February is National Pet Dental Health Month and according to the American Veterinary Medical Association, bad breath is the first sign of potential issues with your pet’s health.
When’s the last time you checked your pet’s teeth? Have you scheduled their annual exam with the vet, including a thorough check of their mouth, teeth, and gums? Now we bet you’re wondering, does pet insurance cover dental?
If you haven’t already, now is a good time to make sure your pet insurance plan has coverage for their dental care. If you’re shopping around for pet insurance now but haven’t made a decision, these tips can help you find the right plan to cover your pet’s dental needs.
What Does Pet Insurance Cover?
Pet insurance has different levels of coverage and types of policy offerings. Most pet owners purchase a comprehensive pet insurance plan that covers accidents and illnesses from “nose to tail.” This pet plan policy is the most expensive, but that’s because it offers the most coverage, reimbursing you for up to 90% of your out-of-pocket vet costs.
Comprehensive Pet Insurance Coverage
Accident and illness coverage includes reimbursement for:
- Accidents: cuts, burns, broken bones, accidental ingestion of objects or poison, bite wounds, and other common accidents.
- Illnesses: hereditary and congenital health issues, breed-specific conditions, allergies, asthma, cancer, and other illnesses.
Depending on the company you purchase pet insurance from, the specifics on exam fees, alternative therapies, diagnostics, mobility and prosthetic devices vary. That’s why it’s important to find out what’s offered by the pet insurance companies in your state and the conditions involved to get the best pet policy for your dog or cat.
Accident Only Pet Insurance
If your pet is young and healthy, you may consider saving some money by purchasing the accident-only plan. While this might be an excellent choice when your pup or kitten is young, as they age, trips to the vet can become more frequent. The older your dog or cat gets, the greater their chances of having an illness, which can become quite expensive.
Did you notice we didn’t discuss:
That’s because neither of these plans by themselves offer coverage for pet dental work, not even routine checkups. So, if neither of them do, does that mean you can’t get coverage? No, it just means you need the right type of plan in place.
Does Pet Insurance Cover Dental?
Even though accident-only and comprehensive pet insurance plans don’t cover dental, it doesn’t mean you can’t get coverage in place before your dog or cat has to see the vet. While your pets are young, most vets will do a quick visual checkup to make sure there aren’t any signs of trauma or a broken tooth.
The Importance of Oral Care for Your Pet
After your puppy or kitten becomes an adult dog or cat, they often need more thorough inspection. At least once a year, your vet should check for:
- Tooth abscesses
- Periodontal disease
- Oral growths or tumors
- Fractured teeth
- Retained baby teeth
- Inflamed or bleeding gums
If something is found, they may need to put your pet under anesthesia to take x-rays and perform a tooth cleaning, scaling, and potential surgery to remove or fix a broken or infected tooth. And none of these dental health concerns are covered by pet insurance, unless it’s caused by an accident or illness.
Our pets can’t tell us if their teeth or gums are hurt, it’s up to us to be diligent in checking for ourselves or having a professional do it. Here are some signs your pet could have something going on in their mouth:
- Bad breath
- Loose teeth
- Bleeding or inflamed gums
- Excessive drooling
- Only eating with one side of the mouth
- Dropping food or disinterest in eating
If your pet needs dental care, the costs can easily be over $1,000 or more, especially if they need anesthesia. Luckily for pet parents, there is an affordable stand-alone pet insurance plan or add-on option to complete your comprehensive pet coverage.
Insuring Your Pets Dental Health
It’s important to review policy terms and conditions carefully when choosing a pet insurance plan. You’ll find that with most pet insurance companies, dental care is not covered. Some provide coverage specifically for pet dental needs, but coverage can be limited with low caps, just like dental insurance for humans.
If you want your pets’ dental health, vaccines, and routine vet visits covered, look for a stand-alone or add-on wellness plan coverage. All of these pet health items are considered preventative care, which isn’t covered by pet insurance but is covered under a pet wellness plan.
The best part about pet wellness plans is they are relatively inexpensive, starting at around $10.00 per month. We reviewed over 30 companies who offer pet wellness plans and found the top seven wellness plans with the best value for the cost.
Get a free quote today to find out how much you can save by purchasing pet insurance with a wellness plan for your dog or cat.
Summary – Does pet insurance cover dental?
Bad breath is the first sign of potential dental or other health concerns with your pet. It’s important to have your pet’s teeth checked once a year to make sure there aren’t any issues with teeth or gums. Dental work can be just as expensive for a pet as it is for a human, and most comprehensive pet insurance plans don’t cover it.
An affordable option to have coverage for your pet’s dental work, routine vet visits, and preventative care medications is a wellness plan. This policy can be purchased by itself or as an add-on to pet insurance. Coverage starts at just $10.00 per month but can save you thousands on vet dental costs.
*While we make every effort to keep our site updated, please be aware that “timely” information on this page, such as quote estimates, or pertinent details about companies, may only be accurate as of its last edit day. Huntley Wealth & Insurance Services and its representatives do not give legal or tax advice. Please consult your own legal or tax adviser.