Pet Parents’ Guide to Complete Pet Care Costs and Coverage

Jan 14, 2021

If the pandemic has given us any silver linings, it’s that for many of us pet parents, we’ve gotten to spend more quality time than usual with our furry loved ones. Nearly two years of remote and hybrid work have meant more playtime, cuddles, and walk breaks but also shined a light on their health and wellness needs.

At Airvet, we believe that ensuring your pet lives a long, healthy, and happy life starts with a holistic approach to their wellness. With the right and balanced blend of preventative care, resources and education, and emergency support, you can rest assured your pet can live their best life.

What does holistic pet care mean?

Simply put, holistic pet care is all about caring for every aspect of the whole animal — much like how we care for ourselves. What does that look like for your furry loved one?

Preventative care
Holistic care starts with preventing issues for our pets instead of relying on costly, acute interventions when something goes wrong. Most of us don’t have $10,000 socked away for emergency surgery which can make estimating the costs of your pet’s care difficult. While accidents happen, you’re not helpless. Taking a proactive approach toward preventable issues, you’ll pay some upfront but save much more money in the long run. Preventative care may look like ensuring your pet is up to date on their flea and tick and heartworm meds, ensuring they get enough exercise, eat well, and more.

Routine care
As pet parents, we know how vital routines can be to the success of our pet’s daily life. The same can and should be noted about their physical health. Prioritizing routine care from your vet, like annual checkups and vaccines, can also go a long way in preventing costly acute care down the road. Think of your car or home — without routine maintenance, parts wear down, things break, and fixes become expensive. Your pet is no different. The daily, monthly, and yearly investments you make in their health compound to their benefit over time and reduce your costs down the road.

Virtual access to experts
Another pandemic silver lining? On-demand access to virtual vet visits is now a possibility and it’s easier than ever to get the answers about your pet’s health that you need. Every pet parent has been down a Google rabbit hole late at night at one point or another. Not sure what’s making them throw up? Why are they barking uncontrollably and how can I get them to stop? Was it ok that they ate expired pet food? Sometimes, there’s just no amount of internet sleuthing that can replace the calm, assured expertise of a vet.

When your pet’s health is on the line, you want to feel reassured and calm, not queue up for a week to visit the vet, or wait hours on end for acute emergency care at a walk-in clinic. With on-demand virtual care, like Airvet, you can get reassurance in an instant, support for ongoing issues, or understand quickly if your pet’s issue is severe and requires you to take more action.

While visiting your vet in person on a semi-regular basis is important as we described above, many vets have been so busy that they are often seeing so many pets back-to-back that they no longer have all the time they need to support educating pet parents. Instead, with on-demand virtual visits, you can spend more time asking a vet the questions that matter to you and your pet, and less time anxiously waiting for answers.

Pet insurance
Contrary to popular belief, most pet insurance does not help you maintain the everyday health of your pet. While many pet owners consider pet insurance the be-all-end-all in pet care, it’s true intent is to help cover the cost of emergency medical care or illness for your pet. While helpful, pet insurance does have its limitations.

For one, traditional pet insurance typically only covers accidents, injury, and catastrophic care, which in turn drives most claims to be denied. According to the Los Angeles Times, a 2016 report found that 37% of all pet insurance claims were denied in California alone. In most cases, especially in emergencies, the expense is incurred before the insured has an opportunity to check with the insurer regarding coverage making insurance very costly to use.

It’s also important to be aware of the fact that many pet insurance policies may not cover any pre-existing conditions your pet may have. What this means is that as your pet gets older the cost of plans goes up and if you wait til the pet is older then it’s very expensive or no coverage offered.

Wellness plans

When it comes to managing the costs of your routine and preventative care, a pet wellness plan can help. Most pet wellness plans will reimburse you for a range of eligible, everyday expenses you need to prioritize your pet’s health needs. Some plans reimburse you for routine care expenses like vaccines, vet office visits, medications, and bloodwork and will even cover certain other costs like grooming. A pet wellness plan allows you to predict and manage the costs of routine veterinary care upfront that you know your pet will need. In addition, pet wellness plans can help you take a proactive approach to your pet’s health by catching issues before they are evident or begin to emerge. As a result, treatment is more effective and may be more affordable.

Not sure what type of care your pets may need over time or want a doctor’s perspective on what coverage is best for you? Discuss with a vet on Airvet and hear from their real-world experiences caring for thousands of pet families.