Pet Insurance in the District of Columbia (2023 Rates, Reviews, Policies)


​The District of Columbia is an area big on landmarks and places for visitors to sightsee. However, it’s not very big on pet ownership. The rate of pet ownership is very low in the District of Columbia with only about 13% of households having dogs and 11% of households having cats. Despite the low number of household pets in this district, there are quite a few places owners can take their dogs.

Pet Laws in District of Columbia

  • All dogs in the District of Columbia must be on a leash and are not allowed to run at large. Additionally, a dog may not go on another person’s property, even if on a leash, without the owner’s permission.
  • All dogs at least four months old must be licensed. The owner must pay a license fee unless the dog is used as a service animal.
  • Households cannot have more than seven animals unless they have a special animal hobby permit. Any animals that exceed that number can and will be impounded.
  • Dogs may be off leash if they are in a park designated by the Mayor as a dog park.
  • All dogs and cats must be current on rabies vaccination.

Pet-Friendly District of Columbia

Whether you’re a pet owner who lives in the D.C. area or is just visiting, you’ll be happy to know there are several pet-friendly things and places in the District of Columbia. Although there are many pet-friendly places in the D.C. area, here are just a few.

  • Fletcher’s Boathouse – offers fishing and other recreational activities for pets and their owners
  • Key Bridge Boathouse – offers fishing, kayaking and swimming for owners and their dogs
  • Acadiana – offers good food and pet-friendly outdoor seating
  • Austin Grill – offers delicious grilled food and a welcome for pets
  • Affinia Hotel – offers lodging and up to two dogs
  • Kimpton Hotel Palomar – offers outdoor pool, free Wi-fi and a special welcome for dogs

Pet or dog owners who hate the idea of leaving their dog behind when they go to work have the option of taking their pet to work with them if they’re lucky enough to work for one of the many pet-friendly companies in the District of Columbia. Here are just a few.

  • in Washington, D.C.
  • Advanced Simulation Technology in Herndon
  • Google in Northwest D.C.
  • The Squires Group in Annapolis
  • Mark G. Anderson in Northwest D.C.
  • Tax Analysts in Falls Church
  • BrightStar Care in Silver Spring, MD
  • Wag! in Washington, D.C.
  • Citydog! Club in Washington, D.C.

District of Columbia Veterinary Costs

Caring for a pet can become expensive when you factor in the cost of veterinary medicine. Even the healthiest of pets can be injured or can develop an illness that requires emergency veterinary care. The average cost for routine visits for things like wellness checks, examinations and vaccinations may only be about $200 to $500 per year. However, unexpected veterinary expenses can add up quickly.

Pet owners in the District of Columbia pay an average amount of $1,500 annually for unexpected veterinary expenses. Unexpected veterinary expenses may be for broken bones, exploratory surgeries and cancer treatments to name just a few. Here is an example of what a pet owner may have to pay for serious illnesses or injuries. Keep in mind that costs may vary by vet and animal.

  • Cataract surgery – $1,500 to $3,000
  • Gastropexy surgery (for bloat) – $1,200 to $5,000 or more if complications arise
  • Tumor removal surgery – $1,000 or more
  • Chemotherapy – from $200 to $2,000
  • Radiation – from $2,000 to $6,000 or more

Monthly Cost for Pet Insurance in District of Columbia

Pet insurance can be a real help if your pets sustains a serious injury or a life-threatening disease. It may not cover the normal routine visits and wellness checks, but those aren’t usually the type of visits that require extra help. Here are some monthly premiums for pet insurance in different areas in the District of Columbia.

It’s insurance on a three-year-old, mixed breed, medium sized dog. The policy pays 80% after a deductible of $250 is paid. It also has an unlimited maximum payout amount. This policy is the one most often chosen by pet owners.


Monthly Cost

Adams Morgan


Dupont Circle


Chevy Chase




Capitol Hill


Pet owners who purchase pet insurance can customize a policy to provide more or less coverage.

Low-Income Pet Help in District of Columbia

Pet owner in the District of Columbia who may be having difficulties caring and paying for their animals can obtain help from one or several organizations in the DC area. These organizations offer low-income pet help those in need in the District of Columbia and nearby areas.

District Veterinary Hospital – offers low-cost veterinary care

Humane Rescue Alliance – offers low-cost veterinary care

Washington Humane Society – offers spay/neuter assistance

Capital Animal Care Mobile Spay/neuter clinic – offers spay/neuter assistance, pet supplies and pet food

PETS-DC – veterinary care assistance programs for ill, senior or disabled pet owners

Washington Animal Rescue League – Offers vaccination assistance, discounted veterinary care, spay/neuter assistance and pet food and supplies

Frequently Asked Questions About Pet Insurance in District of Columbia

Does pet insurance only cover dogs and cats? 

Most pet insurance providers only cover dogs and cats. To date, the only pet insurance provider that covers birds and exotic pets in the United States is Nationwide Insurance. Nationwide can cover your pet pig, lizard, parrot, chinchilla, and other exotic animals. Exotic pets need excellent veterinary care just as much as dogs and cats, so consider looking into a pet insurance plan for them today if you have an exotic pet.

Is buying pet insurance worth it? 

For most pet owners, pet insurance is absolutely worth it. We never know when our pet could have an unexpected accident or develop an illness, so having a backup plan in place to help pay for your pet’s vet bills is beneficial for most pet parents. Vet bills can quickly add up to hundreds, or even thousands of dollars, which many pet parents don’t have readily available. 

Having pet insurance protects you financially and gives you peace of mind that you won’t have to say no to recommended treatments to benefit your pet’s health and happiness.

What does Pet Insurance Typically Cover?

Depending on what type of plan you choose, your pet insurance plan will cover different things. Accident-only plans provide medical coverage for accidental injuries, such as broken bones, sprains, and prescription medications. Accident-and-illness plans try to extend that coverage to include cancer treatments, digestive illness, hip dysplasia, and similar issues.

Our Methodology

​​Here at 365 Pet Insurance, our research team looks to examine all pet insurance policies and comes up with reviews based on:

  • Coverage
  • Plan options
  • Cost 
  • Reputation
  • Customer service 
  • Species available
  • Wellness benefits 

We’ve created a 5-star rating system to score pet insurance brands based on a 100-point scale. To develop a list of the best pet insurance plans, we looked into plans, rating coverage, claims handling, reimbursements, deductibles, and limitations. 

Each factor is weighted differently based on the following factors:

  • Monthly Pricing (25 points): How each pet insurance company charges for their plans is a crucial part of the decision-making process of the customer. Affordable rates and comprehensive coverage are the defining characteristics of providing the best pet insurance.
  • Coverage (20 points): We scored companies based on the treatments and procedures they cover. Providers offering broader coverage and more unique treatments received more points.  Pet insurance policies are not offered by all companies for older pets. Providers who have an age limit on the pets they cover were deducted points.
  • Plans (15 points): Pet insurance providers offer accident-and-illness plans, accident-only plans, wellness add-ons, and pet preventive care add-ons, so customers can choose the right plan for their pets. We also factored in costs to achieve the most comprehensible review for your pet’s needs.
  • Customization Options (10 points): You can ensure your pet only gets what they need by customizing your policy. A higher score was earned by providers who offered a greater range of annual limits, deductibles, and reimbursement rates.
  • Customer Service (10 points): We scored companies based on their website accessibility and usability, mobile apps, and grating points to companies with the most customer experience options.
  • Industry Reputation (10 points): We assessed each company’s industry reputation by reviewing up-to-date BBB ratings and accreditation information, as well as their years of experience in the industry.
  • Waiting Periods (10 points): Companies with shorter accident and illness waiting periods scored higher than companies with longer waiting periods.

Our team revisits each company’s information at the end of every month to make updates and ensure the information is as accurate as possible.