Florida dog and cat parents: It might be time to get pet insurance. Whether you’ve got a mixed-breed in Miami, or a Jack Russell Terrier in Jacksonville, you’ve come to the right place.
We’ll take you through the hidden gems and insider tips of being an Florida pet parent, and while we’re at it, we’ll go through the ins-and-outs of pet insurance so you can keep your furry companion (and your wallet) covered from expensive vet bills.
What is a pet insurance plan?
Pet insurance assists in covering the costs of your vet bills. You pay a premium each month to the insurance company, and in return, you can care for your canine or feline family members without having to worry about how much it will cost.
With Lemonade pet insurance, there are numerous ways to customize your policy with our coverage options:
To begin with, a base Lemonade pet health insurance policy will assist in covering the costs of medication, diagnostic tests, and treatments, if your cat or dog has an unexpected accident or illness.
A base policy is excellent for the unexpected things in your fur fam’s future. Still, Lemonade also offers preventative care packages, which are designed to keep your pet healthy and help cover expenses you’re probably paying for anyway, such as checkups. By adding this package to a Lemonade policy, you’ll also get access to a live medical chat option and will get covered for all kinds of things—like your annual blood tests, vaccinations, wellness exam fees, and more. There may be some applicable exclusions.
Lemonade offers a Preventative, Preventative+, and a Puppy/Kitten Preventative package. Depending on your pet’s age, this pet insurance plan covers things like spaying/neutering, vaccinations, microchipping, and flea and tick treatments.
You can also customize your Lemonade plan with a mix and match of optional add-ons like: physical therapy, vet visit fees, dental illness, behavioral conditions, and end-of-life and remembrance—to help take the bite out of pricey treatments, services, and trips to the vet.
Here’s an example of how a Lemonade pet insurance policy works:
- Buy a policy. You answer a few quick questions about your German Shepherd, Sunny, and build your pet’s policy with the help of our friendly AI chatbot on our mobile app. The monthly premium you pay is determined by various factors, primarily things that you can customize, like your annual deductible, co-insurance, coverage package, and the annual limit on your plan. (If you would like, you can take a deeper dive into how pet insurance works to help you create your perfect policy.) Pet insurance coverage with Lemonade can cost as low as $10/month. Here’s a handy breakdown of the whole (simple) process.
- Go to the vet. You rush to a licensed veterinarian after Sunny suffered a broken bone from playing too rough at the dog park. The exam, x-ray, and cast cost you $1,000. Woof. But since you have pet insurance, you don’t have to worry about the total amount of the emergency care. Find out what we cover here.
- Get your money back. Sunny is safely on the mend, and you get up to a $900 reimbursement back in your pocket from Lemonade!
It’s worth noting that as your dog ages, they will require more veterinary healthcare and treatments, which is why it pays to take out a pet insurance policy for your dog as early as possible. If you try to sign your 13-year-old dog up for insurance for the first time, they might be declined due to their age; either way, they’re more likely to have pre-existing conditions that won’t be covered by insurance. But if you get your new puppy a Lemonade policy right away, you’ll be able to continue renewing their policy as they age.
Apply now to get your free pet insurance quote.
Protect your pet from Florida threats
Toads, crocodiles, and plants, oh my! Florida may be the Sunshine State, but if you’re a Florida pet parent, there are a few local dangers to be aware of, so you can spend time with your pet calmly and with peace of mind.
From the Everglades to marine life, Florida is a great place to experience local wildlife. But before you bring your pet out into the wild, there are a number of potential threats you should know about.
- Cane Toads. Cane toads are not venomous in the same way that snakes are. They do not bite. However, they do carry a deadly toxin on their skin. Pets that lick or touch them can die within minutes. Be careful about letting your pet play outside after a heavy rain, which is when cane toads are most likely to be out and about. If your cat or dog does come into contact with a toad, call your vet while immediately flushing the area with clean water for about 15 minutes, taking care that your pet does not swallow the water.
- American Crocodile. The American crocodile is essentially a living dinosaur that likes to hang out in Southern Florida river estuaries, mangrove swamps, and lagoons. They eat small mammals, birds, fish, frogs, snails, and more. They are dangerous to humans and pets. If you see one of these scaly dudes, give them a wide berth—don’t let your precious family member become a tasty snack.
- Box Jellyfish. Also called sea wasps, the stings from a local Florida box jellyfish can cause your dog to become quite ill. Take care when letting your dog swim in the ocean, or even just hanging out on the beach. Do not let them touch jellyfish that have washed up on the shore, even if they look dead—those stingers can still pack a punch!
Most pet parents know that chocolate, onions, and tomatoes are toxic foods for four-legged friends. But what about toxic plants found in nature?
When your four-legged friend goes for a walk or hangs out in the backyard, keep your eyes out for these toxic plants commonly found in Florida. If you think your pet has ingested a toxic plant, take them to the vet right away. You can also call the ASPCA animal poison control phone number: (888)-426-4435.
|Name of plant||Toxic to dogs||Toxic to cats|
Top Florida dog parks
Energetic pup? Let them run wild in one of Florida’s many off-leash dog parks. Just make sure your pup is up-to-date on their vaccinations and spayed or neutered before you let them cut loose.
- Deputy Kotfila, Jr. Memorial Dog Park. Named after a County Deputy who lost his life in a car accident, this Tampa Bay area dog park has separate play areas for small dogs and big dogs. It also features agility obstacles, and an astroturf surface, making clean-up easy. The park is entirely shaded—a huge bonus for dogs and pet parents alike.
- Davis Island Beach Dog Park. Located within Tampa Bay’s Davis Island Beach, this park features two dog areas: a fenced-in area, and an off-leash dog beach across the street. With a view of downtown Tampa across the water, this is the perfect place for you and your pup to cool down.
- Fort DeSoto Park Dog Beach and Paw Program. Right outside of St. Petersburg, this seven-acre park spans over five coral keys connected to one another by a bridge or causeway. The park contains a fenced-in area for dogs to play in, as well as an off-leash dog beach. So if you’re in the St. Petersburg area, hop over to Fort DeSoto Park to enjoy some nature with your dog.
- Tropical Dog Park. This Miami dog park is located in one of the biggest parks in the area. The dog park itself has two separate fenced-in areas for both small and large dogs to play in. It also has water fountains for both humans and pets, as well as showering stations to wash your dog off when they are done playing.
- Walton Rocks Dog Park. Walton Rocks Dog Park is a park for dogs who need to run. Located in St. Lucie, it is 24 acres of beach for your pet to romp and play in. There are also pavilions, benches, and restrooms, so pet parents can enjoy their time there as well.
Support Florida-based pet businesses
Support small Florida businesses while keeping your best friend totally pampered!
- Auggie’s Pet Supplies. Auggie’s Pet Supplies is a Fort Lauderdale-based chain of all-natural pet food shops. The pet foods they carry are always made from human-grade food, and they will only sell items that they trust completely. In addition, they provide consultations to pet owners, educating and providing them with information about how to take care of their pets.
- Leo and Lucky’s. Located in Bradenton, Florida- just south of Tampa and north of Sarasota, this locally-owned, independent pet store prides itself in being a big part of its community. Besides carrying pet food and supplies, it also has a grooming service, and often hosts events such as adoption days, low-cost vaccination clinics, and more.
- The Hairy Hound. This Tampa-area grooming service is a beloved favorite of local pet owners. They feature great customer service, loving employees, and promise that your pet will look amazing when they walk out the door after a grooming session. In fact, in 2018, the Hairy Hound won an award for Top Groomers in the Tampa area. It’s definitely the place to go for cleanings and groomings.
- Bay Paws. Bay Paws is a highly-rated pet resort that offers grooming, boarding, and a doggy day care. It won Best Day Care awards in 2020 and 2021,and just opened a second location in the Tampa area. Bay Paws’ boarding service accommodates dogs, as well as cats and even bunnies, and their day care facilities have two large shaded outdoor areas with pools and toys for pets to enjoy.
Before we go…
Isn’t being a pet parent just the best? The companionship, the kisses, and the laughter! Pets really add so much to our lives. The love that Florida pet parents have for their furry companions is real. 39.8% of Florida households own a dog, and 24.2% of them own a cat.
We love our pets, but sometimes those vet bills can take a real bite out of our wallets, which is why more and more pet parents choose to get covered with dog insurance or cat insurance. Learn more about how much pet insurance costs, and whether or not pet insurance is worth it for you.