Pet wellness plans are a package of commonly used veterinarian services offered at a discount. A typical insurance plan covers accidental injuries, surgeries and illnesses. On the other hand, a wellness plan covers a routine examination, vaccinations and preventive care.
- Pet wellness plans help parents take good care of their pets and stay on budget by spreading the payment over affordable monthly installments.
- Each wellness plan is unique and varies in terms of the level of coverage, preventive care procedures and reimbursement limits.
- Your pet’s breed can affect your monthly vet bills. Other factors including your location, pet’s age, weight and annual coverage also play a vital role.
- Pet insurance covers the treatment of accidental injuries, common illnesses and surgeries. However, it doesn’t cover routine care.
- Pet wellness plans go way beyond vaccinations. They offer a complete healthcare package to keep your fur friends happy and healthy.
- Pet wellness costs are much lesser than the cost of diagnostics, illness treatments and surgeries in case your pet gets sick.
What is a pet wellness plan?
Pet wellness plans are also called preventive care plans because of their preventive nature. They include vaccinations, dental cleaning and other routine examinations to prevent potential future illnesses.
Wellness plans give you the money back if you pay for regular veterinary care out-of-pocket. That means you can take good care of your pets without breaking your pet-care budget.
What is it, and how exactly does it work?
If you’re pondering how a wellness plan can help your four-legged friend, knowing how it works is super important. A typical pet wellness plan will help you pay for your pet’s regular vet visits. It will reimburse you for some of the routine veterinary expenses.
Moreover, it will give you peace of mind whenever you take your pet to the vet.
Additionally, your pets will always have access to regular veterinary care to keep them happy and healthy. Some insurance providers offer preventive care plans separately, while others offer them as a supplemental service on top of regular pet insurance.
What pet wellness does and doesn’t cover?
Usually, a pet wellness plan covers all the routine vet visit costs, including a physical wellness exam. The goal of this exam is to make sure your pet is healthy and doesn’t have any unexpected health conditions.
The vet might measure their weight, look at their body temperature, take their blood samples and perform a urinalysis.
A regular pet insurance plan won’t cover such procedures. Therefore, you need to understand what type of insurance you have and whether you need a wellness plan on top of it. Many insurance companies offer pet insurance with a wellness plan as an add-on service.
Depending on your insurance policy and the type of wellness plan you choose, following diagnostics and treatments will be covered:
Blood & CBC Test
CBC (complete blood count) is the most common test carried on pets. It includes multiple tests to get detailed information about your canine or feline friend’s circulatory system.
The goal is to check the count of red and white blood cells, oxygen-carrying pigments in the blood, hydration status, blood clotting and overall immune system response. Moreover, the CBC test also detects any fever, diarrhea and other abnormalities.
Healthy teeth and healthy gums are essential for all pets. Good oral health not only helps them devour their meals happily, but also avoids other health complications.
The teeth cleaning begins with an oral examination of your pet’s mouth. Next, the vet will examine their gums to identify any underlying dental diseases.
Once the assessment is complete, the cleaning process begins. Cleaning includes scaling (removing plaque and tartar) and polishing to remove enamel and harmful oral bacteria.
It is an essential preventive care process to ensure your pet’s overall health. Your vet will examine your pet for common parasites like tapeworms and roundworms. If any parasites are detected, your pet will get oral medicine or shots to clear out these worms.
Fleas & Ticks Prevention
Dogs and cats usually have soft, furry coats, making them vulnerable to fleas and ticks. They feed on the pet’s blood and can cause serious problems such as allergies and illnesses.
Depending on the type of wellness plan, your vet might diagnose your pet for fleas, ticks and other ectoparasites. Your vet will prescribe a medicine based on the breed, age and lifestyle of your pet. Medication can include topical products, oral products, shampoos, sprays, or a combination of both.
Heartworm testing is a part of almost all pet wellness plans. No matter if you buy them as an add-on to your insurance plan or as a stand-alone product. Usually, heartworm testing involves blood testing and is covered in most wellness plans.
You can find a variety of preventive medicines, including chewable pills, injections and spot-on medications, given every 6 or 12 months.
According to statistics, one in every three pets goes missing once in their lifetime. More than 80% never return to their parents. That shows the importance of microchipping.
It’s a small radioactive chip that’s implanted into your pet’s loose skin. It carries a unique identification number that can be scanned in case your fur companion goes missing.
Your vet will test your dog’s or cat’s stool to ensure no gastrointestinal parasites are present inside your pet’s tummy. Tapeworms, hookworms, roundworms and giardia are the most common parasites affecting dogs and cats.
Other preventive care procedures such as heartworm testing, urinalysis, spaying & neutering and vaccinations are also covered. However, it depends on the type of your pet wellness plan.
What isn’t covered in a Pet Wellness Plan?
Wellness plans cover routine and preventive care procedures to avoid potential health issues. On the other hand, insurance plans cover the cost of illnesses and accidental injuries after they happen.
Depending on the type of policy, most pet wellness plans don’t cover emergency medical care or treatment of accidental injuries, surgeries and illnesses. These are covered in a pet insurance plan.
- Illness: If your pet suffers from an illness or disease, the cost of treating it won’t be covered.
- Injury: If your pet suffers from an accidental injury, the cost of treating this condition won’t be covered.
- Pregnancy: The cost of treating pregnancies is usually not covered; it’s covered only in the preventive procedures of neutering and spaying.
- Grooming: Groomer sessions, including bathing, trimming and nail cutting, are usually not covered in a wellness plan.
Cats and dogs on wellness plans
Similar to dog wellness plans, cat wellness plans cover a variety of preventive and routine care procedures. These procedures include blood testing, spaying & neutering, fecal testing, dental care, vaccinations, and parasite prevention.
A cat wellness plan will allow you to take your cats to the vet for routine preventive care to keep them healthy. You’ll have to pay a monthly fee and get a reimbursement for some veterinary expenses covered in the wellness plan.
Here’s how cat wellness plans work:
- You take your cat to the vet for a yearly physical examination.
- Your vet performs different tests, including CBC, fecal & urine testing, etc.
- You pay the vet a fee for these tests and get an itemized receipt of expenses.
- You submit this receipt and claim a reimbursement from your policy provider.
Suppose you spend $200 for a routine wellness assessment under a plan that covers 70% reimbursement. In this case, you’ll pay the vet $200 and get a reimbursement of $140 once you claim these expenses.
Are there breed-specific things to consider?
Each dog or cat breed has a unique growth pattern, size and build. For example, a Rottweiler will always outgrow a dachshund. Larger dog breeds are often affected by certain health conditions, such as hip dysplasia and certain heart complications.
On the other hand, smaller breeds like Dachshunds are prone to IVDD (intervertebral disk disease). It’s a condition where multiple vertebra cushions come in contact with the spinal cord, causing numerous problems such as weakness and paralysis.
Different breeds have different traits that can lead to different kinds of issues. Therefore, it’s important to know how wellness plans vary depending on the breed.
Take a look at different insurance packages based on breeds. These are average monthly charges for a 6 months old puppy.
|Dog Breed||Life Expectancy||Avg Monthly Cost|
|Shiba Inu||12-15 Years||$41.73|
|Border Collie||10-17 Years||$46.22|
|Siberian Huskey||12-15 Years||$51.30|
|German Shephard||7-10 Years||$60.89|
At what pet age should you get a wellness plan?
In their early days, most puppies and kittens need to see a vet every 3 to 4 weeks until 15 to 20 weeks of age. After that, they’ll be eligible for a yearly examination visit.
Since wellness is about taking the best care of your pets, it’s never too early to add a wellness plan on top of your pet insurance plan. New pet parents are encouraged to get a wellness plan because it helps them take their pets to the vet for routine care, vaccinations and groomer sessions.
Are there any differences between pet wellness and pet insurance plans?
A traditional insurance plan covers the cost of treating injuries and illnesses after they happen. It’s a reactive approach. Because you’re reacting to your dog’s or cat’s medical condition.
In contrast, having a wellness plan is a proactive approach. You don’t wait for your pet to get sick or injured before you take it to the vet. Instead, you pay for their healthcare upfront. In this way, you can avoid potential health risks that may arise otherwise.
What is preventive pet care?
Remember the adage, ‘prevention is better than care?’ These wise words explain perfectly why your pet needs a preventive pet care plan.
Being a pet parent, if you’ve seen your pet cat or dog get sick, you might have encountered these questions: Will my pet be alright? How much is the treatment going to cost? Can I pay for it? And the most obvious one: Could it be prevented?
Preventive care includes everything you and your vet do to keep your dog or cat healthy, happy and pain-free. Most people see it as a scheduled annual vet visit to get vaccinated.
Although it does include routine checkups, preventive care goes way beyond vaccinations. A proper preventive care schedule can help your pet avoid complicated health issues. And this allows pet parents to save money on expensive treatments.
Do you need a pet wellness plan?
A pet wellness plan is ideal if you don’t want to pay for all expensive preventive care and veterinary treatments yourself. It helps pet parents pay for routine healthcare by offering reimbursements on some expenses.
Reimbursements make your vet visits more cost-effective and help your pets live their best life. Most importantly, they allow you to take your pet to the vet for regular care while paying a discounted fee.
As a pet parent, you should know this: regular visits cost more money without a plan. However, with a wellness plan added on to your pet insurance, you can take advantage of discounts and other services bundled into these plans.
Is a pet wellness plan a smart financial decision? Are they worth it?
Just like pet insurance plans, pet wellness plans can help you make preventive and veterinary care more affordable, thanks to substantial reimbursements offered for the cost of treatment.
The best way to take advantage of these plans is to get a wellness plan as an add-on to your pet insurance policy. This way, your pet will get an accidental injury and illness treatments and also become eligible for routine preventive care.
Most pet wellness plans start at $10 to $15 per month and can help pet owners save significant money on routine care and wellness procedures.
For instance, if you adopt a new puppy or kitten, you might have to take them to the vet multiple times a year. If you pay for these visits out of your pocket, you might have to spend hundreds of dollars on every visit.
Therefore, having a pet wellness plan is always worth it for pets and their parents alike.
What are the costs? Is there a reason not to add a wellness plan?
Just like pet insurance costs, conventional or advanced pet wellness plans cost more than basic ones. However, you’re more likely to get better coverage on more comprehensive plans.
Basic plans cost anywhere between $10 to $25 per month, while the premium plans could cost up to $60 per month. Again, the costs depend on the type of coverage you get. You’ll find varying packages offering different levels of coverage, even in the same company.
Although basic plans have a less monthly fee, they come with a lower level of coverage. If you’re looking for a higher level of coverage, a premium or an advanced plan would be a more suitable option for your needs. Otherwise, a basic plan should get the job done.