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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- How to cope with a fractured dog tooth
- 24 strong vets who endorse raw dog food
- How to safely feed your dog raw meaty bones
- How to feed a raw meat diet for dogs with cancer
- Dog cancer supplements suggested by Dr. Loops
- How to make no-bake dog treats for dogs with cancer