Unfortunately, it is not possible to buy dog dental insurance as a stand-alone product. You can however, purchase it as part of a “wellness” option to a canine health insurance plan or as part of a “regular” dog insurance plan.
What Does A Wellness Dog Dental Insurance Option Cover?
In most cases, a wellness dental option only covers an annual cleaning. For example, two companies – VPI and PetsBest Insurance - both offer a wellness option that includes a $100 reimbursement for one annual cleaning. PetsHealth Care Plan includes the same reimbursement as part of its Level 4 policy. If your pooch developed a dog dental disease, you would have to pay for it as an out-of-pocket expense.
Another company, PetPlan, offers a canine insurance plan that covers non-routine dental treatment - such as tooth extraction or a root canal - but not routine teeth cleaning for your dog.
What To Look For In Dog Insurance
The biggest problem with canine dental insurance is that you must first buy the dog health insurance – whether you want it or not.
Before you buy the dog health insurance, be sure to read the policy carefully so that you will know exactly what it covers.
Second, check to see if there are any exclusions that could limit your coverage. For example, the policy might exclude some breeds because they have a high degree of susceptibility to certain illnesses, so make sure you read the fine print.
Third, be sure to check the clauses in the policy regarding treatment. Some policies will pay for only the cheapest way to treat a specific problem. In many cases, it won’t make any difference whether your pooch gets the cheapest or most expensive treatment but in others it might make a big difference – especially to your pet.
Cost Of Dog Dental Insurance
As you might guess, the cost of insurance varies from company to company. It can even depend on the state where you live and Fido's age.
PetPlan, the one company that covers non-routine dental care, has three different plans – Bronze, Silver and Gold. Each of these has a cap on annual vet fees ranging from a total of $8,000 for the Bronze plan up to $20,000 for the Gold plan. Each plan has different co-pays and deductibles.
As an example of the cost of PetPlan insurance, a Bronze Plan for a six-year old Wheaten Terrier - with a $100 deductible - would be $46.59 a month. The Gold Plan, with a similar deductible, costs $51.76 a month.
PetsHealth Care Plan offers an annual cleaning as part of its Level 4: Accident, Illness, & Deluxe Wellness Care. This plan starts as low as $59.00 for dogs. It has a maximum yearly benefit of $13,000.
VPI offers CareGuard Premium as an option to any of its dog insurance plans. This option includes a $100 annual reimbursement for teeth cleaning and adds $22 a month to the cost of the dog insurance. This puts the total cost of the company’s Standard Plan with Premium CareGuard at $37.92 per month – again for a six year old Wheaten Terrier.
PetsBest Insurance’s Basic Plan, for the same six year old Wheaten Terrier, would be $25.16. The Best Wellness option, which includes a $100 reimbursement for an annual dental cleaning, adds $22 to the monthly premium for a total of $47.16.
The Benefits Of Dog Dental Insurance
There is no real benefit to dog dental insurance unless it can save you money. In the case of PetPlan, which covers procedures such as a tooth extraction or root canal, one such incidence could definitely save you money, even after the $100 deductible. However, the other three plans would probably be a waste of money as they offer only a $100 reimbursement for an annual cleaning. Do the math and you can see that $22 a month for the option that includes an annual tooth cleaning equals $264 a year to get only $100 back. Of course, you also get the benefits of the dog insurance so you need to add that to the cost/benefit equation and decide for yourself.
Do You Need To Buy Dog Dental Insurance?
Since you cannot buy dog dental insurance by itself, the real question is do you need to buy canine health insurance? This is a question only you can answer. Canine health insurance, with a dental benefit, is much like your own health insurance. You can pay for it for years and not receive a single benefit, but if you develop a serious illness, you’ll be thankful you paid your premiums for all those years. The same is true of dog health insurance. You can pay the premiums for years without filing a single claim, but when the day comes that Fido develops heartworms or a liver disease, you will be thrilled you have insurance to pay for the treatments!
Dental care for your dog is important. It would be great if you could buy dog dental insurance as an individual policy, but when you add the cost of the dog health insurance you must also purchase, paying those monthly premiums can certainly put a strain on your pocketbook! Do the cost/benefit analysis and decide for yourself if it makes sense for you and the Fido in your life.
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