This “disapproving” bunny is Daffodil – our house rabbit. Yes, I know. I didn't realize you could keep a bunny in a house until I met my wife. And, now, I don't understand why more people don't have pet rabbits in their house.
While she is a little more expensive than I expected, she's hopped her way into our lives and heart through the years we've had her. I've also been surprised at how “clean” and quiet Daffy (short for Daffodil) is compared to previous animals I've had (like cats, and hamsters).
Daffy is always cleaning herself, and making sure she's looking her best. We call her a “princess” or “queen” for a reason.
How much would you / do you do for your pet?
I have to admit that I'm not particularly an animal person. It's not that I dislike them – I just don't have an affinity towards them like others may. I did grow up wanting and eventually getting a cat that we had for many years. It was a nice animal, but I didn't take care of it like I probably should have.
My wife on the other hand grew up with different animals around her—from dogs to bunnies. But she really loves rabbits.
I too have developed a fondness for bunnies over the years we've had Daffy.
Being the thrifty guy that I am, I still cringe when we take our bunny into the vet and then a half hour later rack up a $100+ bill for a check-up and a small bottle of medicine (Daffy has the snuffles – a chronic disease rabbits get that often cuts their lives short).
I get over it quick as I know Daffy brings joy to my wife and myself. She is a cute little lady and hard to stay mad at.
But, these fun, furry creatures can certainly make a dent in your budget. Over the 6+ years we've had Daffy, we've spent thousands of dollars on her. And, I often wonder at times, “how much am I willing to spend on her?” “would I pay for an expensive operation if she needed it?” “or, continuous medical care?”
If you are a pet owner, I'm sure you've had similar thoughts go through your head (even though you love your animal).
Pet health insurance (for real)?
A couple months ago, I stumbled upon a company called Pet Assure. They provide discounted vet care for your animal(s). So, basically health insurance for your pet.
I thought it was a somewhat odd idea at the time – but then I realized this could save pet owners some real money – especially on care they might not have been anticipating for their animal.
Here's a look at some of the regular costs of vet care you can expect to pay vs. what you may pay under Pet Assure (taken from their website):
As you can see, there could be some real savings here if you were on a plan.
At the same time, I think you'd have to weigh this with how often you visit the vet. For us, this is (maybe) 1-2x a year, costing us about $250 or so in vet bills.
And, yet, one never knows when you might need to use the coverage – and since most of us think of our pets as an extension of our family, there often isn't much we wouldn't do for them.
What is Pet Assure?
Let's take a little closer look at this company. According to their website:
Pet Assure, America’s Veterinary Discount Plan, was created after the founder of Pet Assure was denied a major medical claim for his beloved Labrador. The pet insurance company told him, “the disease is inherent to the breed and will not be covered.” This experience was his inspiration to found Pet Assure.
Pet Assure has been America’s Veterinary Discount Plan for over 20 years, and we currently cover almost 500,000 pets. More than 6,000 companies offer Pet Assure as an employee benefit, many of them Fortune 500 companies.
Our mission is to provide access to affordable, quality veterinary care and to connect veterinarians with pet parents like you, that care about their pets.
So, essentially Pet Assure acts a bit like health insurance where you may pay the negotiated rate set by the insurer while paying a premium on your coverage.
The catch here is to figure out the value here and what you may be getting.
The plans cover some of the following:
- Dental Cleanings
- Dental Exams and X-Rays
- Spays & Neuters
- Routine Care & Vaccines
- Diabetes Management
- Cancer Care
- Wellness Visits
- Surgical Procedures
- Allergy Treatments
- Sick Visits
- Emergency Care
- Tumor Removal
- Parasite Screenings
- Pre-existing Conditions
Looking at their plans, you can get coverage starting at $6.58/month (if paid in full, annually – $79) for a single cat (or small animal).
After I entered my zip code, I got the following rates:
So, for us, if we're paying about $250/year in vet costs out-of-pocket and had to pay $79/year for a single small animal (and also figuring that we pay about $33.50/less per exam, according to the Pet Assure chart above), there could be some real savings for us to get on board.
The interesting thing I found while perusing their website is that Pet Assure partners with some HR departments and so your employer may offer this as a benefit at your workplace. Who would have thought!
But is it worth it?
This is where every individual is different and has to decide whether paying an extra $7-$22/month is worth the savings they may see in vet costs. I gather that most of us pet owners don't visit the vet that often – but when we do, we're sure grateful the vet is there and if we had something like Pet Assure in place, we'd likely be thankful (especially if the procedure were expensive).
Guess it is a little bit like car, or health insurance. We don't use it much – but we're happy it's in place when needed.
We're also all different in our affinities towards our pets. Some will go to great lengths to extend the life of a pet, even when the best thing for it may be to let the animal go. It's all an individual preference.
What do you think? Would you buy discounted vet coverage for your pet?
Update 9/12/19: Get 15% off a single dog monthly plan. More details. Use coupon code PASD15.