Does Pet Insurance Cover Shots?

by | 02/22/2023

Choosing to the best pet insurance is a personal choice and one that generally depends on a person’s financial situation. However, with the rising cost of veterinary care, more pet owners are choosing to buy pet insurance so they can provide their pets with the best possible medical care in case the pet becomes seriously ill or injured. This is especially true with dogs, which today are often treated as family members. Before choosing a pet insurance policy, it’s important to learn a little about pet insurance and things like preventive care or what is and isn’t covered. Here is a quick overview.

Dogs and cats are required to have certain shots and are recommended to have others. Here’s a look at what’s recommended:

Dog Shots Recommendation
Distemper Required
Hepatitis Required
Parainfluenza Required
Parvovirus Required
Rabies Required
Leptospirosis Recommended
Bordetella Recommended
Lyme Disease Recommended
Canine Influenza Recommended
Corona Virus Recommended


Cat Shots Recommendation
Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis Required
Rabies Required
Chlamydia Recommended
Feline Leukemia Recommended
Feline Influenza Recommended
Feline Infectious Peritonitis Recommended
Bordetella Recommended

What is Preventive Care?

Preventive care is providing your pet with additional help and assistance in maintaining good health. Preventive care is usually a daily regimen given to your pet, mostly like your dog, to not just make the dog healthy but keep him or her as healthy as possible. German shepherds and some large breed dogs are prone to developing hip dysplasia due to deteriorating joints.

Giving the dog joint supplements may be considered a form of preventive care in much the same way as rabies shots or annual vaccinations. Another method of preventive care is wellness or annual checks, which allow the vet to examine the dog to see if he or she is as healthy as possible. Wellness checks and annual examinations are what most come to mind when we hear the words preventive care.

Anything that is given to a pet to promote good health is considered a form of preventive care. Some owners feel that the cost of preventive care is an unnecessary expense that they would rather not incur until the pet is actually sick. Others feel that the cost of preventive care is more than worth it because it’s generally lower than the vet bill would be if the dog were injured or ill.

Examples of preventive healthcare include:

  • Parasite control
  • Vaccinations
  • Heartworm medication
  • Grooming or nail trimming
  • Anal gland expressing
  • Dental health care
  • Neutering or spaying

Some pet insurance companies offer coverage for preventive care. Because it’s not automatically covered with all policies, it’s important to read the fine print or speak with an agent so you know what is and isn’t covered. Preventive care coverage may be listed under the Wellness Check coverage.

Annual Cost of Shots/Vaccinations

The annual cost of shots and vaccinations can depend on a few different things. While some pet owners choose to only choose the vaccinations required by law, such as rabies shots, others choose to provide their dog with extra protection against as many diseases as possible. Today, dogs are treated almost like part of the family even accompanying their owners on family vacations.

The unfortunate thing about this is that the dog is in contact with more health threats. Often, ensuring the dog receives annual vaccinations against various canine diseases can make a difference in the dog’s health. Many canine diseases can be fatal or can require hundreds of dollars of veterinary care.

Another factor that determines the cost is veterinary service. Veterinarians vary in the prices they charge. In some areas, human societies and animal shelters administer shots and vaccinations at discounted prices. The type of shots the dog receives will also determine the annual cost.

  • Puppy shots – Dog shots typically begin as early as six weeks of age. The puppy shots are given to the puppy at six weeks, 12 weeks and 16 weeks of age. The average cost for the complete packages is $75 to $100.
  • DHLPP – This vaccination protects the dog against distemper, hepatitis, leptospirosis, parvo and parainfluenza, which are all diseases that can be fatal to a dog. The annual cost of this shot is $40 to $75.
  • Rabies shot – This shot, which is required by law in most states, is good for three years after the initial shot. The average cost is $20 to $50.
  • Bordetella – This shot is good for dogs that are exposed to other dogs and protects them against kennel cough. The average annual cost is $40 to $65.

The average annual cost for all of the above shots and vaccinations is about $175 to $265.

Plans That Cover Shots

If you’re a pet owner who wants the maximum coverage on your pet insurance, it cannot be emphasized enough to shop around and ask questions as to what the policy covers in terms of preventive medication such as shots and vaccinations. In most cases, pet insurance does not cover vaccinations unless they’re part of a pet wellness plan, and not every pet insurance company offers wellness coverage. Every company is different in their policies and coverage.

Company Coverage
Pets Best Pets Best offers a couple different pet insurance plans. They also offer routine care and pet wellness coverage, which covers vaccinations and shots. They’ll pay from $30 to $40 per year towards vaccinations with no deductible. The amount they’ll pay is based on the plan you choose. 
Figo Although Figo does offer coverage for accidents and illnesses, they do not offer wellness coverage, and will not pay for vaccinations and shots.
Embrace Embrace offers pet owners their Wellness Rewards for Routine Care package, which covers vaccinations and shots. You give you the option of three different payout amounts: $250, $450 or $650 per year.
Healthy Paws Healthy Paws does not offer insurance for preventive care such as vaccinations and shots.
Spot Spot pet insurance offers a preventive care package that covers vaccinations and shots. 
Nationwide Nationwide offers a Whole Pet and Wellness Plan that does cover preventive care.