Dog health

Wondering About Pet Insurance? 5 Helpful Facts You Need To Know

A Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever wears black glasses and lays his head on an open magazine

As many dog owners might already know, caring for our beloved pets can become very expensive. When your little furry friend falls ill or gets injured, you, inevitably, want to be able to take care of them. 

Pet insurance can help you pay for veterinary expenses. Just like any other sort of insurance, dog insurance involves paying a small sum every month to an insurance company, which then helps cover the costs should your pet need veterinary care. Yet, you might wonder if pet insurance is worth the money. 

Some people might save up dedicated funds in case their pet gets ill. Yet, could pet insurance be a cheaper option? What does pet insurance cover? And how much does it cost? In this article, we’re going to cover it all. 

What is the Average Cost of Pet Insurance Per Month?

Pet insurance involves a monthly cost, which adds up to an annual cost.

Dog insurance tends to cost more than cat insurance. The average cost of pet insurance per month tends to be around $30 to $50 per month, depending on the type of insurance you need and where you purchase it.

How Much is Pet Insurance in Canada and the US? 

In the US, the average monthly cost of pet insurance is between $6 to $155 a month.

In Canada, pet insurance is typically around $29 per month for cats and $39 per month for dogs. However, again, these numbers can vary depending on where you get your pet insurance from and what type of plan you select.

The more extras you add to your insurance, the more it will cost. “Lifetime” pet coverage is usually more expensive but also more inclusive, depending on what insurance package you’ve chosen. 

Total Average Cost of Pet Insurance

On average, you can expect to pay around $600 per year in dog insurance, if you live in the US.

In Canada, you’re likely to pay around $87.50 per month for dog insurance, working out to $1,050 per year. 

Pet insurance costs will vary, depending on what coverage you choose.

What Does Pet Insurance Cover? 

So, what can you expect to get from your pet insurance?

Inevitably, different insurance plans come with different benefits, and more expensive pet plans tend to cover more factors. Yet, there are usually three main types of pet insurance coverage: accident, wellness, and comprehensive. This is what you should be getting from each category:


Accident coverage handles the unexpected health issues you and your pet might encounter. This includes injuries such as being hit by a car or eating something that becomes stuck in your pet’s intestines. Accident-only coverage is a good choice for older pets that no longer qualify for comprehensive cover. 

This type of coverage typically  includes: 

  • Broken bones and sprains
  • Cuts, lacerations, eye injuries, etc.
  • Insect and snake bites
  • Getting hit by a car
  • Poisoning
  • Bloat 
  • Ingesting foreign objects 


Like accident coverage, wellness coverage plays a smaller part in the pet insurance market. Wellness coverage deals with preventative or routine care. It includes:

  • Vaccines (most of which need to be done yearly)
  • Flea and tick treatments
  • Worming treatments
  • Teeth cleaning
  • Spaying and neutering
  • Annual pet checkups


Comprehensive coverage is the most common type of pet insurance.

It deals with accidents, illnesses, and usually wellness treatments (like checkups, vaccines, flea, and tick treatments, etc.). Comprehensive coverage includes:

  • Breed-specific problems (for example, some breeds are prone to hip dysplasia in later life, which can be an expensive condition to treat)
  • Cancer treatments
  • Treatment for chronic conditions 
  • Costs of surgery, tests, nursing, care, and other veterinary treatments 
  • Medications and prescriptions
  • Dental care (more in-depth than teeth cleaning)

If you do decide to take out pet insurance, comprehensive coverage is usually the best option. 

Got a new puppy? Read this next: 10 Useful & Basic Puppy Training Tips to Raise Yours Right

Is Pet Insurance Worth the Cost? 

Aggressive behavior won't go away on it's own - you need to take action with your dog
Two happy dogs hanging out. Photo by Alvan Nee on Unsplash

It’s important to be prepared for anything that might befall your beloved pet. Pet insurance is a good way to spread the cost of your pet’s maintenance and treatment over the year.

If you don’t choose to take out pet insurance, you should set aside a little bit of money every month to go into a dedicated pet fund. This ensures your furry friend is well-taken care of!

It’s further important to be aware that if your pet falls ill or has an accident, the vet bills can quickly get into the thousands. Chances are, most of us can’t afford to save thousands and thousands just to put into a pet health fund. A monthly payment to a pet insurance policy, on the other hand, can be much more affordable for some individuals.

Top 5 Pet Insurance Companies By Reviews

Choosing pet insurance isn’t just about making the most of your money — you want make sure that your insurance policy will cover your pet, should the need arise. 

So, let’s take a look at five of the top-rated pet insurance companies. 

1. Healthy Paws

Trustpilot rates Healthy Paws as the number one pet insurance provider for 2010-2020.

99% of claims are processed in 2 days, making it ideal for emergency situations. There are no caps on claim payments, and you can choose your own vet from a wide array of qualified vets and techs. The minimum pet age for Healthy Paws is 8 weeks.

2. Petsecure

Petsecure offers four levels of coverage, ranging from basic to fully comprehensive.

Up to 80% coverage is available, and fees for kennels and board are covered (kennels can be expensive!). Similar to Healthy Paws, the minimum pet age is 8 weeks (which makes sense considering when you can take your puppy home for the first time!).

3. Trupanion

Trupanion provides up to 90% coverage in some cases.

Even breed-specific conditions are covered (this can be tricky, as some pet insurance policies won’t cover “existing conditions”, and breed-specific conditions can be classed as “existing”). There are further assistance packages for pet owners, and direct payments are also available.  

4. Costco Pet Insurance

Costco Pet Insurance has flexible plan options.

For example, you may not need wellness coverage but you might still want accident coverage. Additionally, optional coverages can easily be added.

There are typically only one day waiting periods for accident coverage results, and there is no upper limit on pet age (some pets can age out of their plans, and some companies won’t insure pets over a certain age).

5. Nationwide Pet Insurance

For Nationwide Pet Insurance, low coverage prices start at $35.

You can also use any vet, not just one that is connected with Nationwide. When submitting claims, you can easily do so through a downloadable app. Interestingly, Nationwide offers insurance for exotic animals as well.

Should You Get Pet Insurance?

Whether you choose to pay for pet insurance or you just save up yourself, make sure you have the money to care for your pet’s health and immediate needs. Pet care isn’t all fun and fluffy animals. In reality, it’s a lot of responsibility! 

Take it seriously, and prepare for the future. That way, you can guarantee the health of your furry friend for many years to come, giving them a full, healthy, and happy life.

Photo by Jamie Street on Unsplash

Related Articles

A brown furry puppy eats out of a small silver bowl on a colorful tiled floor.
Dog health

10 Toxic Foods to Never Feed Your Dog 

Expanding your dog’s diet beyond dog food can be a good option. There’s...

What's the smart way to find the best vet for your dog?
Dog health

Top 10 Helpful Tips to Help You Find The Best Vet For Your Dog 

You want the best for your pupper. To find the best vet...