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Insurance showdown: Pets Best vs. Healthy Paws

At some point or another, pet parents will be slapped with a vet bill that baffles them. Even quick, seemingly small procedures can cost a lot if your pet is not insured. One routine dental cleaning can cost a dog owner from $500 to $900, according to a Seattle Times reporter. Those fees, though, don’t include anesthesia, post-op medication, or any further treatment, like an extraction.

High costs at the vet are the most common reason pet owners turn to insurance. Especially as a dog gets older and vet visits become more common, insurance can help cushion the costs of these oh-so-important appointments. Nothing but the best for your pup, after all. But which is the best older pet insurance?

We’ll review some of the pros and cons of two of the most popular insurance companies: PetsBest and Healthy Paws. Although opinions about coverage vary when it comes to older dog insurance, you should always go with what works best for you, your pet, and your budget.

Pets Best

With mix-and-match options at a variety of price points, Pets Best is bound to have a plan for every older dog. This company promises efficient and friendly customer service with top-of-the-line coverage for your pet.

Cost: Second to coverage

While shopping for older pet insurance, it’s important to consider how much you’re willing to compromise between cost and coverage. As the company notes on the Pets Best website, “We understand that cheap pet insurance can be important to customers. However, we believe offering more complete pet health insurance coverage and flexible plan options provides pet parents with a better value than focusing on price alone.” You heard it here, folks. Pets Best promises better value not by making it cheaper but by providing the best-quality coverage your money can buy.

Coverage: Layers of benefits

Not only does Pets Best have several levels of coverage to choose from, but they also have two tiers of routine wellness coverage to add to your plan, if you wish. The BestBenefit coverage plans are your basic accident and illness policies, which will help financially on vet bills due to illnesses and injuries, though there’s also an ultra-affordable, accident-only plan to take care of the unexpected (via Pets Best). Checkups and elective procedures are not covered by these policies. These annual wellness extensions can be added, however, for additional fees.

Perks: Flexible and fast

Pets Best won’t make you commit to an insurance plan for the entirety of your pet’s life. Instead, you can change your plan or add a second pet to your plan through your online insurance account. In some cases, you may need to contact a customer service agent (via Pets Best). And as stated on the “Pet Insurance 101” page, Pets Best ensures quality customer service and quick yet accurate processing of claims.

Healthy Paws

If you’re looking for a one-stop insurance policy, consider this it. Healthy Paws makes pet insurance simple for owners and helpful for pets with its one-size-fits-all Healthy Paws Plan, top rated by customers for 10 years straight.

Cost: One size fits most

Although one plan fits all, the same cannot be said for price. The amount one pays for pet insurance, whether selecting from one plan or many, is often determined by the pet’s species, breed, gender, and age. Sometimes, the age of your pet will decide whether a condition, such as hip dysplasia, is covered under the plan (via Healthy Paws).

To be reimbursed for unexpected veterinary care, simply upload a picture of your vet bill to your Healthy Paws account. Most claims are processed within 10 days, according to the company’s site, though reimbursements by check will take longer to receive than direct deposits. With no caps on claim payouts, you can rest assured your pet will get all the care she needs.


For having one option, it certainly isn’t a bad one. The Healthy Paws Plan “covers new accidents and illnesses including injuries, cancer, genetic conditions, alternative and emergency care.” Like a lot of plans, this one doesn’t cover dental exams, imaging, and procedures. Unlike a lot of plans, however, Healthy Paws does cover holistic and alternative treatments, as long as they’re performed by a licensed veterinarian (via Healthy Paws).


In addition to the tech-savvy reimbursement process and easy-to-understand coverage plan, Healthy Paws actually lets you view their policy word for word. When you sign up for a plan, or even fill out a form for a free quote, the company donates to one of over 300 animal adoption nonprofits. The money goes directly to aid homeless pets, either providing them with the food, shelter, and medical care they need or helping them find their forever homes through the Healthy Paws Foundation.

Whether you’re looking for a more customized insurance option or a plan that covers all needs, one of these mainstream pet insurance plans will fill the bill. You can pick and choose which treatments to cover, or you can sacrifice customization for ease and convenience. Whichever of these plans you decide on, you won’t go wrong. It’s all about what’s easiest and most beneficial for you — and, of course, your pet!

Gabrielle LaFrank
Gabrielle LaFrank has written for sites such as Psych2Go, Elite Daily, and, currently, PawTracks. When she's not writing, you…
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