It was the best day. It was the worst day.

It was saturday morning. I had a tough week, trying to balance my two jobs; I’m a freelance graphic designer, and I’m a bartender at a local brew pub. I felt bad, that I hadn’t been home much during the week, and I wanted to get Sparky out of the house for some exercise, so we headed out to the park.

After the 20 minute walk to the park, I took the leash off, and started throwing his ball, to play a little fetch. A young boy came over, took a liking to Sparky and asked if he could play as well. I of course, said “sure.” After a couple of good throws, the young man decided to change it up, and threw the ball the other direction, right out into the street.

Sparky always go for the ball, and quickly ran out into the road, into the path of an oncoming car. While the impact was not severe, it was enough to physically disable his rear left leg. I picked him up, and rushed him to the vet.

After the initial exam and x-rays, it was determined that he had a broken leg, ligament tears, and some pretty bad bruising. I gave consent to fix his leg, but could only wonder, can I afford this?

“In a split second, I saw the ball going toward the street, and Sparky chasing after it. The driver did what she could, but the impact occurred. I heard the yelp, then thought the worst.”

Pet Insurance

Recent statistics show that many pet owners struggle with financial distress year-after-year, mainly caused by the emergency care needed by their pets or basic vet care requirements. With the continually rising costs of care, owners consider often to buy a pet policy to cover their backs in case of financial need. But how do you choose the right pet insurance plan, and is it right for you? It’s often difficult to find out the real price of a pet insurance plan.

The overall cost of pet insurance is established based on breed, age, and medical history of an animal. Also, the price can vary and can be influenced by what you want the policy to cover. You’ll also have to decide if you need only emergency care coverage or if you need to add routine vet care. Often plans can cost around $100 per month, while others can go as low as $10 monthly. Recent studies show that the average amount of money spent is around $40/month. But there are other options out there.

Veterinary Discounts

There are alternatives to these expensive pet insurance policies, whose costs sometimes rival “human” health insurance.

Pet discount plans have less stringent requirements, than pet insurance plans. You simply make sure there is a vet in your area, sign up, and get your card. When you need to visit the vet, simply display your card and receive the discount. Since this is not insurance, there are no waiting periods, age limits, and pre-existing conditions are covered.

These discounts are offered for almost everything, including wellness & sick visits, dental cleanings and x-rays, vaccinations, spays & neuters, diabetes management, cancer care surgical procedures, emergency care tumor removal ultrasound and parasite screenings.


If you have personal health insurance through your employer, you may wish to go the conventional insurance route for pet insurance as well. Insurance companies are offering more and more plans, as they have seen this market grow in past years, and is yet another revenue generator for them. The plans can be somewhat expensive, and frustration can occur when you try to make a claim for specific services rendered.

Pet discount plans can be used for more services and you receive the discount instantly, at the time of service.

You’ll have the peace of mind knowing you’ll be saving money for routine care, and save money if/when accidents occur.