Does Your Pup Need Insurance?

New puppies absolutely love to explore. The whole world is full of interesting smells, new people, and new things to bark at! Not all of these new things are good for a small puppy though, as anyone who has had a pup get into their chocolate stash can attest.

This is where pet insurance comes in. Just like human health insurance, pet insurance allows you the peace of mind to know that if anything goes wrong with your new pup, your pup’s medical bills are covered. But what is pet insurance, really?

What is pet insurance?

Pet insurance comes in a few different varieties, but the most common is accident insurance. You can think of this catastrophic coverage for your pup. If she accidentally eats a peach pit or gets into a tangle with a car, every pet insurance plan will cover at least part of the cost.

Pet insurance plans are different from human plans, because you can often customize your deductible (the amount you pay before the insurance starts covering costs), adjust your co-insurance rates (this is the percentage of the vet bill that you pay vs. what the insurance pays) and choose plans with or without an annual policy limit. Lower deductibles and lower co-insurance payments typically make your monthly premiums higher, but decrease the odds of a large out-of-pocket cost in case of illness or injury. Setting an annual limit can lower your monthly premium, but sets an upper limit on how much the insurance will pay out in any given year. PuppySpot has a great comparison site where you can easily adjust your deductible, annual limits, and other insurance options to see how that could affect your premium.

Pet insurance plans also have waiting periods of 15-30 days before coverage starts. We recommend signing up for your insurance plan before your pup arrives so that she will be covered from the moment she gets home, but you can also ensure older pets who are already in your home.

One other thing to keep in mind when comparing pet insurance options is that they are not required to cover wellness visits, illnesses, or preexisting conditions. This is why it is especially important to choose your plan carefully and to insure your puppy early while you know that she is healthy.

What kind of coverage should I get?

The type of coverage you get will depend on what your needs are. If you feel confident that you could cover any health-related costs for your pet, you may not need insurance at all. But for those who prefer to avoid unexpected pet-related expenses, it’s important to consider what kind of financial impact you’re willing and able to cover for your pet and insure them accordingly. If you’re able to pay for an unexpected $1,000 vet visit, then you could keep your insurance minimal, perhaps only covering injuries and hereditary illnesses. But if you’re willing to pay a bit more every month to avoid a large bill from the vet, it may be better to select a low deductible or co-payment. Luckily, pet insurance is very customizable and can be adjusted for your needs.

How do I compare insurance options?

PuppySpot has you covered! You can get a customized quote for your puppy and easily compare insurance providers, adjust policy limits, and much more.

Customer Stories: Tracy and Trixie

Tracy is a long-time dog lover who has owned several different breeds, but most recently had a Siberian Husky. Her husky was getting older, and she wanted to always have a dog in the house, so in early 2017, she knew it was time to start looking for her next furry companion.

Tracy thought fondly of the miniature poodles she had raised in the past, and decided that she wanted to go back to a smaller dog breed. She looked and looked, but couldn’t find any good breeders in her area, so she decided to expand her search online. This was Tracy’s first time finding a puppy online, and she was nervous, to say the least. When she found PuppySpot, she read customer reviews, researched the company’s background, and spent a LOT of time looking at puppies. She also spent a lot of time talking with her PuppySpot Puppy Concierge, Taylor. Taylor understood exactly what she was looking for in a new companion, and worked with Tracy until she was ready to make a decision. They worked together on and off for nearly a year, until Tracy found her perfect puppy – a Yorkshire Terrier that she named Trixie.

Trixie

Yorkshire Terriers are a very small breed, and Trixie’s parents both weigh less than 5 lbs as adults. Because of this, Trixie herself was quite small and had a longer than usual wait time before she could come home to ensure that she could travel safely. PuppySpot kept Tracy up to date as Trixie was gaining ounces every week, and Tracy even had several conversations with her breeder, Barry.

Once Trixie was cleared to fly, Barry brought her to the airport and called Tracy. “Trixie’s breeder kept me updated with information from the moment he knew of Trixie’s flight departure, until I had her in my arms! Thank you, Barry for making the transition for Trixie as easy as possible”. Tracy was touched by how much Barry truly cared for her new puppy. Even now, after Trixie has been home for several months, she says she feels she can call or text Barry at any given moment with questions and he will answer.

Trixie had a long flight, but is a fastidious little puppy, and arrived clean and neat in her travel crate. She was also thrilled to meet her new family.

Trixie may be smaller than Tracy’s previous husky, but she has a big personality. “She’s actually a lot like [my Husky], it’s funny” she said, and added “She is everything, and more, than what I expected. Trixie learns easily. She is loving, sweet, and just a very neat puppy. She is the perfect fit for me.”

All of us at PuppySpot are thrilled that we were able to help bring Tracy and Trixie together, and we loved hearing how perfect they are for each other!

PuppySpot Helps Make a Special Wish Come True

PuppySpot understands that puppy love is something truly special. Puppies may be small in stature, but the love and support that they offer can make a big difference in the lives of their families. PuppySpot has had the honor to work with Make-A-Wish America on several wishes now, and has placed adorable puppies into the arms of children in need of furry companionship. We are thrilled to help with their incredible mission to strengthen and empower children with a simple, powerful belief that wishes make life better for kids battling serious illnesses.

Mia and her siblings meet Rocky for the first time

Mia Fulmer from Portland, Oregon suffers from sickle cell anemia. Sickle cell anemia requires frequent hospital visits and means that Mia is frequently in intense pain. But at only 9 years old, brave Mia has never once complained about her condition. Her focus has been her dream to have a puppy as her furry new best friend. “She’s been talking about this puppy for the last two years, she’s always wanted one” Mia’s mother, Rolunda Fulmer told us. When PuppySpot heard this, we knew we wanted to help Mia find her prefect companion.

Our Chief Administrative Officer, Josh Kreinberg, has a personal history with Make-A-Wish Oregon. Josh’s family was one of their first wish recipients over 30 years ago, and he shared that the wish “really helped my family recharge, refocus and carry-on.” Since then “I’ve been looking for an opportunity to give back, to do something for Make-A-Wish.” His sister, Patricia Vrooman, also helped make Mia’s wish come true – she is in fact Mia’s nurse and helped make the introductions.

Mia with her new best friend, Rocky

Josh flew out to Oregon to personally deliver the adorable Boston Terrier pup that Mia picked from PuppySpot.com. It was amazing, said Rolunda, “To see her dream come true today.”

After careful consideration, Mia chose a Boston Terrier for her new puppy. They are high spirited, smart, gentle, and very friendly. They also enjoy warm snuggles and cozy blankets because of their short coats. Since Rolunda told us that “one of the side effects of [Mia’s] disease is she’s always cold”, we knew they would be fast friends.

Mia named her new puppy Rocky, and it seems a fitting name for a puppy that will help Mia do battle with her illness. We are certain that they are going to keep each other warm, happy, loved, and strong.

Help Make A Wish come true by donating to http://oregon.wish.org/.

 

PuppySpot Gives Back: Catching Up With Unali

Nikki Linmore, executive director of the Cherokee Nation Indian Child Welfare program was looking for a creative way to soothe anxious and upset children in their foster care program. She has seen dogs help soothe children in courtrooms before just by being present and realized a four-legged professional might be the best therapy to make difficult times a little easier for the children.

The search for the right paws to fit the shoes however, was not an easy process for Nikki. Twice, she tried working with rescued Labrador Retriever pups, but was disappointed to find that both rescued puppies were uncomfortable with their working environment and failed their dispositions tests. One disliked loud noises and the other feared wheelchairs and strollers. Therapy dogs are constantly around different people and new environments; therefore, it is important for them to be calm and comfortable with all situations. It can be very tricky to find a special puppy with the right temperament to do that. That was when Nikki decided to reach out to PuppySpot.

Nikki told us that children in the program are often scared and stressed attending court proceedings and adjusting to new environments. These children need a friend who can be a playmate, a supportive cheerleader, and a calming presence to comfort them in vulnerable situations.

Unali_friends
Unali meets her new friends

PuppySpot listened to Nikki’s needs and dug through the core traits of different dog breeds that will fit the qualities of a therapy dog. A good therapy dog needs to be smart, friendly and extremely patient. We decided to appoint a Golden Retriever puppy for this important mission.  This special puppy was raised in the loving care by a member of our screened and vetted breeder community with over 15 years of experience, who takes pride in making sure their puppies are healthy and well socialized with people of all ages. With that background and a Golden Retriever’s eager-to-please nature and intelligence, we were convinced that this sweet golden bundle of joy would be a wonderful fit. The tribe decided to name her “Unali”, pronounced ooo-naw-lee, the word for “friend” in Cherokee.

It makes our hearts melt to hear from Unali’s handler, Child Welfare Specialist Connie Webb, that “Unali is quite the celebrity here, she is so gentle with the younger ones, it is quite something to see. She is a perfect match for our program.” Nikki added, “She already loves the children, and the children love her.”

Unali
Unali graduates her K9 Manners class

Unali has already graduated her first course of training in manners and is now attending the second course in courtesy. That is amazing progress for a 1-year-old pup! “She still gets a little too excited when she sees the children, but they appreciate the love and puppy kisses,” Connie shared.  With more practice, Unali will mature and learn to stay calm when accompanying children attending serious court meetings and help them cope with stress with her soothing presence. Soon, she will take up her job in her official uniform as a certified therapy dog.

As dog-lovers ourselves, we understand that the unconditional affection and joy our furry friends can bring is priceless, especially to those in need. It was our pleasure to unite Unali with the Indian Child Welfare Program. We are thrilled to see the pawsitive difference that Unali has made and will continue to make in the lives of these children!

If you’d like to learn more about Cherokee Nation’s Indian Child Welfare Program or see how you can help, please visit http://www.cherokeekids.org.