Virginia Pet Insurance Guide

Keep your four-legged friends happy and healthy in the Old Dominion State.

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Virginia pet parents: Whether you’ve got a Rottweiler in Richmond or an American Bobtail in Alexandria, you’ve come to the right place. We’ll take you through the hidden gems and insider tips of being a Virginia pet parent, and while we’re at it, we’ll guide you through the ins and outs of pet insurance so you can keep your furry friend (and your wallet) covered.

What is pet insurance?

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 fur fam 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, 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. 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, 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 package covers things like spaying/neutering, vaccinations, microchipping, and flea and tick treatments.

You can also customize your Lemonade policy by adding physical therapy, vet visit fees, dental illness, or end-of-life and remembrance add-ons to take the bite out of pricey treatments, services, and trips to the vet.

virginia pet insurance

Here’s an example of how a Lemonade pet insurance policy works:

  1. Buy a policy. You answer a few quick questions about your German Shepherd, Domino, and build your pet’s policy with the help of our friendly AI chatbot. 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.
  2. Go to the vet. You rush Domino to the vet after he broke his leg 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. Find out what we cover here.
  3. Get your money back. Domino 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 care 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 Virginia threats

Ah, the great outdoors! Pets love it when they get a chance to explore and frolic freely in the sunshine and fresh air. Yet, Virginia pet parents need to keep in mind that even the backyard can be a dangerous place. Toxic plants, mushrooms, even your fruit and vegetable garden could be a health risk. Then there are the creepy crawlers. Snakes, spiders, scorpions, and stinging insects can also pose a threat. If you want to avoid a mad emergency dash to the vet, remember, “prevention is worth a pound of cure.” 

Snakes

Virginia is home to thirty-two native snake species, of which only three are venomous, the northern copperhead, the timber rattlesnake, and the cottonmouth

The best way to stave off snake bites is to be alert. During the day, snakes love basking in the sunshine on logs and rocks. While hiking in nature, keep your dog on a leash so you can snatch them back hastily if a snake is in the vicinity. Piles of wood and foliage are perfect hiding places for a reptilian intruder so keep those away from your property. 

If you are sure a snake has bitten your pet, don’t waste any time trying to figure out what type of snake it was and certainly do not try to kill the snake for identification purposes either. It is not required to determine the toxicity of the bite. It’s also dangerous for you. Take them to the vet immediately. Keep your pet relaxed as much as possible, and keep the bitten area below the heart if you can. Snakebite treatment in cats and dogs include antivenom, pain medication, antibiotics, and intravenous fluids.

Spiders

Most of the spiders native to Virginia are not poisonous. However, it would be best to watch out for the black widow spider. It is well-known how deadly the female black widow is. However, she will only bite under provocation. Your attic, basement, garage or shed are favorite spots for black widows. Keep damp and warm environments as clean as possible. 

Cats are in particular danger and could end up with several serious bites, especially since they enjoy pawing and playing with prey. Black widow bite symptoms include tremors, paralysis, extreme pain, and muscle stiffness. 

Treatment for black widow bites can include pain medication, IV fluids, muscle relaxants, and antivenom. Spiders are capable of endangering cats and dogs and are potentially fatal to pets. If you surmise a spider has attacked, take your pet to the vet ASAP.

Toxic plants

Pet parents know that their fur babies can’t eat just anything and are aware that garlic, tomatoes, onions, and chocolate are toxic foods. But did you know that often the most dangerous foods your pet could ingest are household plants and toxic plants that are common in many yards?

When your four-legged friend lounges in the yard or is out on a walk, stay on the lookout for these toxic plants, commonly found in Virginia. Take your pet to the vet without hesitation if you suspect they have ingested any toxic plants. Pets can also carry the oils from a poisonous plant on their fur, so be careful touching them. Contact the ASPCA animal poison control for help if you need it. You can call them at: (888)-426-4435. 

There is a long list of toxic plants that are native to Virginia. This is not a comprehensive list of poisonous plants for your pets, but a few of the most threatening plants are on the list below. If your pets ingest any plant that you are unfamiliar with, contact your local veterinarian immediately. It also helps if you photograph the suspicious plant. 

Type of plantToxic to dogsToxic to cats
Pokeweed
Giant Hogweed
Virginia Creeper
Horse Nettle
Jimson Weed
Mayapple
Wild Parsnip
virginia pet insurance
Pokeweed: pretty in pink, but packs a poisonous punch!

Top Virginia dog parks

Energetic pup? Let them run wild in one of Virginia’s many off-leash or fenced-in dog parks. Just make sure that they are spayed or neutered, and your pup’s vaccinations are up-to-date and before you let them run wild.

  • Shirlington Dog Park. Shirlington Dog Park in Arlington is sure to delight! This two-acre off-leash dog park in Arlington has wide-open spaces and shaded areas for your furry friend to roam free, a trail, and a stream for wet romping around. Shirlington has been consistently named one of the best parks in the area, and was even once ranked top dog park in the country! There are long stretches of walking paths with water fountains provided. Right outside of the park, you can make sure your pooch gets home clean with the self-washing station. 
  • Merrifield Garden Center Dog Park. If you would like to have a lovely garden view while your pup plays, the Merrifield Garden Center Dog Park in Manassas is a beautiful place for a stroll. You can relax near the bushes or at one of the picnic tables. Dog bowls are available that catch rainwater, so your fur baby is drinking water fresh from the skies. While you are there, check out the garden center’s plants, products, services, Christmas shop, and events too!
  • Lake Fairfax Park. Campgrounds and trails to wander, hike, run, or bike are just part of the offerings of Lake Fairfax Park located in Reston. This family-friendly destination is 476 acres of parkland that includes a water park, a skate park, athletic fields, a pump track, and bountiful hiking and biking trails. Lake Fairfax is also open to fishing in kayaks. You and your fur baby can have a grand time in the great outdoors!
  • Bayville Farms Park. This Virginia Beach park has a small enclosed dog park, but the entire area is 68 acres filled with space for plenty of activities. There is plenty to do for humans as well as their furry friends! Bayville Farms Park includes an 18-hole disc golf course, tennis courts, basketball courts, softball fields, volleyball courts, shuffleboard courts, a TRX® suspension frame, a playground, and more! You can also reserve shelters or rent ballfields. 
  • South Riding Dog Park. South Run Dog Park offers diverse terrains from gravel to grass for your pooch to run and play in Chantilly. Behind Elk Lick Park, your pup can enjoy the lengthy dog run and obstacle equipment. From dawn until dusk, you and your best friend can burn some energy on the green trails in the area, or hang out in the natural wooded areas in the shade. The rest of South Riding boasts plenty of amenities, including a fitness trail, a fishing pier, disc golf, courts and ballfields, and a swimming pool! 

Support Virginia-based pet businesses

Support small Virginia businesses while keeping your best friend completely pampered!

  • Puppy Luv. Serving the Arlington and Alexandria area, Puppy Luv Pet Services “wear their hearts on their leash.” This in-demand pet service provider has been named the Best Dog Walking Company of Arlington, VA. Their reviews testify to impeccable service! You can find all of your dog walking, pet grooming, pet sitting, and obedience training with Puppy Luv. They even offer scheduled walks with GPS and send pictures and lots of  “‘pupdates”. 
  • Animal Connection. Tails are wagging about Animal Connection in Charlottesville. In addition to pet food, this all-natural store for cats and dogs provides dog supplies, dog training, a self-service dog wash, and full-service grooming. Their specialties include a new puppy package, holiday gifts for good dogs and cats, “dog scout” boxes, and all the essentials to help you celebrate your fur baby’s special occasions. You can even get adorable holiday pet photo sessions. Check out their adoption events, Free Treat Fridays, and Animal Connection’s show “What’s Barking Local!”
  • Pet World. Professional advice and attention to all are what you will get at Pet World, which has two locations in Hampton and Newport News. If you want to expand your furry family, they have beautiful, healthy, playful pups available and are USDA licensed. Pet World specializes in freshwater & saltwater fish, exotic reptiles, puppies, birds, and small animals, so there are plenty of options for anyone looking for more cute critters to love! 
  • Kibbles on Main. Local and affordable, Kibbles on Main is a pet store devoted to active pets and their owners at their two locations in Blacksburg and Radford. They carry products for dogs, cats, birds, and small animals with a wide array of brands to choose from. The Blacksburg location offers self-service dog wash stations. With a great selection, competitive prices, and knowledgeable staff, Kibbles on Main is the place to go!

Before we go…

The bonding, the snuggles, the giggles! Being a pet parent is special, isn’t it? Pets contribute so much to our lives. The connection that Virginia pet parents have with their furry companions is real. In fact, a Virginia Commonwealth University study found that dogs support human health and well-being. That is the magic of the human-animal connection. Of course, our pets are important to us, but vet bills can really take a bite out of our pocketbooks, which is why more and more pet parents have decided that pet insurance is in their best interests. 

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Please Note: These definitions don’t alter the terms, conditions, exclusions, or limitations of policies issued by Lemonade. They are intended for educational purposes only - they’re not meant to be used in lieu of professional legal or financial advice. We’ll do our best to keep them updated, but they may not always reflect current industry developments. Feel free to use the terms with attribution (friends don’t let friends plagiarize!)
Property and casualty insurance provided by Lemonade Insurance Company, 5 Crosby St., 3rd floor, New York, NY 10013. Life Insurance provided by North American Company for Life and Health Insurance®, Administrative Office, One Sammons Plaza, Sioux Falls, SD 57193.
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