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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So we're getting our first GSD puppy in a few weeks. Researched this board and met a good breeder in NC and have paid the deposit on a black/red male puppy who comes home in another couple of weeks.
One thing to note is that both parents of the puppy have hips certified and all their pedigree also had excellent hips (pedigree database). The breeder is giving me a 2 year warranty on congenital diseases or hereditary diseases like hip dysplasia.
The question I have is what do folks on this forum recommend on getting a Pet Insurance ? Get it/ not get it and just put aside money each month for contingencies. What has worked out for other GSD owners.
 

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I'm in the same boat as you.... Even though the parents have hips/elbows certified, there is no 100% guarantee that your puppy won't eventually develop HD or something else. But then again, with insurance running $30-50+/month depending on where you live.... Is it really worth that?

On one hand, you may never use it for anything other than a few knick knack things, and you may not get out what you are putting in... On the other hand your dog may eat something and require an expensive surgery etc etc, and it may end up covering you for thousands in surgical costs or medications....

I'd say the latter is rather low risk, but it is all going to come down to you and your situation. How much will the $30-50/month set you back financially? Is the cost/benefit for peace of mind worth it to you and does that fit into your budget?

I think for me personally, i'm going to get insurance for my puppy for the first year. When it's young, I think the risk for eating something or getting hurt is going to be higher during that period.. After that, i don't know if I'll continue. All said and done though, it'll be up to you whether or not the insurance is worth the money....

FWIW i think Pet Insurance by Trupanion - Dog and Cat Pet Health Insurance has the best cost/coverage that i've found. That's who i'm going to go with.
 

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We did go ahead with pet insurance when ours was 10 weeks old. We hope we never have to use it *knock on wood*, but it's peace of mind.

We went with Petplan-very afffordable and the plan that covers accident and illness only.
 

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We have an emergency fund of 4 month's living expenses set aside for, well, emergencies. If we didn't, I'd have pet health insurance. I like being able to say, "I don't care what it costs; do what's best for my dog."

Things happen. Rocky has cut himself on different things and required stitches twice. When Cash died at the emergency vet clinic the bill was over $1000.
 

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Just be sure you read the fine print, and get everything in writing. We were told 3 times verbally on the phone that Kodi's hip replacement was to be covered, but when the time came they wiggled out of it. We weren't entirely surprised - we'd had it such a short time that I figured they would find a loophole, and they did. In the end the premiums and the cost to fax everything to them (with all the ridiculous info they needed from all the vets, it was not cheap) were lost and we dropped the policy because nothing was covered.

IMHO it is NOT worth it. Just put that money away into a savings account and you can use it if and when the time comes. Keep in mind with most if not all pet insurance, you have to come up with the money up front and they "may" reimburse you at a later date. So be sure you have, at the very least, an emergency credit card with a high limit because if you are counting on them to cover things, you still need to be able to pay for it up front.
 

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I also have my dog insured with Trupanion. If you sign up with them before your pup turns 1 year old then you can get hip dysplasia coverage and it will pay for the surgery if your dog ever needs it.
It might be worth getting just for the first couple years, and then if your dog doesn't ever develop HD then you can drop the insurance (supposedly most HD cases happen in the first 1-2 years of age).
 

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I once had VPI and then I realized I was just wasting money.

For example:
Let's say you get a plan for . . . $50 a month.
$50 x 12months = $600

For every time you use it, you get charged a premium. Let's say the premium is $45.

So you get your puppy and take him or her to the vet for the puppy's first shots, deworming, and checkup.

Let's say the total is $100.

You send in the claim and depending on the coverage, let's say they give you $120 back. BUT, they charge you the $45 premium.

$120 - $45 = $75.

Then, you're paying a monthly $50 dollars.

$75 - $50 = $25.

So you did all that for $25. I agree with Rerun, put back money in your doggy fund. If you're worried about something big happening, put back more money.
 

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Has anyone here actually had a claim with Trupanion?
 

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Has anyone here actually had a claim with Trupanion?
I have made claims but only small ones - a $30 claim for GI meds and a $90 claim for eye issues which covered all the testing and drops.
It covered 90% as promised, though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks folks for all the responses. I had a GSD puppy earlier that developed subluxation and OA by the 15th week. I had Trupanion at the time and they did cover some portion (they didn't cover the several office visits and the Specialist visits). They just covered 90% of the actual test (blood test and Xray). Luckily the breeder was honest and took the puppy back.

At the end I ended up spending $800 in medical bills out of which some $450 were covered. Add the $300 for the annual pet insurance and we are just $50 shy of the $800 that I paid. This couldv'e gone either ways...it just worked out to be an almost zero-sum scenario.

Also, I just found out that my wife's employer has group discount on Pet Insurance. I'm tempted to get more details on that next week and will post what the details are.
Thanks for all the inputs.
 

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I am all about the peace of mind that pet insurance provides. I've had too many sick/injured dogs in the past, and without pet insurance, I don't know what I would have done. Yes, you can save up and have an emergency fund, but what if they get sick and deplete your emergency fund and then a month later get injured, or another one gets sick? I had one young dog that always seemed to be ill, and two very old dogs that started to have medical problems, so between the three of them, I LIVED at the vet's office for a couple of years. In just under 4 years (he died before he hit 4 years old), vet bills were about $10,000 just for one dog. I don't know how many thousands the others came to in those last couple of years, but the emergency funds were gone. I love knowing that no matter what happens, I can rush them to the vet and tell them to take care of it, no matter what it is, rather than worry about if I can afford to fix them or not. I would hate myself for having to make the decision to put my baby to sleep because I couldn't afford to try to help him. :(

My problem is that I procrastinate and will keep intending to get insurance, and won't get around to it, and THEN they get sick or hurt and I'm screwed. That's happened to me a couple of times. So just do it and do it now, and feel good about knowing your dogs are protected.

As far as I can tell, PetPlan seems to be the best one.
 

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When I had my other dogs, I had one of those crappy insurances where they limited you by $3,000 per illness category per incident. Basically, no matter what was wrong with your dog, they would only shell out $3,000, tops. But that was the plan that I had signed up for when my dog was a pup, and then he had IBD, and we couldn't switch insurances, because they won't cover any pre-existing conditions, so we were stuck. Even so, the $3,000 covered most of his "incidents." I had a $50 or $100 deductible, I think. The last time he got ill, the bill was over $5,000, so we had to pay a good portion of it. If we had had better insurance without those "per category limits", he'd have been fully covered. Even so, the pet insurance was WELL worth every cent, and more than paid for itself over and over and over again.

Even if I never have to use it (we can only hope, right?), it's still worth the money for the peace of mind. It's one less stress.
 

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I have Petplan insurance for my GSD. I've used it a couple of times. I believe I paid about $300+ for a year and I have a $200 deductible. They paid out very quickly. I'm pleased with them and they do cover HD. I believe they will pay out up to $12,000 a year for illnesses.
 

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will they cover bloat surgery?
i see no reason why they wouldnt. i suppose its possible a dog with a history of bloat before buying the insurance could get excluded, but a dog such as that should have had his/her stomach tacked by then.

i have PetPlan as well and am very happy with it.
 
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