Should You Get Pet Insurance on a Rescue Dog?

After getting a rescue dog, new owners will have some decisions to make as they introduce their new family member into their household.

While rescuers may be focused on choosing whether to pick a new name or what food to feed, there’s a much more important question to answer first. That question relates to whether buying a pet insurance policy for a rescue dog is a good idea.

In the vast majority of cases, the answer to this question is a resounding yes. Here’s why.

Rescue dogs may have an uncertain medical history

Sadly, many rescue dogs do not come from the best situations, so they may have had untreated health issues, been fed a low-quality diet, or may otherwise have had a rough start that makes them more susceptible to health problems later.

Caring for a pet who becomes ill can be very expensive, especially if emergency care is needed. In fact, the average cost of an ER visit is somewhere between $180 and $800, according to Canine Journal. And if rescue dogs haven’t had their teeth properly cared for and develop dental issues because of it, this could lead to more big expenses — such as teeth cleanings that average $310 and dental surgeries that average $480.

No owner of a rescue dog wants to be forced to deny their new companion care for financial reasons or to be left with a huge credit card bill due to a pet’s illness. Pet insurance makes certain that this isn’t an issue by offering coverage for most common ailments, including serious health issues such as cancer.

Rescue dogs may be a bit older

Although it’s possible to rescue puppies, often rescue dogs are a bit older than the 8-12 week old babies that a person might get from a breeder. That makes it imperative to get pet insurance ASAP.

Prices for a pet insurance policy tend to get higher as an animal ages. Owners who wait a long time to get pet insurance could find themselves priced out. To avoid having to pay expensive premiums for insurance costs, it’s best to act as soon as possible after getting a rescue pup. After all, the dog isn’t going to get any younger so each day of delay can simply lead to further premium increases.

There are some potential challenges with insuring a rescue dog

While it’s a good idea to get pet insurance on a rescue dog, there are a few challenges that might come up:

  • New owners may not have the rescue dog’s medical records. Insurers typically want to see an animal’s medical history before issuing a policy. If this isn’t available, the insurer may require the dog to get an exam to develop a baseline report on the animal’s health before offering insurance coverage.
  • Pre-existing conditions will be excluded. If a rescue comes to a new household with a health issue, this will likely be considered a pre-existing condition that makes coverage of related medical problems unavailable. For example, if a person adopts a dog with a heart murmur, any cardiac problems going forward may be excluded from coverage.

These challenges can generally be overcome. Pet owners can simply get their new companions an exam and apply for insurance right away. Pre-existing conditions won’t be covered, but owners can still have coverage for other problems that may come up along the way and cost a fortune.

Pet insurance can provide peace of mind for an affordable price. Rescue dogs deserve the very best, so those who have brought one home should begin shopping around for an affordable insurance policy today.

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