Senior Pet Insurance - Pet Connection (2023)


Senior Pet Insurance

Senior Pet Insurance - Pet Connection (1)

by Dr. Marty Becker, Kim Campbell Thornton and Mikkel Becker

Pet Connection |

You’ve adopted a senior pet. Should you spring for pet health insurance? Here’s what to consider

By Kim Campbell Thornton

Andrews McMeel Syndication

When I bought Harper as a puppy 15 years ago, there were fewer pet health insurance options than there are today, and often coverage didn’t include common problems in cavalier King Charles spaniels, such as heart disease. I decided against purchasing it, reckoning that heart issues that cropped up wouldn’t be covered and that cancer wasn’t common in the breed.

That’s generally true, but cancer is common in older dogs of any breed, and Harper was diagnosed with it when she was about 13 years old. Veterinary treatment for cancer has improved significantly since the last time I had a dog with treatable cancer, in 1996, and costs have increased accordingly. Insurance would have saved me thousands of dollars for Harper’s care over the two years she lived following diagnosis.

I decided that my next dog would be covered, no matter what. Sparkles is 10 years old, however, so insurance for her was going to be expensive, even though she’s generally healthy. But it’s still a good idea. Here’s what to think about if you’re choosing insurance for a senior pet.

Which animals qualify as seniors? The American Animal Hospital Association has guidelines defining different life stages, from puppy or kitten to adult, senior and geriatric. Pet health insurance companies may use those guidelines to identify a pet’s life stage and the conditions that are common during each life stage.

Breed or size can play a role. For instance, giant breed dogs such as Great Danes or Irish wolfhounds may be considered seniors when they are 7 years old, while toy breed dogs such as Chihuahuas, which have a much longer lifespan, don’t reach that status until they are 10 to 12 years old. The American Association of Feline Practitioners considers cats seniors when they are 11 to 14 years old and geriatric at 15 to 25 years old.

Different companies have different age limits for coverage. For instance, Nationwide will insure pets any time before they turn 10 years old, while Embrace says that pets enrolled after their 15th birthday are eligible for the accident-only policy, which doesn’t cover illnesses.

Look at other benefits. Some companies offer veterinary helplines or tele-triage calls that may answer simple questions or help you determine whether your pet can wait for a regular veterinary appointment or needs to go to the emergency room.

Ask questions such as whether the deductible goes down each year that you don’t have an accident or illness claim reimbursement; whether curable preexisting conditions are covered if the pet is symptom- or treatment-free for one year or more; and whether the plan offers significant discounts for medications.

“Older pets are somewhat more prone to health conditions and having chronic diseases or cancer as they get older, so having access to affordable medications is one thing to keep in mind,” says Emily Tincher, DVM, senior director of veterinary relations for Nationwide.

Conditions you can expect to see in senior pets are hyperthyroidism and heart disease in cats and kidney disease, diabetes, pancreatitis, osteoarthritis and cancer in dogs and cats. Several of these are chronic conditions that are manageable but can add up to be fairly costly over time, Tincher says.

Use pet health insurance review websites such as and to compare policies. Plug in your pet’s species, age, breed and other requested information, and they’ll recommend several plans to consider.

Then dig deeper by visiting company websites or calling to see exactly what’s covered. There may be discounts for covering multiple pets, for instance. Companies such as Nationwide, which also offer home and auto insurance, may offer discounts if you’re already a policyholder. Your company may provide pet health insurance as a benefit. Compare deductible levels and benefit schedules. Your veterinarian may be able to advise you based on their knowledge of your pet’s health and lifestyle.

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Keep cat ears

clean, healthy

Q: How often should I clean my cat’s ears?

A: Checking the ears for dirt, discharge or signs of parasites should be part of your cat’s weekly grooming routine. A small amount of wax is normal and doesn’t need to be removed. Give the ears a good sniff. They shouldn’t smell stinky.

Healthy ears generally don’t need to be cleaned, but if they’re dirty and you don’t have a cleanser recommended by your veterinarian, warm some mineral or olive oil. (To make sure it’s not too hot, test it on your wrist like you would do with the milk in a baby’s bottle.) Place a few drops on a cotton ball, and wipe out the ear. Remember not to stick a cotton swab down into the ear canal. That just pushes the gunk further into the ear.

Clues that your cat is having ear issues are an unpleasant odor, head shaking, tilting the head to one side, scratching at the ears or a red, inflamed appearance. In the case of ear mite infestation, you may notice a brown, waxy discharge or even -- if you have great eyesight -- tiny mites moving in the discharge.

If your cat has any of these signs, it’s time for a trip to the veterinarian to check for infection, parasites, allergies or even polyps or other ear masses. Tell the veterinarian if your cat has had upper respiratory disease. A history of sneezing or nasal discharge can lead to a middle-ear infection that turns into an external ear problem.

Surprisingly, lack of appetite may also be related to an ear problem. If your cat experiences ear pain when she opens her jaw, she’s going to be reluctant to eat. So don’t hold back any information; you never know what may help your veterinarian diagnose the problem. -- Dr. Marty Becker

Do you have a pet question? Send it to or visit


How to check

groomer training

-- Looking for a dog groomer? Check credentials first. Not all states require groomers to meet educational standards. Groomers may be self-taught through online courses or videos. To find one with hands-on training, ask if they have certification through a national organization such as the National Dog Groomers Association of America, which requires certification testing and continuing education. The NDGAA offers workshops on basic pet grooming and styling. Afterward, participants must demonstrate their skills to a panel of experts and pass a written exam to gain certification. States requiring licensing have regulations regarding cleanliness, equipment use, maintenance and sanitation, how animals are handled and restrained and much more. Choose a groomer certified in pet first aid, and always visit facilities before booking an appointment to make sure it’s a place you’re comfortable leaving your dog.

-- How many chickens should you have? According to “Birds for Dummies,” three to six is a good flock size, especially if you live in the ‘burbs. The more space, the more chickens you can have, but you don’t want so many that caring for them becomes a chore and prevents you from having a fun relationship with them. Fewer chickens mean less mess, too; chickens stir up a lot of dust and produce a lot of poop. If you enjoy the wide variety of chicken “looks,” each one can be a different breed.

-- Early Egyptians worshipped particular animals for services they provided or for admirable qualities. Feline hunting prowess and corresponding vermin control most certainly made cats worthy of worship by these criteria. As Egyptian culture evolved, worship associated with cats took a prominent role and included the goddess Mafdet, who was portrayed as either a cat or a panther; the goddess Bastet, who took the form of a cat; and the lion-headed goddess Sekhmet. -- Dr. Marty Becker, Kim Campbell Thornton and Mikkel Becker


Pet Connection is produced by a team of pet care experts. Veterinarian Dr. Marty Becker is founder of the Fear Free organization, co-founder of and author of many best-selling pet care books. Kim Campbell Thornton is an award-winning journalist and author who has been writing about animals since 1985. Mikkel Becker is a behavior consultant and lead animal trainer for Fear Free Pets. Dr. Becker can be found at or on Twitter at DrMartyBecker. Kim Campbell Thornton is at and on Twitter at kkcthornton. Mikkel Becker is at and on Twitter at MikkelBecker.


Feline Diabetes

Senior Pet Insurance - Pet Connection (2)

by Dr. Marty Becker, Kim Campbell Thornton and Mikkel Becker

(Video) Top Pet Insurance Companies 2022 | Vet Recommendations

Pet Connection |

Does your cat have this common disease? Signs to watch for and advances in treatment

By Kim Campbell Thornton

Andrews McMeel Syndication

Your cat is eating ravenously but losing weight, and she seems to be drinking a lot more water than normal -- and peeing it all out into the litter box. What’s wrong with her?

All of those signs may be pointing to a particular disease that’s not uncommon in cats: diabetes mellitus.

But if you’re not in the habit of monitoring how much your cat eats, the normal size of urine clumps in the litter box or her body condition score, you may not notice the changes until the disease is advanced.

“I’ve made some surprise diabetes diagnoses,” says Julie Liu, DVM, who practices in Austin, Texas. If people aren’t scooping the litter box daily or are leaving food out all the time, they may not notice how much their cat is eating or urinating, she says. And they might not notice that the cat is losing weight -- at least not at first.

The first “tell” may be that the cat is urinating outside the litter box. Because they’re drinking so much water, they have increased urgency to urinate, and they might not make it to the litter box in time. They are also much more prone to urinary tract infections, Dr. Liu says.

Any time you notice these signs, your cat needs to see the veterinarian right away for a physical exam and lab work to detect glucose in urine and blood.

Approximately 600,000 cats in the United States are diagnosed with diabetes during their lifetime. The endocrine disorder occurs when islet cells in the pancreas don’t produce enough insulin, preventing body tissues from using glucose for energy. Instead, glucose builds up in blood and urine.

Diabetes is a lifelong condition with no cure. Left untreated, feline diabetes can result in weight loss, loss of appetite, vomiting, dehydration, severe depression, problems with motor function, coma and death.

The good news is that it is treatable in cats and can even go into remission when it’s well-managed.

Traditionally, diabetic cats have been managed with twice-daily insulin injections. If you’re afraid of needles, you may think it’s impossible that you would ever be able to give your cat insulin injections. But as the former owner of a cat who lived with diabetes for 10 years and as someone with a strong needle phobia, I’m here to tell you that the fear of giving injections can be overcome. The needles used for insulin injections are fine, and in my experience, the cat barely notices the jab. Our cat, Peter, was more interested in the meal he knew was coming immediately after the injection.

Diet is also an important part of managing care. Eating a high-protein, low-carb food -- nicknamed the “Catkins” diet -- can reduce or eliminate a cat’s need for insulin injections. Many cats have the disease controlled by diet alone.

And a new once-daily oral medication called Bexacat was approved last month by the Food and Drug Administration. The flavored chewable prescription medication works to improve glycemic control in cats with diabetes. The limiting factor? It can be used only in cats that have never been treated with insulin. Other considerations are the cat’s weight and overall health. Cats taking the drug must be monitored regularly with blood work and watched for signs such as appetite loss, lethargy, dehydration and weight loss.

Use of at-home blood glucose meters also help owners keep tabs on their cats’ conditions, without subjecting them to veterinary visits that could send glucose levels soaring from stress alone.

Maintaining a normal weight is the best way to prevent diabetes in your cat. If your veterinarian expresses concern about your cat’s weight, take it seriously. A weight-loss program can not only lower your cat’s risk of this disease, but it has the bonus of reducing stress on joints, a win-win for improving health and quality of life.


Do I have to

wash pet beds?

Q: Is there a rule on pet laundry? Should I be washing their beds?

A: I wouldn’t say there’s a rule about the frequency of laundering pet bedding, but there are some things to consider. The most important may be the sensitivity of your nose. If you notice that your home is starting to smell too much like your pets -- and not in a good way -- part of the reason could be that pet bedding is starting to develop a stale odor.

You probably wash your sheets at least weekly to remove the accumulation of body oils, hair, perspiration, dead skin cells and bacteria that build up from sleeping on them. The same thing happens when your pets lie on their beds. And it builds up more rapidly because pets don’t wear PJs and they don’t shower daily -- although cats, of course, would argue that their tongue baths are much more cleansing than your own ablutions.

It’s not going to hurt your pets to sleep on bedding that hasn’t been washed in a while, but it’s fair to say that dirty bedding can be the source of bacteria, parasites and viruses from other pets who share it.

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If you’re concerned that your home is garnering surreptitious sniffs of disapproval from visitors or your mother-in-law, you can clean up your act by washing pet bedding weekly and cleaning crates weekly with warm, soapy water. Read the label to find out how to care for it. Generally, covers can be removed and machine-washed. Unless the label advises otherwise, use hot water to kill any microbes and dry thoroughly to prevent development of mold or mildew. For beds that aren’t machine-washable, give them a good going-over with the vacuum cleaner when you have it out, or use antibacterial wipes to freshen it up. -- Dr. Marty Becker

Do you have a pet question? Send it to or visit


Cold-weather care

for horses

-- Horses need protection from frigid temperatures just as much as dogs and cats. To help them ward off the chill, they need extra food and shelter from wind and snow. Horses can eat a bale of hay a day in winter. In blizzard conditions and below-zero temperatures, a blanket is a must for insulation from the cold. It’s also important to ensure that they keep moving unless they’re sheltering from severe weather. In addition, they need hoof care and protection and removal of snow and ice from paddocks. Work with your veterinarian to develop a winter care plan to keep your horse safe and healthy.

-- Don't let your older dog sit around. As he ages, he should continue regular, moderate exertion, but at lower intensity and duration than during his younger years. Think two shorter walks daily instead of one long one and "brain games" using food puzzles or nose work. Keeping him lean protects his joints, and throw rugs or yoga mats on slick floors can prevent the slipping and sliding that lead to orthopedic injuries.

-- Animal-related tech demonstrated earlier this month at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas included FluentPet, an app-connected talking button system that allows dogs to signal that they’d like to go out or have a treat, among other things; Bird Buddy, a bird feeder that photographs the birds visiting it and then uses AI technology to identify more than 1,000 avian species; a canine fitness tracker in the form of a smart collar that monitors a dog’s activity level, sleep habits and heart health and can send the information to the veterinarian; and Dog-E, an app-controlled robot that allows the electronic dogs to develop “personalities” and movements and learn tricks based on interactions with owners. What will they think of next? -- Dr. Marty Becker, Kim Campbell Thornton and Mikkel Becker


Pet Connection is produced by a team of pet care experts. Veterinarian Dr. Marty Becker is founder of the Fear Free organization, co-founder of and author of many best-selling pet care books. Kim Campbell Thornton is an award-winning journalist and author who has been writing about animals since 1985. Mikkel Becker is a behavior consultant and lead animal trainer for Fear Free Pets. Dr. Becker can be found at or on Twitter at DrMartyBecker. Kim Campbell Thornton is at and on Twitter at kkcthornton. Mikkel Becker is at and on Twitter at MikkelBecker.


Cat Scents

Senior Pet Insurance - Pet Connection (3)

by Dr. Marty Becker, Kim Campbell Thornton and Mikkel Becker

Pet Connection |

A cat's sense of smell is as powerful as a dog's, but used for different purposes

By Kim Campbell Thornton and Dr. Marty Becker

Andrews McMeel Syndication

How important is scent to cats? More than you might think. No one has ever been silly enough to try to put them to work finding people or substances by scent, but cats have a keen sense of smell and rely on it heavily. Unlike dogs, however, who have developed an array of scent-related careers to help people, cats use their sense of smell for more personal endeavors: to establish territory and determine where they are, to identify each other and to whet their appetites.

Odor is crucial to a cat's feeling of comfort in the home. Cats use scent to mark territory and make a place their own. Their sebaceous glands -- located primarily on the lips, chin, between the eyes and ears, at the base of the tail and around the anus -- secrete sebum, an oily substance that is odorless to us but contains scent markers that are meaningful to cats. Urine and feces also contain these scent markers.

When you see your cat rubbing his face against your body or an object such as the refrigerator (where the food comes from!), he's laying down an invisible but scented token of possession, a signal to other cats that this person, place or thing belongs to him. Urine marking is a more odorous -- and less-pleasing-to-humans -- means of accomplishing the same thing.

Cats also use scent to identify and greet each other. They begin by sniffing faces and then rears. Think of it as the feline version of a handshake, and don't be offended when your cat presents his butt for you to sniff. He's just being polite -- in a catly sort of way.

Odor is also strongly linked to appetite. A cat who has lost her sense of smell will be uninterested in food. That's why feline nasal infections can be more serious than they might seem. Cats can quickly go downhill if they refuse to eat. Entice them by offering stinky canned food or warming their food before giving it to them. (Stir it well to make sure there aren't any hot spots that could burn the mouth.)

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Cats also have an uncommon ability to "taste" scents with the help of some unusual anatomical features. They have two small air passages known as the nasopalatine ducts, which are located in the roof of the mouth just behind the upper front teeth (incisors). Air in the mouth passes through the ducts, which lead to the vomeronasal, or Jacobson's, organ in the nasal cavity.

If you've ever noticed your cat give something a good sniff, wrinkle his nose and open his mouth with the lips slightly retracted, you're seeing the vomeronasal organ in action. That expression, as if he's smelling something unpleasant, is called the flehmen response. It occurs when cats encounter urine or other odors that provide information to them. Nerves run between the VNO and the area of the brain that controls sexual behavior, and scientists believe that the flehmen response helps the cat to draw in and sample more of the odor. It's seen primarily in male cats and may assist them in determining a female's reproductive status. Females are more likely to display the flehmen response when sniffing their newborn kittens. Any cat may flehmen in response to the scent of catnip, the urine of other cats or to any unfamiliar smell.

Like humans, cats find certain odors to be repulsive, but their idea of what smells bad isn't the same as ours. Orange peel and mothballs are on their "do not sniff" list.

Which odors do cats love best? Catnip, of course, and, strangely, garlic and onion. And if you are lucky, your cat's favorite scent is you.


Pets respond well

to chemotherapy

Q: My dog has been diagnosed with cancer, and the oncologist recommends chemotherapy. He says that chemo isn't as hard on pets as it is on people. Is that true? Will my dog lose his hair or have other side effects?

A: We're sorry to hear about your dog's diagnosis. People are often hesitant to have their dogs undergo chemotherapy -- the use of drugs to destroy cancer cells -- but it can be an effective treatment with fewer side effects than those seen in humans.

Cancer occurs when cells grow uncontrollably, causing abnormal tissue to develop. Chemotherapy drugs affect not only the abnormal and rapidly growing cancer cells, but also other areas of the body that produce normal rapidly growing cells. Think bone marrow, which produces red blood cells; the lining of the intestinal tract, which sheds old cells and generates new ones frequently; and hair, which grows rapidly. That's why people who receive chemotherapy often suffer painful or unsightly side effects such as nausea, diarrhea, hair loss and weakness. The trade-off is that the high doses they receive improve their response to therapy.

The difference in dogs and cats is the amount of chemotherapy that's given. The goal is to provide additional time -- but not at the expense of quality of life. Most pets do not experience serious side effects from the treatment. Sometimes they are tired afterward or may experience nausea. If that happens, the oncologist (cancer specialist) may prescribe Cerenia, a drug that helps with motion sickness in animals and can relieve the nausea and fatigue caused by chemotherapy. Mild gastrointestinal side effects can be managed with a bland diet. And hair loss is rare in dogs.

Depending on the type of cancer and how advanced it is, chemotherapy can decrease tumor size, prolong life and sometimes lead to complete remission. -- Dr. Marty Becker and Kim Campbell Thornton

Do you have a pet question? Send it to or visit


Reduce injury risk

with “pre-hab”

-- Can “pre-hab” help your pet or canine athlete stay in shape and prevent injuries? The concept can benefit animals who are “weekend warriors” -- active only on weekends, for instance -- or who compete in dog sports, says veterinarian Cynthia Maro, who practices in Ellwood City, Pennsylvania. Techniques that can help to condition pets, ward off such injuries as ligament tears and strains, or improve recovery time after injury or surgery include massage, nutraceuticals, acupuncture, rehab exercises, non-weight-bearing exercise on an underwater treadmill, platelet-rich plasma and laser treatments. The preventive treatments may also reduce the effects of degenerative joint diseases such as osteoarthritis, especially in pets starting to age. To implement a plan, consult a veterinarian who is board-certified in animal rehabilitation or sports medicine. More information is available at the American College of Veterinary Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation ( and at the American Association of Rehabilitative Veterinarians (

-- Having recently lost the latest in a long line of beloved animals, I know I’m not alone in hoping that if there’s an afterlife, they’ll be there with me. Because what kind of afterlife would it be without our best friends? Author Allia Zobel Nolan, a longtime cat lover, often mused about the same thing, and it led her to write “Heavenly Headbutts: Reflections of Hope About Cats and Eternity.” In it, she compiles quotes from philosophers, writers, veterinarians, theologians and church leaders -- including two popes and St. Francis -- about the place of animals in the afterlife and why they believe animals will be there. Delightfully illustrated with color photographs of cats, it’s a brief, positive and heartwarming meditation on the place of animals in our lives.

-- Ferret-curious? They are popular pets, but they can be a challenge to live with. Find out more about the special needs of the slinky and clever critters at


Pet Connection is produced by a team of pet care experts. Veterinarian Dr. Marty Becker is founder of the Fear Free organization, co-founder of and author of many best-selling pet care books. Kim Campbell Thornton is an award-winning journalist and author who has been writing about animals since 1985. Mikkel Becker is a behavior consultant and lead animal trainer for Fear Free Pets. Dr. Becker can be found at or on Twitter at DrMartyBecker. Kim Campbell Thornton is at and on Twitter at kkcthornton. Mikkel Becker is at and on Twitter at MikkelBecker.

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What is the best pet insurance for seniors? ›

Other than ASPCA, some of the best pet insurance plans for older pets come from providers like Pets Best Pet Insurance, PetFirst Pet Insurance, and Hartville Pet Insurance. These companies all offer plans for a 14-year-old dog with no pre-existing conditions.

Is there pet insurance for older dogs? ›

Can I get pet insurance for older dogs and cats? Yes, older pets can get insurance, but your insurance premium may be higher compared to what you'd pay with a younger pet. Additionally, some insurance companies may have a maximum age limit for enrollment.

Does pet insurance get more expensive as your dog gets older? ›

Dog insurance costs by age

Generally, older dogs are more expensive to insure because they are more likely to get sick or injured. The graph below shows monthly dog insurance premiums for a German shepherd with a plan with a $250 deductible, 80% reimbursement level and $5,000 annual maximum.

Is pet insurance worth it for a senior cat? ›

Enrolling your older or senior cat in a pet insurance plan is a great way to help support them and help them get essential medical care throughout their golden years. As they face more health challenges, pet insurance can help you pay for eligible veterinary care for accidents & illnesses that they may need.

Can you insure a 12 year old dog? ›

Old age often brings health problems and chronic conditions. If you do need to declare an illness, you still have full control over your payments with a choice of limits and no compulsory excess or co-payment. With no upper age limit, a 10 year old dog or older could be covered.

Is it worth insuring a 13 year old dog? ›

While insurance for an older dog may be pricier than a younger pet, it may be cheaper than any unexpected vet bills, prescription or ongoing treatment. It is always a good idea to be prepared, so ask your vet what type of conditions your breed tends to get when they reach an older age.

At what age does pet insurance stop? ›

This is known as co-insurance and it's a common clause on pet insurance policies once your cat or dog reaches a certain age. That's typically around eight years old for dogs and 10 for cats. You'll be covered for damage to someone else's property or their injury usually after an altercation with a dog.

Should I insure my 10 year old dog? ›

Do I need pet insurance for older dogs? Your dog may seem just as healthy now as when they were a young pup, but just like us, illnesses and health conditions do become more likely as your pet gets older. For this reason, it's always a good idea to take out a pet insurance policy to help cover for unexpected treatment.

Is pet insurance worth it with pre-existing conditions? ›

Even if your dog or cat has a pre-existing condition, that won't exclude you from obtaining pet insurance. The costs of treating that particular issue won't be covered by your new plan, but you can expect coverage for future illnesses and injuries. So pet insurance is still worth it.

How much should you spend on pet insurance dog? ›

Average pet insurance costs

Most pet owners can expect to pay between $20 and $50 per month for an accident and illness plan with decent coverage.

Can Vets recommend pet insurance? ›

Veterinary surgeons and veterinary nurses should not be seen to favour or endorse any insurer unless they are properly authorised by the FCA.

Can I insure my 14 year old cat? ›

Is there an age limit for pet insurance? There isn't an official age limit for insuring your pet.

Can I insure my 13 year old cat? ›

If you stay with the same insurance company, then you may find they will insure your cat throughout their life. We have no upper age limit for insurance, however the excess due on claims will increase after they reach 10 years old.

Can I insure my 15 year old cat? ›

With older cats, the premium may be more expensive than when they were younger, as they're at high risk of developing health issues. You may also find there are more restrictions with your policy, and your cover may not insure your pet for any pre-existing conditions that they developed before you took out the policy.

What are 3 factors that will affect your pet insurance costs? ›

5 factors that affect pet insurance rates
  • Age.
  • Animal type.
  • Breed.
  • Insurance type.
  • Location.
Oct 7, 2022

Is it worth shopping around for pet insurance? ›

In the end, you'll likely pay thousands of dollars for insurance if you maintain the policy over the life of your pet. Remember that these are sample numbers for one pet insurance company in one ZIP code. Your price will vary, so it's worth shopping around.

Is it better to get pet insurance or put money aside? ›

Even if your pet does not have any accidents or illnesses for months, you should continue to save. Without insurance, in the instance that your pet needs emergency surgery, you could owe anywhere from a couple hundred up to a few thousand dollars after just one veterinary visit or one procedure.

Is a 13 year old dog considered old? ›

Small dogs are considered senior citizens of the canine community when they reach 11-12 years of age. Their medium-sized friends become seniors at 10 years of age. Their larger-sized colleagues are seniors at 8 years of age. And, finally, their giant-breed counterparts are seniors at 7 years old.

What is the dog year rule? ›

As a general guideline, though, the American Veterinary Medical Association breaks it down like this: 15 human years equals the first year of a medium-sized dog's life. Year two for a dog equals about nine years for a human. And after that, each human year would be approximately five years for a dog.

What breeds of dogs are hard to insure? ›

These are the most commonly excluded dog breeds according to Policygenius insurance experts:
  • Akitas.
  • Alaskan Malamutes.
  • Any wolf breeds.
  • Chow chows.
  • Doberman pinschers.
  • German shepherds.
  • Great Danes.
  • Pit bulls.
Oct 10, 2022

Is a 15 year old dog considered old? ›

Show respect to your elders — that includes your dog, who at 13 to 15, has officially entered old age. Even if your dog is moving a bit more slowly these days, there are lots of things the two of you can still enjoy together. And there are many things you can do to help ensure she remains in the best health possible.

Should I put my 13 year old dog through surgery? ›

Age is not a disease, and your dog is never “too old” to receive the quality care he or she needs, even if it requires anesthesia and surgery.

Should I tell my home insurance I have a dog? ›

Yes, you should definitely notify your insurer when you get a dog. If you don't let your insurance company know about the dog and it bites someone, your liability claim will likely be denied and the insurance company may even have the grounds to cancel your policy altogether.

What is a lifetime pet policy? ›

What is lifetime pet insurance? Lifetime pet insurance is the most extensive pet insurance cover you can get for your cat or dog. As long as you keep renewing your policy, it'll last for their whole life and pay out for every new condition up to the policy limits each year.

What's the 90 10 rule for dogs? ›

When it comes to where dog's get their daily calories, we recommend following the 90/10 rule: 90% of calories from a complete and balanced diet, 10% from treats! Treats can be considered the splurge, but more often, the actual act of giving a treat means more to the dog than the actual treat itself.

Can I still get pet insurance after diagnosis? ›

Can you get pet insurance after a diagnosis? Yes, you can still get pet insurance to cover future injuries and/or illnesses, depending on your pet insurance coverage type. The policy simply wouldn't cover any pre-existing conditions, diagnosed or not.

Can I take out pet insurance after diagnosis? ›

You can, but most standard insurers won't cover any pre-existing medical conditions. You'll need to find a specialist insurer if you want cover for any medical conditions your pet has. You can still get pet insurance with run-of-the-mill pet insurers.

Will pet insurance go up if I make a claim? ›

Will my pet insurance costs go up if I make a claim? More than likely, yes. Your insurance provider may take the view that if you've made one claim, you're more likely to make another – bumping up your premiums as a result. The same is true if you've had to claim for accidents or for losing your pet.

Which dogs cost most to insure? ›

Expensive dog breeds to insure (and why)
  • Newfoundland: $100.79 per month.
  • Dogue De Bordeaux: $94.19 per month.
  • Jack Russell Terrier: $89.53.
Oct 25, 2022

Does pet insurance cover dental? ›

Does pet insurance cover dental work? Few dog insurance policies include dental work as standard – you'll normally have to pay extra to have it included. But even if you have dental cover for your dog, it's unlikely to cover routine dental treatments like a scale and polish.

What is an annual premium for pet insurance? ›

However, most pet parents can expect to pay between $30 and $50 for dogs and $15 to $30 for cats. Several factors are used to determine your pet insurance premium.

What happens to pet insurance when pet dies? ›

The "Death from Illness or Injury" section of pet insurance, when applicable, typically covers the purchase or donation price of your pet if it dies or has to be put to sleep by a vet as a result of an illness or injury.

What type of dog insurance is best? ›

The best type of dog insurance is Lifetime cover, because these types of policies have limits that renew each year. Renewing limits protect against long-term or recurring conditions over the course of your dog's life. The next best type of cover is usually considered to be Max Benefit.

Why is my pet insurance so expensive? ›

As any animal ages it becomes more likely to suffer an illness and so this is a primary driver of price increases year on year. Most, but not all, insurers work on a model where the price increases as time passes giving them scope to react to vet price increases and manage their overall risk, too.

Is a 15 year old cat a senior? ›

In recent years, feline ages and life-stages have been redefined, cats are considered to be elderly once they reach 11 years with senior cats defined as those aged between 11-14 years and super-senior cats 15 years and upwards.

How old does a cat have to be to be considered a senior? ›

According to the American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP) Senior Care Guidelines, older cats are classified as mature or middle-aged at 7 to 10 years old, as senior cats at 11 to 14 years old, and geriatric from 15 to 25 years old.

Is 70 too old to get a cat? ›

When you're a cat lover, age is not a factor. Whether you are 20 or 80, the soft fur and reassuring purr bring endless joy. So, if you've had cats your entire life, the prospect of living without them is unthinkable.

What is the maximum age for Petplan? ›

Classic and Ultimate policies available for animals from 6 weeks of age and before their 10th birthday for cats, 8th birthday for dogs and 5th birthday for some breeds of dog. Essential has no upper age limit.

Is it worth insuring a 16 year old cat? ›

Some examples of conditions common in senior cats include chronic renal failure, diabetes, and hyperthyroidism. Each of these may require a life-long treatment plan involving daily medications and quarterly re-check appointments. Most veterinarians will recommend having insurance for your pet at any age.

What is the best pet insurance for senior citizens? ›

Other than ASPCA, some of the best pet insurance plans for older pets come from providers like Pets Best Pet Insurance, PetFirst Pet Insurance, and Hartville Pet Insurance. These companies all offer plans for a 14-year-old dog with no pre-existing conditions.

How old is a 15 year old cat in car? ›

Cat Years to Human Years Chart
Cat Years (cat's age according to the calendar)Human Years (cat's age in equivalent human years, based on stage of development/aging)
21 more rows
Dec 21, 2022

Does Petsbest have an age limit? ›

Does Pets Best have any age limits? Pets Best has no upper age limits, so you can insure your dog or cat at any age over 7 weeks. As your pet ages, more medical problems may develop and the need for pet health insurance will likely increase.

Why do vets recommend petplan? ›

We can also pay vets directly. We understand that if your pet is ill or injured it's a worrying time and you don't want to have to find the money to cover the treatment and then wait to be reimbursed- giving you one less thing to worry about and more to spend caring for your pet.

Are pet healthcare plans worth it? ›

We highly recommend getting insurance for all pets to help manage sudden costs should your pet get sick, ensuring they get the best care they can. We also recommend health plans for most pets for a number of reasons.

What credit score do you need for pet credit? ›

To ensure that you'll be accepted for a CareCredit card, pet parents should aim to have a credit score of at least 620 with all three major credit agencies. In some cases, approvals have been made with borrower scores as low as 600, but this is rare.

How can I avoid high vet bills? ›

The best ways to avoid high vet bills is to prevent little issues from becoming big, painful, and expensive issues.
  1. Watch their figure. ...
  2. Regularly check and clear their ears. ...
  3. Good Oral Hygiene = better breath and overall health. ...
  4. Package the necessary vaccinations. ...
  5. Purchase pet insurance.
May 18, 2021

Does Pets Best Insurance require a medical exam? ›

Pet insurance also can't be added immediately, and while Pets Best offers some of the shortest waiting periods in the industry and we don't require an exam to enroll, the earlier you get pet insurance the more likely you'll receive the maximum benefit from it.


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