What is a Pet Wellness Plan?
Now that you are settling in with your new cat or dog, you want to make sure they get the most comprehensive veterinary care possible. However, pet care can quickly get costly, especially if your pet becomes sick or injured. Wellness Plans are designed to help make those costs easier to shoulder.
When you invest in a Wellness Plan, you'll pay a small, set amount per month to "group" all the preventive services you need together. This can help you more effectively budget for your pet's healthcare costs while saving money on the services your cat or dog requires throughout the year.
What does a Wellness Plan cover?
The primary difference between Pet Wellness Plans and pet insurance is that while insurance covers the cost of treatment for illness or injury after they happen, pet wellness plans cover routine and preventive care procedures and screenings to avoid potential health issues.
Core vaccines must be administered to every pet to ensure that they will not catch infections or diseases that may harm them, your other pets, and sometimes even yourself and other human members of your household.
Core vaccines for dogs include canine hepatitis, canine parvovirus, distemper, and rabies. Core vaccines for cats include feline calicivirus, feline herpesvirus type I, panleukopenia, and rabies.
These diseases, some of which can become life-threatening within days of contagion, are the leading causes of death in puppies and kittens. This makes vaccines essential to your pet's health, whether you have a cat or a dog.
If you don't have a Pet Wellness Plan, you'd pay out of pocket for each vaccine.
Complete blood tests will reveal any abnormalities in your pet's blood that may need your vet's intervention. If your pet does have a health condition, your standard pet insurance policy should be able to cover it. However, the screening itself is only included in additional wellness and preventive care packages.
Heartworm Tests & Prevention
While pet insurance covers heartworm treatment, prevention and tests are covered only by Pet Wellness Plans. If you don't have such a policy, you'll need to pay out of pocket.
Fecal Tests, Deworming & Urinalysis
A fecal test is conducted once per year to find out if your pet has any gastrointestinal parasites. Heartworm and tapeworm tests are also done to determine if these parasites are present. Several treatments may be required over time.
Your veterinarian will also perform a routine urinalysis test to check for chemicals in your pet's urine that can indicate conditions such as kidney failure or urinary infections. While pet health care plans will cover the treatment, preventive measures are typically excluded.
Flea & Tick Prevention
There are a few options for preventing ticks and fleas. But most pets are given monthly medicine to avoid this.
What is the difference between pet insurance and a Wellness Plan?
Both Wellness Plans and pet insurance policies offer benefits, but they are very different. When it comes to your pet's veterinary care, it’s important to understand which services your pet is and isn't covered for. That way you won't be left unexpectedly out of pocket when you visit your vet or need to plan the payment for your pet's care and treatment.
What does a Wellness Plan cover?
Routine vet care such as microchipping, vaccinations, and dental care for cats and dogs are generally covered by wellness plans. The primary purpose of these plans is to help you to spread out the cost of improving and maintaining the standard of your pet’s overall health.
What is pet insurance?
Pet insurance takes care of any veterinary bills if your pet requires emergency veterinary care.
Treating an illness such as cancer or diabetes, or emergency treatment, can become very expensive. Pet insurance provides you with financial help to pay the bills for accidents and conditions covered by your pet's insurance policy.
What does pet insurance cover?
Policies differ, but generally, pet insurance covers treatment for illnesses as well as any emergency treatment required after accidents. Some pet insurance policies may also include prescription medications, the treatment of hereditary and congenital conditions as well as orthopedic conditions.
How do I choose which option to buy?
Some pet owners subscribe to both pet insurance and cat or dog Wellness Plans to ensure their pet has complete protection, while other pet owners opt for one or the other. Understanding how each of these options works can benefit you and your pet and can help you decide on what the best option is for you and your pet.
Ask your vet if you would like help deciding what is best for your pet based on their particular needs and concerns.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.