No matter how old you are, you’ve probably heard that dental hygiene is important to your overall health. But have you thought about your dog or cat’s health, and how their dental care plays into their overall life expectancy?
If you have given little thought to Fido or Fluffy’s teeth until now, you’re not alone. The American Veterinary Medical Association estimates that 80% of dogs and 70% of cats have signs of dental disease as early as 3 years old.
What’s worse is the fact that the cost of pet dental health has continued to increase steadily over the years. Of course, there are ways to cushion the blow to your wallet the next time you go to the vet for your pet health checkup.
Purchasing pet insurance is a great way to offset the costs of owning a pet. The pet insurance company pays for a portion of covered vet visits, so you aren’t the only one footing the bill.
If you decide to purchase a pet insurance plan, does it cover dental cleaning and other dental care? you might think all pet insurance plans will include dental care.
That generally is not the case!
Just like dental care for humans, pet dental care insurance coverage is not part of a pet insurance plan. Some pet insurance companies do offer dental care insurance, but it is structured differently than normal pet insurance and at an additional cost.
The real question is whether it’s worth the cost of purch
asing dental insurance for your pets.
Table of Contents:
- Dental Issues In Pets
- Prevention Of Dental Disease
- Does Pet Insurance Cover Cleanings?
- How Does Pet Dental Insurance Work?
- Companies That Sell Dental Insurance
Dental Issues In Pets
Just as we need to take care of our teeth for our overall health, our pets are the same.
Both dogs and cats need regular teeth cleanings to keep their teeth clean, healthy, and to prevent dental disease.
Some of the common dental issues that can occur in dogs and cats are:
- Periodontal Disease
- Tooth Abscesses
- Swollen Gums
- Broken Teeth
- Plaque Buildup
- Misalignment of the teeth, affecting its bite
- Mouth cysts or tumors
Dental disease can even affect your dog or cat’s organs.
In fact, not only are dogs and cats prone to periodontal disease at a young age, but teeth that are left untreated can cause all types of diseases.
The bacteria build-up can infect the bloodstream and lead to kidney disease or organ failure. Plague and tartar can also build up under the gumline, causing infection of the tissue and jawbone.
And, of course, we never want that to happen!
Prevention Of Dental Disease
The best way to keep our dogs and cats teeth clean is to try to brush them regularly.
While it seems easy to do, many dogs and cats won’t let us brush their teeth. Therefore, the best thing we can do is to make sure that our vets look at our pets’ teeth each vet visit.
A good vet will always look at your pets’ teeth to assess their condition and will schedule regular teeth cleaning if necessary. If they suspect something could be wrong, they may want to do x-rays to get a better look at your pet’s teeth and gums.
Teeth cleaning can get expensive as most pets are put under anesthesia. and a A normal teeth cleaning can range from $1,000 to $2,000.
And this is exactly why some pet owners want to purchase pet dental insurance.
Does Pet Insurance Cover Dental Cleanings?
Most pet insurance does not cover dental cleanings.
In fact, most pet insurance policies will only pay for dental work if it is related to an accident, injury, or illness.
For example, if your dog chews a ball and cracks his teeth, your pet insurance policy will usually cover that medical bill if you have a typical comprehensive pet insurance policy. But, the same pet insurance policy might not cover dental disease or any sort of dental care that is non-injury related.
In fact, Petplan is one of the few pet insurance providers that will cover periodontal disease and dental care in their standard policy as well as accident-related injuries.
How Does Pet Dental Insurance Work?
Pet dental insurance isn’t as straightforward as you might think. It works very differently than pet insurance and is usually part of a wellness package.
Wellness care or preventative care packages are an add-on package to a normal pet insurance policy.
Wellness pet insurance generally covers routine services such as:
- Vet Visits
- Preventative Services
- Nail trimming
- Flea, tick, and heartworm medications
- Fecal a
- Other coverages, determined by the company
But, here’s the catch.
Even if you purchase a wellness package, the amount that you can use towards dental care is usually a specific dollar amount. For example, some wellness packages will include a $100 allowance towards dental care, while others might have a $250 dental care allowance amount.
Though it’s better to have some benefit than none, these small allowances normally won’t cover even one vet visit or routine dental cleaning, much less a serious dental procedure.
It’s important to look at each pet insurance company and decide whether it’s worth the extra money for a wellness package that will only give you a certain dollar amount towards dental care.
Out of our top 10 pet insurance companies of 2020, only six offer dental care in their wellness packages.
We have broken it down for you.
Below is a list of the six companies who offer dental insurance, the average cost of the wellness plan, as well as the specific dollar amount towards dental care so you can decide if that amount of reimbursement is worth the additional cost.
Pet Insurance Companies That Offer Dental Insurance
Nationwide Pet Insurance
Nationwide is one of the few pet insurance companies that offers an independent wellness package. With this wellness package, you can get can get reimbursed for some preventative care procedures, including vet visits and other preventative procedures.
However, Nationwide offers only one wellness plan that will cover dental cleaning. While the cost is more expensive than the other pet insurance companies we reviewed, Nationwide offers a generous reimbursement amount.
Nationwide’s Whole Pet with Wellness plan, which generally costs from $12 to $22 a month, gives you up to a $500 allowance on any routine or preventative care procedures. This is the most of all the companies we reviewed and all of it can be used toward cleaning if you choose.
For more information on Nationwide, read our full review.
Embrace Pet Insurance has three different wellness packages with specific allowance amounts that you can use on any routine procedure.
For example, if you choose the $250 reimbursement, you can get reimbursed for up to $250 for dental cleaning, grooming, or even vaccinations.
The three reimbursement levels are as follows and of course, depends on your pet, age, breed, and location:
Keep in mind that if you want to get your pet groomed and it costs $75, then you will only have $175 left for dental care if you choose that first $250 wellness package.
For more information about Embrace, read our full review.
Pets Best offers two wellness plans that act like most other wellness packages. Of the two plans offered, only the higher-end plan has a set amount for teeth cleaning or dental care.
Pets Best BestWellness plan gives you an allowance of $150 for dental care, including teeth cleaning. The BestWellness monthly cost averages $25 per month.
For more information on Pets Best read our full review.
PetFirst’s has two different wellness programs, and each will pay a specific amount towards dental cleaning or care.
While each plan does not give you a lot towards dental cleaning, PetFirst does specify the exact dollar amount, so there are no surprises.
The two plans are the following:
If you like the idea of a wellness plan and just want a little money towards dental care, then PetFirst might be a good fit.
For more information about Pet First, read our full review.
PetPremium offers two different wellness plans that give you a specific spending amount for teeth cleaning or dental care.
The two plans are broken down as follows:
For more information about PetPremium, read our full review.
ASPCA has three different wellness or preventative packages, which is more than the others we reviewed.
Each of the three plans reimburses you a certain amount towards dental care or teeth cleaning.
The three plans are:
For more information about ASPCA, read our full review.
Pet Insurance Dental Plans – Summing It Up
So, there it is!
If you want to have some money that goes towards dental cleaning each year, you have some decent choices. If a wellness package is of interest to you, it might be worth the extra money each month.
However, only you can determine if the actual payout amount for pet dental insurance is worth the cost.
Click here to see all the Types of Pet Insurance Coverage.
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