As one of only a handful of full-time pet insurance actuaries in the United States, Laura Bennett’s job is to determine what ailments or injuries are most likely to drive medical costs for your cat or dog. Read More >>
Regular animal care is already costly. Based on the Calgary Humane Society’s online pet budget calculators, a dog costs an estimated $21,700 during its average 12-year lifespan. A typical feline costs $14,000. Medical care can add hefty charges to a pet’s lifetime bill — diabetes alone can cost up to $10,000. Unlike medical bills for people, pet owners usually have to pay for veterinary procedures immediately. With the ratio of average household debt to disposable income reaching a record 165.5 per cent as of June 2013, many Canadians are forced to make heartbreaking decisions when their beloved dog or cat needs potentially lifesaving, but prohibitively expensive, surgery and medications.
While roughly 45 million Americans struggle to access medical care, turns out many pets can access high-end medical treatments such as kidney transplants or acupuncture—thanks to the growing availability of pet insurance. Even Wal-Mart has dipped its toe in pet health insurance, albeit in Canada.
No matter how careful you are with your dog, accidents happen — and sometimes they’re costly ones. Just ask Les Kaciban of Ashburn, Virginia, whose Komondor puppy Charlie swallowed a corn cob and required emergency surgery to remove it.