Pet insurance for older pets – here’s what you need to know
Old cat and dog

Getting old can be tough – even for your dog or cat. Hopefully, they’ll never have any health complications, but you have to be prepared just in case. New aches and pains, dental problems, cataracts, and even cancer are just a few of the issues that your furry friend could experience as they get up in years. Whether you’ve recently adopted an older pet or if you’ve had your pet since they were just a tiny pup or kitten, they need to be looked after with love and care. And that includes having the right pet insurance – no matter how old they are.

Can I get pet insurance for my older dog and cat?

Yes, but make sure you do your research. The age limit for pet insurance varies from insurer to insurer. Some providers have a maximum age limit, and they won’t insure cats or dogs over a certain age. Other insurers don’t have an age limit and will provide coverage to pets no matter what stage of life they’re in.

Did you know? Sonnet Pet Insurance doesn’t have an age limit on pet insurance. So, whether you have a new puppy or a cat on their ninth life, rest assured that you can still get pet insurance for your best friend.

What info do I need to provide to apply for pet insurance for my older cat or dog?

Here are the following things that you’ll need to provide from your veterinarian within the 2 months prior to your application for coverage: 

  • Results of a comprehensive physical examination
  • Complete urinalysis
  • Blood tests (Creatinine, Urea, T4 Thyroid Level, ALT, Alkaline Phosphatase, Total Protein, Albumin, and Complete Blood Count) 

Once the insurer has these results, they’ll let you know if your cat or dog qualifies for pet insurance.

Is insurance worth it for my older pet?

Absolutely! As their owner, you’re responsible for their care from the moment they come home, all the way through their glory years. After all, they provide you with unconditional love and they’re always there for you. This special relationship you have with your cat or dog is why it’s so important to have pet insurance no matter how old they are. Most accidents and illnesses are unpredictable, especially with older pets, so it’s best to make sure your dog or cat is protected. Pet insurance helps manage the costs of keeping your pet healthy when the unexpected happens. 

Let’s consider a situation where pet insurance could help your older pet – not to mention your wallet. Imagine you have an older dog who’s still very active. One day, he breaks his leg trying to catch his favourite frisbee. Other than his leg, he’s in pretty good health for his age, so you want to have his leg fixed up. In a case like this, having pet insurance could potentially save you thousands of dollars at the vet if it has to be repaired surgically. And, your pup will get the follow-up care he needs to live out his best life!

Do pet insurance costs increase with the age of your pet?

Your pet insurance premium depends on your insurer and how they’ve set up their pricing structure – but, deductibles do generally increase as your pet gets older. Keep in mind that premiums can fluctuate and are based on a variety of factors including your postal code, veterinary fee inflation, and your pet’s breed.

Does pet insurance cover pre-existing conditions?

Most pet insurance coverage won’t cover pre-existing conditions that start or where symptoms were showing before the policy application or within the waiting periods.

Remember, older pets will benefit from pet insurance by having access to great veterinary care should they have an accident or develop a new illness (subject to the plan’s policy wordings).

What does pet insurance cover for my older pet?

While each provider will vary on the coverage they provide, there are some things that are and aren’t typically covered by most pet insurance providers. Pet insurance generally covers acute illnesses (like a respiratory infection or diarrhea) and accidents. Let’s break down the rest.

Here’s what’s usually covered by an insurance policy for an older pet:

  • Exam fees (in-clinic and via telemedicine) and taxes
  • Common illnesses and conditions that appear with age (torn ligaments, arthritis, kidney/liver/heart disease, hip dysplasia, cancer)
  • Accidents (such as bite wounds, cuts, broken bones, swallowed objects and more)
  • Dental coverage for accidental/traumatic dental injuries
  • Alternative therapy (prescribed by a veterinarian such as homeopathic treatments, stem cell therapy, and laser therapy)
  • Behavioural therapy
  • Diagnostic testing including X-rays, ultrasounds, and blood testing
  • Surgery
  • Medication 

Did you know? Sonnet Pet Insurance provides dental coverage that goes above and beyond accidental or traumatic injuries! This includes preventive care, anaesthesia, oral examinations and x-rays, dental cleanings, tooth extractions, and more!

Here’s what most pet insurance policies don’t cover for an older pet:

  • Pre-existing conditions where signs or symptoms were showing before the policy started or before the end of the waiting periods
  • Elective treatments (including preventive care) you choose to have carried out that aren’t directly related to an insured accident or illness
  • Food and special diets
  • Spay or neuter surgery
  • Pregnancy and whelping

Does pet insurance cover euthanasia?

Making the decision to euthanize a pet is heartbreaking. Many pet insurers provide coverage for euthanasia and aftercare. Check with your provider to confirm coverage and be as prepared as you can be when it’s time to put your pet to sleep.

How do I care for my senior pet?

Just like humans, preventive care is best to help make sure your dog or cat stays healthy. Regular trips to the vet, consistent exercise, and a healthy diet are some the foundation to help your older pet live a comfortable life. Having pet insurance – no matter how old your BFF is – can help cover the costs of unexpected (and pricey) vet bills. You’ll sleep better knowing you can say, “Yes!” to great healthcare if your pet gets sick or injured in their golden years.

It's a blessing to grow old with your pet. While they may have fewer teeth, or they might not hear as well as they used to, they’re still adorable and will love you no matter what. Dogs and cats may need extra care in their old age, which is why budgeting for pet insurance goes a long way. Pet insurance for both young and senior pets helps cover unplanned vet visits so you can focus on their recovery rather than stressful and expensive bills.

Need coverage for your furry family members?