The big question: get insurance or not?

When you get your brand new dog, because no matter it’s age the animal is new to you, you very quickly learn that it doesn’t come free of costs.  There’s of course food, bedding, various other gear such as leashes and toys (you can spend a fortune right there!) and then there’s the vet.


Yes!  If only for vaccinations you have to spend money for his/her health.  As long as it’s healthy the costs are pretty reasonable and things go well.  You think about possible illness and emergencies but look at the cost of insurance and think, hmmm maybe if I put a the equivalent amount in the bank each month hopefully I’ll save some money and will be able to cover the costs if he’s ill.

Well, I can tell you from personal experience that it’s not that easy.  One of my previous uninsured dogs was diagnosed with aggressive nose cancer and my wife and me were listening to the vet explain the various options.  Long story short, all of these options were expensive, starting at around $3000 and going up to much much more for specialist intervention.

Let me tell you, if you love you dog just a little bit you’re going to go through a very difficult period trying to decide between taking a chance on a treatment the doctor cannot guarantee will work and near bankruptcy.

In our case the scenario turned out not too bad, we ended up spending more than $3000 for an operation that removed the tumor and the dog lived happily till it died of old age 6 years later.

Of course our budget took a serious nose dive and it took us more than a year to recover financially.

So I can tell you than now, our dog is insured and going to the vet is not the double trauma of worrying about the dog’s health and our budget.  Our deductible is $200, so far we’ve had Lego for 2 years and the insurance has never paid a cent.  But at least we go to the vet without looking down the cliff of bankruptcy.

It’s a high cost to pay I readily admit it, but the peace of mind it buys is more than worth it for us.