Best Pet Insurance in South Dakota: Top Companies & Plans (2023 Review)

by | 11/03/2022

From the vast prairies of the Great Plains to the layered canyons of the Badlands, South Dakota’s idyllic landscapes host endless outdoor adventures for residents and their pups. But, access to such wide-open space exposes a pet to many health safety risks such as native predators, toxic plants, and dangerous terrain.

Should a pet become unexpectedly hurt or ill while exploring America’s heartland, an emergency visit to the vet could cost a South Dakota resident upwards of $900. And with one in every three pets needing emergency medical care each year, odds are they’ll end up with a similar veterinary bill at some point. Stay ahead of the unexpected by enrolling in pet insurance coverage, which can reimburse up to 90% of unforeseen vet expenses while financing a pet’s annual routine care. 

To help residents of The Mount Rushmore State track down the best policy in the Midwest, we’ve reviewed the following providers offering the best pet insurance in South Dakota:


Best South Dakota Pet Insurance Companies & Plans

Provider Visit Site Waiting Period Money Back Guarantee Maximum Enroll Age BBB Rating
Spot Site Link 14 days Yes No upper age limit A
Embrace Site Link 14 days for illnesses; 48 hours for accidents Yes 14 years old A+
Healthy Paws Site Link 15 days Yes 14 years old A-
ASPCA Site Link 15 days Yes No upper age limit N/A

Pet Insurance Companies in South Dakota Reviews

The pet health insurance providers highlighted in this article only offer coverage for cats and dogs. For readers looking to insure a bird, reptile, amphibian, or other nontraditional pet, visit our comprehensive guide on the best pet insurance for exotic pets

Spot Pet Insurance

Spot pet insurance offers highly customizable policies that allow policyholders to choose from a wide array of annual coverage variations, with an option for unlimited yearly payouts if need be. 

Behavioral training, exam fees, alternative therapies, and microchipping are also standard inclusions with Spot, whereas its competitors tend to reserve these items as add-ons at an additional cost. 

With Spot, a pet owner can choose from either a comprehensive base plan that covers all emergency vet care or a policy that only covers unexpected injuries. Accident-only coverage through Spot starts at around $10 per month, whereas accident/illness insurance is as low as $16 per month. Keep in mind that your rates will vary based on where in South Dakota you’re located, as well as your pet’s species, age, and breed. 

Pros and Cons


  • No upper age limits on enrollment eligibility
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Covers microchipping, behavioral training, alternative therapies, and exam fees for all plan levels


  • Has exclusions on certain bilateral conditions
  • Two-week waiting period for accident coverage

ASPCA Pet Insurance

A ringleader in the animal welfare cause, ASPCA’s pet insurance policies are backed by experts who know what companion animals truly need when it comes to proper vet healthcare. With coverage split into an accident-only plan and a Complete Coverage accident/illness plan, ASPCA gives a customer the freedom to choose a standard insurance setup based on their budget and coverage expectations. 

ASPCA pet insurance is administered by Crum & Forster, the same insurance agency that produces Spot pet insurance; therefore, Spot and ASPCA offer the same monthly rates and base plans but different annual coverage benefits and deductibles. 

ASPCA’s accident-only plan, which can start as low as $10 per month, will cover you for diagnostic and treatment costs related to incidents like broken bones, bite wounds, torn ligaments, swallowed objects, and more. Or, for just $6 more, ASPCA’s Complete Coverage plan offers broader coverage for all eligible accidents, illnesses, congenital and hereditary conditions, and behavioral issues. 

Pros and Cons


  • Covers exam fees for approved accidents and illnesses
  • Only a 14-day waiting period for complex orthopedic conditions like hip dysplasia
  • Includes microchipping as a standard coverage item


  • Highest annual payout option is only $10,000
  • Current customer base has complained about slow claims processing and reimbursement turnaround times

Embrace Pet Insurance

In addition to personalized plans and premiums, Embrace pet insurance offers an array of signature savings opportunities through its diminishing deductible feature as well as its non-insurance Wellness Rewards program and other stackable promotions. 

Through its Healthy Pet Deductible, Embrace rewards a member for responsible pet ownership with a $50 reduction in their annual deductible for every year they don’t need to file a claim for reimbursement. Suppose an Embrace policyholder with a $200 deductible ends up going four years without filing a claim. In that case, their annual deductible from there on out will remain at zero until they need to use their coverage.

Embrace offers accident-only and accident/illness policies, but cats and dogs 15 years old and up are only eligible for accident-only coverage. Embrace’s accident-only plans come with preset parameters of a $5,000 maximum of annual coverage benefits, a $100 deductible, and a 90% yearly reimbursement rate. 

If you’re interested in adding routine care benefits to your policy, Embrace also offers non-insurance preventative care through its exclusive Wellness Rewards program. With three annual allowances of $250, $450, and $650 in wellness coverage, each stipend has a savings difference of about $25 per year. You’ll be reimbursed for 100% of routine care costs within your selected annual allowance.

Pros and Cons


  • Only provider on the market to offer a vanishing deductible
  • Non-insurance preventative care coverage has no per-item limits
  • Distinguishes between curable and incurable pre-existing conditions
  • 5% multi-pet discount


  • Six-month orthopedic waiting period
  • Requires a preliminary medical exam for enrollment eligibility

Healthy Paws Pet Insurance

Healthy Paws’ policy framework cuts out any likelihood that a policyholder could be underinsured by prioritizing comprehensive catastrophic coverage through its stand-alone accident/illness base plan and unlimited annual coverage benefits for all. However, with no caps on payouts, Healthy Paws policies tend to be slightly more expensive than its competitors, which is something to heed if you’re on a tight budget.

Healthy Paws doesn’t offer preventative care insurance of any kind. While most pet insurance companies don’t wrap routine care coverage into their standard coverage, they’ll at least include a wellness benefits schedule as an elective add-on. On the other hand, Healthy Paws is designed to solely cover unexpected vet costs rather than predictable ones like annual checkups, core vaccines, parasite prevention, etc. 

We also wouldn’t suggest a Healthy Paws policy for older pets as its coverage benefits schedule narrows the older a cat or dog is at the time of enrollment. Moreover, pets aged six or older are not eligible for hip dysplasia coverage at enrollment. Pets 14 years old and above aren’t eligible for Healthy Paws coverage at all.  

Pros and Cons


  • Has donated over $1.6 million to 300+ shelters, rescues, and other animal welfare nonprofits
  • Unlimited annual coverage benefits for all Healthy Paws policyholders
  • Offers direct vet payment


  • Stringent age restrictions on enrollment eligibility and overall coverage 
  • One-time administration fee of $25

How Does Pet Insurance Work in South Dakota?

Similar to most other types of insurance, a pet insurance policy will require you to pay a monthly premium in exchange for coverage. Your premium will be shaped based on the cost of living within your ZIP code as well as the risk your furry family member presents for the provider according to its species, age, breed, and medical history. 

After you’ve provided an insurer with the necessary specifying information, you’ll be able to tweak your premium to a price point and coverage scope that works best for you and your pet by customizing your annual coverage benefits, deductible, and reimbursement rate. In the event that you ever have to file a claim, the amount you’ll be reimbursed will be contingent on these coverage options. 

There are two ways that you’ll be able to access your coverage following an emergency trip to the vet — either by submitting a claim to have a paid vet bill reimbursed or by reaching out to your carrier for a direct vet payment. Only a select number of providers offer direct vet payments as an option. 

Reimbursement is the more common way to be covered by your policy. In this case, you’ll be responsible for paying the initial invoice upfront. Once your vet has been compensated, you can file a claim with your provider for reimbursement. Most pet insurance companies will require you to provide an itemized receipt of all related charges from the visit as well as any contextual documents or medical reports that you received at the appointment.

How to Choose the Best Pet Insurance in South Dakota for You

With over 20 pet insurance companies throughout North America, comparing each provider against another will feel next to impossible — which is exactly why we advise against that approach. Instead, you’ll want to narrow down your options from the get-go to ensure you’re only giving attention to reliable providers. 

As a rule of thumb, you’ll want to stick with more prominent pet insurance companies rather than smaller carriers. Smaller providers naturally have a smaller inflow of cash, meaning that they’re more likely to be financially unstable, which could affect whether or not you’re able to secure a reimbursement at all. 

After you’ve singled out at least three providers that offer coverage most applicable to your budget and pet’s medical history, getting a free quote is your next step. Requesting a personalized estimate for what any given policy might cost you on a month-to-month basis will help you understand how much you might need to tailor your coverage options per provider to find a comfortable monthly rate.

Don’t jump the gun and make any final decisions based solely on price. Before picking a provider, make sure you’ve familiarized yourself with the fine print, specifically inclusions and exclusions. Skimming through a few verified customer reviews can also give you a solid inside look at the true quality of an insurer’s customer service. 

How Much Does Pet Insurance in South Dakota Cost?

On average, standard accident/illness coverage in South Dakota costs between $28 to $40 per month for dog insurance and $15 to $20 for cat insurance.  

To demonstrate just how much monthly premiums in South Dakota tend to vary from provider to provider, we’ve generated pet insurance quotes for each of the five highlighted insurers, as seen in the table below.

The following estimates are based on an alias policyholder with a 2-year-old pet — either a medium mixed breed dog or a domestic short-haired cat — living in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. We selected the most popular accident/illness plan customizations as automatically recommended by each provider. Sample wellness costs for our dog and cat insurance quotes chose the most basic add-on available.

Provider Sample Monthly Cost For Dogs Sample Monthly Cost For Cats Sample Monthly Wellness Cost 
Spot $28.47 $15.91 $38.42 for dogs; $25.86 for cats
Embrace $37.57 $20.37 $56.32 for dogs; $39.12 for cats
Healthy Paws $39.50 $18.48 N/A
ASPCA $28.47 $15.91 $38.42 for dogs; $25.86 for cats

Final Thoughts

Every 2.5 seconds, a companion animal in the United States receives emergency medical care — and on the other end of that treatment is a pet owner with a likely four-figure vet bill headed their way. Are you prepared to shell out a thousand or more dollars if you were in that pet owner’s shoes? 

Investing in a pet insurance plan ahead of time will give you the financial support you’ll need if your pet becomes critically injured or sick. Lastly, it also imparts the peace of mind that euthanasia is never something you’ll be forced to consider solely because of veterinary costs out of your price range. 

Information for Pet Owners in South Dakota

Pet owners living and visiting South Dakota can have great times with their furry friends, but the times are always better when everyone is aware of and abides by the following pet ownership laws in place throughout the state.

South Dakota Pet Laws

  • South Dakota allows each municipality to individually regulate or prohibit dogs from running at large. Still, the vast majority do not allow dogs to run freely in public areas. 
  • Inhumane treatment of animals is a scheduled felony in South Dakota, which is punishable by a $4,000 fine or up to two years in prison. 
  • All dogs and cats at least six months old must be licensed and current on rabies vaccinations.
  • Residents of South Dakota can legally keep one raccoon, skunk, or jackrabbit as a pet.
  • If you find a stray kitten or cat in South Dakota, it is illegal to keep. You must call animal control to ensure the feline receives proper vet care as soon as possible.

Fun Things to Do With Your Pet in SD

With 43% of South Dakota residents having at least one dog, many local pet parents tend to take their pups with them whenever they go out rather than leave them at home. Whether you’re the outdoorsy type that likes to be active alongside your doggo or would rather sit back and watch, South Dakota has more pet-friendly places than you can count on two paws: 

  • Reptile Gardens in Rapid City — On the way to Mount Rushmore, learn all about reptiles at this local adventure park with the world’s largest collection of exotic reptiles. Leashed dogs are permitted in all areas of the park except for the Safari Room. 
  • Braeburn Addition Off-Leash Dog Area — Also in Rapid City is a dog-friendly creek popular among local pups which can be let loose to splash around in this calm and shallow swim zone. This area is not fenced, so make sure your dog is firm in its recall before visiting.
  • Custer State Park — This state park offers 71,000 acres of undeveloped land for people and their pets to explore. Dogs must remain on leashes while venturing the park as herds of bison frequent the area. 

South Dakota Pet Resources

South Dakota has several organizations that assist pet owners who need financial help in order to care for their pets. These agencies offer low-cost veterinary services, including vaccinations, sterilization, and even pet food/supplies.

  • Oglala Pet Project (Kyle) — A pet food bank that offers low-cost vaccines and free spay/neuter services for pet owners living on the Pine Ridge American Indian Reservation.
  • Brookings Regional Humane Society — Offers pet food, basic pet care supplies, spay/neuter resources, and microchipping.
  • Sioux Nation Pet Clinic (Sioux Falls) — Has a low-cost walk-in vaccination clinic, feline and canine spay/neuter, and other standard veterinary services.
  • All City Pet Care West (Sioux Falls) — Provides affordable vaccinations, parasite control, microchipping, dental care, annual wellness care, and hospice care.

Frequently Asked Questions About Pet Insurance in South Dakota

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 in South Dakota? 

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.

Do pet insurance policies have waiting periods?

Yes, pet insurance policies more than always have waiting periods. between your initial enrollment period and when coverage officially begins for the plan. Across most providers, the standard is around 14 days for accidents and illnesses, but some others, including Lemonade and Embrace, can shorten your waiting period to as low as two days for accidents.

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.