What I Wish I Knew Before Getting a Pet

Meet Buddy, the most demanding of our children.
Meet Buddy, the most demanding of our children.

We brought Buddy home from the Humane Society when he was four-years-old. That was almost five years ago, and he’s been a prominent family member ever since. Our friends joke that Buddy won the doggy lottery. We appreciate his little quirks and cater to his every whim. I don’t think anything can prepare you for how much your pet will own a place in your heart. That’s just something you have to experience for yourself. Still, there are a few things I wish I knew prior.

What to know before getting a pet

I wish somebody told me that pets have distinct personalities and you’re going to have to tailor your care to best fit their needs. Buddy, our shih tzu-jack russell mix is like a needy spouse, who also thinks he’s the alpha male. It’s exhausting. I now have greater sympathy for my girlfriends with insecure husbands. (Buddy thinks I’m his wife, BTW.) He needs to be walked for over an hour each day and won’t eat dog food straight up. He’ll only eat food that’s been mixed with meat or pumpkin or peanut butter. If he doesn’t eat, he throws up – usually on our carpet in the middle of the night.

As much as I adore Buddy, the dog has got issues. He still suffers from separation anxiety, even after all these years. He has many nervous habits, the worst are intense scratching and licking his paws to the point of drawing blood. We’ve been in and out of the vet, had numerous exams, done the cone around the neck thing and pretty much everything we can think of for him.

So what I really wish somebody had told me all those years ago when we first got him, was to consider pet insurance. Sure, I got a brochure about pet insurance when we took him home from the pound, but I blew it off. How much money can a dog cost, I wondered? As it turns out, a lot. Although Buddy’s existing issues and his regular care would not have been covered by pet insurance, there are certainly other issues we’ve encountered where pet insurance would have made a difference.

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adorable dog
If your pup was this cute, you wouldn’t say no to their expensive bills, would you?

How much will your pet cost you?

Each year we spend between $700 and $1000 on Buddy. This doesn’t include his food. Surprisingly, I don’t feel too embarrassed about this. That’s because like most pets, Buddy has become part of our family. When someone you care about is sick or in pain, you’re going to want to help them. That’s why Buddy occasionally takes anti-depressants, goes to doggy physio and gets adjusted by a pet chiropractor. You can physically notice the results after treatment, and we go whenever he’s out of sorts.

Getting a quote and buying pet insurance is quick and easy. I know this because I called PC pet insurance last Friday. With them, you can get insurance over the phone or online within a matter of minutes. PC pet insurance helps protect you from high bills in the event of an accident or illness with your pet. Coverage can also include compensation if you cancel your holiday because your pet is hospitalized for a covered and critical condition. Get this, it may even cover advertising and reward costs if your pet is lost.

I was most jazzed to learn PC pet insurance pays for alternative therapies the pet has received for treatment of an insured accident or illness (if ordered by a licensed veterinarian for the treatment of a covered illness or accident). This coverage includes acupuncture, chiropractic services, massage and physiotherapy! PC pet insurance isn’t a health plan, so you pay your practitioner upfront, submit a claim and then receive your reimbursement if approved.

There are different plans available to fit your budget and needs. Rates start at $9.95/month for cats and $10.95/month for dogs. Not that you can predict that sort of thing, but most  pets will eventually become ill or perhaps have an unfortunate accident.

Do you have a pet? What do you wish you knew before getting yours?

Disclosure: This post was presented in partnership with PC® insurance. The opinions on this blog are my own.

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4 thoughts on “What I Wish I Knew Before Getting a Pet”

  1. I use PC pet insurance for my two dogs, and found their pricing very attractive compared to competitors and don’t remember ever having an issue while filing a claim.

  2. Kim Takeda

    Love this article from you, Jody. I chose to get pet insurance from a company here in Japan when I first got Sinbad. You never dream you will need it, but I decided to get it because of course you always want the best for your new fur baby. I didn’t need to use it at all, but I still paid the premiums. Then, when Sinbad was diagnosed with a blood condition that required weekly (now bi-weekly) blood tests, medication and special attention when getting groomed or staying at a pet hotel, I was so grateful that I had the insurance. I can rest assured that Sinbad is getting the best care and I can afford to give that to him, thanks to the insurance. Some of my fellow pet owners laughed and said I was an eccentric pet parent. But you never know when you just might need that insurance to give your pet the best care possible at a time when any financial aid is highly appreciated. Thank you, Jody, as always for alerting pet owners and sharing your story1

    1. Thanks so much, Kim. I had no idea how many pet owners out there know about insurance. I wish I was that on the ball when I first got my little guy. I wonder how the pet care differs in Japan from North America?

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