Pet Insurance: When is the Best Time to Insure My Dog?


You should never put off buying pet insurance. How many horror stories have you heard about pet owners having to pay thousands of dollars for their pets’ surgeries in old age? Some pet owners even launch crowdfunding for their pets because they couldn’t afford the upkeep anymore. Then, some stories truly break your heart—of owners abandoning their senior dogs at a shelter because their maintenance costs keep rising as they grow old.

You have to be a responsible pet owner and get pet insurance as soon as you buy or adopt your pet. The insurance protects you from all sorts of financial pitfalls associated with taking care of an ailing old dog. Plenty of pet parents think their four-month-old pets are too young for insurance. The truth is that the perfect time to get pet insurance is now when they are young and free from illnesses.

The earlier you can get pet insurance, the more protection it can offer. But before you go and sign the first policy presented to you, check out Lemonade pet insurance reviews to know what you should look for and what kind of protection your pets needs.

The Sooner, the Better

You need to buy pet insurance the moment you take home your pet. At the very least, get one six months after adopting a new dog or cat. The reason for this is simple: no pet insurance covers pre-existing conditions. You will end up paying more—even if you already have a policy—if you buy at the wrong time.

For example, if you bought the pet insurance in your pet’s third year, the policy will not cover any illnesses that developed when it was three years old. The problem here is that statistics have already shown that dogs will show signs of gum diseases before they turn three. With dental services for pets costing a minimum of $1,000, that pet insurance for $50 a month sounds cheap.

Policies for Younger Pets are Cheaper

Pet insurance policies for puppies and kittens are cheaper than those for senior pets. Sure, you can still get pet insurance for your seven-year-old dog, but that means possibly shouldering higher copayments when it needs the vet. The average cost of pet insurance is between $30 and $50, though some policies can be as expensive as $100 a month because of the coverage.

You can get discounts when you renew the pet insurance regularly rather than buy a new one in the seventh year. Pet insurance plans work almost the same way as life insurance policies. You can lock the base premium at a lower price when you sign up earlier.

Common Pre-existing Conditions of Pets

Almost all pets will suffer from arthritis at some point in their lives. However, arthritis can also lead to joint problems that cost thousands of dollars to treat and manage. What are the other pre-existing conditions in pets not usually covered by pet insurance?

Hearing and vision loss
Dementia and cognitive dysfunction
Heart problems
Gastrointestinal issues
Kidney issues

There are also breed-specific diseases that they develop over time. Labradors often suffer from ACL tears while Golden Retrievers are unfortunately prone to cancer. Over time, Dalmatians develop bladder stones and Boxers get mass cell tumors. These breed-specific diseases may or may not appear early in the dog’s life, so it is impossible to foretell when they might need surgery.

Get pet insurance as early as you can. If you can adopt a pet, you should be responsible enough to pay for its insurance every month. You need to choose a policy that covers most of the common illnesses and diseases associated with your pet’s breed. Make sure to read the fine print of the policy so you know where you stand when you’re about to make a claim.