Toy Poodles are the smallest of the three Poodle types: Standard, Miniature, and Toy. So what might be excellent insurance coverage for the Standard Poodle might not be the best option for the Toy Poodle. And this is why we have dedicated this insurance guide to the smallest sibling. This guide is a must-read for any Poodle parent interested in pet insurance.
This breed consistently ranks in the top 10 dog breeds in America. But, every dog is unique, and the owner’s budget is different. For that reason, we have compiled a list of all the considerations you need to be aware of to get the best insurance for your needs.
Measuring under 10 inches and weighing no more than 6 pounds, you can be sure that these adorable dogs are easily susceptible to injury compared to more robust larger-sized doggos. Plus, like all other purebred dogs, they are prone to a handful of health concerns that make investing in an insurance policy worthwhile. We let you into a few tips on saving yourself a little bit of money along the way.
At A Glance
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- Is Pet Insurance Worth It?
- Common Health Issues In Toy Poodles
- Considerations When Choosing An Insurer
- Who Offers The Best Policy?
- How To Save Money
- Final Thoughts
Is Pet Insurance Worth It?
Many dog parents find themselves wondering, is pet insurance worth it? For most pet owners, being covered for sometimes colossal medical bill costs is definitely worth it. A survey completed by Liberty Mutual Insurance showed that nearly two-thirds of responding pet parents could not afford an unexpected medical bill should the worst happen.
To keep your beloved Toy Poodle safe and your mind assured that you can take care of them, pet insurance can literally be a lifesaver in many cases. Plus, it allows you to stabilize your financial situation which is also essential for a happy family. You cannot get pet insurance only when you need it. So it’s responsible to get your dog coverage as soon as possible.
Common Health Issues In Toy Poodles
Poodles generally live long and happy lives. But like most dog breeds, they are more likely to suffer from specific health concerns due to genetic inheritance. And although your pooch might suffer from none, some, or different issues altogether, it can give you a good idea about what to look out for. Both symptoms-wise and in your new insurance policy.
Patella luxation occurs when the kneecap does not sit correctly and essentially floats, a lot like becoming dislocated. It affects mobility, and symptoms include kicking out, hopping, and exercise intolerance. In some cases, the kneecap can slip back into place and never happen again. But usually, if it happens once, it is likely to happen again. Surgery is often the only option to improve the quality of your dog’s life and to prevent the issue from recurring.
The average surgery cost to resolve patella luxation falls between $1,500 and $3,000 per knee. However, this price does not include the cost of diagnosis, pre-surgery blood work, and any complications they might experience along the way. Suppose your dog requires surgery on both knees. You could face a hefty bill. And you might not be in a position to cover it if you don’t have insurance coverage in place.
Legg-Calve-Perthes disease is more commonly found in smaller dogs than larger dogs. It occurs when the head of the femur bone (the ball and socket joint in the hip) begins to deteriorate. Over time this leads to collapse of the hip joint and chronic arthritis. Symptoms first appear in puppyhood, making this health issue alone a top reason to invest in pet insurance right away.
This health issue usually requires surgery to treat. And the intrusiveness of the surgery depends on the seriousness of the problem, which affects the cost. The average price of treating Legg-Calve-Perthes disease falls between $1,000 and $3,000 per hip joint. Some dogs require continued treatment after surgery to maintain a healthy hip joint, such as medication or hydrotherapy.
Like many dog breeds, the Toy Poodle is prone to several eye conditions. The most common eye concerns are juvenile cataracts, age-related cataracts, progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), glaucoma, and optic nerve hypoplasia. Many eye conditions can be treated with improved hygiene and regular medication. However, many of these conditions require surgery to resolve the issue and improve your pup’s quality of life.
A simple eye assessment followed by antibiotics is approximately $100. Claiming a lower-end cost like this might increase your premiums. So it might not be in your interest to do so. But if your dog requires surgery, such as removing cataracts, the average price falls anywhere between $2,600 and $3,800 per eye. Your insurance coverage should include ophthalmology treatment.
Toy and small-sized dogs are more likely to suffer from periodontal diseases than large dogs. Because they have smaller mouths, their teeth are cramped, which leads to gum disease and further decay. For this reason, you need to establish a dental cleaning routine with your pup early on to prevent dental diseases.
No matter how well you look after your dog’s teeth, many still suffer, especially in their later years, which leads to tooth loss. The cost of dental cleaning can range from $300 to $1,000. The price depends on what’s needed and the condition of your dog’s teeth. Tooth extraction and further treatment add to the bill, making dental cleaning a potentially costly treatment.
A collapsed trachea is the progressive weakening of the tracheal cartilage, also known as the windpipe. Tracheal collapse usually becomes a concern in small, middle-aged dogs, and mini poodles are a commonly affected breed. Thankfully, the conditions can be quickly improved with medication and lifestyle changes when diagnosed early. Using a high-quality dog harness rather than a neck lead can prevent this problem in the first place.
But for some Toy Poodles, surgical intervention is required. Diagnostics alone for collapsed trachea can range between $500 and $2,000. Surgery to strengthen the windpipe can add between $2,000 and $5,000 to the final bill. In some severe cases, affected pups still need medication to manage the issue after surgery which results in a costly problem to fix that your insurance should cover.
Considerations When Choosing An Insurer
There are many different insurance companies to choose from, all offering various options and more than one type of coverage. Although having a wide choice is excellent for tailoring your insurance coverage to your individual needs, it can make your decision much harder. Let’s take a look at what you need to consider.
Enrollment Rules & Waiting Periods
It’s essential to look at the enrollment rules of any insurance policy before you take it out. Most insurance companies have them, and one of the most common surrounds your dog’s age. Many companies do not insure a dog until they reach a certain age, typically around eight weeks. And some companies cap the age at which you can cover older dogs. Or they may exclude certain conditions from your coverage if they are above a certain age.
Many companies also have something called a “waiting period.” This prevents owners from only taking out coverage when they need it. The waiting period is the minimum amount of time you have to wait before making a claim. The waiting period is different depending on what you need to claim for and what company you have chosen, and it can range from days to months.
Types Of Coverage & Premiums
Here are the most common types of insurance coverage to choose from:
- Accident-only – This coverage is for accidents only – illness and disease are not covered in this policy. Accident-only coverage could include being hit by a vehicle, poisoning, or ingesting foreign objects.
- Accident and Illness – Accident and illness coverage includes most ailments and emergencies. It’s important to know that pre-existing conditions are not included in any insurance coverage. Accident and illness coverage is the most popular selection among pet owners because it covers most unexpected medical expenses.
Some companies also offer a wellness plan (aka preventative care plan) during the enrollment process. This commonly covers routine vet expenses (i.e., annual exams, spay/neuter procedures, vaccinations, etc.) but varies by provider. It’s typically available as an add-on to an accident-only or accident and illness policy, but some companies allow you to purchase it without an insurance policy. This add-on coverage isn’t technically an insurance product.
To find the best option for you and your Toy Poodle, you need to consider what type of plan you need and what is available within your budget.
The fees you pay for your Poodle to be covered are called “premiums,” which are usually paid monthly or annually. According to NAPHIA (North American Pet Health Insurance Association), the average monthly premium for an accident and illness insurance policy in the U.S. in 2021 was $48.66 for dogs. Of course, this varies for every dog and situation, including yours, so be sure to get multiple quotes from top-rated companies. This expense often works outs to me much more manageable for the average family than being faced with a huge, unexpected bill.
Deductibles & Claim Limits
“Deductibles” are the amount you have to pay before the insurance provider will pick up the remainder, and they should not be confused with premiums. The deductible needs to be paid before the insurance company reimburses you for any claim. Depending on what your policy stipulates, the deductible is usually paid annually or per incident. The higher your deductible is, the lower your premium is in many cases, but not all.
Claim payouts are one of the most important factors to consider when picking a policy because this is the highest amount you can claim. Once that limit is reached, you are responsible for the remaining costs. Insurers cap the claim payout that they reimburse you in different ways. For example, this could be by the incident, by calendar year, or the lifespan of your dog. In most cases, the higher the claim payout is, the higher the premiums are likely to be. But it can be worth the extra cost depending on how large of claims you make.
Exclusions refer to the conditions and scenarios not included in the insurance coverage. Suppose a policy excludes patella luxation or an eye condition. In that case, that policy is probably not the best option for this breed. Instead, pick a plan covering most of the health issues found in your breed’s bloodline or what you specifically need it to cover.
We are not aware of any insurer not covering the main conditions affecting Toy Poodles. However, you still need to read the small print to ensure that the policy covers what you need. The exclusions can usually be found in the policy documents. So be sure to obtain a copy of these and read through them before committing to the contract.
Who Offers The Best Policy?
Here we list our top insurance picks for Toy Poodles based on their breed-specific needs. And, once you are ready, we’ve made a free quote form that provides customized policy quotes from top pet insurance companies when you fill in your pet’s details. By entering your pet’s specific characteristics, you can get a better understanding of the coverage needed.
Best Overall Pet Insurance
We have selected Pets Best as our top insurance choice for most Toy Poodles because of their wide-ranging coverage. They include hereditary and congenital conditions that not all insurance companies cover. These include patella luxation, Leggs-Calve-Perthes disease, tracheal collapse, and eye health issues.
Emergency care and hospitalization are covered should you need them. They also look at pre-existing conditions differently and may cover curable pre-existing conditions dependent on criteria and an evaluation.
Best Pet Insurance For Older Dogs
- Excellent value for money
- Offers options for 100% reimbursement and unlimited annual payouts
- Diminishing deductible decreases by $50 each year the policyholder is claim-free until it’s $0
- Coverage includes age and weight-related concerns and hereditary and chronic conditions
Best Insurance For Bilateral Conditions (Including Patella Luxation)
- One of the only companies with no bilateral exclusions
- Claims can be paid in less than 5 minutes via Trupanion Express
- 90% reimbursement and unlimited payouts for all plans
- Offers enrollment from birth
Additional Good Options
- Premium reduces by $50 per year if no claims are made
- Covers curable pre-existing conditions, dependent on evaluation
- Exam fees included in all policies
- Offers coverage for behavioral therapy and training
- Dental treatment included
- Unlimited annual and lifetime payouts for all plans
- Fastest claim payout, on average, compared to others
- Excellent value and competitive price
- High customer satisfaction ratings
How To Save Money
Some Toy Poodle owners can save money on insurance coverage if certain circumstances and entitlements are met. Here are a few of the main ways you can do so:
Increase The Deductible
Often, if you increase the deductible (the amount of money you are responsible for before insurance kicks in), you can sometimes reduce your premiums. Over time this can amount to savings. However, if you have a future claim, you will need to be able to pay the higher deductible amount.
Most insurance companies offer two ways of paying your premiums, usually monthly or annually. In many cases, monthly premiums incur “transaction fees.” Meaning that if you can pay the yearly premium upfront, you can save a little bit of money. But only commit to this if it suits your financial situation.
For the lucky pet owners out there who own more than one pet, some companies offer multi-pet discounts if you take out several policies with them. Bear in mind that each pet needs its own policy to meet its individual needs. Some companies offer up to a 10% discount if you meet their criteria, which can amount to a significant saving if you have several pets. Some companies only offer multi-pet discounts on additional pets (not the first), so be sure to clarify this point before enrolling in a new policy.
As you have learned, investing in an insurance policy for your Toy Poodle is often worth it. However, many pet parents see the monthly payments as an unnecessary expense. But once you see the high costs associated with most veterinary bills, it is a small price to pay to protect your wallet and your beloved pet. Although they are pint-sized pups, they are still costly to treat.
Whichever insurance policy you choose for you and your best friend, be sure to read the small print to discover all you need to know. If there is anything that you are not sure about, be sure to call the company or speak to your vet.