Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
We’re reader-supported. When you click on our chosen products, we may receive a commission. Learn more.
savvy shopping

Best pet insurance for dogs in 2021

Vet bills can take a toll on any dog owner’s wallet — choose from 5 vet-recommended pet insurance companies to help alleviate some of your pup’s expenses.

Updated September 21, 2021

Created By

Emily Johnson,

📷 by Cristina Glebova

The best pet insurance plans for dogs

  1. Healthy Paws — Best overall for dogs
  2. Hartville — Best for senior dogs
  3. Pumpkin — Best for puppies
  4. Trupanion — Best for dogs with chronic conditions
  5. ASPCA — Best for multiple dogs

Pet insurance for dogs reviews

What we love: With low monthly premiums starting at $20 and no limit to how many claims you can make a year, Healthy Paws is a great option for all dog owners. The claim process is smooth and simple (with nearly 99% of claims being processed in just two days) thanks to their great customer service. Their comprehensive plan covers accidents, illnesses, surgeries, hospital stays, and even prescription medications. Dog owners will also love that Healthy Paws doesn’t put a cap on lifetime, annual, or per-incident claim payouts. They don’t, however, cover pre-existing conditions — but this is pretty standard for most companies.

What customer reviews say: Reasonable prices and excellent customer service are two of the top mentions seen throughout customer reviews. Users love their easy-to-use app, but some note that they don’t love the increase in premiums every year. However, most customers are happy to pay the increased rates because of the fantastic service they receive.

What we love: Not only can senior dogs get accident-only coverage, Hartville offers accident and illness coverage with no age limit (although there may be a longer waiting period). And they don’t just cover seniors — all dog owners can sign up for a policy, regardless of their pet’s age. Their Complete Coverage plan covers a wide range of conditions such as dental diseases, behavioral health, cancer, hip dysplasia, diabetes, and eye disorders. Hartville offers a multi-pet discount and a one-month trial period to make sure it’s the right fit for you.

What customer reviews say: Customers love the 90% reimbursement level compared to other policies that only offer 70% or 80%. Processing claims is easy and their customer service is highly rated. Some owners mentioned highly increased rates from year to year while others noted the lack of coverage on certain items that were previously covered.

What we love: If you just brought home a new puppy, you’ll love Pumpkin’s affordable plans with the optional puppy preventative care pack add-on. Puppy parents can get refunds on up to four puppy vaccinations per year — even ones that they’ve received before you signed up — and all of their routine exams. Their plans also cover procedures like MRIs, CT scans, and surgeries along with behavioral issues and alternative therapies as your pup gets older. Pumpkin is a fairly new insurance company but have shown promise as a top contender in the industry.

What customer reviews say: Pet parents love the preventative plan add-on for their puppies, along with how affordable their monthly premiums are while offering great coverage. What a lot of policyholders are saying, however, is there’s a lack of customer service and they wish they had a user-friendly app versus a not-so-friendly website.

What we love: Trupanion stands out against its competitors by offering just one policy and coverage for hip dysplasia and other congenital conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, and cataracts. The same plan also covers new symptoms, like vomiting or diarrhea. Going along with the extensive coverage, Trupanion also offers a lifetime per condition deductible — this means if your pet needs lifelong treatment for a chronic or hereditary condition, you’d only pay the deductible once as opposed to annually.  Even better, Trupanion pays the vet directly without you filing a claim and waiting for reimbursement. On the downside, monthly premiums tend to start off higher than other companies.

What customer reviews say: While customers say Trupanion isn’t affordable for multiple pets due to high premiums, they do love having their policy when an expensive procedure or a new chronic condition comes up. Claim processing is quick and upfront, but policyholders don’t like having a deductible limit per incident versus annually like most competitors.

What we love: The American Society of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals has some of the best offers for affordable pet insurance policies that work for virtually any pet owner’s budget. Their plans are especially great for multi-pet households thanks to a 10% discount for each additional pet and their lack of age restrictions. Pet owners can set their annual deductibles to as low as $3,000 — which helps the premium rates to stay budget-friendly — and have the option of adding on a preventative care rider. It’s important to note, however, that these riders work off of an itemized list rather than an annual premium.

What customer reviews say: Fantastic customer service reps and quick claim payouts are two main compliments that customers are giving the ASPCA. Increasing premium rates, on the other hand, is one big negative that multiple customers have been noting. Pet owners also love that post-op care and therapies are often included in their policies, unlike many other companies.

How we picked our favorites

Choosing the best pet insurance company isn’t a one-size-fits-all for every pet owner. The right insurance plan will depend on your dog’s breed, age, overall health condition, etc. Our team of veterinarians picked their favorites above based on the major coverage points, from puppy vaccinations to chronic conditions to senior dogs. They also have a range of annual coverage limits and reimbursement rates — so whether you have a healthy budget to spend or are trying to keep it light, one of these pet insurance providers can help match you with a policy that best fits your dog’s needs.

What's pet insurance?

In a nutshell, pet insurance helps pay for part of your pet’s medical expenses — some plans can even cover the bill in its entirety, depending on the scenario. It works a little differently than our human health insurance, though. While ours pays for the medical bills upfront, your pet’s health insurance requires you to pay the bill and wait for reimbursement. It’s also important to note that insurance policies don’t typically cover routine care or exam fees. To find that kind of coverage, dog owners should look into wellness plans instead.

👉 Learn more about how it works, average costs, and coverage options in our guide to pet insurance.

As veterinary medicine has become more advanced, many pet parents are facing higher costs of care, according to the AVMA. There are a variety of reasons to get dog insurance — peace of mind in case of an emergency vet visit is reason enough for most owners. Whether you adopted a new puppy or have a senior dog needing some extra coverage, different plans have benefits for whatever season of life your dog is in.

👉 Do you have a cat or an exotic animal? Check out the 9 best pet insurance companies, according to our vets.

Frequently asked questions

Does dog insurance go up with age?

Yes — as your dog gets older, your premiums will likely increase. Some pet insurance companies won’t increase premiums until a certain number of years has passed while others increase incrementally per year.

Can I get pet insurance for a rescue dog?

Yes, you should be able to get pet insurance for your rescue dog. To take out a policy, owners will need all medical records received when they adopted their dog.

Does pet insurance cover dog attacks?

If your pup gets attacked by another dog, his injuries will likely be covered by your pet insurance. If your dog bites a human, however, your pet insurance probably won’t cover it. Owners can look into getting a quote for dog liability insurance to help protect against dog bites.

What’s the average cost of pet insurance for dogs?

According to NAPHIA, here was the average cost of pet insurance for dogs in the U.S. in 2020.

Average cost of accident only coverage in 2020

For dogs

Average premium Cost
A month $18.17
A year $218.13

Accident only: Foreign body ingestion, lacerations, motor vehicle accident, ligament tears, poisoning, etc

Average cost of accident and incident coverage in 2020

For dogs

Average premium Cost
A month $49.51
A year $594.15

Accident & illness: Accident benefits plus illnesses such as cancer, infections, digestive problems, etc.

What are the most expensive dog breeds to insure?

According to AdvisorSmith, some of the most expensive breeds include Rottweilers (~$124 a month), English bulldogs (~$116 a month), Doberman pinschers (~$112 a month), French bulldogs (~$110 a month), and boxers (~$105 a month).