A Guide to Pet Wellness Programs
Whether you’re new to pet ownership, or you’ve always had a furry friend in the family, one thing’s for sure – you’re going to need good pet healthcare.
Preventive care is so important for pets, just as it is for humans. If you catch a health problem in its early stages, before it gets very serious, it can prevent pain, suffering and even early death. Call 888-423-8428 to make an appointment with a vet near you.
What are Pet Wellness Plans?
Many veterinarians offer Pet Wellness plans, which are packages of preventive healthcare that can include regular exams, vaccinations, nutrition, behavior, and dental care, and can often save you money in the long run. Important to note that Pet Wellness plans are not the same as pet insurance.
Today there are a number of providers offering comprehensive pet wellness programs through official national vets in the US. Each plan can differ with various benefits tailored to your pet.
Below are a few of the main programs to consider if you’re looking for long-term coverage for the health of your pet.
Banfield Pet Hospital Pet Wellness
Banfield, offers quality preventative care with its ‘Optimum Wellness Plan.’ This is a customized care plan to meet your pet’s needs throughout their life. These are designed to save you money, and include the following features:
- Twice annual exams
- Behavior control
- Parasite control
- Dental care
While there are various plans available, each offer unlimited office visits, early illness screening, and discounts for a variety of resources. Their core plans cover kittens, cats, puppies, and dogs.
There are five plans available, reflecting the different stages of your pet’s life, and each can be personalized. They can also be paid in monthly installments.
VCA Pet Wellness
Another pet care providers is the VCA CareClub, who has over 800 veterinary hospitals in the U.S. and Canada. Their focus is on preventing illness and disease, so they offer wellness plans for felines and canines through every stage of their life.
Plans can include:
- Dental care
- Unlimited exams
- Early disease detection
- Spay/neutering services
- Live chat through its myVCA app
Members also receive discounts on other items, such as pet food. With presence across 43 states and more than 5,000 veterinarians, this is one of the largest pet wellness memberships available.
National Veterinary Associates Pet Wellness
Also known as NVA, this pet wellness organization prides itself on compassionate and progressive care. It has a community of animal hospitals providing specialist medical support, as well as pet resorts that offer boarding and grooming services.
Established in 1996, it is overseen by an experienced medical advisory board.
Plans are tailored to the individual needs of your pet, be it cat, dog, horse or otherwise.
What to expect from a routine veterinary exam?
In a routine exam, the vet will check your pet from tail to nose, which includes their ears, eyes, nose and mouth. Further exams may be performed, such as bloods or tests if required.
During a check-up, the veterinarian will be looking at a number of areas, these can include:
Animals, like humans, can suffer from oral problems ranging from periodontal disease to bad breath. In fact, it’s estimated that 85% of cats and dogs suffer with some form of dental disease by time they are three years’ old. Regular examinations can rule this out, and prescribe the right treatment to get your pet back on track. Your vet will be able to spot early signs of problems to ensure any issues are dealt with promptly.
Your vet will look for signs of ulcers, glaucoma and certain inherited eye problems that your pet may be prone to. These may help prevent long-term issues such as blindness.
Parasites can be problematic for your pet, and ears can often display signs of these or other problems. Left unchecked, your pet may even lose their hearing.
Joints and mobility
Your vet will examine your pet for signs of arthritis and hip dysplasia, which are common in ageing pets.
A standard examination will see your vet reviewing your pets skin and fur to rule out infection and lumps.
Meeting your veterinarian is also a great opportunity to chat through any worries or concerns you have, behavioral, medical or otherwise.
They will also be well-placed to offer nutritional advice and guidance on exercise and activity to keep your feline or canine friend in tip-top condition.
There may be occasions where you find yourself in a medical emergency needing urgent care.
Having pet insurance will help with the financial costs, if any. However, with the additional benefit of a pet wellness plan, you will have likely established a relationship with your local veterinary hospital or clinic, making it easy to access their medical files. In times of emergency, this can be hugely beneficial.
Basics of Pet Insurance
Now that we’ve covered some Pet Wellness programs veterinarians offer, here are a few pet insurance options you could consider. Each provider will have their own version of what’s covered, but typically, pet insurance covers incidentals such as accidents, illness, and prescription medicines. This can also include emergency care, congenital and orthopedic conditions.
Many pet owners choose to add wellness cover to their pet insurance plans, which tends to offer long-term financial savings.
Pets Best offers a variety of options. Insurance helps cover the vast majority (90%) of vet costs, and with no lifetime limits. It covers pet plans for accidents and illness with very short waiting periods for one-on-one consultation and care.
Alternatively, the Routine Care Coverage plan, which starts from $16 a month, offers more preventative benefits. These include:
- Routine check ups
- Dental care
- Blood work to catch disease early
- Parasite protection
There is no deductible and coverage starts from the day you enroll.
The ASPCA is a trusted resource for animal lovers and pet owners. As well as pet insurance, it offers two preventative plans. These include a basic ($9.95 a month) and prime ($24.95 a month), to suit all budgets. There is no waiting period or deductible from either plan.
The basic plan includes the following annual benefits:
- Dental cleaning
- Preventative medication for parasites
- Wellness exam
- Specific vaccinations
- Blood tests
- Other medical tests
Prime offers the addition of certificates, blood tests, urinalysis, flea and heartworm prevention.
24 Pet Watch
With a wide range of options available for cat and dog owners, 24 Pet Watch plans tend to start from $10 a month for the basic ‘Routine Wellness’ but go up to $25 a month for ‘Advance Wellness’ options.
Their wellness plans include the following annual benefits;
- Illness screening
- Preventative medicine
The advanced plan includes dental care, flea and worm prevention and a larger excess on other support.
Embrace offers personalized plans to suit your budget for cat and dog owners. It pairs with accident plans, helping to cover the bills if your pet becomes ill or injured. There’s a monthly fee for each plan, offering a different excess of benefits.
$18.95 a month will cover up to $259 in annual well being expenses, or $34.21 offers a $450 annual cap or its premium monthly of $49.42 covers up to $650 in annual expenses.
The service offers a number of annual preventative benefits, including;
- Spay and neutering
- Blood tests
- Teeth cleaning
- Prescription diet
- Flea/tick/worm treatment
- Wellness exams
- Training classes
- Massage therapy
- Routine chiropractic care
Are Pet Wellness Plans Worth It?
The short answer is, yes.
Routine check-ups help ensure your pet is in good health and may help prevent certain illnesses down the line. Since pets aren’t always able to communicate their ailments, it’s a good opportunity for them to be examined by a professional. After all, early detection of illness and disease can offer early treatment and help prevent pain and further complications later in their life.
Although bi-annual check-ups are advisable, an annual check-up is the minimum recommendation for maintaining your pets well being and health. Call 888-423-8428 to make an appointment with a vet near you.
Need a vet? Call one today.
Your pets deserve the best healthcare. A sick or injured pet is scary, but finding a local veterinarian shouldn't be.