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Does Pet Insurance Cover Prescription Pet Food?

Does Pet Insurance Cover Prescription Pet Food?

Taking care of your pet can be rewarding but can also be a lot of work, stress and money. This is especially the case if your pet becomes sick or injured. A trip to the vet is seldom cheap unless you have some excellent pet insurance in place. More and more pet owners are choosing to purchase pet insurance, but even the best pet insurance has some exclusions. Many pet parents want to know if pet insurance covers prescription pet food. The answer – it depends on the policy.

What is Prescription Pet Food?

Prescription pet food is a special blend of pet food made by different manufacturers and made to address various illnesses. Prescription food is scientifically created to meet the nutritional needs of animals. Pet owners can only purchase prescription pet food with a prescription from their veterinarian. Prescription pet food may be recommended if a dog is ill and unable or unwilling to eat regular food.

The prescription pet food provides the pet with the food and nutrients it needs while its body continues to heal. The type of prescription pet food the vet prescribes will depend on the pet’s condition because different prescription pet foods are for different illnesses and conditions. Prescription pet food may be prescribed for the following conditions.

  • Kidney issues
  • Gastrointestinal issues
  • Heat disease
  • Cancer
  • Weight management
  • Diabetes
  • Allergies
  • Post-surgery
  • Dental issues
  • Renal issues
  • Skin Issues
  • Arthritis

Annual Cost of Prescription Pet Food

The annual cost of prescription pet food can be very difficult to determine. This is because the cost is based on the brand of prescription pet food, the type of animal, the size of the animal and the duration that the pet is required to be on the prescription pet food.

Knowing the price of the entire bag of pet food, pet owners would need to determine the price per pound or per kilogram, whichever the case. They would then determine how many pounds or kilograms the dog should get each day and multiply that amount for 365 days.

If a 15-pound (6.8 kilograms) bag of prescription pet food costs $60, the price per pound of the pet food is $4. If the dog is required to have ½ pound per day, it would cost the dog owner $2 per day or $730 per year ($2 X 365 days in a year). Keep in mind that the size of the dog will play a large part in determining the cost because a smaller dog or pet will require less food per day. Additionally, some dogs have prescription pet food for their entire life, while others may only need to be on the food for a few days or weeks depending on the dog’s health or health issue.

Plans That Cover Prescription Pet Food

Pet insurance offers pet owners the ability to provide better medical care because it covers vet bills that pet owners might not otherwise be able to afford to pay. However, not all insurance companies will cover the cost of prescription pet food. This is one of many reasons why pet owners should read the fine print on insurance policies prior to purchasing the policy. It’s important to know what the policy covers prior to purchasing the policy rather than after.

Prescription pet food may be covered by an insurance policy but may need to be purchased as part of an additional plan. The majority of pet owners that purchase pet insurance get the basic or an accident/illness plan, which covers routine things or accidental injuries. These policies may not always cover prescription pet food. Here are some pet insurance companies that may or may not cover the cost of prescription pet food.

Embrace

This company covers prescription pet food under the wellness plan, which needs to be purchased along with the accident/illness plan.

 

Trupanion This company covers prescription pet food.
ASPCA Pet Health Insurance This company covers prescription pet food if used to treat a covered condition.
Pet First

This company covers prescription pet food at 25% of the cost with an annual limit of $250. This coverage must be purchased as an add-on to the original policy.

 

Healthy Paws

This company pays for prescription medications but not prescription foods.

 

PetsBest This company pays for prescription medications but not prescription foods.

Types of Prescription Pet Food

Prescription pet food is manufactured by a couple of different companies and is also available in a few different flavors. Different prescription pet foods are designed for certain health issues. Here are some examples of prescription pet food that are available.

Prescription Dog Food

  • Hill’s Science Diet – Offers hypoallergenic treats; dental health dry dog food, digestive care, and low-fat GI restore dry dog food.
  • Royal Canin – Offers urinary so dry dog food, veterinary diet canned dog food, and canine satiety support dry dog food.
  • Purina Pro Plan Veterinarian – Offers senior dry dog food, limited ingredients food, pro plan with probiotics, and sensitive stomach dog food.
  • Wysong – Offers adult canine formula dry dog food, synorgon canine formula, optimal performance canine food, and senior canine formula.

Prescription Cat Food

  • Hill’s Prescription Diet – Hypoallergenic food for urinary care, dry and wet cat food can be given for the life of the pet.
  • Purina Pro Plan Veterinarian – Dietetic management formulas for adult cats in dry or wet options.