Does Pet Insurance Cover Behavioral Training?

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As lovable and playful as our pets can be, there are times when they tend to misbehave. Whether it’s digging, barking unnecessarily, chewing on things, jumping, or some other annoying habit, these things are quite normal with dogs and pets. However, some dogs exhibit bad habits that go beyond the normal dog antics.

When this happens, the dog could be in harm’s way or maybe putting others in harm’s way. These dogs may need behavioral training. A common question of many dog owners is, “Does pet insurance cover behavioral training?” This depends on a few different things with the most common being the pet insurance company.

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What is Behavior Training?

There are various types of behavior training, but most types involve the animal getting positive reinforcement for positive behavior. Professional trainers have the belief that dogs will continue to exhibit positive behavior because they associate good behavior with the treat that follows. The treat may be in the form of small food treats, balls, or even praise. In fact, most dogs crave praise and approval from their owner or trainer almost as much as a treat.

Bad behavior may be a result of a health issue. If this is the case, the dog should see a vet before initiating a behavior training program. If there are certain triggers that set the dog off, the trainer may recommend avoiding the triggers as well as basic behavior training. In addition to behavior training for the dog, a professional trainer may also use other methods, including behavior modification techniques, medications, and specialized behavioral training.

Dog behavior trainers are typically professional dog trainers who have received certification through the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers. To obtain this certification they must have so many hours working with dogs and must pass a test. Although many pet owners try to train their dogs themselves, professional dog behavior trainers should see dogs that exhibit serious behavior traits.

Annual Cost of Behavior Training

The cost of behavior training can vary in many ways.

  • Type of dog
  • If it’s basic behavioral training or training required due to behavior issues
  • How extensive the training is
  • Professional trainer costs

Professional behavior trainers don’t typically charge an annual fee. The dog is analyzed so the trainer can determine the dog’s need. If the dog has minor bad habits and is young, he or she may require fewer sessions. On the other hand, if the dog has serious issues, it generally requires more sessions. Every trainer charges a different rate.

General dog training can run anywhere from $30 to $80 per session with the average being bout $50 an hour. Dog trainers who specialize in behavior training usually charge from $200 to $600 per week. However, most dogs don’t need to be in training for a year, so it’s hard to give an annual rate. If a dog has serious issues that require more intensive behavior training, the dog may be required to attend boot camp kennel training.

With this type of training, the dog stays at the trainer’s location. These facilities typically charge a weekly rate, which can range from $500 per week to $1,250 depending on the dog’s behavioral issues. One dog may only require a couple of weeks of training while another might require a couple of months.

Plans That Cover Behavioral Training

When pet owners choose a pet insurance policy, most think in terms of serious illnesses and injuries. They ask what common ailments are covered. If pet insurance covers behavior training is not typically a question they immediately ask. They don’t worry about behavioral training until the dog develops bad habits. The good news is that some pet insurance companies will cover behavioral issues. However, they don’t typically cover professional training.

Here’s a look at some of our top plans and if they cover behavior training.

Embrace

Embrace pet insurance offers an illness/injury policy that covers many unique things, including the cost of behavioral treatment and all costs associated with this treatment. They don’t just cover the treatment but will also cover the cost of any prescription medications the dog may need. Their policies offer you a choice of deductibles, annual payout rate, and co-pays.

Pets Best

Pets Best offers various levels of coverage. While they will not cover the cost of a professional dog behavior trainer, they will cover the cost of a veterinarian’s consultation and any prescription drugs the dog may need regarding its behavior issues. For instance, if the dog needs a sedative or anxiety medication to help keep him calmer and less likely to be mischievous, Pets Best will cover the cost of these medications. This company also offers the pet owner choices in deductibles, co-pays, and annual payout limits

SPOT

SPOT pet insurance offers an illness and accident policy that does cover behavior issues as long as a licensed veterinarian treats them. They cover consultations with the vet regarding the behavior issue and will pay or recommended prescription drugs. SPOT pet insurance is another company that allows pet owners to customize their policy with the deductible, reimbursement percentage, and maximum annual limit so they can choose the policy that best meets their pet’s needs and their budget. SPOT

Nationwide

Nationwide pet insurance offers their Whole Pet with Wellness policy, which covers a wide range of things, including behavioral issues. Nationwide will cover vet consultations and treatments for behavior issues as well as any prescribed medications. They will cover the cost of behavioral training if it’s prescribed by a licensed veterinarian.

According to this Japanese study, 86 percent of over 2000 dogs studied did exhibit some form of behavioral problems. Contrary to what you may think, behavior issues are not exclusive to biting or pulling on a leash. Other issues include pica and excessive barking are all problematic to dog owners and can be resolved with the right behavioral training. Therefore, it is crucial that you choose a pet insurance plan that can help you with these issues so you can live in harmony with your furry friend.