Peace of Mind with PetsBest Medical Dog Insurance

Peace of Mind with Pets Best Dog Insurance

Pets Best Dog Insurance was a life saver for us back in 2014/2015.

That’s when they reimbursed us over 6k in dog cancer treatment costs.

But let me back up and explain everything.

Disclaimer: This blog post was originally published in 2015 and has been updated in 2023.

I’m a planner.

I’m also not huge on negative surprises and will take preventative steps whenever and for whatever I can.

This habit, of course, also applied to my Boxer mixes Missy & Buzz.

One of the items I put on our puppy-to-do list before they came to live with us in 2012 was to come up with a plan of action should our puppies ever need expensive veterinary treatment.

The two options which presented themselves seemed pretty straight forward:

(1) Opening a puppy emergency savings account and being very disciplined in making the required monthly deposits

(2) Getting dog insurance

So I spent an entire weekend in 2011 researching this topic!

What I noticed was that there were a few different insurance providers to choose from, roughly about 15.

So I went ahead and created a spreadsheet with all the providers I could find online, and began my comparison.

Peace of Mind with Pets Best Dog Insurance

Peace of Mind with PetsBest Dog Insurance

After weighing the pros & cons of each provider as well as of the two options of saving vs. buying insurance, here’s what I did.

I ultimately preferred the financial peace of mind an insurance provider would give us.

So I went ahead and enrolled the pups with Pets Best Dog Insurance!

Pets Best: Best Benefit Accident & Illness Plan, Level 1

Back in 2015, we paid a monthly rate of $76.02 for both dogs, with a $200 annual deductible per dog, and a reimbursement level of 90%.

This was on the Best Benefit Accident & Illness Plan, Level 1.

It came with:

  • An annual coverage of $5.000 per dog
  • A lifetime coverage of $100.000 per dog
  • Holistic coverage of $350 per year and per dog

Hereditary & congenital conditions were included, as well as cancer treatment.

I also signed up for their direct deposit program.

That’s where the reimbursed money goes straight into your bank account.

And sure enough, I had to use them several times!

1) Missy Had A Gastrointestinal Issue Which Required Her To Be Seen And Treated By Our Vet in 2012

She must have ingested something which didn’t agree with her. As a result, she refused to eat, and that was always a sure indicator that something wasn’t right.

Because Missy LOVED to eat!

The vet took X-Ray images of her which didn’t show anything, and also ran her blood work which showed some mild abnormalities.

Apparently her liver and gallbladder appeared to be “bothered” by something.

Long story short: Missy received an anti-nausea injection and antacid.

The vet bill ended up being about $740, of which PetsBest covered $392 after they applied the $250 deductible and our $98 co-pay.

Back then, we had a $250 deductible.

2) Missy’s Entire Cancer Treatment Beginning in October of 2014

  • Cost of the initial blood sample of the lump we found on her: $187.20
  • X-rays at our vet’s: $293
  • Initial Consultation with Dr. Ruslander, one of the Oncology Specialists at the VSH (Veterinary Specialty Hospital) in Cary, NC: $150
  • CT Scans at the VSH: $1.559
  • Cost of Tumor Removal: $2.420
  • Four (4) chemotherapy sessions @ $770 each = $3.080
  • GRAND TOTAL $7,689.20

Of those $7,689.20, PetsBest reimbursed us $6,177.18 after charging us two $200 deductibles (one per yearly coverage), and our 10% co-pay of all invoices.

We ended up paying $1,512.02 out of pocket.

Missy after her tumor removal surgery at the VSH in Cary, NC
Missy after the tumor removal

We had to “eat” the entire third chemotherapy cost, as Missy’s annual allowance of $5.000 had been reached by the time she got her third chemotherapy treatment.

Boxer mix Missy receiving canine chemotherapy
Missy getting chemotherapy

Thankfully, her new yearly coverage started soon after, so we started back at a $0 balance.

PetsBest’s yearly coverage begins the day you enroll your dog, and lasts exactly for one year as of that enrollment date.

You are responsible for any vet costs that exceed the yearly limit you chose, in our case the $5.000.

3) I Discovered A Tiny, Minuscule Mass on Buzz’s Chest During Missy’s Cancer Treatment In 2015

We didn’t take any chances with it whatsoever, but had it removed by our vet Dr. Schaller.

Cost: $375.82, of which PetsBest reimbursed us $152.10 after our $200 annual deductible and our 10% co-pay.

Staples on my Boxer mix Buzz
After Buzz’s mass removal

4) Buzz Fractured His Tooth On A Hard Beef Bone

The bone was one of those smoked ones from the grocery store, also during Missy’s cancer treatment.

It was so bad that the entire tooth had to be removed.

Note: This was before I switched the pups from kibble to raw dog food, and before I became knowledgeable in which dog chews are safest to offer.

Cost: $374.65. PetsBest reimbursed us $250.59.

The $$$ from PetsBest were deposited into our bank account within 2-7 days (days, not business days!) after our respective expenses.

Buzz with his extracted tooth
After Buzz’s tooth removal surgery

I Went Ahead And Checked Out The PetsBest Dog Insurance Rates For 2023

These days, a mixed breed, 2 month old puppy that weighs between 50-90 lbs would cost me $45.54 per month with Pets Best Dog Insurance.

This would include the following terms:

  • An annual coverage of $5.000
  • An annual deductible of $250
  • A reimbursement level of 90%

They do have a multiple pet discount, so a second mixed breed dog, also 2 months old, that weighs between 22-55lbs, would cost an additional $37.71 per month.

So 2 dogs combined would be $83.25 per month.

Compared to the $76.02 monthly payment for Missy & Buzz back in 2015, that’s actually not that much more.

I would have guessed that the difference would be higher. After all, this is 8 years later with a few economic challenges!

However, one thing that hasn’t changed over the years is that they still don’t accept any dogs with pre-existing conditions.

So it’s best to enroll your dog(s) as soon and young as possible!

Medical Insurance For Dogs – Things To Consider

Here is a list of things to consider when you’re shopping for a medical insurance for dogs:

  • What are the different benefits?
  • Is there an incident limit $ amount?
  • Is there a yearly limit $ amount?
  • Is there a lifetime limit $ amount?
  • Are there different deductibles?
  • When does Illness coverage start?
  • When does Accident Coverage start?
  • Do they offer holistic coverage?
  • Are there enrollment/admin/processing fees?
  • Does the Premium increase with age?
  • How long is the processing time for claims?
  • What’s the reimbursement percentage of the vet bill?
  • Can payments be made quarterly, semi-annually, or annually to save?
  • Are there discounts for multi-family pets or other incentives?
  • Are congenital (birth or growth defects) and hereditary (condition passed down from parent or breed) conditions covered?
  • Make sure the dog insurance covers your state! You can find out if they do by getting a quote on the respective website.

Also helpful: Read Reviews!

I found a helpful website which offers insight & reviews of different providers: PetInsuranceReview.

Peace of Mind with Pets Best Dog Insurance: Bottom Line

We definitely got back what we paid in premiums since early 2012!

The $2,800 we invested in Missy & Buzz’s Pets Best Dog Insurance ended up paying for themselves.

We would have had a much harder time coming up with the cost for Missy’s cancer treatment if we hadn’t had medical dog insurance for the pups.

Needless to say, we were very pleased with the decision of getting dog insurance.

I vetoed my ex-husband’s  initial “Do you really think it’s necessary?” and confidently recommend PetsBest!

And yes, of course I also signed my new dog Wally up for medical dog insurance!

Back in 2019 when we still lived in the States, I did another dog insurance comparison. This time around, I went with HealthyPaws Pet Insurance.

My monthly premium for Wally was $32.52 with a 90% reimbursement and a $250 annual deductible.

When we moved to Germany in 2021, I signed him up for a German medical pet insurance provider called HanseMerkur.

To read about our move from the States to Germany, check out my blog post How to move overseas with your raw-fed dog.

Related Reading

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Barbara launched her blog K9sOverCoffee in 2014 and has been feeding her dogs raw dog food since 2015. As a former professional dog walker, she’s passionate about balancing species-appropriate exercise with healthy dog nutrition. Barbara is raw dog food nutrition certified from “Dogs Naturally Magazine” and the author of several e-books about minimally processed, balanced raw dog food.


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17 responses to “Peace of Mind with Pets Best Dog Insurance”

  1. Elaine Avatar

    Thanks for doing so much legwork on the comparisons of these insurance companies. I hate doing that kind of research, it’s so time consuming but it definitely pays off for an investment like this. We don’t have insurance for Haley, but I’m definitely going to be getting it for our next dog. I think in general, pet insurance options have improved quite a bit over the last 10 years.

    1. K9sOverCoffee Avatar

      I’m glad that you find the information helpful! I remember sitting down at the kitchen table at my in-laws’ where we were for an extended weekend, having several cups of coffee & reading up on these different insurance providers.

      I think pet insurance can really help someone out tremendously if their pup gets into a serious accident or develops a major illness. Of course it’s impossible to predict your pup’s future, but it ended up being a wise investment for us.

      It sounds like you’re right regarding the pet insurance options; I remember my mother in law being surprised at all the options I mentioned. She didn’t get dog insurance for her pups as there really weren’t many options years back.

  2. DZ Dogs Avatar

    THANK YOU SOO MUCH!!!
    I’ve been going back and forth on this subject, right now finances are an issue but the more I think about it the more I think it’s a good idea!

    1. K9sOverCoffee Avatar

      You are most welcome πŸ™‚ I’m so glad you liked the article ~ we were juggling our finances as well, but were able to squeeze the extra payment in somehow. Had we not had the insurance when Missy’s cancer surfaced, we would have had to take out a loan to cover the costs.
      Granted, we still had to front the money, BUT PetsBest reimbursed us so quickly that we could just use an entire paycheck, knowing that the reimbursement would come in quickly. *Huge sigh of relief*

  3. Kate Obrien Avatar
    Kate Obrien

    Great summary. We got insurance a few years ago. Luckily we haven’t really had to use it. Jack’s IBD was unfortunately not covered because it was diagnosed before we got the insurance.

    1. K9sOverCoffee Avatar

      Thank you, Kate. Good for you that you have insurance for your pups. That’s definitely the one downside of having insurance in place: It usually won’t cover pre-diagnosed illnesses.

  4. alasandra Avatar
    alasandra

    Thanks for laying out the information so well.

    1. K9sOverCoffee Avatar

      Thank you Alasandra, hope you or someone you know will be able to use it!

  5. Playful Kitty Avatar
    Playful Kitty

    Wow. You’ve gotten some really great benefits from your pet insurance. That’s great! Thank you for laying out all of the information!

    1. K9sOverCoffee Avatar

      We sure have ~ and they haven’t dropped us yet πŸ˜‰ Thank you for stopping by ~ hope the info will come in handy for you!

  6. Jan K, Wag N Woof Pets Avatar
    Jan K, Wag N Woof Pets

    This sounds like a good plan. We have never had insurance for the pets. I’ve just often felt that insurance can really be a racket (of any kind, not just pet). When we adopted Luke we got one month of free insurance to try. He had some issues and they did pay one small claim. I wasn’t overly impressed though, so did not renew it. Trust me, I’m kicking myself now for not looking into it more, researching other companies, since he’s been diagnosed with luxating patellas and if we have to have surgery it will be quite expensive.

    1. K9sOverCoffee Avatar

      PetsBest seemed to offer the “best bang for our buck”, and they haven’t disappointed us: I wanted to get a discount for having insurance for more than one dog, definitely wanted to have the direct deposit option into our bank account, and wanted to go with a company who wouldn’t increase their prices once the pups got older.
      Their very quick claim turnaround is the icing on top of everything else ~ AND you can submit & upload claim paperwork online; at the very beginning, I had our vet receptionist fax the claim paperwork to our insurance, but now I am doing it from my smartphone while either still sitting at our vet’s office, or while in the car before going back home. It is so very convenient πŸ™‚
      I hope you won’t have to have the surgery done πŸ™

  7. Catherine Armato, Dogs Luv Us Avatar

    Wow, what an incredibly thoughtful and thorough review of your decision to obtain pet insurance and how it has worked out for you. This is such helpful information for so many people, including us. Thank you for so generously sharing the information you gathered and your experience with pet insurance. I’m sharing so others can benefit from this info.

    1. K9sOverCoffee Avatar

      Thank you very much for the compliments, Catherine, and for sharing the article πŸ™‚ I wrote it hoping it might help fellow dog owners make an informed decision. I am very glad that it seems to be doing that πŸ™‚

  8. DZ Dogs Avatar

    Here I am again…just wanted to again say THANK YOU!! Finances are still tight but being that we want to continue to do doggy sports and with Ziva’s recent injury *hopefully nothing serious* we’re again thinking we really should just get insurance…Great post!

    1. K9sOverCoffee Avatar

      Hello again πŸ™‚ I really hope Ziva’s leg will heal & feel better with some rest. Have you looked into the different insurance companies to see which ones would suit your needs best? Keep in mind that most will not cover any preexisting conditions!

      1. DZ Dogs Avatar

        Yup i’m currently in the process of researching. On a good note, Ziva seems to be fine now. We’re still going to see the vet tomorrow for a re-check just to be sure.

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