Pet insurance could pay off

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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) - Research shows Americans spend between $500-$700 per year on healthcare for their pets. Now more owners are opting for pet insurance as the costs continue to rise.

"I know veterinary costs are going to increase," said pet owner Shanna Rendon, "and my dog is very important to me, so I would make sure that all of her veterinary requirements are up to date."

Luckily when it comes to pet insurance, it's not just a one-stop shop.

"There's just general routine care that covers vaccinations, annual teeth cleanings, just annual things," said Kourtni Weinischke with Tiara Rado Animal Hospital. "Then there's also pet insurance that'll cover emergency types of situations."

Because sometimes the unexpected becomes a reality.

"I have seen too many animals of my own that succumb to cancer, and there's nothing I can do to prevent that," said Rendon, "but the treatment for cancer is costly."

"I have [pet insurance] for my dog," said Weinischke, "and she had an emergency surgery, and it covered all but $50 of it, and the surgery was like $1500."

But before you go barking up the wrong tree, health experts say it's best to make sure you do your homework.

"There's a whole different bunch of companies that offer it," said Weinischke. "A lot of companies will do an insurance quote and give you a more specified amount for your pet."

And for Rendon, it's an expense well worth it in the end.

"Having a pet is one of the best things in the world," she said, "and to have a pet you have to be responsible for them, and that means regular vet checkups and shots, and if it means pet insurance then that's where we'll go."

Pet insurance can range from $10-$60 a month, depending on the provider and the plan. Experts say the insurance is just like any you would get for your car or property.

For more information, you can contact your local veterinary hospital.

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