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Americans love pets. According to a National Pet Owners Survey conducted by the American Pet Products Association, 85 million families own a pet – that’s 65% of U.S. households. We also celebrate and honor our pets. Whether we’re throwing our kitty a birthday party or celebrating National Dog Day (which is coming up on August 26!), we’re always finding ways to embrace the special bond we have with our four-legged friends.
There’s nothing like coming home and having your dog greet you at the door wagging its tail or curling up on the couch with your purring cat. Pets are a source of companionship and support and for many us; they are an important part of our lives. But as much as we adore our furry family members, becoming a pet owner isn’t cheap. Here are just some of the costs that may accompany pet ownership:
- Litter box (cat)
- Carrying crate
- Annual medical exams
While some of the above are one-time costs, others are weekly and annual expenses. Military pet owners may have additional costs such as transportation or boarding expenses related to deployments and PCS moves.
What’s not included here? Vet bills when your pet gets sick or injured. According to Dr. Louise Murray, vice-president of the ASPCA’s Bergh Memorial Animal Hospital in New York City, pet owners “will likely incur at least one $2,000 – $4,000 bill for emergency care at some point during their pet’s lifetime.” Having an emergency savings account can help you prepare for those unexpected and unfortunate situations. Pet insurance is also something you may want to consider.
How does pet insurance work?
Pet insurance functions similar to how human health insurance works. While steps may differ a bit depending on your pet insurance plan, most plans work as follows:
- You pay an annual or monthly premium
- When your pet gets sick, you visit the vet and pay the amount due
- After you cover your deductible, you’ll be fully or partially reimbursed for some or all of the remaining medical expenses
Most pet insurances won’t cover routine check-ups or treatments related to dental disease, preexisting conditions, grooming and behavioral issues.
While there is cost involved with pet insurance, having an insurance plan can save you money throughout your pet’s lifetime. Without any insurance, you’ll have to pay out of pocket for all treatments.
There are a variety of pet insurance plans to choose from, and some offer special discounts to active duty service members and veterans. Here are a few of the military pet insurance discounts we found:
Active or former members of the Air Force, Army, Marines, Navy or Coast Guard are eligible for a 5% military discount.
Service members, veterans and their families can receive a 5% discount on cat and dog insurance plans. Not available in Tennessee and New York.
If you are a USAA member you can receive a 15% discount on pet insurance and if you are active duty military, you are eligible for an additional 5% discount for insuring multiple pets.
When you become a pet owner, you make a commitment to caring for your pet in sickness and in health. Having a pet insurance plan as well as money in an emergency savings account can help you weather the high costs of vet bills and keep your pet healthy and happy.
This blog is for informational uses only. It should not be considered legal or financial advice. You should consult with a financial professional to determine what may be best for your individual needs. Military discounts generally require proof of military service. See individual websites for details, restrictions, expiration dates, and information. Offers and discounts can change at any time. Omni Financial does not endorse, recommend or imply affiliation with the listed companies or organizations.