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Top Dog Insurance Claims

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If you’re a dog parent who has been shopping around for pet insurance or curious about what other pet parents use their coverage for, it can be insightful to look at the top claims pet parents are submitting. Unsurprisingly, some of the more frequent claims align with common dog accidents or common dog illnesses.

Top Dog Insurance Claims

In reference to insurance, a claim is an official request that the policyholder (you) sends to their insurance provider, asking for reimbursement for a covered item. How much you receive back in your payment from your insurance company depends on your reimbursement percentage, whether you’ve hit your annual limit and annual deductible, and whether the accident or illness you are submitting a claim for is covered under your plan. However, with most insurance providers, you will choose or customize these items during your sign-up process, so you’ll be aware of these policies beforehand.

With that in mind, the actual process of submitting a claim is quite simple. In addition to the actual claim, you may also need to include details or a brief description of what happened and a picture of your invoice. Depending on the options your insurance provider offers, you can submit a claim via an app or on the company’s website. These options are often preferred since you can track the progress of your claim. Some companies may also offer the choice of submitting a claim through email, fax, or mail.

According to our claims data,** the top 10 dog insurance claims include:

  1. Annual exams

    These yearly check-ups are a significant part of any dog’s healthcare routine. Even if your dog appears to be completely healthy, it is still highly recommended that you take them for these beneficial appointments. During these annual visits to the veterinarian, your dog can receive a complete thorough exam, ensuring that they are as healthy on the inside as they appear on the outside.

    Your dog’s first annual exam should be scheduled as soon as possible after you bring them home—no matter whether you adopted a puppy or a senior dog. Unless it’s recommended that your dog have check-ups more frequently, you should continue taking them to their veterinarians at least once a year for their entire life.

  2. Cancer

    As a dog parent, ‘cancer’ can be frightening to hear. Many different types of cancer can affect dogs. However, with the help of modern veterinary medicine, there are various ways to manage your dog’s symptoms, address signs, and even possibly find a cure.

    Although some cancers may develop to show obvious symptoms, others can stay under the radar until your dog receives an examination or has some tests run—all the more reason not to skip annual exams.

  3. Ear infections

    Ear infections are a common condition that can affect dogs of any breed, size, or age, though they can be more common in dogs with fluffy ears and those frequently exposed to water. They can be caused by various factors, such as allergies, deep scratches in the ear, parasites, and trapped excess moisture.

    By regularly checking your pup’s ears and watching for common ear infection symptoms, such as red, swollen ears or a discharge and poor smell from their ears, you’ll have better chances of catching the problem early on and getting them treatment that much sooner.

  4. Stomach-related issues

    Though dogs are known for having stomachs of steel, and it’s often a joke that “your dog would eat anything,” it’s helpful to remember that certain foods can upset a dog’s stomach, leading to further issues. Not to mention, if your dog were to ingest any amount of everyday household items, these can cause mild tummy troubles or severe problems, especially if the substance was toxic. The underlying causes of some gastrointestinal issues in canines can vary, but common symptoms include diarrhea, vomiting, or lack of appetite.

    Depending on the dog, you might even notice that their gastrointestinal issues are caused by food or treats that are technically dog safe. Just as people have certain foods that may not agree with them, dogs could experience the same effect.

    Learn more about how pet insurance could help you cover your pet’s eligible veterinary care expenses.

  5. Microchipping

    With the benefits far outweighing the cost, microchipping can be incredibly valuable, and it’s typically encouraged that pet parents microchip their dogs. Although it’s still a good idea to keep an identification tag on your dog’s collar, tags can become hard to read, and collars could slip off accidentally, thus why microchipping is a perfect opportunity to be safe rather than sorry.

    For such a minor procedure, microchipping has a significant and positive influence on helping your dog get back home safely. If they ever get loose and don’t have their collar on, their microchip will allow people to find your contact information and help your pup get back home.

  6. Lameness

    Lameness in dogs refers to the inability to use one or more of their limbs properly. Symptoms of this condition include your dog walking more slowly, having greater difficulty with stairs or jumping, limping, and avoiding putting weight on a particular leg. Lameness can be caused by sprains or strains to tissue, bone fractures or dislocations, and general injuries to joints.

    As your dog ages, their mobility may not have as much pep in the step as it once did. It’s helpful to keep an eye out for any behavior out of the ordinary. Don’t brush off your senior dog’s sudden dislike of stairs as simply a sign of old age—there may be more going on that you can’t see.

  7. End-of-life services

    As dogs age, they may require more frequent veterinary visits and have additional healthcare needs. Plus, when the time comes for you and your dog to say goodbye, there can be various other costs related to that process. Valuing the happy and healthy lives of pets, the ASPCA® Pet Health Insurance program offers their policyholders coverage related to these end-of-life services.

  8. Eye conditions

    As one of the top ten claims for dogs, eye conditions are a relatively common health issue for canines. Specifically, issues such as cherry eye, corneal damage, pink eye, cataracts, and glaucoma are among the more well-known diagnoses.

    Symptoms can vary greatly, depending on your dog’s specific condition, but you can keep a watchful eye for anything out of the ordinary. Reddened or itchy eyes, a cloudy appearance on the eyes’ surface, or your dog bumping into things more can all be signs that your dog’s vision could be affected. If you suspect something is wrong with your pup, contact your veterinarian right away.

  9. Allergies*

    Dogs can develop various types of allergies, including food, seasonal, and environmental. Symptoms can vary based on the allergy and your dog’s individual case, but signs often present themselves through skin irritation. While some treatment options involve minimizing exposure to the allergen, your veterinarian might also recommend allergy medicine for your dog.

    Since allergies aren’t always the easiest to pinpoint, your veterinarian may recommend a restrictive diet or a series of tests to help narrow down the allergen affecting your dog. It’s crucial to follow any guidelines your veterinarian provides for this process to ensure that the test results are accurate.

  10. Behavioral conditions

    Dogs can develop behavior issues at any point in their life for several reasons. Common conditions include destructive chewing, excessive barking, separation anxiety, and aggression. While some of these behaviors may occur once in a blue moon or only under certain circumstances, if left untreated, they could worsen or become more frequent.

    Thankfully, there are many resources available to help with properly diagnosing, managing, and treating behavioral-related issues. Sometimes this process might involve trial and error or just a good deal of patience, but it’s encouraging to remember how much it could help your dog in the long run.

While these items rank among the top 10 most common dog insurance claims for the ASPCA® Pet Health Insurance program, they represent just a fraction of the diverse claims submitted each year.

Dog Insurance Benefits

With there being many accidents and illnesses that can affect your canine companion, it’s easy to see why pet parents can become stressed about their best pal’s health and the costs associated with keeping them in tip-top shape. Pet insurance can offer a sense of security and peace of mind, assuring you that if your dog needs a costly procedure to recover, you won't have to choose between your dog's well-being and your budget.

**Internal Claims Data 2018-21.

An ASPCA® Pet Health Insurance plan can help you with eligible costs for covered conditions like surgery expenses for accidents and help provide peace of mind that your pet can receive the care they need. Check out our online resources to learn more about your insurance options and get a free quote today. The information presented in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute or substitute for the advice of your veterinarian.

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