Not all pet insurance is the same! Some plans cover “some” things, while others don’t…


Chart provided by

Is your pet insurance company reputable and trustworthy?

Does your policy cover everything you want?

Leo, my 98 lb Goldendoodle was young…


Only four years old, he had never been sick in his life. A week after playing ball with a few dogs at an outdoor pet event, Leo contracted a canine virus transmitted through salvia.

A vet visit on Monday cost more than a hundred dollars (to include expensive antibiotics). The return visit three days later doubled the first appointment due to lab work.

Because of his rapid weakened state we were rushed to the hospital to be told his condition was “grave.”

The initial diagnosis revealed a hospital stay of four to five days. He would also require “after hours” emergency room care the first two or three days. This would be an additional expense.

As I sat on the floor, my back against the wall with his huge head cradled in my lap, hospital staff reviewed the projected bill with me.

Oxygen, IV, medications, and veterinarian costs estimated a little over $3K – per day!  Hospital policy required a percentage of the first 24 hour expense before Leo could receive care.

Leo had no insurance.

I wasn’t prepared for the unexpected.

I had no plan, so I had to pay out of pocket.


Far too often pet parents fail to obtain pet insurance #Idid  Deciphering between coverage and benefits or deductibles and reimbursements can quickly become overwhelming.

Interesting enough, at the time of Leo’s illness – I had coverage for my oldest Goldendoodle Harley. Perhaps it was Leo’s youthful age that deterred me from insuring him.

Since Leo’s illness – I’ve learned to realize, just like humans, all pets should be insured – regardless of age or what seems to be reasonably good health. #planfortheunexpected

However, selecting the right pet insurance can be a complex task.

Navigating through the various types of benefits, average costs, or in/out network providers can require assistance. Insurance agents exist for us, why not have one for our pets?

10 BEST PET INSURANCE OF 2018 – has become my agent!

They have compiled a list of the 10 best pet insurance policies on the market today. More than 4 million pet parents (to include myself) have used them when making informed decisions about coverage.

I need a policy which allows me to individualize the unique health needs of my two Doods. Harley was diagnosed with environmental allergens once we relocated to South Carolina.

He will most likely be on a maintenance drug the rest of his life. Therefore, chronic conditions, holistic vet office visits, and examinations fees are an important criteria…

NOT ALL PET INSURANCE IS THE SAMEWith the help of – I’ve found a pet insurance policy that –

  • met most of my needs – *pre-existing chronic illnesses (like allergies) was not one of them.
  • falls within my financial budget
  • offers military discount to both active and retired military #goarmy

This “free” service offers comprehensive information that educates and empowers pet parents to make confident decisions about veterinary health insurance.

Whatever your pet insurance needs are –

  • comprehensive accident and illness
  • accidents only
  • wellness coverage

Or if it’s time to –

  • purchase pet insurance
  • change pet insurance
  • gain more knowledge about the ever evolving world of pet insurance.

Take a few minutes and visit before making a final decision. You will not regret your time spent on this website.


Leo succumbed approx. 90 minutes after they began working on him.  After the 25% of the first night was paid.

I later found out this particular virus was extremely aggressive and even though I acted quickly after the first symptom – it was probably already too late.

While pet insurance would certainly not have changed Leo’s outcome, I would have sold everything I owned so Leo could have overcome the virus. But because pet insurance exists and has provided this valuable tool, hopefully other pet parents will never have to.

Pet Insurance – A Great Way to Love Your Pet ❤

DISCLAIMER: this is in a sponsored post Groovy Goldendoodles™ is being compensated to spread the word about and their 10 Best Pet Insurance of 2018 webpage. Groovy Goldendoodles™ will only share information we feel is relevant to our readers. is not responsible for the content of this article.

  • Emma
    March 21, 2018

    When I was 2, they found a lump on me and had it tested. This triggered Mom to look into pet insurance because if something should happen, she wants the best care for us. We have all been insured since then. Our company is on the best list and we are satisfied with our coverage. New plans come out all the time, so Madison has the best one, but each of us is covered and it gives Mom piece of mind. People say to put money in savings instead, but that would never be enough for a big bill. Insurance is something we pay for the car, the house, etc, and rarely get back out what we put in, but it is that peace of mind that makes it worthwhile. Great post, and we are still shocked about Leo, but that is exactly what can happen, and you need to be ready.

    • Cathy Bennett
      March 21, 2018

      I will be the first to admit Emma that I am not that well versed with all that insurance can and cannot do. I like this website because it helps navigate me through comparisons and educates me about options I may/may not need. We all would do whatever was necessary to save our pets but it’s a great idea to not have to go broke doing it. Thanks for reading, please share….

  • Lorrie Kueffer
    March 21, 2018

    I am so sorry to hear about Leo, that must have been a huge and very sad loss for you. Your article on pet insurance is SO helpful and great timing because we have a new puppy and like you mentioned, we assumed because she is young we really don’t need insurance. You correctly point out and demonstrate how our puppies youth does not rule out needing insurance! I will be studying the options and getting insurance now! Thanks again.

    • Cathy Bennett
      March 21, 2018

      Lorrie, it was the deepest hole I’ve ever had to climb out of. Leo was an angel, he taught me so much and Harley saved my life bringing me back after that sudden loss. Jaxson came from the same breeder and I promise you – he was sent to me by Leo. We are all entwined in this thing called love.
      Yes, get insurance for your new puppy. It’s better to be pro-active than re-active LOL Thanks for stopping by, we love having you hang out in our neighborhood!

  • Pat
    March 21, 2018

    Oh Cathy this brought up so many heart wrenching feelings when we were making our decisions last year regarding Eli’s chemo and care when he got lymphoma. Thank you for the reminder and this must have been very hard for you to write about because the sadness comes back just as hard as it did when it first happened.

    • Cathy Bennett
      March 21, 2018

      So sorry Pat, didn’t mean to make you sad. 🙁 When I was asked to write about this list – I knew it was the right thing to do. I want to be able to help as many people as I can – when it comes to the health and well being of their pets. I do get sad, Jaxson reminds me so much of Leo – yet he has his own personality, I can’t help but feel as if Leo’s somehow still with me. I love it. Take care my friend!

  • Alessandra & Pedro
    March 21, 2018

    Sweet Leo, so cherished in your heart and our memories.
    Since coming to Canada, I’ve always had pet insurance for our pups. Pedro’s Angel, Renata that came with us from Mexico had bouts of pancreatitis and later Hemangiosarcoma and though the latter was terminal, we were able to get her the best Veterinary care that money could buy, including some experimental treatments.
    Since Pedro and my parents Westie, Mateo, came into our lives, they have been insured and though thankfully Pedro has been generally healthy, Mateo has had a couple of surgeries for ingesting “foreign objects” (he has eaten coins!… not once, but twice!).
    Thank you for your post, Cathy. We love these guys so much that I don’t ever want to be in a position to make a decision about their health based on financial constraints.
    Wishing Harley, Jax and all your readers a healthy and happy life!
    With loving paws,
    Alessandra & Pedro

    • Cathy Bennett
      March 21, 2018

      Hello Alessandra! How have you been? Yes, Leo will forever be a cherished spirit that I carry with me always. I accepted this sponsored post because I believe with my whole heart that pet parents shouldn’t have to be placed in my situation. Even though for me – it was the worse outcome, but I was still unprepared. I believe in sharing the good, the bad and the very ugly – that’s how we learn, we share. Take care, hugs to Pedro and crew.

  • Shadow and Ducky's Mom
    March 21, 2018

    Thanks for this, Cathy. While Shadow is now at an age where most companies consider her uninsurable (the remaining ones want in excess of $150/month for crappy coverage), Ducky is still young enough to re-enroll with another company. (Her original insurance lapsed because the company changed underwriters and would not answer my calls for assistance. Needless to say, that soured me to ALL pet insurance providers for a long time.) I’m just debating with myself over the pre-existing conditions clause. Maybe this website will help.

    • Cathy Bennett
      March 21, 2018

      This website should help you navigate through the tiny print and legal language. Plus there are humans you can talk to that will give some assistance too! Let me know how the process works out for you. I was looking for a company to ease the financial burden of Harley’s chronic illness (allergies) visits and monthly medications. Glad this is turning out to be of use to so many 🙂 Hugs to Ducky and Shadow.

      • Shadow and Ducky's Mom
        March 22, 2018

        Just curious…which insurer did you end up with and are you happy so far?

        • Cathy Bennett
          March 22, 2018

          Well – just found out that everything I THOUGHT I was getting, I’m not – BUT…. I believe I will still stay with Healthy Paws because of the coverage. Apparently I “thought” the environmental allergies would be covered, my mistake 🙁 but it’s all good, we’ve got insurance 🙂 Haven’t used them yet – fingers and paws crossed that I don’t have to for anything serious…

  • Lindsay
    March 22, 2018

    Every time you share Leo’s story, my heart hurts. I think it’s just especially hard to grasp because he was so dang young and healthy otherwise, until then.

    I’m pinning this lady – we don’t have insurance but in the future, I would look into our options and see if things like TWO knee surgeries are covered under any of the companies. Probably not but worth looking into. And not to mention, it would have helped with Baxter when he had emergency surgery at nine weeks old due to a herniated umbilical cord. Poor little dude had a fat band coming through the whole and his bump quadrupled in size within a week. Poor little man couldn’t even support his own head with his cone, it was the saddest thing ever. I’m also glad he never had any other seizures other than the three clusters on March 17, 2012. I will never ever forget that day, I literally felt like he was slipping away from our fingers. We had no idea if he’d have any permanent damage but thankfully, he didn’t. Took a week or so to get back to normal, so I’m grateful he’s been otherwise good.

    Love you Cathy xoxo!

    • Cathy Bennett
      March 23, 2018

      Leo will always be hard for me to write about, but at the same time, through the tears I still smile because he was such a wonderful creature. I chose to share his untimely departure in this post with hopes that people who have been thinking about insurance may lean towards getting it when financially possible. I miss him terribly. Jaxson and Harley fill my heart with so much love, it overflows – yet often, too often I try to imagine the three of them together. Small, med and large – I would have loved that. Take care my friend, hugs to Baxter XOXO

  • Sandy Kubillus
    March 23, 2018

    Thank you for this great article! What was the virus that Leo died from? I was shocked to hear he died so quickly.

    • Cathy Bennett
      March 25, 2018

      Sandy, I want to say it was the Canine Parvo Virus. Viral not Bacterial. His symptoms didn’t become visible (or audible) to me until his lungs were in such bad shape that he was wheezing when I knew there was a problem. He was eating, drinking, running and playing until Saturday evening. Monday we went to the vet, Tues. he was the same, sleeping a great deal, Wed he seemed to be a little more active, Wed night he was lethargic and Thurs. morning I took him back in. That’s when we were rushed to the hospital. His vet told me he was “not the same dog she saw on Mon.” 90 minutes later he was gone. Broke my heart, changed my life forever.

  • sand spring chesapeakes
    March 25, 2018

    This was a great post! I have insurance on my two girls but not Gambler.

    • Cathy Bennett
      March 25, 2018

      Thanks! I am so happy to have written this post, it was for me as much as it seems to be for others!! How is Gambler and the gang? I love looking at all the puppies! They are gorgeous.