How To Find Dog Health Insurance for Your Golden Retriever

golden retrieverGolden Retrievers, one of America’s most beloved dog breeds, has earned that title with good reason. They’re beautiful, energetic and affectionate. But like all breeds, they have genetic and environmental health problems that they are prone to. Learning about these health problems before getting a Goldie, will help alleviate the problems as they arise. Another way to prepare for these health issues is to secure dog health insurance for your pet.

There are numerous pet insurance options for any animal so learning about your breed’s weaknesses will help determine which insurance option is best for you and your pet. After selecting a reputable breeder or a local humane society, ask questions about the parents or known health history. This information will help you know what problems may be in your pet’s background and possibly its future.

If you don’t know your pet’s specific history, you can still prepare yourself with information about diseases that commonly impact this breed. Golden Retrievers lead generally healthy lives and usually live until 10 – 12 years old, the average for the breed.

With that in mind, it’s important to know that most Golden Retrievers die from cancer. Over 61.8% of all Golden Retrievers reported in a 1998 study died from cancer including bone cancer, lymph node cancer and others. This can be a difficult way to see your dog leave this world as the treatments are expensive and emotionally exhausting. Dog health insurance is an effective way to minimize both the costs and stress of expensive vet treatments.

In addition to cancer, Golden Retrievers commonly suffer from the following health issues:

+ Severe heart disease
+ Elbow and hip dysplasia
+ Hot spots
+ Food allergies
+ Epilepsy
+ Cataracts

The cost to treat these ailments ranges from hundreds of dollars up into the thousands. Cancer can cost from $8,000 to $15,000; hip dysplasia ranges from $1,500 to $3,000 and cataracts can cost anywhere from $1,500 to $5,000. Considering the expensive nature of these common health problems, dog health insurance may be a wise fiscal and emotional option to care for your pet.

While pet insurance seems like a strange or extravagant concept to some, it has been around for some time. It has been available in Europe since the 1940s, which may be why around 25% of British pet owners have it and around 50% of Swedish pet owners have it for their cats, dogs and other critters. Meanwhile, only 3% of American pet owners have it despite the potential cost savings and sense of comfort it provides.

Pet insurance is much cheaper than human health insurance and it’s much easier to understand. It does not come with the extensive red tape that accompanies health insurance in some countries.

In North America and much of the world, there are four main pet insurance carriers whose costs range from $10 to $70 a month per animal and there are discounts for multiple animals.

+ Veterinary Pet Insurance – the oldest and largest provider of dog health insurance on the market with options for accident, illness and emergency coverage which includes medicine and alternative care
+ Pethealth – Canadian company under a variety of names, providing dog health insurance coverage even for older dogs
+ Hartville Group – Most plans include regular care including vaccinations but does not include alternative therapies
+ PetProtect – Structured like a European policy, one basic and one more elaborate. Coverage is limited to accidents, illnesses or deaths at its basic level

An alternative way to save money on dog health insurance for pet health issues is to use a discounter like Pet Assure or a prepaid plan like Banfield. These plan options are available through PetSmart stores and work like HMOs with a preferred care network.

Another option is to save the money you would spend on that monthly premium and put it into a separate savings account dedicated to your pet’s health costs.

golden retriever

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