Does Pet Insurance Cover Flea Treatment?

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Does pet insurance cover flea treatment? This a common question we get asked when it comes to routine care that your dog or cat may need, as you try to factor in costs of insuring your pet and what the pet insurance companies actually cover.

Along with the warm weather and fun times of summer comes fleas and other pests. Fleas and pests may seem like nothing more than annoyances, but they can cause a lot of problems for your pet and its surroundings. There are various flea treatments available today in stores and at your vet’s office. How costly are flea treatments? We go through the necessary aspects of flea treatments and which of our top choice plans do or do not cover this treatment.

Why Our Pets Need Flea Treatment

Depending on where you live, your pet may need treatment year-round or just for a few months of the year. We often tend to think that fleas and parasites that affect our pets are like the type of bugs that bother us, such as flies or mosquitoes. However, there is quite a difference in the seriousness between how bugs affect us and how fleas and ticks affect dogs and cats.

Why is it important to get rid of fleas and ticks? At the very least, fleas and ticks can be very annoying. However, they can cause much more danger to our pets than just annoyance. They both have the potential to transmit a variety of diseases to not just other animals but people as well. Some of the diseases they can transmit can be very serious.

When we’re talking about fleas, we can’t emphasize the importance of using some sort of flea product on your pet. Fleas can transmit so easily to other animals, people, furniture, etc. They’ll keep on laying eggs and hatching new fleas. A flea infestation cannot only be very difficult to get rid of but also very time-consuming and expensive.

Some homes that have had flea infestations from their pets have had to spend a lot of money to be sure they got rid of every last flee. Flea treatment to prevent the problem is a less expensive and more effective method of ensuring fleas don’t get to your pet. In many cases, your pet insurance policy may cover the cost or part of the cost of flea treatment.

What is Flea Treatment?

The words “flea treatment” may have different meanings for different pet owners. This is because different pets have different needs regarding flea control and treatment. It’s also because there are various types of flea treatments.

There are so many types of flea and tick control products out there today, including powers, sprays, topical drops, collars, pills, shampoos, and collars. The secret is finding the product that works best for your pet and fits best in your budget.

If one doesn’t work out well, try another type, or contact your vet for advice on the best flea treatment for your pet. Particularly, contact your vet if your pet appears to be having an adverse reaction to the treatment.

  • Collars – Flea and tick collars are a very convenient and popular option for pet owners that really don’t want to apply medication to their animal. It’s also generally used for animals not suffering from a current flea infestation. It’s more of a preventative measure rather than a treatment. Flea and tick collars usually offer protection for seven to eight months. There are two types of collars. One only repels insects while the other type repels and treats.
  • Topical Drops – Often referred to as spot-on- treatment, topical drops are put directly on the animal’s skin. If you’re treating a dog, the drops go down the full length of the back from the neck to the tail. If you’re treating a cat, the drops typically go at the base of the neck right between the shoulders. They generally offer protection for 30 continuous days. After the 30 days is up, the animal will need another treatment. This type of flea treatment does exactly what you want it to do. It kills not just the fleas and ticks but also controls the eggs from growing and becoming fleas.
  • Oral Pills – Oral flea treatment, which comes in either chewable or pill form, is ingested by your part rather than applied to the animal’s body. They work within a half hour. They generally killed either the adult fleas or the flea eggs but not both. They are not effective for tick control. Oral flea treatment is only available through a prescription by your vet.
  • Sprays and Powders – This type of treatment is fairly easy to apply. You either spray it on the animal or shake the powder on the animal and massage it into the animal’s fur on its entire body. Many of the sprays and powders available today can also be applied to your furniture, bedding, and carpet.
  • Shampoo – Applying flea and tick shampoo is as easy as it is to bathe your animal. You get the animal’s coat wet, apply the shampoo, and massage it into the fur on the entire body. You let it stay on the fur for a few minutes and then rinse and dry. These shampoos are usually used to kill the ticks and fleas that are already on the animal. They can be used weekly.

Annual Cost of Flea Treatment

The annual cost of flea and tick treatment can vary by many factors.

  • Type of animal
  • Size of animal
  • Type of treatment you choose
  • Are you doing it yourself?
  • Is the vet performing the treatment?
  • What vet you choose to take your animal for treatment

When pet owners bring their animals to the vet for flea prevention or treatment, they generally also get heartworm treatment as well. Heartworm treatment can cost $120 to $240 annually. Flea treatment usually comes with a wellness exam, which is about $50-$150, depending on where you live.

If the animal is already infested with fleas, the owner will pay for removal from the vet, which can run from $100 to $200 or even upwards of $400, if you live in a large city, including the office visit. The owner will also have to buy things to get rid of any fleas that may be in their home.

These items, including flea comb, carpet shampoo, lawn pesticide treatment, shampoo, and the actual treatment, can be up to $225 to $350. If the animal is not infested and only seeing the vet for preventative purposes, the cost can be from $100 to $200.

Plans that Cover Flea Treatment

Most pet insurance companies will not pay for flea treatment under their basic accident/illness policies because flea treatment is generally considered a preventative condition. However, some insurance companies offer wellness plans that will cover the cost or part of the cost of flea treatment. The Wellness plans generally cannot be purchased as a single policy but must be purchased as an add-on to the accident/illness insurance policy.

Embrace Flea Coverage

Embrace doesn’t cover flea treatment under their basic plan but will cover it under their Wellness Rewards policy. Pet owners can choose between three levels of coverage or the amount they’ll pay: $250 per year; $450 per year, or $650 per year.

Pets Best Flea Coverage

Pets Best also does not offer coverage for flea testing, treatment, or prevention on their basic plan but does cover it under their EssentialWellness and BestWellness™ plans. The Essential plan pays up to $50 per year towards flea/tick prevention, and the Best plan pays up to $65 per year. There are no deductibles to be met on the wellness plans.

Insured Pets Get More Treatment

According to a study by Nationwide, pet owners with pet insurance seek care more often for their pets. With a wellness add-on that covers all or most of flea prevention, you may not get to the point where you need flea treatment, since you are more likely to use your benefits