Best Pet Insurance for Older Dogs and Seniors

Best Pet Insurance for Older Dogs

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Best Orthopedic Dog Beds: Winners

  • Overall Best Pet Insurance for Older DogsEmbrace
  • Best Insurance for Older Dogs without Pre-Existing ConditionsPetplan
  • Best Budget Pet InsurancePets Best
  • Most Flexible Pet InsurancePetFirst
  • Best Insurance for Older Dogs with Pre-Existing ConditionsPet Assure

While out and about the other day, an acquaintance asked me about pet insurance for their newly adopted senior dog.

Initially, they had assumed that pet insurance for old dogs wasn’t something that existed.

So when they brought it up, it was more of a joke until I told them that several pet insurance groups were willing to insure seniors.

Many dog parents consider pet insurance for puppies, but most people don’t know that pet insurance is available for older dogs.

Without too many pre-existing conditions, older dogs won’t have any issues finding a suitable pet insurance plan at a reasonable cost.

Some of the best pet insurance for older dogs include accident and illness plans; however, many include wellness plans too.

Most pet insurance companies allow people to customize their policy’s limits to ensure it fits within their budget.

Why Should You Get Health Insurance for Your Older Dog?

Having had pet insurance for all of my dogs, I can say that I have gotten the most use out of it after my dogs hit their senior years.

Seniors are just as prone as adult dogs to have accidents, sometimes even more so with declined senses such as sight and hearing.

Plus, senior illnesses are relatively common if not expected, which pet insurance can help lower the overall cost.

Benefits of Pet Insurance for Older dogs

Benefits of Pet Insurance

The Unexpected

The number one reason why pet insurance is beneficial is that it helps offset unexpected vet bills.

Surprise vet bills for illness, disease, or injuries can add up and force many pet parents to make some pretty unfavorable decisions, like economic euthanasia.

Economic euthanasia is far more common than we would like to think, but when it comes down to paying your bills or getting treatment for your pet, vet care is sometimes outside the budget[1].

Accidents can happen, and when they do, it is not always when it’s financially convenient.

For example, in just six weeks, we had four emergency clinic visits that cost more than $5,000, but because of insurance, approximately 40+% of that was covered, which was a huge financial relief.

Focusing on What is Important

Finances are without a doubt important, but if you are already dealing with the stress of your dog being sick or hurt, you don’t need to have the added worry of how or if you can pay for their care.

Peace of mind is frequently overlooked when dog owners are considering pet insurance.

However, knowing you don’t have to worry about how you will pay for treatment is truly priceless.

Speaking from personal experience, when my dog Daisy was a senior, she had a major stroke and needed an MRI plus round the clock care.

Needless to say, my stress levels were through the roof, but not having to deal with financial stress on top of that really allowed me to stay focused on taking care of Daisy.

Expanding Healthcare Options

If your care options are limited due to finances, you may be unable to provide the care your dog needs.

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But if you know insurance will help cover the expenses associated with the testing and treatment, you will have far more options to choose from.

Wellness

Not all pet insurance companies offer wellness plans, and for some, it isn’t necessary.

But for those who opt to add a wellness and preventative care add-on to their policy, you can receive reimbursements for wellness care and treatments.

Though each of the companies has different plans, some will help with grooming costs, monthly preventatives like flea and tick medicine, and vaccines.

Common Health Issues for Older Dogs

Numerous health issues can impact older dogs. Below are some of the most common issues seen in our seniors.

Here are some of the average costs for testing and treatments, though pricing may vary based on the dog’s size, where you live, and the severity of the disease:

  • Cardiomyopathy[2] – Testing: $500-$600 and Treatment: Medication cost is minimal
  • Chronic Kidney Disease[3] – Testing: $200-$750 and Treatment: $100 – $500 per month
  • Arthritis[4] – Testing: $150 – $250 and Treatment: $324 per year
  • Diabetes[5] – Testing: $100 – $200 and Treatment: $40-$200 per month
  • Lymphoma[6,7] – Testing: $500 and Treatment: $5000-$10,000+
  • Dental Disease[8] – Overall cost for Treatment: $1,942
  • Vestibular Syndrome[9]: $508.68 per visit
  • Dementia/Cognitive Dysfunction: Monthly Treatment: $60+

How Much Does Pet Insurance for Older Dogs Cost?

There is no one answer to that question.

Prices are based on several factors, such as:

  • Dog’s breed
  • Age
  • Where you live
  • Coverage limits like deductible, reimbursement percentage, and reimbursement limits
  • Type of coverage like accident only, accident and illness, and wellness add-ons
  • Insurance company

Below in the Best Pet Insurance Plans for Older Dogs section, the average monthly deductible ranges are listed so you can have a fair idea of what to expect.

Related: Best Pet Insurance for German Shepherds

Is Pet Insurance Worth It for an Older Dog?

That’s debatable.

If you have an older dog with several pre-existing conditions like Sophie, who has allergies, chronic pancreatitis, urinary incontinence, mild cognitive dysfunction, arthritis, and Cushings disease, then the answer might be no.

However, if you have a healthy older dog, with no or few pre-existing conditions, then considering a pet care plan may be best.

Spoiler Alert: There is a pet care plan below that is an excellent option for dogs with pre-existing medical conditions.

Best Pet Insurance Plans for Older Dogs

Here are some of the best pet insurance companies for older dogs, including various options such as pricing, coverage, and exclusions.

All of the pricing listed below is based on a 9-year-old Goldendoodle living in Minnesota.

And the deductible range is based on the lowest to the highest customizable policy reimbursement options.

Wellness and preventative add on coverage are not included in the price ranges below.

Overall Best Pet Insurance for Older Dogs

Embrace Dog Insurance

Embrace

Embrace was founded in 2003 and has been a reliable pet insurance company that offers a flexible policy for all ages and dog breeds, plus a wellness plan.

Get Quote

  • Age Limit: None
  • Policy Options: Accident and Illness Plan, Wellness Rewards for Routine Care
  • Premium Range: $26.25 – $102.01 per month
  • Medical Exam Required: Must be done within 14 days or the last 12 months of the start date
Discounts
  • Healthy pet deductible – The annual deductible is lowered each year you don’t submit a claim
  • Multi-pet discount
  • Military discount
  • Employee discount – This is not just with Embrace; check with your company’s HR department to see if you qualify
Exclusions
  • Routine care (unless you carry the wellness policy)
    Pre-existing conditions
  • Breeding, whelping, and pregnancy
  • Injury caused deliberately by you or any other person residing in your home, cruelty, neglect, or dog fighting
  • DNA testing or cloning
  • Cosmetic procedures
Waiting Periods
  • 14-day waiting period for illnesses
  • 48 hours for accidents
  • 6 months for orthopedic conditions unless you choose to have an orthopedic exam done
Verdict

Embrace’s plans are comprehensive and will cover your senior minus any of their exclusions, at an affordable price.

Plus, if your older dog stays healthy all year, you can expect to see a discount on your deductible.

Read our full Embrace Review

Best Insurance for Older Dogs without Pre-Existing Conditions

Petplan pet Insurance

Petplan

Petplan was founded by a British couple living in the US, whose cat became very ill, and vet bills went through the roof.

After their very costly ordeal, the two set out to help ensure other pet parents wouldn’t face the same financial hardships they dealt with when getting their cat the proper medical care.

Pet Plan has a conventional pet insurance plan offering up to an 80% reimbursement.

Get Quote

  • Age Limit: None
  • Policy Options: There is only one plan which covers accidents, injuries, illness, and disease. It covers diagnostics, exams, surgeries, medication, holistic therapies, and more.Tick
  • Premium Range: $85.99 – $323.04 per month
  • Medical Exam Required: Must be done 6 months before or 30 days after the effective policy date
Discounts
  • Registered medical service pets
  • Active military personnel
  • Veterans
  • 30% savings for healthy pets
Exclusions
  • Cosmetic procedures
  • Liability coverage
  • Pre-existing conditions
  • Preventative and wellness care
  • Routine dental care
Waiting Periods
  • 15 days for illness or injury
  • Six months for hip dysplasia and cruciate and patellas – This can be shortened if you have an orthopedic exam completed within 14 days of the start of your policy
Verdict

Petplan offers a lot of discounts and would be an excellent choice for, say, a service animal with no pre-existing conditions.

Read our full Petplan Review

Best Budget Pet Insurance

Pets Best Dog Insurance

Pets Best

Pets Best is both a leader and pioneer in the pet insurance industry. It was one of the only pet insurance companies available when it opened in 1981.

Pets Best offers a variety of flexible plans.

Get Quote

  • Age Limit: None
  • Policy Options: Accident, Accident and Illness, and Wellness
  • Premium Range: Insurance for seniors start as low as $9/month for accident only coverage
  • Medical Exam Required: Not required
Discounts
  • Pet services and products
  • Multi-pet households
  • Dogs adopted from shelters.
  • Shelter staff, including volunteers
Waiting Periods
  • 3 days for accidents
  • 14 days for illnesses
  • 6 months for Cruciate ligament conditions

Exclusions
  • Pre-existing
  • Elective or preventative procedures
  • Parasites
  • Non-vet expenses like food, vitamins, and supplements
  • Herbal, holistic, and experimental therapies and medications
Verdict

Pets Best is an economic option, especially for those looking for an accident-only plan.

Read our full Pets Best Review

Most Flexible Pet Insurance

PetFirst Dog Insurance

PetFirst

PetFirst was founded in 2004 and is currently owned by Metlife.

PetFirst offers various flexible plans.

Unlike many pet insurance companies, PetFirst reimburses based on what you paid and not on the local or national average cost.

Get Quote

  • Age Limit: None
  • Policy Options: Accident and Illness, Routine Care Coverage
  • Premium Range: $32.37 – $152.39 per month
  • Medical Exam Required: PetFirst asks for the previous 12-months of vet records when you submit your first claim.
Discounts
  • Animal caretakers such as vets and shelter staff
  • Internet discount
Waiting Periods
  • Accident coverage starts at midnight EST the day of enrollment 
  • 14 days for Illness coverage
  • 6 months for orthopedic conditions
Exclusions
  • Pre-existing conditions
  • Grooming costs and bathing, including medicated baths
  • Elective procedures
  • Expression or removal of anal glands or anal sacculitis
  • Breeding or conditions related to breeding
  • Pet food, special diet, vitamins, mineral supplements
  • Routine wellness and preventative care, behavior training
  • Parasite prevention and parasite treatment
  • Illness or injury which arises out of racing, coursing, commercial guarding, or organized fighting of your pet
  • Organ transplants
Verdict

PetFirst is a flexible and economical pet insurance company.

Their wait time for accidents is one of the shortest on the list, and the accident and illness coverage for older dogs starts at less than $40 a month.

Read our full Petfirst Review

Best Insurance for Older Dogs with Pre-Existing Conditions

Pet Assure best insurance for older dogs seniors

Pet Assure

Pet Assure was founded in 1995. They refer to their service as a veterinary plan and not a pet insurance policy. Pet Assure’s plans are unlike any other pet insurance program on the market.

Pet Assure uses a veterinary network instead of their clients choosing any clinic.

However, when you visit one of the in-network clinics, you pay the discounted rate upfront instead of filing a claim and waiting for reimbursement.

And that is not the only benefit; PetFirst does not have the limitations common to traditional pet insurance companies like waiting periods or maximum payout amounts. Best of all, this is a deductible free plan.

Finally, you pay the same premium regardless of your dog’s breed, age, or any pre-existing health conditions.

Get Quote

  • Age Limit: None
  • Policy Options: One policy that covers all accidents, illness, and wellness care. This plan covers surgeries, hospitalization, screening, vaccines, and more.
  • Premium Range: $8.25 – $11.95 per month – price varies based on how you pay
  • Medical Exam Required: None
Discounts
  • Discounted rate if you pay for 12 months at a time
Exclusions
Waiting Periods
  • None!
Verdict

There is a reason Pet Assure is one of the nation’s top pet care plan companies. They offer significantly reduced rates with no limitations on your dog’s health, breed, or age.

They have vet clinics in their network all over the country, including some mobile vet hospitals too.

And all veterinary costs are discounted at a flat 25% regardless of the type of medical care needed.

For example, if your dog needs x-rays and it costs $120, you will automatically receive $30 off and only pay the clinic $90.

So, when you sign up with Pet Assure, you never have to guess how much they will cover.

If you are looking for a plan for seniors with pre-existing conditions, this is the plan for you.

Conclusion

I think that pet insurance is one of the best things pet parents can do to help ensure they can provide the care their dog needs at any age.

Some may think that pet insurance for older dogs is a waste or would be cost-prohibitive, I can assure you that is far from the truth.

Every imaginable plan is available, including one that covers pre-existing conditions for as low as $8.25 a month, and anyone who has a dog could afford that monthly fee.

Today’s dogs receive some of the best care in the history of pets.

We have supplements, specialty foods, daycares, and more, all of which help extend their lives.

With dogs living longer, it is all the more essential we are financially able to provide them with the proper medical care during their golden years.

Resources

  1. https://www.hsvma.org/economic_euthanasia_disease_in_need_of_prevention
  2. https://www.embracepetinsurance.com/health/cardiomyopathy/
  3. https://www.embracepetinsurance.com/health/chronic-kidney-failure-in-dogs
  4. https://www.cnbc.com/2018/04/09/common–and-costly–conditions-that-can-send-your-pet-to-the-vet.html
  5. https://www.petmd.com/dog/care/diabetes-dogs-what-you-need-know
  6. https://www.aaha.org/your-pet/pet-owner-education/ask-aaha/canine-cancer/
  7. https://www.embracepetinsurance.com/health/lymphoma
  8. https://www.pumpkin.care/blog/do-older-pets-need-health-insurance/
  9. https://www.petfirst.com/pet-insurance/dog-insurance/
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