Many of us know someone who took on a pandemic pet. Shelters saw record adoption rates and according to US News & World Report, the rate of euthanized dogs and cats decreased significantly as a result. For those new to pet ownership, the responsibilities and costs may be a bit overwhelming, and they may find themselves considering pet insurance. Not surprisingly, the North American Pet Health Insurance Association has reported double-digit growth in the pet health insurance industry.

As a doctor, you are no stranger to the inner workings of human health insurance. But there are some differences when it comes to pet insurance and there are pros and cons you should consider before deciding whether to sign up.

There are options in coverage. According to, like human health insurance, you have options for high detectable plans, which reduce the premiums but require you to spend a certain amount out of pocket before coverage kicks in. The higher the coverage, the more you will pay per month. The average cost is about $50 per month for dogs and $30 per month for cats.

Cost can vary based on the pet. The insurance quote can vary based on the breed you own as well as their age and pre-existing conditions. NerdWallet, therefore, recommends considering taking on pet insurance while the pet is still young, and you can reap the benefits of lower rates.

Veterinary bills can be steep, especially for emergency care. Like any other insurance, pet insurance provides peace of mind in the face of a potential catastrophe. If your labradoodle has a penchant for eating socks or your cat is diagnosed with cancer, pet insurance will help defray the cost of thousand-dollar procedures and costly overnight stays. In terms of dollars and cents, this is when pet insurance provides real value and security.

Always have savings set aside for your pet. Your pet is your responsibility, and no one wants to consider economic euthanasia if their pet can be saved through veterinary intervention. Whether or not you opt for pet insurance, put aside a tidy sum for emergencies. Insurance doesn’t cover everything.

If you don’t need it, you won’t benefit. Since pet insurance generally doesn’t cover wellness visits if you have a healthy pet your payment for coverage may not be recouped. What you are buying is security and coverage for major accidents and injuries (depending on the policy). If you can set aside and maintain an emergency fund for your pets, then you may not need insurance.