When you bring a new dog into your home, every pet parent wants to give them the best care possible to ensure a long and healthy life. So we take our dogs for regular veterinary visits, exercise our pups, and feed them a high-quality diet.
However, even if you do everything recommended to keep your dog healthy, accidents and illnesses may occur. And as your dog ages, they will face an increased risk of developing age-related medical conditions that could require some type of medical treatment.
Given the increasing price of veterinary care, such developments often cost pet parents more than they expect. If your dog injures a paw, for example, it could cost you up to $3,000 in medical bills. And this is just for one paw! If your pet requires an overnight hospital stay, that could run you $5,000 or more.
Not only do pet parents often face the stress of caring for a sick or injured dog, footing the bill for unexpected pet health care costs often proves to be a stressful financial burden, too. That’s one of many reasons more dog parents are turning to pet insurance companies for help managing pet health care expenses than ever before.
According to a North American Pet Health Insurance Association report, in the United States alone, the number of dogs covered by health insurance jumped a whopping 22 percent in 2020…a far bigger increase than any previous year.
How Much Is Pet Insurance for Dogs?
So how much will it cost you to insure your dog? That’s the biggest question most pet parents have about pet health insurance. Though health care for dogs can be expensive, it’s important to make sure the monthly cost of insurance fits in your budget, too. Luckily, there are many pet health insurance providers to choose from, with plans to fit just about any budget.
On average, the cost of pet health insurance for dogs can be as low as $10 a month to $100 or more a month. The reason there’s such a broad range is that pet health insurance costs vary widely based on each dog’s unique profile. Certain factors can increase or decrease the amount you’ll pay for coverage, including your dog’s breed, age, and whether they’ve been diagnosed with any specific illnesses or conditions before you apply for pet health insurance coverage.
For example, a purebred dog like a Bulldog would be more expensive to insure than a mixed-breed dog. That’s because some breeds are predisposed to hereditary health problems, which can require more frequent visits to the veterinarian and increased care costs.
Most pet insurance companies will not insure a dog with preexisting conditions. So it’s a good idea to insure your dog when they’re still a puppy. The monthly premiums are often less expensive for younger dogs, and it’s a good way to secure coverage before any age-related conditions develop.
The cost of dog health insurance plans can also vary depending on the plan you choose and where you live. In a city like Los Angeles, it would be more expensive to insure your dog than if you lived in a rural town in Minnesota.
The other factors that affect the price of your insurance policy are the type of coverage you choose, the premiums, the deductible, reimbursement, and payout limits. Most dog owners start with a comprehensive coverage option because that covers almost all accidents, illnesses, and medical bills. But you can reduce the cost of pet insurance for your dog by selecting a policy that doesn’t cover as much. Or, you can opt for a higher deductible to lower your monthly premium. But keep in mind that means you will pay more out of pocket until you meet your deductible and the insurance coverage kicks in.
Is Pet Insurance Worth It for a Dog?
In the eyes of some pet parents, pet insurance for dogs might seem like an unnecessary expense. After all, if you have a healthy dog, there could be months where you do not need to visit the veterinarian, yet you’d still be paying the monthly premium.
However, that logic falls apart the minute a dog experiences an unexpected (and costly) accident or illness. Then all those monthly premiums are well worth the expense if insurance can help shoulder the burden of your pet’s veterinary bills.
You never want to wait until you need pet health insurance to get it. If you do, you’re likely to pay more for the coverage than you would have before your pet’s accident, injury, or illness. And even if you do end up paying more, think of it as an investment in your dog’s health and your own peace of mind. You always want to know that you have the resources to help pay for the care that your dog needs, and pet health insurance delivers just that.
How to Compare Pet Insurance Plans for Dogs
Once you’ve decided to invest in a pet health insurance policy for your dog, it’s important to do your homework and carefully research providers before requesting a quote from two to three of your top picks.
Start your research by asking friends and family to see if anyone has first-hand experience working with a reputable pet health insurance provider. Also, research companies online and check reviews. What you’re looking for is a company with a good reputation, satisfied customers, and a policy of reimbursing policyholders for medical expenses promptly.
Next, make sure that the companies on your shortlist provide the kind of pet health insurance coverage you’re looking for. Be sure to read the fine print if coverage for specific conditions is a must. Most insurance plans will cover a wide variety of health issues, but certain breeds require different coverage.
For example, if you have a Labrador Retriever, they are predisposed to hip issues and can develop hip dysplasia later in life. Therefore, you should make sure you choose a provider that covers hip and joint issues and confirm that all breeds are eligible.
If you have any questions about the coverage, call the company and they should be able to walk you through the best coverage for your dog and answer all your questions.
Best Pet Insurance for Dogs: 9 Plans to Consider
To help you get a head start on your research, we’ve compiled a list of top providers for you to consider when shopping around for pet health insurance. We considered a number of factors, including providers with the best prices, levels of coverage, benefit limits, customer reviews, and more.
The monthly premiums listed are what the average dog pet health insurance policyholder would pay. Actual premiums will vary depending on the age of your dog, breed, where you live, and the plan you choose.
All featured products are chosen at the discretion of the author. However, Great Pet Care may make a small affiliate commission if you click through and make a purchase.
Best Overall Pet Insurance for Dogs
Our pick: Spot Pet Insurance
Spot Pet Insurance is a relative newcomer to the pet insurance industry. The company launched in 2019 with pet insurance plans that soon started generating a lot of buzz. What sets Spot apart from the others is that they offer extremely customizable, affordable plans for all dogs. Further, they are the only pet insurance provider endorsed by Cesar Milan!
Spot Pet Insurance also offers an extremely comprehensive accident and illness policy, as well as an accident-only policy. There is no maximum age limit on their pet insurance policies, which is great news for parents of senior dogs. You can also add competitively priced preventative care and wellness to your insurance plan for an additional fee.
The average price for a dog on Spot Pet Insurance is $40 a month, though costs vary depending on the plan and options you choose. You can customize your plan by choosing a deductible level ranging from $100 to $1,000 and a reimbursement percentage of 70, 80, or 90 percent. Benefit limitations are also customizable ranging from $2,500 to unlimited. Spot is one of the few providers that offer unlimited payouts.
Online reviews for Spot Pet Insurance are very positive, and members commend their great customer service, customizable pricing, and speedy claims reimbursement.
- Recommended by Cesar Milan.
- Affordable, customizable options.
- Training articles from renowned dog behaviorists.
- A 30-day guarantee and the ability to cancel anytime.
- 10 percent multi-pet discounts as well as a 24/7 vet hotline.
- Coverage for alternative therapies such as acupuncture.
- A $25 Amazon gift card when you sign up!
Things to Consider
- There is a 14-day waiting period for accident coverage, whereas some other plans cover accidents in a few days.
- If a dog has a knee injury before enrolling in their plan, Spot won’t cover the other leg if another injury occurs.
Best Affordable Pet Insurance for Dogs
Our pick: Lemonade
Lemonade is also one of the newer pet insurance providers in the market. Though known for renters and homeowners insurance, the company soon made a splash in the pet insurance space after launching their first pet insurance plans in 2020.
Lemonade boasts a hassle-free digital experience and fast claim payments powered by AI. This makes signing up and getting reimbursed a seamless experience.
Lemonade’s pet insurance plans for dogs can start as low as $10 a month. However, that amount may vary based on the plan you choose, where you live, and your dog’s breed and age. You can choose a deductible option of $100, $250, or $500 a month and a reimbursement rate of 70, 80, or 90 percent. Benefit limitations range from $5,000 to $100,000.
Lemonade’s basic accident and illness policy will provide coverage for your dog’s treatment and medical care if he gets sick or hurt. This includes:
- Diagnostics: Blood tests, X-rays, MRIs, CT scans, and lab work
- Procedures: Outpatient, specialty and emergency care, hospitalization, and surgery
- Medications: Injections or prescription medications
At an additional cost, the company also offers an extended accident and illness policy to cover most rehabilitative procedures, as well as a preventative package, which includes wellness checkups, fecal tests, heartworm tests, vaccinations, etc.
Once you activate your policy, there is a short waiting period until your pet is eligible for reimbursement on specific conditions, but after that, Lemonade is known for paying claims very quickly.
- Policies starting as low as $10 a month.
- Easy sign-up process.
- There are no lifetime payout limits on some of its plans.
- Claims are reimbursed quickly.
- There’s a 10 percent discount if you bundle a home insurance policy with your plan; 5 percent discount if you insure more than one pet.
- Everything from sign-up to making a claim can be done through Lemonade’s mobile app.
Things to Consider
- Pet insurance coverage is not yet available in every state.
- Older dogs of certain breeds might not be covered.
- The preventative coverage option is not as comprehensive as some of the other providers on our list.
Best Pet Insurance for Rescue Dogs
Our pick: Healthy Paws
Healthy Paws is one of the more popular pet insurance companies and has been in business since 2009. They are often ranked in the top five best pet insurance companies annually.
Healthy Paws offers unlimited benefits on all of their plans, which is very rare in the pet insurance marketplace. When you rescue a dog and aren’t sure of the dog’s breed or origin, having unlimited benefits can save you a lot of money on pet health payments if an unexpected medical condition arises.
The average cost for a dog on Healthy Paws insurance is $35 a month, though a variety of factors can affect your monthly premiums. Healthy Paws offers deductible options of $100, $250, or $500, and reimbursement rates of 70, 80, or 90 percent. The higher deductible that you choose, the lower your premium will be on your vet bills. The best perk about Healthy Paws is that they offer unlimited benefits for all of their plans! This isn’t just annual but for the lifetime of your pet.
Healthy Paws reimburses its members on the actual vet bill and claims are processed within 30 days. All claims can be processed through their online portal or app.
- Great customer reviews.
- Unlimited benefits on all of their plans.
- Comprehensive offerings.
- No restrictions for hereditary/congenital conditions.
- Offers alternative therapy treatments.
Things to Consider
- No wellness program option.
- Dogs older than 13 are not covered.
Best Pet Insurance for Large Breed Dogs
Our pick: Figo
Figo has emerged as one of the more popular pet insurance companies among tech-savvy pet parents. Figo started selling policies in 2012 and is a part of Google’s Tech Hub Network, which offers a range of convenient, tech-enhanced benefits.
Figo is one of the few providers that offer a paperless claim process. Figo’s Pet Cloud, their mobile app, makes covering a claim quick and efficient. You can upload your pets’ medical records on their app and get customer service questions answered. Pet Cloud can also send you reminders about upcoming veterinary appointments and even connect with other pet owners that are nearby or on their network.
Figo does not offer a wellness program option, but they do offer alternative therapies and reimbursement for annual vet visits. This can be a great option for large breed dogs who can benefit from acupuncture, hydrotherapy, and other alternative therapy options.
Another stand-out perk: As part of their top-tier plan, Figo offers a lost pet reward if your pet ever gets lost.
Figo’s prices are a little higher than most; their average premium for dogs is approximately $48 a month. You can choose a range of different deductibles from $50 to $500 and reimbursement rates of 70, 80, 90, or even 100 percent — Figo is one of the only pet insurance providers that offers a 100 percent reimbursement option. They also give you several benefit limit options: $10,000, $14,000, and unlimited…with the no-cap option only offered in the most expensive plan.
Figo’s claims are typically processed in a few days and reimbursed immediately if you have signed up for direct deposit.
- Geared toward the tech-savvy.
- 100% reimbursement rate option.
- No deductible or co-pay for lifesaving care.
- There is no upper age limit.
Things to Consider:
- More expensive than most other providers.
- The unlimited benefits option is only available on their most expensive plan.
Best Pet Insurance for Purebred Dogs
Our pick: Embrace Pet Insurance
Embrace pet insurance has top customer reviews and an A rating from the Better Business Bureau. They were founded in 2003 and are always mentioned among the best pet insurance providers.
What makes Embrace unique is they offer alternative therapies as well as prosthetics even in their most basic plan. Their wellness plans include spaying and neutering, dental visits, annual vet visits, and other wellness options. Embrace also covers hereditary and congenital conditions with no per-incident or per-condition limits at no added cost. That’s what makes Embrace a great choice for purebred dogs, especially those at risk of developing breed-specific congenital conditions.
The average Embrace premium for dogs is approximately $35 a month. Wellness plans with a stipend of $250 to $650 can be added for $18 to $59 a month. Embrace offers deductible choices of either $200, $300, $500, $750, or $1,000 and reimbursement choices of 65, 70, 80, or 90 percent. Embrace gives you a few choices of annual benefit limits that range from $5,000 to $30,000. You can also opt for unlimited benefits, but only when enrolling over the phone.
Embrace’s claim process is easy and can be done through their MyEmbrace online account. They also have a 24/7 pet helpline where you can get advice any time from a vet in real time!
- Flexible plans.
- $50 off the next policy year for a healthy pet.
- Well-rounded coverage.
- Wellness plan options for an additional cost.
- Have access to a 24/7 pet helpline.
Things to Consider:
- More expensive than other providers.
Best Pet Insurance for Older Dogs
Our pick: Pets Best
Pets Best has been in business since 2005 and is a well-known customer favorite. They also have an A rating from the Better Business Bureau.
The average premium for dogs is approximately $30 a month. Pets Best offers two wellness program options that can be added to their basic plan for an additional $16 a month. They also cover alternative therapies, but only on their top-tier plan. And there is no upper age limit for dogs!
Pets Best offers per-incident deductible choices from $50 to $1,000 and reimbursement options of 70, 80, and 90 percent. You can choose a basic plan with a $5,000 benefit limit all the way up to unlimited benefits on their Elite plan. Keep in mind: $5,000 is a pretty low limit considering an injured or sick pet can rack that up in just one hospital visit.
Pet’s Best claims can be uploaded on their site or their mobile app and are typically reimbursed quickly and within five days. They also have a 24/7 pet helpline with questions about your pet, which is a nice addition.
- Offers wellness programs at an additional cost.
- Three different choice plans from an inexpensive accident-only plan to their pricey Elite plan.
- Low premiums.
- 24/7 vet help hotline.
- No age limits on dogs.
Things to Consider:
- Their basic plan has a low $5,000 cap on benefits.
Best Multi-Pet Insurance for Dogs
Our pick: ASPCA
Founded in 1866, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) has a long history of protecting the interests of animals. And in 2006, the organization extended those services to include pet insurance policies for cats and dogs.
ASPCA’s coverage varies depending on the plan that you choose. The average premium for dogs is approximately $40 a month for their most comprehensive plan. If you have more than one pet, you can save 10 percent off the base plan premium for each additional pet that you insure. That makes ASPCA pet insurance a great choice for multi-pet households…over a year, those premium savings really add up!
ASPCA offers four different plan options. Level One is a basic accident-only plan. Level Two covers accidents and illnesses. Level Three covers hereditary and congenital conditions, alternative therapies, and even behavioral issues. And their Complete Coverage plan offers the most comprehensive coverage, with no incident caps or separate limits on hereditary and congenital conditions.
ASPCA offers three deductible choices of $100, $250, and $500, as well as reimbursement options of 70, 80, or 90 percent. The more basic plans have a per-incident benefit limit, which means that there is a cap on each new accident, illness, or ailment. This can be problematic if your pet has a chronic disease such as cancer that needs continuous treatment.
ASPCA claims can be processed via fax, mail, or online. The typical reimbursement time is two weeks.
- Four different coverage plans.
- No waiting period for coverage.
- 30-day money back guarantee.
- 10 percent discount on each pet you enroll.
Things to Consider:
- Their per-incident limit on basic plans is too low for dogs with long-term illnesses.
- Their premiums are slightly higher than others in the market.
Best Pet Insurance for Dogs with Pre-Existing Conditions
Our pick: 24PetWatch
24PetWatch offers dog insurance with flexible and affordable plans. We like that due to the very extensive accident and illness coverage, it can be a great option for dogs with pre-existing conditions.
Further, because they offer a per-incident coverage option, dogs with pre-existing conditions can get other conditions covered that were not existing prior to signing up. Plus, additional coverage applies to such things as boarding, trip cancellation, and lost pet recovery costs.
24PetWatch offers a few different plans and deductible options:
- The Extra Plan offers deductibles of $100 or $250 and up to $3,000 of annual payouts.
- The Classic Plan has deductible choices of $100, $250, or $500 and up to $5,000 annual payouts.
- The Super Plan has deductible choices of $100, $250, $500, or $1,000 and up to $10,000 in annual payouts.
- The Champion Plan has deductible choices of $100, $250, $500, or $1,000 and up to $20,000 in annual payouts.
Of course, the coverage you choose will affect the monthly premium rates. However, the average monthly premium for dogs is approximately $40 a month.
- The different coverage options offer a lot of flexibility.
- There is extensive coverage for accidents and illnesses.
- Getting quotes and claims repaid are very simple and efficient.
- The payout is based on the actual vet bill.
Things to Consider:
- The pricing is a bit higher than most due to the limitations of coverage.
- Dogs only up to 11 years old can be insured.
Best Pet Insurance for Small Dogs
Our pick: Pumpkin Pet Insurance
Pumpkin Pet Insurance is our choice for the best provider for small dogs because their monthly premiums are very reasonable. And since smaller dogs are, in general, less likely to rack up expensive medical care bills than larger dogs, budget-friendly Pumpkin insurance is a great pick. A Pumpkin pet insurance plan can help you keep your dog covered against unexpected accidents and illnesses without breaking the bank.
Pumpkin is another relatively new provider of pet insurance as it started to offer policies in 2019.
Their coverage includes the standard services most insurers cover. Similar to most, dental illness is covered but not dental cleaning. Though they offer a preventative care package for vaccinations, dental cleanings, and testing for parasites.
The average monthly premium for dogs is $45 for dogs. Pumpkin offers deductible options of $100, $250, or $500. The only reimbursement option available is for 90 percent. And their annual payout limit options are either $10,000 or $20,000 for dogs.
- Package tailored for puppies is very affordable.
- Multi-pet discount.
- Covers chronic conditions and dental disease.
Things to Consider:
- Only two annual coverage limits.
- Only one reimbursement choice.
Of course, the best pet insurance for your dog depends on the dog’s breed, your budget, and what each provider offers. Make sure to get a quote from at least two to three different pet insurance companies to find the best pet insurance for your dog.