s your shepherd’s health.
German shepherds need to have regular veterinary visits and although we get our pups from a reputable breeder, feed them high-quality pet food, and give them plenty of exercise and rest, there is no guarantee that they will never suffer from any illnesses, diseases, or injuries.
Unfortunately, the medical bill can quickly add up. There are two questions you may have.
Is health insurance available for dogs? Yes; many types of pet insurance can be found today. Should I invest in pet insurance? This is a matter of preference, but in today’s world with rising costs, it would be wise to have pet insurance.
In the following post, I will answer the question, “is dog insurance necessary?” Also included is information about the best pet insurance for German shepherds.
For your dog’s vitamin supplement, food, toys, or other dogs product please visit the Sundays for dogs website.
Is Dog Insurance Necessary?
You have health insurance for yourself and it’s often required by law and also very necessary considering the high cost of some doctor visits, especially specialists, diagnostic testing, medical procedures, surgeries, and prescription medication.
We can try to eat healthily and exercise, but disease happens and so do accidents. Unfortunately, this is the case for German shepherds. They may be healthy their entire life, but purebred dogs have greater incidences of acquiring a disease that is inherited, more so than mixed-breed dogs.
Hip dysplasia is often found in breeds that have larger body frames and the German shepherd is one of these breeds.
You may be thinking that you also pay for homeowners insurance, but you’ve never used it. We all pay for home and car insurance and we hope we never do have to use it, but it is there to ensure that if the time comes we aren’t going to owe a boatload of money or have nowhere to live.
Dog insurance is not required or necessary for your German shepherd, but you don’t own a crystal ball to see into the future either. The problem is that veterinary costs can be quite staggering, especially if your pup suffers from a disease or requires an emergency visit to an animal hospital.
Routine office visits can range from $45 to $200 depending on exams, lab work, and vaccines. Those visits will not kill your wallet and routine visits may not be covered by insurance depending on your policy. An emergency visit, however, can top off at $2000 or even more.
When faced with an emergency and your shepherd’s health, you aren’t thinking of the cost until you are handed the bill.
Gone are the days of the country veterinarian who made house calls and excepted a jar of jam as payment for delivering puppies or a calf! If you take any prescription drugs, keep in mind that pet medications are usually more expensive.
A veterinarian can often prescribe a generic human drug for your pup but if a specific drug is available for animals, your vet cannot offer the generic human medication which would be cheaper, leaving you no option but to pay more.
Prescriptions are covered by many insurance plans. Dogs with certain digestive diseases or even out-of-control food allergies may require prescription pet food. This food is quite expensive but often covered by insurance plans.
To check your shepherds’ health status or their DNA checks, please visit the Embark vet website for all the help you may need.
Best Pet Insurance For Your German Shepherd
If you are considering purchasing pet insurance, first do some research. There are a wide variety of policies to choose from, all with differing coverage.
You must consider your German shepherd’s needs now and think ahead to the future as well as what is a suitable price for your wallet.
Listed below are a few categories of insurance policies.
This type of insurance is only for your German shepherd when they are a growing puppy. It will cover wellness visits (more are needed for puppies), vaccinations, worming, neutering, or spaying, and sometimes the insertion of a microchip, if you choose, in the event that your pup should become lost.
Accident or Injury
This type of insurance can be added to an existing policy or purchased separately to be used for an unexpected accident. These are often 12-month policies that can be renewed.
Adult insurance focuses mostly on your German shepherd’s wellness care and keeping them healthy. Usually, they cover well visits, any common illnesses or injuries, routine medical exams, and sometimes any needed diagnostic testing. If your shepherd takes any medication on a regular basis be sure to see if that is covered.
This insurance is just that, a policy for a limited time. If your German shepherd has a condition that only needs treatment for a certain amount of time, this policy will cover it.
Usually, coverage is for 12 months however, the condition will become a pre-existing one if it occurs again after the 12-month window and will not be allowed in a future policy.
Maximum Benefits Insurance
The maximum benefits insurance will cover medical conditions up to a certain monetary limit. These policies have no time limits however when you reach the limited financial point, you are liable for any future payments.
As your shepherd becomes older and possibly in need of more health care, the premium for this policy will increase.
If at any time you are considering health insurance for your German shepherd, this would be the most beneficial time of their life. Older dogs are much more likely to develop a disease or illness that can be life-threatening.
These may be treatable but expensive to pay for without insurance. Many common diseases are usually covered along with injuries and in a worst-case scenario, the euthanasia of your shepherd.
This type of policy should cover your German shepherd for their entire life. The reason I said “should” is that not all life policies are alike, so you must be diligent when purchasing this and any other policy by reading the conditions, terms, and wording very carefully.
A true lifetime policy will cover just about anything up to the financial limit stated in the policy and usually needs to be renewed every year.
If your pup is being treated for a medical condition and the financial limit is reached before the renewal period, you will be responsible for any bills, however, when the policy is renewed for the next 12 months, that same condition will again be covered, regardless of it being pre-existing. As your German Shepherd ages, the premium renewal may increase.
The Cost of Pet Insurance and Is it Worth it?
The cost of pet insurance can vary vastly depending on the type of insurance you choose. The estimated cost of insurance for your German Shepherd is about $35 to $73 a month or $420 to $876 for an annual premium.
This can be more or less depending on the age of your shepherd, any pre-existing conditions, and even where you live.
You may have to meet a deductible before your pup’s insurance pays. Insurance may not be worth purchasing if your shepherd is “too” healthy and only needs routine office visits as you may pay the same amount for the insurance as you would for vet visits.
If your German shepherd should need the emergency animal hospital, insurance would be well worth it because you could go well over the cost of the deductible.
Pet insurance is also not like human insurance where you pay a co-pay at the time of your visit, testing, or procedure.
You will need to pay upfront and then the insurance company will reimburse you for what is covered.
This is why it’s very important to know your policy and make sure that some diagnostic testing and prescriptions are included.
One plus to reimbursement is that you don’t ever have to choose a different veterinarian because they don’t accept your insurance.
You need to simply send a copy of your veterinarian’s invoice and the company will send you a check since you’ve already paid “out of pocket.”
The answer to “Is dog insurance necessary,” is a personal one, but “Yes“ would be a wise answer in today’s world. Health costs including pet healthcare are skyrocketing and though you may not use their insurance very much, it will be in place to give you peace of mind.
In an emergency situation, you hopefully won’t have to make a painful decision because you lack the money or put yourself in debt due to an outrageous bill.
Carefully check out pet insurance companies and different policies and choose a type you can afford, feel comfortable with, and one that will suit your German shepherd’s needs now and in the future.