Have you ever wondered about pet insurance? Is it worth buying it? Does your pet qualify? What does it cover?
Pet insurance may be a good idea, especially since the cost of veterinary care is going up. “That’s because of higher costs associated with the equipment, facilities and training required to provide these higher-quality services,” according to the article, “Do you need pet insurance?” at American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). “Pet health insurance can help by offsetting some or most of the costs of diagnosing, treating and managing your pet’s illness or injury.”
First do your own research on pet insurance and the various companies that offer the service. Here are some things to take into consideration, according to the AVMA article:
• Research providers and make sure they let you know details, including any “limitations and exclusions” when it comes to coverage that is routine or wellness, and emergency.
• Are there add-on options, including dental care?
• Find out about pre-existing conditions.
• Does the carrier cover all breeds of pet?
• Find out about co-pays, deductibles and other fees.
Pet insurance does have limits, according to the article, “What Is Pet Insurance and How Does It Work?” at ValuePenguin.
You pay a monthly premium for pet health insurance, and if you have a sick pet or one who is injured, you basically pay the pet’s bill upfront. Then you submit a claim to be reimbursed. You may also have a deductible while many policies also have a preexisting clause or one that excludes other things.
“While the monthly premiums can add up to a few hundred dollars per year, the benefit of pet insurance is that cost will be less of a factor when deciding whether to go through with a major procedure,” the ValuePenguin article said.
Just as with humans, you’ll find pets slow down as they age. For cats, they may not only slow down, they will take more rest periods. You may also find they have more physical challenges.
Oftentimes, older cats will stop grooming themselves, and there are reasons why. According to the article, “Matted Fur and More: Grooming Your Senior Cat” at PetMD.com, “Many cats develop arthritis in their spine and hips, which makes the motion of grooming painful.”
Because of their pain, many cats cannot get to certain areas to groom themselves. So, there may be areas on their coat that then are messy and unkempt. Look out for the following signs:
• A cat who gets up more slowly
• A cat who grooms himself less often
• Accidents in the litter box
• Jumping less
• Less activity
You may have a very overweight senior cat, which also can make grooming more difficult. It can also lead to your cat getting more dandruff, unkempt fur, in addition to “a buildup of urine or fecal material,” the PetMD.com article said.
According to the PetMD article, you can help by doing the following:
• Brush your cat and pet him.
• Clip your cat’s nails.
• Schedule veterinary vet visits.
Sometimes a cat may have a matted back end, which is not only unpleasant but will stop your cat from grooming the area. “Cats with long fur are also in danger of getting tangles and mats more easily, and they may not be able to undo the matting on their own,” according to the article, “Why Has My Cat Stopped Self-Grooming?” at Cattime.com.
If you can, have the fur around the area shaved lightly. Use your vet or groomer to help with this.
Have your cat checked by your vet to ensure there are no other health issues.
If you can’t have a dog or cat at home, there are other, smaller animals you could bring home to make part of your family.
“From bunnies to hedgehogs, there are many other critters that can make great pets and might be a good fit for you,” according to the article, “Can’t Have a Dog or Cat? 6 Pets to Consider” at Vetstreet.com. The article offers some possibilities, including:
• Rabbits: They are typically cuddly and friendly and they don’t bark or make much noise. They are great for apartments. Do your research to learn all about rabbits before bringing one home.
• Guinea Pigs: They are great with children and are affectionate. They are good indoor pets. “These typically friendly pets require attention, enrichment and exercise each day,” the Vetstreet.com article said.
• Hedgehogs: These animals are not for everyone, the article said. You would need to spend a lot of time “interacting with and socializing one,” the Vetstreet article said.
• Ferrets: They love to snuggle, play and entertain. They need exercise daily and need to be supervised when out of their cage.
• Birds: You’ll have to put in a lot of time and care if you bring a bird home. They also can be particularly messy and sometimes loud.
• Goldfish: A bowl is too small! They need a large fish tank, about 20 gallons, and they need care and attention.
Other pets to bring home include a hamster. They “are a cuddly, friendly, and inquisitive type of pet rodent,” according to the article, “7 Small Pets That Could Be Right for You” at Everyday Health. You only need one since they are solitary animals.
There are gerbils, who “tend to be very clean pet rodents,” the Everyday Health article said. Independent as well, gerbils can entertain themselves for a long time.