Which Company Has the Best Pet Insurance for Dogs?

Nadav Shemer
Dog Insurance
Dogs are loyal, loving, and lovable – but they can also be mischievous, curious, and impulsive. That’s why it’s so important to get insurance for your dog – insurance that covers all the medical care you might need, but without breaking the bank.

Take a look at 5 of the best pet insurance companies for dogs, and keep your pup healthy and your wallet happy. Here's the scoop:

How Does Dog Insurance Work?

Generally speaking, dog health insurance is like human medical insurance. If your dog gets sick or injured as a result of a covered incident, then your dog medical insurance provider will cover some of the costs. If you want routine care and wellness, then you’ll either have to upgrade your plan or pay out of pocket. Things like cosmetic treatment and pre-existing conditions are usually excluded.

Most of the terms you’re probably familiar with from medical insurance also apply to dog health insurance. When you purchase insurance for dogs, you can expect to have a waiting period of 14-30 days. You’ll also get to set your own annual deductible, annual limit, and reimbursement amount. The best pet insurance for dogs usually reimburses 70-90% of costs above the deductible. What you choose ultimately affects how much you pay as a monthly premium.

How Much Does Dog Insurance Cost?

Several factors go into determining your monthly premium, including your dog’s age; its breed; the level of coverage; and the size of the deductible. As your pet gets older they become more expensive to insure, hence why puppy insurance is cheaper than insurance for an older dog. Breeds that are prone to illness, like Newfoundlanders and Rottweilers, are the most expensive to cover. Smaller breeds with fewer illnesses, like cocker spaniels and beagles, are among the cheapest for dog medical insurance.

Based on our survey of the best dog insurance providers, you can expect to pay $9+ for accident-only coverage and $20+ for accident + illness. Obviously, the costs can get a lot higher than that for certain breeds. Wellness and routine coverage also cost a lot more. 

Tips When Looking for Dog Insurance

No two dogs are the same, and therefore no two insurers offer the best dog insurance for your dog.

When looking for dog insurance:

  • Compare prices for your breed. It only takes a few seconds to get a pet insurance quote, so request one from all the top providers and compare side by side.
  • Look closely at what’s covered – and what’s not. When purchasing dog health insurance, you want to be sure you’re covered for the sort of unexpected medical emergencies that would otherwise burn a hole in your pocket.
  • Ask how easy the service is to use. Does the insurer offer paperless claims? How quickly does it usually pay out? Do other customers appear to be satisfied? Finding the answers to these questions will help you make a decision.

Biggest Plus
Deductible
Annual Limit
PetsBest
Claims settled in 5 days
$50 to $1,000
$5,000 to unlimited
ASPCA
Covers advanced treatments
$100 to $500
$3,000 to $10,000
Embrace
Large range of congenital disorders
$100 to $1,000
$5,000 to $30,000
Hartville
Fast and easy applications
$100 to $500
$5,000 to unlimited
Petplan
Paperless claims
$250 to $500
$5,000 to unlimited

1. Pets Best

Pets Best allows you to choose between low-cost, accident-only dog insurance, or comprehensive coverage that includes wellness care, behavioral therapy, and prosthetics. Pets Best covers your dog no matter where you are in the world, with a round the clock pre-approval hotline so that you can check that an expensive treatment is included in your dog’s insurance plan before you go through with it. Pets Best dog insurance policies are flexible and customizable, so you can tailor your policy to your pocketbook.

The Pets Best Accident and Illness plans pays your actual vet bill for unexpected incidents with your dog. With multiple levels of coverage, the plans can be customized to meet your budget and your pup. The EssentialWellness ($16/month) and BestWellness ($26/month) add-ons pay up to a minimum amount (with BestWellness paying slightly more) for routine care, such as teeth cleaning, flea prevention and microchipping. 

  • Suitable for: Fast claims approval within 5 days
  • Deductibles: $50 and up
  • Reimbursement: 70%-90% of claims
  • Annual limits: $5,000 and up
  • What's not covered: Pre existing conditions, elective or preventative care such as nail trimming
  • Age limit: 7 weeks and up
  • Monthly costs: Standard plan for 2-year old neutered, medium size, mixed-breed dog with no previous illnesses.
Accident Only
Accident & Illness
Accident & Illness + Exam Fees & Rehab
$9/month
$21.55/month
$26.31/month

Read the full Pets Best review

Pets Best Pets Best Visit Site

2. ASPCA Pet Health Insurance

With ASPCA dog insurance, you can choose between Accident-Only coverage, Preventive Care coverage for wellness treatments, and Complete Coverage for dogs who are always getting into trouble. You can also choose which vet you see anywhere in the country, without sacrificing your insurance repayments, and choose how much to pay by adjusting your deductibles, reimbursement level, and annual coverage limit. ASPCA includes plans that cover advanced diagnostics, behavioral therapy, hereditary conditions, dental treatments and alternative therapy. 

  • Suitable for: ASPCA offers the most advanced diagnostics and treatments, ideal for breeds with a greater risk of congenital disorders
  • Deductibles: From $100 to $500
  • Reimbursement: 70%, 80%, or 90%
  • Annual limits: From $3,000 up
  • What's not covered: Cosmetic procedures, breeding costs, pre-existing conditions, incidents unrelated to accidents
  • Age limit: 8 weeks and up
  • Monthly costs: Standard plan for 2-year old neutered, medium size, mixed-breed dog with no previous illnesses.
Accident Only
Complete Coverage
$27.36/month
$42.99/month

Read the full ASPCA Pet Health Insurance review

ASPCA ASPCA Visit Site

3. Embrace

Embrace shows that it cares about your pet and every pet, by supporting animal charities with a portion of every premium. It also provides coverage for hereditary and congenital disorders and has a high customer service rating. Like many dog insurance companies, Embrace allows you to choose your deductible, reimbursement level, and annual limit, although it doesn't have an unlimited annual limit option. The Wellness Rewards add-on gives you 100% reimbursement for routine care up to a maximum of $250-$650 per year.

  • Suitable for: Pure-breed dogs that are prone to congenital disorders
  • Deductibles: From $100 to $1,000
  • Reimbursement: 70%, 80% or 90%
  • Annual limits: $5,000 to $30,000
  • What's not covered: Routine vet care, pre-existing conditions, cosmetic procedures, breeding and pregnancy, injury caused deliberately by someone in your home, cosmetic procedures, DNA testing.
  • Age limit: 14 years
  • Monthly costs: Standard plan for 2-year old neutered, medium size, mixed-breed dog with no previous illnesses.
Accident Only
Accident and Illness + Wellness Coverage
$39.80
From $85.55

Read the full Embrace review

EMBRACE EMBRACE Visit Site

4. Hartville

With Hartville, you can decide if you want to pay for complete dog insurance that includes advanced diagnostics, hereditary conditions, and behavioral issues, or keep the costs down with an accident-only plan. There’s also an optional add-on to cover preventive care. Hartville lets you set your deductible, reimbursement level, and annual limit, so you can control how much you’ll pay and when you’ll pay it. Hartville covers hereditary diseases, injury, illnesses, accidental harm, preventative care, alternative treatments and exam fees, depending on the plan you choose. 

  • Suitable for: Dog owners who want a simple and fast online dog insurance process
  • Deductibles: $100, $250, $500
  • Reimbursement: 70%, 80%, 90%
  • Annual limits: $5,000 to unlimited
  • What's not covered: Pre-existing conditions
  • Age limit: From 8 weeks
  • Monthly costs: Standard plan for 2-year old neutered, medium size, mixed-breed dog with no previous illnesses.
Accident Only
Complete Coverage
$27.36
$42.99/month

Read the full Hartville review

Hartville Hartville Visit Site

5. Petplan

Although Petplan’s dog insurance policy costs can be high, there are many discounts available. For example, you’ll get 5% off for buying dog insurance online, 10% off if you’re a veteran, and 10% off if you’re buying the policy through your employer. Petplan's policies justify the cost – and you can adjust the deductible, reimbursement amount, and annual limit for your dog insurance plan until it fits your budget. Petplan offers comprehensive coverage that won’t be withdrawn as your dog gets older. Petplan can cover hereditary and congenital conditions, specialist surgery, rehabilitation, dental exams, alternative therapies, cancer treatment and prescription medications. 

  • Suitable for: Easy claims process that’s completely paperless
  • Deductibles: $250 - $500
  • Reimbursement: 70%-90%
  • Annual limits: $5,000+
  • Monthly costs: Standard plan for 2-year old neutered, medium size, mixed-breed dog with no previous illnesses $33.42
  • What's not covered: Wellness and routine care, pre-existing conditions. 
  • Age limit: From 6 months, but dogs aged over 6 years will need a vet exam within 30 days of becoming insured

Read the full Petplan review

PetPlan PetPlan Visit Site

How to Choose the Right Pet Insurance for Your Dog

Before you take out pet insurance for dogs, it’s important to compare all the costs, not just the monthly premiums. Even if the premiums are low, you might end up with a high deductible, low reimbursement level, or a low annual payment limit that could end up costing you more in the long run.

It’s also vital to check that your dog’s insurance plan covers all of the issues you might need. Some dog insurance policies include alternative medicine, some cover routine care like checkups and shots, and some pay for overnight hospital stays and surgery. Think about what your dog might need and pick the right dog insurance plan for your pet.

The Dog Insurance Bottom Line

A dog insurance plan should cover all your dog might need. If you have a curious young dog who keeps poking his nose into everything, you’ll need complete coverage. If you have a pure-breed, you’ll want to make sure that any hereditary diseases are included. If you have a calm lap dog who prefers to sleep most of the time, you might not need more than emergency accident-only coverage. The choice is yours. Dog insurance is vital to make sure that you can always afford to keep your canine companion in the best of health. Whether you choose comprehensive insurance coverage or an accident-only policy for emergencies, dog insurance is a critical part of your doggy equipment. 

Frequently Asked Questions About Dog Insurance

What information do I need to get a quote? 

Getting a quote from the best dog insurance providers is surprisingly easy. Just go to the quote-request form on the provider’s website and enter your dog’s name; its breed; its age; its sex; and your contact details. A couple of seconds later, you’ll see your quote.

How much could I pay out of pocket without dog health insurance? 

This really depends a lot on your dog’s breed and age – and on luck. The average surgical vet visit for a dog costs $426 and the average routine vet visit costs $212, according to the 2019-20 American Pet Products Association National Pet Owners Survey. Procedures involving things like CT scans, transplants, and radiation therapy can cost in the thousands.

What are some of the alternatives to dog insurance? 

Aside from paying out of pocket, other options include: credit financing; a pet savings plan; or volunteer-run vet clinics that provide low-cost procedures.

Nadav Shemer
Nadav Shemer specializes in business, tech, and energy, with a background in financial journalism, hi-tech and startups. He enjoys writing about the latest innovations in financial services and products.