Due to its increasing popularity, pet dental insurance is in high demand amongst owners. However, not all plans cover the routine care needed to ensure the well-being of your pet's dental health. It is essential to understand the dental plans offered and what they entail.
Many pet dental insurance plans offer either routine/preventative or emergency coverage, but not both.
Common coverage includes:
- Tooth removal, which is typically necessary if the tooth prohibits the animal for eating or drinking in a normal fashion or causes discomfort because of illness, periodontal disease or infection; also misaligned teeth can cause problems
- Oral trauma, impact injury, tugging games, rough-play, slab fracture; in some cases, oral trauma can cause nerve damage and bacterial infection if left untreated
- Oral growth, which can be cancerous or benign; however, it is necessary for a veterinarian to make this determination
- Dental cleaning, which is the best defense as it prevents gingivitis and periodontal disease
- Canine dental disease that is a result of periodontal disease due to build up that travels to the gum line and causes gingivitis
Prior to purchasing pet dental insurance that best suits your needs, be sure to take a few factors into consideration.
The amount you remit monthly for coverage will heavily depend on the options you select. If you prefer a plan that only requires minimal out-of-pocket costs when you visit the vet for routine dental care, the premiums will reflect this. On the other hand, since trauma is less likely, policies that are primarily for this type of coverage will more than likely come at a much lower cost.
Pet dental insurance often excludes pre-existing conditions from coverage. If you encounter this issue, search for discount plans in lieu of dental coverage.
What are your specific dental care needs? Do not select a plan that does not provide the coverage you need for your pet.
Inquire with the insurance provider to determine if your pet qualifies for dental coverage and if any age limits and/or surcharges apply.
If you prefer a particular provider to administer dental care to your pet, check to see if they are covered under the plan. If not, can they be added?
There are a variety of reputable pet dental insurance providers that serve pet owners nationwide.
AKC Pet Healthcare Plan
Through its collaboration with Pet Partners, the American Kennel Club Wellness Plan offers dental care coverage to its registrants. With over 30 years of experience, they are known for their rapid claim processing time of 15 days, multiple pet discount and free look period. Their dental coverage includes an annual routine dental cleaning, and you will only be responsible for 20% of the charges incurred once you meet the annual deductible of $125.
Dogs ranging from 8 weeks to 9 years of age are eligible for coverage. Cats seeking coverage must be between the ages of 10 weeks and 9 years of age.
Veterinary Pet Insurance
Veterinary Pet Insurance (VPI) was established in 1982. They offer the following dental coverage to cats and dogs:
|Major Medical Plan comprehensive||
Dogs: Tooth removal (up to $500), oral trauma (up to $730), oral growth (up to $700)
Cats: Tooth removal (up to $500), oral trauma (up to $730)
Dogs: $25 to $35 per month
Cats: $15 to $22 per month
|Medical Plan economical||
Dogs: Tooth removal (up to $250), oral growth (up to $350), oral trauma (up to $365)
Cats: Tooth removal (up to $250), oral trauma (up to $365)
Dogs: $19 to $27 per month
Cats: $12 to $17 per month
|Injury Plan emergency (dogs only)||Covers oral growth and oral trauma (up to $395)||$10 per month|
|Feline Select Plan||Covers tooth removal (up to $600)||$11 per month|
|Care Guard Wellness Plan||Covers dental cleanings (up to $400)||$12 to $22 per month|
Reviewers from PetInsurance.com noted the stellar level of service they received from VPI representatives, especially during emergency situations.
Pet Plan Insurance
Launched as a result of two pet owners' financial struggles to provide the resources necessary to care for their sick pet, Pet Plan specializes in affordable policies for pet parents.
Non-routine dental treatments are available for covered members if your pet has had its teeth checked at least 12 months prior to effective date of coverage. There are three levels of coverage, and each of them enable you to select your preferred deductible and reimbursement percentages.
A recent review from Value Penguin noted that this provider's plans were straightforward and devoid of any hidden deductibles or policy limits.
Established in 2005 by pet owners and fanciers, this provider offers preventative coverage for cats and dogs.
The Pets Best Wellness plan for dogs and cats covers up to $100 of the costs associated with annual dental cleanings, and can be added as a supplement to existing plans at annual renewal or within 30 days of enrollment for $22 per month.
Although non-routine dental coverage is limited, there is no age limit for enrollment, and incidents that occur while on travel are typically covered, according to a recent review from Pet Insurance University.
Under the Level 3 and 4 Advanced Wellness Option, ASPCA customers can receive annual dental cleanings. The cost of coverage is $12 or $26, depending on the plan you select.
Reviewers from PetInsurance.com noted the ease of submitting claims and the willingness of customer service to assist with any major issues they encountered.
Alternative to Pet Dental Insurance
Although they do not offer dental coverage, Pet Assure provides discounts on select treatments. It is ideal for those who have uninsurable pets. Discounts include:
|Single Dog Plan||25% off all medical services||$19.95/month or $79/year|
|Single Cat Plan||25% off all medical services||$17.95/month of $79/year|
|Family Plan (up to 4 pets)||25% off all medical services||$23.95/month or $149/year|
Selecting a Policy
Prior to selecting a policy that best suits your dental coverage needs, be sure to carefully examine the fine print to ensure that you do not incur a substantial amount of out-of-pocket costs.