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Dog Insurance: Find the Perfect Plan for Your Pooch

Dog laying on the ground yawning


What is Dog Insurance?

Dog insurance is health insurance for your dog. It covers unexpected veterinary costs from emergencies and major medical treatment. Some companies also offer wellness coverage to cover routine care expenses like regular checkups and vaccinations.

Your dog is part of the family. And when it comes to your pooch's health you want the best. Whether you have a new puppy or an older dog, we can help you find the perfect insurance coverage.

You and your dog are 100% unique, so we wanted to provide as much information as possible to ensure you make the perfect decision.

Did You Know?

According to the AVMA, 67% of dog owners consider their pet a family member!

Best Dog Insurance Plans

There are 12 pet insurance companies in America and all of them offer coverage for dogs. Choosing a company to protect your dog is a big deal because it can mean the difference between getting paid for a claim and getting left holding the bag.

Here is a chart of the best pet insurance companies for puppies and dogs in the U.S.

Company Satisfaction Rating

Healthy Paws Pet Insurance

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For dog owners who want the best major medical coverage.

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Veterinary Pet Insurance

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The most comprehensive plan for dogs available today.

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Embrace Pet Insurance

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Fully customized plans for dogs of all ages and breeds.

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Petplan Pet Insurance

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Excellent major medical coverage with added bonuses.

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Pets Best Insurance

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Great, affordable coverage for any discerning dog owner.

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Trupanion Pet Insurance

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Major medical coverage with custom riders for all dogs.

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Figo Pet Insurance

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Major medical coverage for the tech savvy dog owner.

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ASPCA Pet Insurance

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Offers major medical and wellness coverage for dogs.

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PetFirst Pet Insurance

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Offers several major medical coverage options.

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PetPremium Pet Insurance

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Offers major medical and wellness coverage for dogs.

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AKC Pet Insurance

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One of the most trusted brands in the dog world.

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24PetWatch Pet Insurance Logo

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Offers multiple coverage options for dogs.

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Dig Deeper: Rating Methodology

Coverage Options


There are three different coverage options you can choose from when shopping for a health insurance plan for your dog:

  • Major Medical Coverage - These plans account for over 98% of all pet health insurance plans purchased.
  • Wellness Coverage - Some companies allow you to add wellness coverage to a standard major medical plan.
  • Accident Only Coverage - These plans are less expensive than major medical plans, but only cover claims for accidents.

It's important to note that no dog insurance company covers pre-existing conditions so it's important to enroll in a plan while your dog is healthy!

Dip Deeper: Find Your Dog's Breed

Specific Health Issues


Standard major medical plans cover your canine for unexpected health issues. However, some companies also offer wellness plans to cover routine care expenses. Here is a quick chart that shows what's covered by dog insurance plans, and what's not.

Coverage Major Medical
Emergency Care
Cancer Coverage
Orthopedic Issues
Hereditary Conditions
Prescription Meds
Routine Care O
Pre-Existing Conditions X

Note: Unfortunately, dog insurance does not cover pre-existing conditions, so it's important to enroll while your pet is healthy and young.

Facts & Statistics

Unfortunately, far too many dog owners don't feel like they need pet insurance until it's too late. Here are 100 facts about veterinary care and why dog health insurance is a good idea whether you have a one year old Labrador or an eight year old Mastiff.

  • A pet receives emergency medical care every 2 ½ seconds
  • Every 6 seconds a pet owner is faced with a vet bill of more than $5,000
  • Two out of every three pets will experience a significant health problem during their lifetime
  • In 2015 expenses on veterinary care totaled $15.7 billion
  • The #1 reason people buy pet insurance, “Want to make decisions about their pet's health care without worrying about whether or not they can afford treatment."
  • The #2 reason is people buy is that they, “Have been faced with expensive vet bills in the past and want to avoid them in the future.”
  • The #3 reason people buy is, “Peace of mind.”


Common Dog Health Issues

And this year alone, pet owners will spend a staggering $15.7 billion on veterinary care. If Fido can't resist eating anything he puts his paws on, has an accident or gets sick, you want to know he can get the best veterinary care without breaking the bank. Just paw through the costs of some conditions that commonly affect canines.

Condition Cost to Treat
Canine Cancer $5,000 to $20,000
Canine Hip Dysplasia $4,000 to $6,000
Cardiac Issues $1,000 to $20,000
Cataracts $2,000 to $3,000
Congenital Heart Defect $15,000 to $20,000
Corneal Dystrophy $2,000 to $3,000
Cruciate Ligament Tear $3,000 to $10,000
IVDD $3,000 to $9,000
Liver Disease $2,000 to $5,000
Pancreatitis $10,000

Source: Dog Health Conditions

How Much Does it Cost?

Dog Insurance Cost

Here is a sample of dog pet insurance costs for the top 10 most popular dog breeds.

Dog Breed Cost *
Mixed Breed $38/mo.
Labrador Retriever $44/mo.
Yorkshire Terrier $41/mo.
Golden Retriever $46/mo.
Dachshund $50/mo.
Chihuahua $48/mo.
German Shepherd $49/mo.
Shih Tzu $42/mo.
Boxer $54/mo.
English Bulldog $52/mo.
Average for All Dogs $42/mo.

Looking for Your Breed? Full List of Dog Breeds

Here are five factors that determine how much you will pay for pet insurance.

  • Type of Pet You Have
  • Where You Live
  • Your Pet's Age
  • Company You Choose
  • Coverage You Select

Here are some sample costs across the country for a three year-old mixed breed dog. The most expensive the zip code you live in the higher your rates will be.

New York Atlanta Los Angeles
 $46/mo. $41/mo. $43/mo.

Dig Deeper: Pet Insurance Cost

Is Dog Insurance Worth It?

If dog insurance wasn't worth the cost then it wouldn't exist. There are over 1 million pets that are insured in the U.S. and over 90% of them are dogs... that's over 900,000 dogs that are insured!

The #1 reason dog owners purchase pet insurance is peace of mind. As you can see from the dog health issues list previously, veterinary care can cost thousands of dollars if your pooch needs emergency care or life-saving treatment.

The bottom line is this, how much would you pay for veterinary care on your dog to save their life? If the answer is $5,000 to Unlimited then dog insurance coverage is worth the investment for you.

Dig Deeper: Is Pet Insurance Worth It?

See Prices for Your Pet

Dog Insurance Reviews

We've help thousands of dog owners find the perfect pet insurance plan. Below are some dog insurance reviews and stories that will help give you an idea of what current customers have to say.

Pet Insurance Reviews

Pictured: Baron, Insured by Pets Best

Baron and Veronique's Story

"Baron was about one year old when I adopted him almost 7 years ago. He was malnourished likely abused and neglected as a puppy. He had a rough start to life from what I was told. I quickly learned Baron was going to be quite a project for me. He was afraid of everything and everyone. From day one, he would come to work with me every day so he could be by my side and see what the world had to offer. It took Baron a little over a year to learn to play, learn not to be afraid of everyone, and not to react to his fear in an aggressive way. A few months after adopting Baron, my little brother was killed in Baghdad, Iraq serving our Country. This was one of the darkest times of my life. Without Baron by my side and knowing I was responsible for him, and that he counted on me and trusted me to be there for him, I don’t know where I would be today. A few years later, I had read about pet insurance and it had me curious. I found Pets Best Insurance through my search and quickly learned that it was not as expensive as I thought so I went for it. What did I have to lose? You never expect that your pet will become ill or injured, but you never know. A year and a half later, Baron started limping. It turned out to be an ACL injury and Baron needed surgery. Pets Best Insurance came to the rescue! Six months after the surgery, I noticed Baron’s fur on his legs wasn’t growing back. A couple weeks went by and he was starting to get a runny nose, and was sneezing quite a bit. The morning I decided to bring him to the vet, I noticed enlarged, golf ball sized lymph nodes under is jaw. It was pretty shocking how they grew so quickly overnight. I rushed him to my vet. Later that afternoon I received that dreaded phone call that Baron has Lymphoma. I was told without chemotherapy he may only live another 4-6 weeks. My heart sunk. We started chemotherapy that day..."

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Harris and Mitchell

"A friend sent me a Facebook message about so I decided to check it out. I'm sure like most pet owners I was aware of pet insurance but completely uneducated. I've seen the brochures in my vets office but never really considered it. If you've never had a major issues with your pet it can seem ridiculous, however my friend Paula, who sent me the link, has spent over $10,000 on her cocker spaniel. She obviously wishes she had pet insurance and has really been a proponent of it since her experience. It happened to her and she really doesn't want it to happen to any of her friends! I did research and found that there are some really interesting and highly reputable companies offering pet health insurance. I got quotes from Healthy Paws insurance, Embrace, Pets Best and Petplan. I narrowed it down to Embrace and Petplan and decided to go with them based on some "market research" I did in my circle of friends. We chose the silver plan and because Harry is so young it was only $30/month. Paula could have saved herself $8,000 or $9,000 and I didn't want to take the chance. Hopefully nothing happens to him but its nice to know that for only $30/month we don't have to worry about major veterinary expenses..."

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Georgie and Neil

"My partner and I rescued Georgie 6 months ago from a shelter in Western PA. We've always wanted to rescue a dog and we finally built up the courage to do it! We found Georgie on and fell in love with his picture and his story. Georgie had all the proper shots and exams before we picked him up but we still took him to our regular veterinarian after picking him up. Our vet did a full exam to make sure Georgie was okay and my partner asked about pet health insurance. Our vet said they heard good things about Embrace Pet Insurance so we decided to take a brochure and sign up. After doing some research we felt that Embrace was the right choice so we enrolled. The process was super easy and the sales rep at Embrace answered all 10 of my questions without hesitation! We even went in the next week to get his orthopedic exam filled out..."

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Gina and Barb

"We live near the beach in Central California. My husband Al used to be a writer for the Simpsons so we named our rescue lab Bart. We love taking him to the beach and on hikes through the mountains. In September Bart ran down a ravine during one of our hikes and suffered a severely broken leg. My husband had to carry him 2 miles to our car because he couldn't put any weight on the leg. We drove to the nearest animal hospital and they immediately injected Bart with a local anesthetic to alleviate the pain. They also gave him a sedative so they could do an x-ray and determine the extent of the damage. The x-ray revealed a clean break of his front right leg. The doc said this was common for labs because they often brace their falls and stops putting all the force on their front limbs. Bart was scheduled for surgery that afternoon and we waited at the hospital. The surgery took 2 hours and the surgeon said it went great because Bart's break was clean and easily accessible..."

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Dino and Holley

"I made a claim for my dog Dino 2 weeks ago and just got a check yesterday, which prompted me to share how wonderful my experience has been with ASPCA pet health. Dino is a small, mixed breed with some terrier in him. He's a ball chaser and hasn't been a chewer until 2 weeks ago. Dino decided it was a good idea to chew through my son's shoelaces. Dino wasn't showing any signs but my son noticed his shoelaces were torn up so I self examined Dino. Still didn't notice any symptoms but decided to take him to the vet just in case. The vet did an x-ray and they saw some pieces of shoelace in Dino's stomach. The vet gave us a laxative and special food so that Dino's intestines could try to pass the "foreign body" without surgery. Lucky for us Dino did pass the shoelace pieces over the next 2 days and you could see the pain on his face. Hopefully enough pain that he doesn't start chewing on other things in the house!.."

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Oscar and Claire

"Oscar has been my child since the day I picked him up at the shelter. I purchased a Nationwide policy for him because it had the broadest coverage and highest payout. Last month while Oscar and I were on one of our Saturday hikes he had a sever accident. He was running along a creek bed chasing squirrels and slipped on a rock tearing up his knee. He needed emergency care and scheduled surgery to repair the knee. The total bills were $4,200 and Nationwide paid 90% of the total. It was stressful enough worrying about Oscar and helping him recover. I can't imagine having to worry about how I was going to pay his medical bills.."

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Gus and Melissa

"We picked up Gus from a breeder earlier this year and knew we wanted to insure him based on experience with past pets. Unfortunately we lost our last dog, Beau, to cancer and the vet bills were enormous. Going through that experience really changes your perspective as a dog owner because you realize how awful it feels when your dog needs life-saving treatment. You also learn, through that experience, how expensive the emergency room visits, diagnostics, tests, surgery and treatment are. In less than 24 hours your vet bills can exceed $5,000 before they even know what's wrong. Luckily for us we had pet insurance for Beau. With Gus we didn't want to go with the old company we were originally insured with through Beau. It was a great experience and they paid claims quickly and we were very happy. However, we decided to shop anew and see if there was anything that might be a better fit for Gusto. After doing research, reading reviews and comparing quotes we ended up choosing Healthy Paws. Healthy Paws seemed to be the clear market leader with a 98% customer satisfaction rating. Their service is excellent, they have a claims app that we downloaded to our phones, and there aren't any payout limits on claims. Healthy Paws is also accepted at Gus' primary veterinary clinic, Beechwold Veterinary Hospital and our local vet hospital, MedVet. So far Gus hasn't had any serious health problems but we have already visited the vet twice. The first visit was for diarrhea. After running tests they found that Gus had worms and a stomach bacteria that required antibiotics and other medications to clear up. The second issue was a case of kennel cough. Gus kept coughing and wheezing so we took him back to the vet and he had a case of kennel cough. Again, he needed some meds and eventually it cleared up with no issues...."

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Labrador Retriever puppy Gus

Pictured: Gus and Melissa playing

Read More Stories: Pet Insurance Reviews


Protect Your Pet Today


Edited by: Nick Braun

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