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Published: May 25, 2012

Most people would not think to allow members of their family to go without health insurance if they can help it, and pets should be no exception. Pet insurance is an important consideration for any pet owner, as this policy will ensure pets receive the best treatment whenever they need to go to a veterinary hospital.

Dog and cat illness can be expensive to treat and some chronic conditions, like diabetes in dogs and cats, will require owners to pay for continuous treatment over time. Fortunately, pet insurance can help cover the costs of medication, surgeries and trips to the doctor.  Many pet insurance plans will also cover basic healthcare needs such as yearly check-ups, vaccinations and other routine needs to keep your pet healthy.

One thing that owners should keep in mind when it comes to pet insurance is that the rates may vary depending on their pet's breed, according to VCA Animal Hospitals. Some breeds may be more susceptible to certain problems and diseases, which will raise the rate of coverage. Be sure to read the policy carefully to know what is and isn't covered. For example, some common and optional procedures, like spaying a cat, may not be covered.

When shopping for pet insurance, it may be useful to talk to multiple companies in order to compare coverage and pricing. Beyond that, think of it as similar to normal health insurance - it's just for your four-legged friend rather than yourself.