VCA CareClub Review
Founded in 1986 as Veterinary Centers of America, this huge, publicly traded company (symbol: WOOF) was once just one clinic in Los Angeles. Over the years, they have brought diagnostics, Medical Technologies, daycare and boarding and more under its umbrella.
What is VCA CareClub?
VCA CareClub is a wellness product brought by VCA as an offering to its pet parents who are looking for some coverage for wellness care. This is not a pet insurance product – in fact, they market it as ‘Pet Assurance,’ but this is a huge pet hospital collection so it’s worth some coverage on our site. They have separate plans for puppies, adult and senior dogs, as well as kitten, adult and senior cats.
Standards for each plan include: Unlimited Anytime Exams, which are annual and semi-annual exams, plus exams for things that occur that concern you as a pet parent, routine lab work, doctor-recommended vaccines and routine dental care.
Here’s a breakdown of what you get at each age.
VCA Puppy Wellness Plans
VCA calls these plans Junior Paws and Junior Paws + and they are for pups 12 months and younger. When you get a new puppy, there are definitely costs associated with vaccinations, exams and microchipping. Their puppy plans cover three wellness exams, two fecal exams, up to three deworming treatments, vaccines including rabies, distemper, parvo, leptospirosis and Bordetella, Canine influenza and Lyme disease.
They will also cover unlimited visits to care for your puppy’s skin, weight, coat or other health concerns as long as you remain a CareClub member. For Junior Paws + members, they even get spay/neuter covered, which includes pre-surgery blood work, fluids, anesthesia, and pain medication. All Junior Paws and Junior Paws Plus members get microchipping and a 1-year membership to Home Again, which is the microchip registration service.
VCA Adult Dog Wellness Plans
Similar to the puppy plans, VCA offers Adult Paws and Adult Paws + for dogs 7 months to 6 years old. The main differences include dental cleanings (one for Paws + only) and increased diagnostic testing. The amount of covered exams goes down too, to one annual wellness exam and one semi-annual wellness exam. You will still get unlimited exams to care for the skin, coat, weight or any other health concerns as long as you belong to CareClub. You will get all doctor-recommended vaccinations, including Rabies, distemper, leptospirosis, Bordetella and parvo, along with Lyme disease and Canine influenza.
Recommended blood tests for adult dogs are also covered, to detect tick-borne illnesses, infection, inflammation, diabetes, kidney, urinary tract and liver diseases, anemia and more. You will get one professional dental cleaning per year as well, if you sign up for the Adult Paws + plan.
VCA Senior Dog Wellness Plans
Senior dogs get more diagnostic testing, two exams per year, vaccinations and more health screening such as x-rays and blood pressure checks for pups 7 years and older. Senior Paws + members get one professional dental cleaning including evaluation, anesthesia, fluids and x-rays.
Early disease detection is crucial with senior dogs, so you can get them tested for thyroid problems, diabetes, kidney, liver and other diseases. You can also get up to five chest and abdominal x-rays per year, along with a blood pressure check. You can also take advantage of the included microchipping and a one-year membership to Home Again.
VCA Kitten Wellness Plans
Kittens need a lot of care, although arguably not as much as puppies. Certain important kitten vaccinations are covered such as Rabies, Feline distemper (Panleukopenia), Feline leukemia (FeLV) and Feline respiratory virus (Rhino, Calici), while spay and neuter are only covered on the Junior Paws + plan. Similar to the Puppy plan, kittens get three wellness exams, two fecal exams and up to three deworming treatments.
Now, kittens can also get unlimited exams to care for skin, weight, coat or any other health worries, so long as you are a CareClub member.
Adult Cat Wellness at VCA
The Adult Cat plans are just like the Adult Dog plans for your cat from 7 months to 6 years of age. You get the same number of vaccines as the kitten plan, one less exam and dental care if you sign up for Paws +. You also get early disease detection and diagnostic testing, including tests for diabetes, infection, anemia, low platelet count, kidney issues, liver disease and more.
Senior Cats at VCA
Wellness for senior cats is very important with more and more cats living to their upper teens and even 20s. The Senior Paws and Senior Paws + plans focus on regular checkups and diagnostic care. Dental cleanings for Paws + plus extra testing and care like urinalysis and thyroid tests are crucial for your older cat.
As with all plans, the VCA CareClub plans cover microchipping, along with one year of membership to Home Again, the microchip management service.
What does VCA CareClub cost?
The VCA website does not list how much the CareClub costs, but from online accounts it appears to range from $50-$100 (or more) a month. It does appear that you are entering into a contract (possibly annual) so make sure you read the fine print. In addition, it looks like some customer complaints around the CareClub are that there are often extra charges at the wellness exams that are not covered by the CareClub plan. Remember to read all policy information carefully before you sign up for anything.
VCA + Trupanion
VCA + Trupanion is a product being promoted by Trupanion. It looks like they are trying to forge a partnership with VCA to have VCA cover the wellness side for ‘expected’ vet visits, while they cover the ‘unexpected’ side. Since Trupanion doesn’t offer wellness coverage, and VCA doesn’t cover emergencies, this could be a good combination. While this partnership looks interesting, you can still use any pet insurance company at VCA, so you don’t need to switch.