When we’re talking about pet insurance, preventative care describes treatments, services, or procedures that promote your pet’s health and maintain their general wellness, while helping to prevent accidents or illnesses.
What is preventative care for a dog or cat?
Preventative care for your pet includes a wellness visit, which gives your vet the chance to screen for things like parasites or heartworm, or identify any early-stage health issues.
There are also proactive treatments, procedures, and prophylactics (like vaccines, flea and tick medication, heartworm prevention, and dental cleanings) that can help keep your pet from getting sick in the future. These tend to save you money in the long run, since reactive treatments are usually more expensive than proactive ones.
Wellness exams also allow your veterinarian to monitor your pet’s diet, their physical activity, their weight, and more. But keep in mind that not all treatments that promote your pet’s health will be covered by your pet health insurance.
What do pet wellness plans cover?
A basic pet insurance policy will help cover the costs of emergency care and standard treatments for your pets, but most insurance plans don’t include preventative and wellness care in a base policy.
Certain pet insurance companies will give you the option to include add-ons that help reimburse you for the costs of some routine care. You’re probably already paying more for your pet’s medical care and annual wellness visits than a preventative add-on would cost. Think about how much you pay for things like heartworm tests, vaccinations, wellness checkups, fecal tests, and bloodwork.
Here’s what the Lemonade pet health insurance Preventative and Wellness package covers:
Don’t forget that a basic policy will cover a lot of your pet’s unexpected needs (like x-rays, medication, and surgeries for an eligible accident or illness).
What do pet wellness plans not cover?
Different insurance companies will have different coverage options for any preventative care or wellness plans they offer. In most cases, grooming or nail trims won’t be included in your pet insurance coverage, even though they technically are preventative care.
Some policies might include more expensive items like teeth cleanings, microchipping, or spaying/neutering, so pet owners should double-check the wellness coverage of their pet insurance policy to know exactly what they’re covered for.
Is preventative care important for pet insurance?
If you’re committed to doing everything you can for your pet’s health, you’ll likely want to consider a preventative care option for your policy. Your pet’s preventative care can provide you with peace of mind—and you’re probably already paying for the physical exams, plus many of the tests the add-on covers!
Routine checkups and general preventive care are especially important for cats and dogs, since our pets tend to hide signs of illness or injury. Your furry friend can’t tell you if something’s wrong, so you’ll probably have a harder time noticing if they’re suffering from something a simple deworming could fix.
Regular vet visits will also give your vet a better understanding of your pet’s habits, general health, and temperament. And if your pet gets a bit anxious, these wellness exams can help create a sense of familiarity to help reduce the stress of future vet visits.
As a pet parent, your first job is to make sure your pet is being more than adequately taken care of. But it’s important to understand that pets will live healthier and happier lives when they’re taken to the vet on a regular basis– not just when something is clearly wrong with them.