Pet Life Hacks with Dr Sherrill – August 2021: Do I really need pet insurance for my dog or cat?

I want to continue to give you small pearls of wisdom that I think will be helpful as you share your life with your pet family member. I welcome any feedback to our practice email:

Episode TWO: Pet Insurance is a MUST!
Do you really need pet insurance?

When clients ask me if I think pet insurance is worth it, I always say “well, I have pet insurance for my dog, and I’m a veterinarian!”

Pet insurance, though not perfect (what insurance is?), can help you take care of your pet when things go wrong – such as accidents, toxic exposures, ear and skin infections, diabetes, thyroid disease, chronic illnesses, and much more. Some pet insurance even helps to cover preventive care like vaccines, spaying, and neutering.

When my dog developed a bony enlargement in her jaw bone earlier this year, 3 veterinarians and myself knew it had to be jaw cancer. I was beside myself. I went to a cancer specialist and started her on a melanoma vaccine series (4 injections, totaling $3000) and then to a dental specialist who performed a CT scan, biopsy and 3 extractions for a final diagnosis of periodontal infections (such relief!) totaling $2500. My insurance (Trupanion) reimbursed me for 90% of these costs (except any exams) after her deductible was met ($500). Otherwise, I assure you, I would not have been able to pursue such expensive procedures and medications. The $25 a month I pay for her insurance is beyond worth it to me.

So how do you find the right pet insurance?

You can start on our website at:


under the Services Tab, where we have direct links to Trupanion and NationwidePet insurance websites.
Here are the direct links:

I also suggest you check with your job’s HR department to see if they offer pet insurance as a benefit to you.
Another resource is a third-party comparison of several pet insurance brands at:

Dr Cohen and I have clients everyday that are able to pursue the best medical care for their pet because of pet insurance. It truly makes a difference to have that extra help.
We are a Trupanion-connected practice and can submit invoices to Trupanion for our clients. In some cases, long-term Trupanion clients can even have their invoices paid directly for them when checking out with us. For other insurances, we can fill out claim forms and email records when requested.

I will leave you with another compelling reason to consider pet insurance for your furry friend: in Sweden, there is only ONE animal shelter for adoptions – people love their pets and insure them (90% of dogs, 50% of cats), so animal shelters are simply not needed like they are in the US, where only about 2% of dogs and 0.5% of cats are insured….

Please send any questions you may have for me to our email.

Until next time, enjoy your pet!
-Dr Sherrill

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