We all know health insurance is a great investment. While we may or may not need it all the time, it is a great help in case of a serious accident or illness. But do we need the same kind of protection for our pets as we have for ourselves?

While most people are just starting to hear about pet health insurance, it’s actually been around for over twenty years. Until recently, pet insurance was only provided by small, dedicated insurance companies and was only feasible for the rich and truly dedicated pet owners. Now major insurance providers are offering pet health insurance as an additional option on policies. It seems like everyone has caught on to what could be the latest fad. So is pet insurance a good idea or just a waste of money?

One of the biggest reasons pet insurance is becoming more popular is due to the rising costs of health care for pets. Just like gas and food prices, health care costs have been rising at a significant rate, for people and pets alike. In order to cover their costs, vets must increase their rates to make a profit. This makes keeping your pet healthy a lot harder for you to swallow.

In the past few decades, it’s become much more acceptable to spoil your pets. Pets used to be a sort of accessory, but for many people they have graduated to fully fledged family members. There are dog bakeries, clothing stores, even dog weddings. As we become more and more attached to our pets, the thought of losing them or seeing them in pain becomes more unbearable.

Twenty years ago, pets were put down more often, not necessarily because pet owners didn’t care about their pets, but more because advanced treatments for pets weren’t really available, let alone affordable. Nowadays, a lot more can be done to help pets feel better and live longer, but they come with even higher costs, rising by more than just inflation alone. Treatments require advanced equipment, extra training, and a whole lot of money to provide.

So, does your pet really need health insurance, or is it just a waste of money? Statistically, pet insurance is probably going to end up costing you more money than the services it provides, but just like human health insurance, it helps protect your pet, and saves you paying out large sums of money and provides more options in the case of a tragedy. Most people would choose to simply put down a pet rather than pay several thousand dollars for a procedure, but if that procedure was at least partly covered by insurance, it becomes a much more feasible option.

Pet health insurance isn’t for everyone. In the long run, it can end up costing you a lot of money, but then again, it may also save your pet a lot of pain, or even their life.