If You Love Your Pet, Make Sure You Have Pet Insurance

If You Love Your Pet, Make Sure You Have Pet Insurance

Hello, everyone. Liam Dai here. As an insurance advisor, I encounter how insurance affects my client’s lives daily, whether it’s been an auto accident,  an injury at the workplace,  and virtually every imaginable situation.  However, while it’s good to prepare yourself for countless situations life can throw at us, it always comes as a shock—even to an insurance professional like myself.

I’d like to share with you my own feelings about a situation that occurred to me recently, and demonstrate how having pet health insurance  greatly affected my decision-making process and gave me peace of mind in a moment of heartbreak.


On April 19th, 2016, we almost lost our beloved 6 year old dog.

 The vet told us, “It’s not looking good. We can’t stabilize her. She won’t survive this and her chances are close to none.” Those were the words that any pet owner never wants to hear.

They said they would keep trying, but they were careful to inform us about the financial burden that we would be placed under if we were to proceed with everything they can do. Of course, we said do whatever you need to do.


A Routine Trip to the Vet…

Let’s step back 2 days. We brought our dog Lolita to the vet for a check-up because of an anal gland issue. It seemed routine and dogs usually will get this issue once or twice throughout their life. We thought nothing of it. Otherwise, she is a healthy pup and never had any significant problems. She was given an antibiotic shot and antibiotic drops were to be given for 7 consecutive days.

Other than trying to coax her into taking her meds, she seemed normal despite the usual sadness from going to a vet. On Monday, she was a little warm and I thought she had a fever. That night she was burning up and whining throughout the night out of discomfort. I decided to work from home to monitor her. She seemed a little abnormal, not moving from her spot. She would need to be carried to her potty; even food had to be brought to her. She wouldn’t even budge from her spot to go one foot to her food. I assumed she was just feeling sick and didn’t want to move.

Around 12 o’clock, she started to get up and walk around, following me. I thought, “Great! She’s feeling better and she’s on her way back to her normal self.” The doorbell rang, which excited her but ultimately I calmed her down. Routine dog stuff. Lolita has always alerted us of someone at the door.

She went back to the spot she was laying before. Within 20 minutes or so, as I was working in the home office, she let out 2 barks. Rack, rack. Now this is highly unusual. She does not bark. Lolita is a quiet dog that most people would mistake her for a cat. I went over to check on her to see what’s going on.


Thing turn from bad to worse…

She started gagging and trying to vomit. At least it looked like she was trying to make herself throw up. She did this continuously for 10 minutes and I became concerned. I sent a video to my wife and asked if she knew what’s going on. She immediately rushed home.

Lolita kept hacking and gagging, with each minute going by, the louder it got. I dropped everything and tried to comfort her. What was wrong with her? When my wife came home, Lolita’s tongue and gums were turning purple. We had to rush to the hospital now.

On the way to the hospital, she would continue to hack and gag, turning more blue. At one point of the car ride, she stopped hacking and gagging, turned grey, and her eyes popped out, mouth left wide-open. This was the scariest and most disconcerting look we have ever seen from her. We thought she had died. But within a minute of calling her, she started hacking and gagging again.

Once we got to the animal hospital, they asked us what happened to Lolita. The staff said we need to calm her down and get stabilized her right away.


The unbearable wait…

While we waited in the waiting room, Lolita got worse and worse. Each hour, we were told that she was getting a higher fever and that she was still turning bluer. They explained that she would not make it and we would need to prepare for that.  We sat there preparing for the worst, going through all of the scenarios of how this could of happen to our loved one. We sat in the waiting room telling ourselves it didn’t matter. We just want our dog back. We will do whatever it takes to bring her back. At one particularly low point, I considered the cost and told myself that it didn’t matter: we’ll sell or borrow whatever we needed to cover the cost if needed.

Luckily, we had pet health insurance which would cover 90% of our cost. When the vet asked us to consider the financial burden, we didn’t even hesitate and said do what it is needed. Most pet owners wouldn’t even hesitate if they had the means (or not) and ask for whatever is needed.


Peace of mind for Emergency Veterinarian Costs

This was the day we personally discovered how much pet emergency care would cost. We were billed almost $18,000 for the most excruciating 24-hour ordeal (emergency care, IVs, meds, MRIs, x-rays, ultrasounds, animal transport to the  24-hour hospital, 24-hour care and monitoring, blood work, etc…). This would put anyone under a heavy financial burden afterwards. I am sure you would not consider it while your dog, who is one of your family members, is on the table at risk of dying. We would handle money-matters later when they presented themselves.



I always said to myself, when other pet owners had the same issue who paid $17k out of pocket for an emergency visit that I would have to consider the money and the rewards. I may have considered to not save my own dog. Today, I found out that it didn’t even take a second for me to do whatever the vets needed to do. My wife and I find a way to pay for it all no matter what.

If you love your pet, buy pet health insurance. It is inexpensive and we haven’t had to use it in the 6 years we’ve had Lolita. It truly helped us financially when we were faced with a life-or-death situation.

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I share this story in hopes for people who are considering pet health insurance to at least get a quote and work it in your monthly budget. When you have an emergency, it can be very expensive. This is where an insurance advisor like myself can not only relate to your worries, but find the most comprehensive and affordable coverage for pet owners. If you’re on the fence, contact us at RiskBlock  so that when it comes time to decide between money or your pet’s health, you’ll make the right decision w

Author: Liam Dai
Lead Insurance Advisor for RiskBlock. Disclaimer: This Blog/Web Site is made available by the author or insurance agency for educational purposes only as well as to give you general information and a general understanding of the insurance coverage, not to provide specific insurance advice. By using this blog site you understand that there is no professional advice and professional client relationship between you and the Blog/Web Site publisher. The Blog/Web Site should not be used as a substitute for professional advice from a licensed professional insurance agent in your state. All scenarios are different and unique to the situation.