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Insurance: Not Just For People

March 13, 2012, 6:57 AM by Kellee Azar

Insurance: Not Just For People
SIOUX FALLS, SD -

Health insurance is something many give some serious thought, but what about pets and their medical needs? Pet health insurance could help save your pet's life or even help manage your pet's allergies.

In many people's minds, pets are not just animals; they're part of your family. But what if your furry friend got hurt or even cancer? What would you do to help?

"If the answer is to give extended health measures, then they would benefit from health insurance.  But it needs to be purchased when they are young to get the optimal price on it," Dale Animal Hospital Veterinarian Dr. Dawn Dale said.

But for Tracey Buccholz, that thought came a little too late for her puggle, Belle.

"Well, right now, we just learned that she has an allergy to her food and she has chronic ear infections.  So, probably in her case it would be beneficial," Buccholz said.

Unfortunately for Belle and her allergies, it's too late to get help from insurance for those health problems.  But that may not be the case for future problems.

"If your pet already has a preexisting condition, seldom is that a good idea, especially if it's chronic, unless you want to make sure it's covered in case of something else coming up," Dale said.

In situations like Belle's and that of many other animals, pet insurance could help keep the expenses from getting out of control.

"Treatment can run into the thousands of dollars.  But, if pet health insurance is paying, so, if they are paying 50 or 75 percent, then the pet owner's out-of-pocket becomes much, much lower. And it's easier to say yes to the extended treatment that a pet may need," Dale said.

While Buccholz never expected to be a pet lover, she now realizes how much a part of the family Belle really is.

"My children really love her and I really love her. I never thought I would be an animal lover because I didn't grow up with animals.  But I really grew attached to her. So, I would be sad if anything happened to her," Buccholz said.

For Buccholz and Belle, pet insurance is something to look into for the future.

Dr. Dale wanted to make it clear that the pet insurance is neither sold by vets nor do they get any benefits from it.  But if you would like more information on pet insurance you can contact your local veterinarian and they can point you in the right direction.

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