You've welcomed your newest family member into your house, you've acquired all the necessary items, like a dog bed, leash and collar, gotten him a physical exam and shots and begun dog training classes. All is going well and there's no reason to think about trouble, right? Wrong.
The vast majority of cats and dogs will require more than just preventative medical attention at some stage in their lifetime. It might be something comparatively unimportant, like an allergy or a broken bone, or it could be major, like a car accident or cancer. It could crop up while your dog is young and seemingly hale and hearty, or it might come as he gets older. Your beloved canine might see the doctor only a few times over the years, or she could be one of those that your vet recognizes on sight.
The trouble with this, of course, is the uncertainty. If you knew that your Labrador would experience the typical amount of medical problems, you could find out what the average lifetime vet bill is for a Labrador Retriever, and put cash aside every month to cover the costs.
As most dog owners know, it rarely works out like that. You find out suddenly when your pet needs expensive health care. At the same time you're wondering if your pet is going to pull through, you're also wondering how much this is going to cost. Then you feel bad because how can you possibly think of money at a time like this?
There is a way to reduce the pressure about your budget at a time like this. Make a plan to handle the veterinary expenses before your pet gets sick or injured. Conduct your own comparison of pet insurance policies and identify the one that offers the best possible protection for the cost for your Labrador while she's still a puppy - preferably before he has the chance to get into trouble!
Labs and other purebred dogs are the most pricey to buy insurance for, and there's a reason for that. Dogs are more likely to need pricey health care than cats, partially because they seem to get into more accidents. Cats have the uncanny ability to stay out all night, dodging cars and dogs without getting hurt. Dogs, especially young ones, are more likely to run out into the street or have some other mishap.
Purebred dogs are more susceptible to certain diseases than mixed breeds. Labrador Retrievers are vulnerable to hip and elbow dysplasia, cataracts and skin allergies. Most reputable breeders make sure that they only breed dogs who are free from hereditary health problems. Still these kinds of issues keep cropping up for Labradors, and they're often costly.
When you compare pet insurance policies be sure to check whether they cover hereditary conditions. Those that do will unsurprisingly be more pricey, but they're worth it. After all, the reason you need insurance at all is to guard against large unpredicted costs. If you buy insurance based only on price, you'll find out at the worst possible time that you aren't covered as well as you thought you were. That defeats the purpose of getting veterinary insurance in the first place.
Take your time and evaluate several policies. Don't settle on one unless it meets your needs. It's out there.