A sick pet is every pet parent’s worst nightmare. Not knowing what’s wrong or how to make it better without a vet visit can feel like a family member is suffering. Even the most careful dog dads sometimes make mistakes and accidents happen! 

On average, your pet will cost you between $10,000 and $15,000 over its lifetime. The cost of owning a dog is similar to owning a cat.

There are a few options to explore when it comes to paying for unexpected medical expenses for your pet; a dedicated savings account and pet insurance. 

Both could be smart ways to pay for your pet’s medical bills. But both options have their pros and cons. Whether you purchase insurance or a savings account, it’s important to put money aside for the costs of medical issues and caring for your pet.

The Pros and Cons of a Pet Savings Account

A savings account may be less conventional than a pet insurance policy. But there are times when you may want to use one instead of purchasing insurance. The following are important factors to take into consideration when considering a pet savings account. Obviously, what choice you make should reflect your individual situation.

When Does Pet Insurance Make Sense?

A savings account started early may leave you prepared to deal with anything your pet faces. But if you haven’t been saving for a while or you’re not disciplined to put money away, insurance could be a better option. 

Savings accounts aren’t linear. This means that even as you’re saving, you may still have vet visits and emergencies, right? Your dog may eat something sketchy in the yard. Or your cat may develop a hairball that needs medical attention. 

No matter the injury or illness, a trip to the vet would deplete your savings account by a few hundred dollars, if not more. If your pet isn’t young anymore, their age may then make their medical issues worse. Or you may run into another emergency before you can replace your savings fund. 

There are plenty of pet owners who opt to pay out of pocket for pet expenses. But depending on your personality type, pet breed, age, and other factors, pet insurance may make sense. 

The times where a  pet insurance plan may not make much sense are when your pet is young. Premiums and deductibles will be low, sure. But your pet is unlikely to face any serious medical issues. Saving on premiums and instead using that cash to pay out of pocket may make more fiscal sense. 

Choosing Between Insurance and a Savings Account

Deciding which payment option is right for you will take some research. Look at insurance premiums and deductibles for your pet breed. Be honest with yourself with how much you could potentially save each month. 

Then look at the potential vet costs for your pet’s genetic conditions and pre-existing conditions. Compare the options and determine which makes the most sense for your pet’s health and pocketbook.