Best Dog Insurance Plans (2022 Review)
If you ask the roughly 69 million families in the United States with at least one dog in their households, we’d bet most would consider their pup more like a family member than just a pet.
Our dog-eat-dog 2022 review of the six best dog insurance companies condenses the comparison scope of industry leaders to make sniffing out a reputable provider simple. When it comes to ensuring your family is guaranteed proper medical care in the event of an emergency injury or illness, why leave your pooch out of the pack?
In this review, we’ll cover each of the following dog insurance providers and their policies:
- Healthy Paws
- Prudent Pet
OUR RATING: 4.9
OUR RATING: 4.8
Best for Deductibles
OUR RATING: 4.7
Check out our top six in the chart below to see how they stack up:
|Provider||Average Cost||Coverage||Deductible||Age Limit|
|Spot||$30-$50 per month||$2,500-unlimited||$100-$1,000||No maximum|
|Lemonade||$37 per month||$5,000-$100,000||$100-$500||15 and younger|
|Embrace||$30-$40 per month||$5,000-$30,000||$200-$1,000||14 and younger|
|Healthy Paws||$39 per month||Unlimited||$100-$1,000||14 and younger|
|ASPCA||$49 per month||$3,000-$10,000||$100-$500||No maximum|
|Prudent Pet||$39 per month||$10,000 and unlimited||$100-$1,000||No maximum|
Our Spot pet insurance review starts off our 2022 roundup with the best overall dog insurance. With not just one but two preventative care plan options — either Platinum or Gold — policyholders can choose a plan that comfortably accommodates their budget.
Here’s how Spot’s two preventative care plans compare:
- Gold – $9.95 per month with a total annual benefit of $250
- Reimburses: dental cleaning, a wellness exam, two vaccines or titers, fecal test, canine heartworm test, and deworming.
- Platinum – $24.95 per month with a total annual benefit of $450
- Reimburses: all of the aforementioned services as well as flea/heartworm prevention, one bordetella vaccine or titer, blood test, urinalysis, and a health certificate.
If you choose either of these preventatives when signing up for a dog insurance policy through Spot, there is no waiting period and zero deductible required before you’re eligible for reimbursement.
Pros and Cons
- No maximum age cap
- Unlimited annual payout options available
- Two preventative care variations to fit your budget
- 10% multi-pet discount
- 24/7 pet health helpline
- Specific exclusions for bilateral conditions like cruciate ligaments and hip dysplasia
- Longer than average 14-day waiting period for accidents
Plans and Coverage
Spot’s dog insurance policies operate under two base plans — Accident-only and Accident-Illness. While premiums start as low as $10 per month for Accident-only and $16 per month for Accident-Illness coverage, dog owners should expect an average monthly expense anywhere from $30 to $50.
Both plans uphold the same customization options of annual payout limit from $2,500 to unlimited, reimbursement rates of 70, 80, or 90%, and deductibles from $100 to $1,000.
Spot does cover bilateral conditions — in other words, degenerative disorders that can occur on one or both sides of your dog’s body — such as hip dysplasia, cruciate ligaments, luxating patellas, and even cataracts. However, Spot will only cover such conditions as long as your pooch has no symptoms or evidential medical history related to the condition. So, if your dog develops a cataract in its left eye before your policy start date, and a new cataract develops on their right side two years after your enrollment, ophthalmic treatment for that right eye will not be covered.
With affordable monthly premiums, robust preventative care riders, and the convenience of in-app plan management, Lemonade pet insurance is still running with the big dogs in second place as the most affordable dog insurance provider.
As one of the first digital insurance options to enter the pet industry, Lemonade saves pet owners (and trees) from piles of paperwork by streamlining dog insurance enrollment down to quite literally a click of a button with policy activation, claim submissions, and more available right from your mobile device.
One more thing we love about Lemonade is that it donates up to 40% of all annual unclaimed funds to one of 34+ nonprofit organizations worldwide. Also, customers are allowed to choose their preferred charity and even recommend a new one at their initial enrollment.
Pros and Cons
- Doggone low monthly premiums
- Extensive optional wellness benefits
- 48-hour waiting period for accident-only claims
- User-friendly mobile app for iOS and Android
- Embraces a philanthropic business model
- Not yet available in 15 states
- Excludes some industry-standard preventative care like microchipping and spay/neuter procedures
- Dogs over the age of 14 will not qualify
Plans and Coverage
Lemonade keeps things short and sweet with considerable plan customizations that pivot around one standard accident injury and illness base policy starting at just $10 per month depending on your dog’s profile, medical history, and location. We did a little more digging on this, and our research approximates the average premium for dog owners looks a little more like $37 per month.
Included in the bare-boned policy, even without any added plan features, policyholders will already be covered for:
- Diagnostic Tests
- MRIs, X-rays, CT scans, and ultrasounds
- Blood tests, urinalysis, biopsies, and lab work
- Outpatient and specialty intake
- Emergency care and hospitalization
- Intravenous (IV) and injections
- Prescription medications
As you can see, routine care is not wrapped into the standard policy but is still available in optional wellness packages for adult dogs at $15+ per month and puppies at $40+ per month.
Bonus add-ons for exam fee waivers and alternative physical therapy coverage (acupuncture, chiropractic adjustments, hydrotherapy, etc.) are also ready for purchase starting at $1+.
Lemonade grants policyholders with an annual coverage limit choice of up to $100,000 for even the most state-of-the-art veterinary care, in addition to reimbursement rates of 70, 80, or 90% and an annual deductible ranging from $100-$500.
And to sweeten the deal even more, Lemonade offers 10% off when policyholders bundle their dog insurance with homeowners or renters insurance, as well as another 5% in savings for pet owners who insure multiple dogs. Lemonade tops it all off with yet another 5% off every year to thank policyholders for their loyalty.
Marking its territory on the halfway point of our 2022 nominations of the best dog insurance companies on the loose, Embrace earns its spot in the top three for having the best deductible options by virtue of its specialty Healthy Pet Deductible reward program.
Included free of charge with every policy, no matter the deductible you choose, Embrace pet insurance will reward you with $50 off your deductible every year that you don’t receive reimbursement for a filed claim. In other words, since dog insurance in itself is preemptive protection, if your dog keeps in good health for the long run, your deductible will eventually pay for itself. With that being said, if you ever do need to submit a claim for reimbursement, your dog’s deductible will return to its original rate, but you’ll have saved big up until that point nonetheless.
With nearly two decades spent helping dog lovers protect their beloved companions in times of medical crisis, Embrace is one of the oldest dog insurance providers on the pet insurance frontier. Throughout its impressive tenure, Embrace has perfected its policy options to include a wellness feature that most do not — coverage of checkup exam fees for vet visits concerning both illness and accidents.
Pros and Cons
- Healthy Pet Deductible Program ($50 reduction in deductible for every consecutive year without reimbursement)
- 24/7 pet health helpline
- Flexible pre-existing condition terms
- Vet visit and exam fees are covered for illness and accidents
- For every policy sold, Embrace donates $2 to a pet-related nonprofit organization
- Dogs over the age of 14 will not qualify for accident-illness
- 180-day waiting period for orthopedic conditions such as cruciate ligaments
Plans and Coverage
Embrace offers two standard policy formats — an accident-only and an accident-illness plan. Averaging somewhere between $30-$40 a month for dog insurance, the cost for a policy through Embrace is fairly neutral on the spectrum of cheapest to most expensive dog insurance options.
Some noteworthy treatments covered in the company’s accident-illness plan alone, and not just as add-ons, include
- Miscellaneous dental illnesses — gingivitis, extractions, root canals, crowns, periodontal disease, broken/chipped teeth
- Cancer treatment — diagnostic, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, rehabilitation, surgery
- Complementary treatments — reiki, acupuncture, chiropractic, hydrotherapy, physiotherapy, therapeutic laser treatment
Like every other dog insurance provider, Embrace does not offer vet bill reimbursement for incurable pre-existing conditions. But, if a licensed veterinarian deems your dog’s pre-existing condition curable after 12 months symptom- and treatment-free, then Embrace may cover the complication.
Embrace does offer additional wellness protection, but not in the form of insurance. Its Wellness Rewards program from which policyholders can select annual allowances of $250, $450, or $650, will go toward covering all of your dog’s preventative care needs, from vaccinations to wearable dog activity monitors.
For example, if you select a $450 allowance amount, you’ll pay an extra $35.52 per month on your premium. Embrace will allocate $450 per year with no per-item limits toward your dog’s routine care expenses, until you’ve exhausted that $450 stipend. Now, if you end up only spending $200 of that $450 within the annual policy term, you won’t be refunded the remaining $250, so make sure you select an allowance option that you know you’ll use up.
In regard to other plan customizations, Embrace allots reimbursement rates of 70, 80, or 90%, the choice of an annual deductible between $200-$1,000, and a yearly payout limit of up to $30,000.
Healthy Paws is not only committed to providing quality pet healthcare for your pup, but also millions of critically ill dogs still waiting for a forever home in the U.S. shelter system. Out of all six candidates, Healthy Paws brings home the bacon as the best for chronic conditions and most charitable dog insurance provider by virtue of its Every Quote Gives Hope and Refer-A-Friend grant programs, which have led to nearly $1.6 million in grant donations to over 400 nonprofit organizations.
Your mere consideration of a dog insurance policy through Healthy Paws will help fund life-saving veterinary services for a pet in need, even before you lay a dime on the table. By simply requesting a free, custom quote online, Healthy Paws will reward your interest by making a donation to an animal welfare organization on your behalf.
Also, once your dog insurance policy through Healthy Paws is active, for every successful referral that you help initiate, a $25 cash grant will be donated to a no-kill rescue organization.
Pros and Cons
- Generous philanthropic initiatives and grant programs
- Unlimited annual payouts on all plans
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- 48-hour claims processing turnover (on average)
- One-time new customer fee of $25
- No preventative care coverage at all
- Plan customization narrows with age
Plans and Coverage
Something unique about Healthy Paws is that its dog insurance plans are tiered by age rather than coverage level. Your annual reimbursement rate and deductible will vary based on where your dog falls in the following three age pools:
- Puppies (at least eight weeks) to 5-year-old dogs
- Reimbursement of 70, 80, or 90%
- Deductible of $100, $250, or $500
- Dogs between 6 and 7 years old
- Reimbursement of 60, 70, or 90%
- Deductible of $250, $500, or $750
- Dogs 8 years old and over
- Reimbursement of 50 or 60%
- Deductible of $750 or $1,000
With this age-based structure, plan customizability narrows with age, so if you’re in search of dog insurance for an older animal, bear in mind that your reimbursement and deductible options won’t be as broad. Healthy Paws also only offers initial enrollment up until your dog’s 14th birthday. Also, if you enroll your dog before the age of six, any expenses related to hip dysplasia down the road will be covered at no additional cost.
Overall, insurance for both puppies and dogs starts at just over $20 per month, with most policyholders paying an average premium of $39 per month after plan customizations.
Healthy Paws, unfortunately, does not offer any preventative care, neither in its base plans nor in add-on form. Strictly aiming to support pet owners with costs related to unexpected veterinary care, Healthy Paws excludes wellness care from its coverage terms, given that routine vet visits should be something pet owners should be budgeting for anyway as basic healthcare.
ASPCA dog insurance is our fifth pick of the litter because of the ample room for customization within its trademarked Complete Coverage plan. A pioneer in the animal welfare cause since 1866 — well before the first-ever dog insurance policy in 1924 — the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals has garnered over 150 years of applied expertise in veterinary medicine, resource management, risk analysis, and animal rescue among other things.
Despite setting foot into the pet insurance sphere in 2006, we think the wide scope of its core plans — covering accidents, illnesses, hereditary and congenital conditions, behavioral issues, and curable pre-existing conditions — speaks to the ASPCA’s understanding of how unpredictable pet health can be.
One more perk that won ASPCA dog insurance some points in our book was its inclusion of microchipping in the Complete Coverage plan. Microchipping is often considered as an elective procedure across competing pet insurance providers, but should your dog ever go missing, opting to microchip your dog significantly increases the likelihood that you’ll be able to find them and bring them back home.
Pros and Cons
- Includes exam fees and microchipping in base plans
- Treatment for behavioral disorders isn’t grouped in with add-ons
- Flexible pre-existing condition terms
- 14-day waiting period for knee and ligament events
- Premiums won’t increase when you file a claim
- Maximum annual payout limit is $10,000
- Claims process averages 14-16 days
- Changes to activated policies are only allowed at your annual renewal
Plans and Coverage
As mentioned above, ASPCA dog insurance is forked into an accident-only policy for new injuries and emergencies related mishaps, and then a more comprehensive Complete Coverage for advanced testing, treatments, and rehabilitation. Neither of these plans assume wellness care, but preventative coverage is available as either a Basic or Prime add-on package.
On average, an ASPCA dog insurance policy costs owners approximately $49 per month. Although on the higher side price-wise amongst its competitors, you’re paying for coverage that already goes the extra mile within its stock plans, using add-ons as a safety net rather than a missing piece.
Both the accident-only and Complete Coverage plans instate a maximum annual limit of $10,000, so do take that into consideration in context with the age and breed of your dog, or if you have any inkling that your dog’s future medical bills (within the year ahead) could exceed that cap.
You’re free to choose an annual reimbursement rate of either 60, 70, or 80% at enrollment, as well as a deductible of $100, $250, or $500.
Scooting into sixth place as a leading dog insurance provider with the best comprehensive plans around, Prudent Pet is bonafide proof that you can’t keep a good dog down.
Not only does Prudent Pet offer an impressive three-tier plan bracket for whatever dimension of coverage your dog might need, but it also looks after its policyholders. If it ever so happens that you need to cancel a planned trip to stay home with a sick or healing pup, Prudent Pet will reimburse your vacation cancellation when you select its Ultimate plan package.
We admire Prudent Pet for including senior dogs in its coverage as one of the few dog insurance providers who have relinquished a maximum age limit from its eligibility criteria.
Another treat Prudent Pet tosses exclusively to its Ultimate members is an unlimited annual payout cap. We always recommend that pet parents of older pets, or breeds predisposed to congenital conditions, consider investing in a higher annual coverage option at enrollment.
Pros and Cons
- No maximum age cap
- All online agents and customer service representatives are licensed former vet techs
- Reimbursement for posted rewards and advertising efforts for stolen or lost pets
- Unlimited annual payout option available
- Policyholders are entitled to a 30-day money-back guarantee
- Pricier monthly premiums
- No available mobile app
What is Dog Insurance?
Dog insurance is canine health insurance designed to help alleviate the financial impact of your dog’s medical bills in the unfortunate event of an unforeseen injury or accident. Unlike human health insurance, eligible veterinary expenses are not covered through direct payment but rather a claim-based reimbursement process. The amount you’ll receive from your provider will depend on the annual reimbursement level you selected at enrollment, most commonly between 60 to 90%.
How To Find the Best Dog Insurance for You
With the pet insurance industry experiencing rapid growth every year, it will only continue to feel
increasingly overwhelming as more providers, and thus plans, enter the market and become variables worth comparing.
Here are a few pointers to help keep you grounded and focused in your search for the perfect dog insurance policy for you and your pup:
Get Your Facts in Order
Because your monthly premium will be shaped based on your pet’s age, breed, species, and location, you’ll want to pay attention to how each of these factors influences your quote as you compare between providers and plans.
Eligibility typically starts at seven or eight weeks for puppies and kittens. After that, initial enrollment is usually open to qualifying pets up until their 14th birthday or so, unless the provider does not enforce age maximums.
Many providers will require you to provide proof of a thorough physical examination from a licensed veterinarian, as well as any other paperwork reflective of your pet’s medical history before you are approved for an official policy. Be sure to have that on hand.
Nail Down a Budget
To a certain extent, pet insurance can cost as little or as much as you’d like and can be significantly controlled based on your personal plan customizations. If money isn’t a huge worry for you, then perhaps defining a game plan for your expenditures might not be too important. But for most of us, pets can be pricey little buggers, so it’ll take a bit of number crunching and one-on-one time with your personal finances to figure out your ideal monthly premium.
Reach Out to Customer Service
What better way to get to know a company than by speaking directly to it? If you find yourself struggling to translate pet insurance jargon or having any other questions about a certain provider’s policies as you deep dive into different plans, don’t hesitate to reach out to its customer service team. A helpful, or careless, initial customer experience will help you narrow down your list of potential insurers.
It can be hard to figure out where to start when doing your due diligence to find the best dog insurance plan for your pet’s one-of-a-kind healthcare needs. The ultimate objective behind all of our annual reviews is to mitigate some of the heavy sorting by pointing you toward the best pet insurance providers recommended by veterinarians and other pet healthcare experts — like us!
Frequently Asked Questions About Dog Insurance
What is the average monthly premium for the best dog insurance?
Among the most reputable pet insurance companies, the average monthly cost for the best dog insurance policy in 2022 is around $50.
What are some things that are not covered by dog insurance?
Pre-existing conditions are an industry-wide exclusion. While some providers might be more flexible in regard to what they consider an incurable versus a curable condition — and providing coverage for the latter — you won’t find one dog insurance policy that includes reimbursement for any injuries, illness, or other chronic conditions that predate your policy’s start date.
Other common exclusions include:
- Elective cosmetic procedures like tail docking, ear cropping, anal gland removal, or cosmetic dentistry
- Spay/neuter (typically unless purchased with an add-on)
- Treatment costs related to neglect, abuse, organized fighting, or commercial guarding
Does dog insurance provide animal liability coverage?
No. Dog insurance is strictly limited to financially protecting your dog’s access to adequate veterinary care in the event of an unexpected injury or illness. Animal liability coverage, which covers damage or injuries caused by your dog due to destructive behavior, is a product available through either homeowners or renters insurance.
Is my dog still covered by dog insurance while we are traveling?
Although it depends on what your individual policy covers, some providers will still deem claims placed while you and your dog are on the go, as long as you’re traveling domestically or within U.S. territories like Puerto Rico, Guam, etc.
Is preventative care coverage worth it?
While you should be setting aside money for routine care as is, given that annual checkups are a nonnegotiable of responsible pet ownership, preventative care can save you a significant chunk of change in the long run. With add-on wellness coverage often starting as low as $9.95 per month, your cumulative savings on veterinary care that you can predict per year prove investing in preventative care to be a wise financial move.
The 365 Pet Insurance research team looks at all pet insurance policies and comes up with our reviews based on coverage, plan options, cost, reputation, customer service, and species eligibility. We’ve also created a rating system to score pet insurance brands.
We’ve consulted with pet experts and dug into plans to develop what we think are the best overall plans, complete with ratings on coverage, how they handle claims, reimbursements, deductibles, limits, and more.
To make our list, pet insurance companies must have:
- A variety of plan options
- Affordable monthly rates
Our team revisits each company’s information at the end of every month to make updates and ensure the information is as accurate as possible.