What is a Pet Wellness Plan?

Let’s face it: your best fren does you a protecc 24/7, puts up with your nostalgic, teary-eyed Dawson’s Creek marathons and emo music, and doesn’t judge you for drunkenly texting your ex. Sure, you do your best to show pup love by treating him to the finer things in life, but it’s also important to invest in his health and look into pet insurance or wellness plans. We know it sounds like a snooze fest, so we sniffed around to give you the scoop on: What is a pet wellness plan anyway? How is it different from pet insurance? WTF does my angel pup need?

Pet Insurance Vs. Pet Wellness Plans

You’ve heard of both pet insurance and pet wellness plans, but what’s the heckin’ difference? Pet insurance policies typically cover illnesses, unexpected emergencies, hereditary and congenital conditions, orthopedic conditions, and prescription medications. These policies help offset costs, so you won’t be left footing a $1000 out-of-pocket bill when your dog inevitably swallows the remote or breaks into your chocolate stash. Plus, it’s major peace of mind to know you can access the best possible care for your pet in worst-case scenarios. 

Pet wellness plans cover your woof’s routine and preventative health care. Think: annual checkups, teeth cleaning, parasite preventatives, and vaccinations. Some wellness plans offer grooming, nail trimming, and discounts for other veterinary services like medications. These plans are beneficial in that they allow you to take a proactive approach and detect early signs of illness or diseases before they become major serious health problems. Unfortunately, pet wellness plans don’t cover treatments for illnesses or emergencies. 

Some hoomans opt to purchase both pet insurance and pet wellness plans for their pooches. Breaking veterinary costs into planned monthly installments can be helpful rather than shouldering expensive bills all at once or unexpectedly. 

Pet Wellness Plan Examples

Sniff out the prices and services offered in a few different pet wellness plans.

Banfield Optimum Wellness Plans

With over 1000 locations nationwide, Banfield Pet Hospital offers 3 Optimum Pet Wellness plans. At $33.56 per month, Dog Active Care is the most affordable plan and includes: 

  • Unlimited office visits and vet chats
  • Annual virtual visits (2)
  • Annual comprehensive physical exams (2)
  • Deworming visits (2)
  • Annual pet wellness nutrition coaching session 
  • Annual diagnostic testing
  • Required vaccinations
  • Annual fecal exams (2)
  • 10% discount off Banfield services and products.

The more advanced plans include all of the above, plus added services like dental cleanings, urinalysis, and X-rays. When you sign up, you get a one-on-one consultation with a Banfield vet to help ensure you’re getting the best package for your BFF. 

With a mug like this, how could you not spring for a pet wellness plan? | Sebastian Coman Travel.

Petco Vital Care

Petco Vital Care is an affordable $19 monthly plan that boasts a range of wellness benefits. This plan includes:

  •  Unlimited visits at Petco vet locations 
  • $10 monthly Pals rewards for nutrition, toys, and treats
  • 30% off Petco grooming
  • Welcome gift

WellHaven Care Companion

WellHaven has 40 locations in Washington, Colorado, Minnesota, Oregon, and Montana. They offer 4 different Care Companion Plans: New Friend, Best Friend, Basic Dental, and Premium Dental.

The Best Friend plan is a good option for most pups, and at $62.60 per month, it includes: 

  • Annual comprehensive wellness exam
  • Unlimited exams
  • Annual comprehensive bloodwork and urinalysis panel
  • Annual intestinal parasite fecal test, heartworm/lyme/anaplasma/ehrlichia tick test
  • Intestinal dewormer doses (2)
  • Required vaccinations
  • Nail trims (2)
  • Year supply of Interceptor Plus heartworm prevention and Credelio flea/tick prevention
  • Pet telemedicine
  • 5% discount off non-wellness plan services and meds

The step-up dental plans include all of the above, plus cleanings, bloodwork, X-rays, and more. 

What’s Best For You and Your Doggo? 

Choosing to purchase pet insurance, a pet wellness plan, or both, is a highly personal decision. Look at your past years’ vet bills, grooming and dental needs, doggo’s age, and health issues when making your choice. Then ask your furry freeloader to help you weigh the pros and cons. Whatever you decide, we wish you years of happy health for your beloved dog. 

Featured photo: Alain Audet

Sidewalk Dog’s mission is to help dog parents spend more time with their puppers by discovering and sharing activities they can do and places they can go—together! Sniff out our award-winning newsletter and Instagramthen check us out on Facebook and Twitter.

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