Health Insurance

8 replies [Last post]
Dobie2's picture
Joined: 2015-10-05

Hello All;

I’m new to the Forum and, surprise, surprise, I have a lot of questions.

I’m going to try to begin at the beginning, as they say. So here goes:

We’re looking forward to the addition of a Doberman to our family and we’re in the ‘Research Phase’ at this point.

The first question I have has to do with Pet Health Insurance. Does anyone have any experience with commercial Pet Health Insurance? Do you think it was a good value for the money? What kind of coverage did you get?

I have been told that some vets offer their own ‘Puppy Plans’. Does anyone have such a plan from their vet? How is that working out?

Puppies need a lot of vet visits during the first year, and ongoing visits for the rest of their lives. Pups need shots, well visits, blood and stool testing, etc. and that doesn’t count possible illnesses along the way.

As we don’t currently have any pets, we don’t have a vet. That will be the next issue. Also, the planning for breeder visits has begun, as well as the search for a good training facility.

Any comments you may have on the above will be greatly appreciated.


Joined: 2012-10-28

Pet Profiles

Hi And Welcome

Good luck in your search! Possibly your breeder will be able to recommend a vet in your area.

We got Trupanion for our dog who we adopted at 10 months.

Mostly because if she is bit by a rattlesnake it will cost 5000.00+ to save her. 

If you have plenty of savings for a financial catastophe such as a bill like this ... maybe you don't need insurance. We figured that in 10 years we would pay out about 5000, and would likely get it back either because of a snake or some problem as she gets older.

We pay about 40 per month and so far it has paid for itself by over 1/2. Because she got a little sick a few times, and we paid the deductible but still got some back. Our vet handles all the paperwork to and fro to the health insurance.

I think there are some websites that compare insurance and do read the small print. I am not sure we got the best one.

The younger your dog is the better price you should get, monthly for their lifetime. But I do not think any health plan covers regular stuff of any kind for puppies or dogs such as immunizations.


AresMyDobie's picture
Joined: 2015-02-28

Pet Profiles

Ya I'm currently going to be going trupanion as well :) the dpca is a great website to find a reputable breeder :)

Dobie2's picture
Joined: 2015-10-05

Thank you for your replies.

Julia, now that's a scary thought - my pup being bitten by a rattlesnake. Not something I wanted to think about, but you're right, I HAVE to think about that sort of event. Dobermans are SOOO curious and aren't likely to back off simply because some 'rope-looking thing' made a noise. No, I wouldn't want to take that much money out of savings if something like that did happen, God Forbid! I will check out the websites and see what turns up. I was asking for input from members here because I would trust them, but I'm not sure I would trust the 'reviews' posted on the websites. As to the puppy stuff, my daughters vet has a 'puppy plan', for lack of a better term. The way it works is you pay up front for all basic first year visits for shots, all spelled out in advance. I think it was about $ 500.00 for the first year, and you get a discount for the up-front payment. Then, all other visits are discounted, nail clippings are free, meds are discounted, tests discounted, etc. Her pup had a couple of unscheduled visits, one of which was for extraction of a baby tooth which just wouldn't budge. She calculates the plan saved her at least what she paid, probably more, and she would have to pay for the shots anyway at full price. All the bills show the regular price for the service(s), which are posted, less the discount. It sounds like a good deal, but I was wondering if anyone here had a similar experience.

AresMyDobie, thanks for the input. I will look at trupanion, and the DPCA site.

Thanks again

Joined: 2012-10-28

Pet Profiles


If you live in an area where there are poisonous snakes, you can:

Get snake aversion training, do annually at least twice.

Get an annual shot to make them survive a bite better, gives you more time.

The 500$ sounds a little high to me but I never had a puppy that needed all the puppy stuff. We found that the vet charged 14 raised to 16$ per toenail clippings and now have a groomer that dremels which Bella tolerates much better, for only 5$, drop in, no appt, needless to say I give her 10>>>   I think you don't dremel but nail clip puppies??


cocopea's picture
Joined: 2016-04-11

We have pet insurance for both of our dogs and it’s been really helpful and our company trupanion has paid most claims. They do have some exclusions for genetic health issues that lots of dobies face but now that both dogs have pre-existing health issues we can’t switch plans. Unfortunately we just took a friend’s advice and signed up before reviewing and comparing various coverage and plans. 

We’ve learned a lot since then and knowing what I know now we’d probably pick healthy paws because they have the highest payouts, lowest limits and cheapest monthly premiums. 

Some things to keep in mind when looking around, there are some companies like VPI and pet premium that offer inadequate coverage that’s cheap but limited to very small payouts mostly on just accidents and sicknesses. Then there are companies like petplan who offer multiple options to configure a plan that works. The differences would be reimbursement % amount, annual and lifetime limits, conditions covered, genetic and hereditary benefits and other stuff. 

In our financial situation (we have a fixed income) pet insurance gave us a peace of mind because if one of dogs got a chronic illness or swallowed something that became life threatening we’d be able to protect them and not be forced to put them down for financial reasons. Everybody’s situation is different though and I’ve read about others who have money to pay out $5k, $10k, $20k if something arises and obv. For them it might not make sense to buy an insurance policy. 

Talk to your veterinarian and ask him or her about their experience with the different companies and which ones their customers are happiest with. Also, check out forums, online discussions, meetups, dog parks, etc. and just ask around you’d be surprised how much you’ll learn. After spending many hours trying to make sense of pet insurance, we’ve collected a few of the most helpful resources to share with anyone who wants to know if it’s right for their dog. Hope they help and message me or reply if you have any questions for me. Good luck!

Danielleak's picture
Joined: 2014-12-11

Pet Profiles

A good way for looking into vets is definitly word of mouth! Ask people at work :)

Sgourle's picture
Joined: 2014-07-18

Pet Profiles

I know that this is an older thread, but I just wanted to throw out that Healthy Paws has been a great insurance for Juneau. His plan has a $250 deductible, covers all genetic issues, unlimited claims per year, and pays out at 80%. I have had it since he was just under a year old. I love Healthy Paws because I just snap a picture of the invoice for online submission and have consistently received my reimbursement within 3 business days hassle free. I pay $66/month. A comparable plan on trips ion would run $105. Just my two cents. 

talisin's picture
Joined: 2011-02-25

wow that sounds like a great plan!!!