Pet Insurance in Alaska
Alaska may be the largest state in terms of square feet but is not the largest in terms of pet ownership. However, there are many households that have pets, including dogs, cats and even some approved exotic animals. Pet insurance is a way for Alaska residents to know they’ll be able to pay veterinary bills in case of a serious medical issue or illness.
Pet Laws in Alaska
Unlike many other states, Alaska does not have a statewide leash law. Each municipality has its own regulations. In addition to the conventional pet laws, Alaska also has some additional laws regarding pets living in or brought into the state.
• Alaska has very strict laws regarding owning exotic and strange animals as pets. Only pets listed on the Alaska “Clean List” can be brought into Alaska, so people hoping to get wild or exotic animals as pets should verify that the animal is an approved pet.
• Any dog that chases wild animals or poses a threat to them can be shot by anyone if the dog is running at large.
• Alaska law includes pets in the division of marital property in divorces.
• All dogs must be licensed by the time they are four months old.
• All dogs must be current on rabies shots.
Fortunately for residents and vacationers with pets, there are many pet-friendly places in Alaska, whether you’re looking for lodging, restaurants or parks.
• Comfort Inn Ship Creek in Anchorage – allows you to take your pet on a cruise as part of your family
• 7 Gables Inn & Suites in Fairbanks – offers several pet-friendly suites where your dog will be very comfortable
• Spenard Roadhouse in Anchorage – This pet-friendly restaurant offers various types of cuisine and outdoor patio for your dog.
• Tommy’s Burger Stop in Anchorage – If you and your canine want a burger or salad in a pet-friendly place with a patio, this is the place to stop.
• Fairbanks Dog Park in Fairbanks – This 20-acre park has two fenced-in areas plus a training area and hiking trails.
• Bishop’s Beach in Homer – This dog-friendly beach offers dogs plenty of space to run around and frolic in the water.
If you’re a pet owner who hates leaving your dog behind when you go to work each day, you may be happy to know there are various pet-friendly employers in Alaska. Of course, some businesses you may expect to see on this list, such as Petsmart, but other businesses are quickly becoming dog and even cat-friendly.
• Instacart in Eagle River
• Cat Herding Industries in Anchorage
• Conica Minolta in Anchorage
• Petersburg Fisheries in Petersburg
• Petsmart in Anchorage
• AK Must Love Dogs in Anchorage
• Alaska Dog Wash Resort in Anchorage
• VCA Animal Hospital
Alaska Veterinary Costs
Alaska pet owners pay an average amount of $1,100 annually for unexpected veterinary care. Unexpected veterinary care means services beyond the normal annual checkups, wellness checks and required vaccinations. Pets often get into jams or develop illnesses that require additional care. While $1,100 a year sounds like a lot, it’s a drop in the bucket compared to what the cost could be for something serious like broken bones, obstructed abdomen (a common ailment for dogs), cataract surgery or cancer treatment.
Here are some examples of what some of these treatments might cost. Imagine trying to pay all that without pet insurance.
Treatment and Anticipated Cost
- Cataract Surgery: $1,500 to $3,000
- Exploratory Surgery: $400
- Gastropexy Surgery $1,200 to $6,000
- Intestinal Blockage Surgery: $800 to $7,000
- Radiation Therapy: $1,000 to $7,000 for treatments
- Chemotherapy: $1,000 to $10,000 for treatments
- Tumor Removal: $1,000 to $2,000
Monthly Cost of Pet Insurance in AK Cities
Pet insurance can literally be a lifesaver if your pet is seriously injured or suddenly develops a life-threatening disease. The cost of emergency veterinary treatment, cancer treatments and surgeries can seem astronomical if you don’t have the money. In many cases, it can make a difference in if you can help your sick pet or have to have it euthanized.
Pet insurance is not as expensive as you might think, especially when you consider what it pays. Here are some monthly premiums for pet insurance in five different cities in Alaska. This policy pays 80% of the bill for covered expenses and requires a $250 deductible. It’s based on a medium-size mixed breed male dog that’s five years old.
Low-Income Pet Help in Alaska
Alaska has a few different organizations that offer veterinary and low-income pet help to pet owners who may be facing financial difficulties or just need a little help in caring for their pets and providing them with the necessary medical treatments.
Alaska SPCA in Anchorage – pet food bank that offers low-cost vaccines and spay/neuter services
Friends of Pets in Anchorage – offers vouchers for spay/neuter services
STOP the Overpopulation of Pets – offers vouchers for spay/neuter services
Straw for Dogs – offers supplies for pets outdoors and free resources
Fairbanks Animal Control in Fairbanks – offers low-cost veterinary care
All Creatures Veterinary Clinic in Wasilla – offers low-cost vaccinations for dogs and cats
Palmer Veterinary Clinic in Palmer – offers low-cost vaccination clinics in the spring and fall