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Want the best pet insurance for your dog? Do this now

If you're considering pet insurance for your dog, there are steps you should take now to secure the best plan. Getty Images/iStockphoto

Pet owners know what's best for their dog or cat. As each week, month and year passes, they learn what food is healthiest, which veterinarian is most thorough and which pet store has the best treats. As their pet age, owners become more familiar with their care and treatments and can better personalize their responses.

But what about pet insurance - specifically for dogs? Of course, it first helps to familiarize yourself with the nuances and workings of this particular type of insurance. Pet insurance can be valuable protection to have, both for your dog and your bank account. In exchange for a minimal fee to a provider each month, owners can secure coverage for a wide range of treatments and trips to the vet.

But how do you secure the very best pet insurance for your dog? There are multiple routes to take, but there's one that's arguably more important than all the others.

If you're in the market for pet insurance, start by getting a free price quote to learn more.

If you want the best pet insurance for your dog, do this now

If you know you want to insure your dog but aren't sure how to get the best policy, consider acting quickly. One of the best ways - if not the very best way - to get a comprehensive and cost-effective pet insurance plan is to apply when your dog is still young and healthy

Here are the two main reasons you should act now:

Lower costs

While you may not have a puppy anymore, you can still get a great plan by acting now. Every birthday that passes makes your dog a greater risk to the insurance company, and that will be reflected in higher monthly premiums.

"As pet owners get older, they end up needing more health care… and the same is true for their pets," pet insurer Lemonade notes. "When you purchase pet insurance your pet's age will impact your monthly premium."

"The sooner you get Fetch, the sooner we can help," says pet insurer Fetch by The Dodo. "If you have a puppy, you shouldn't wait to sign up. And the same goes if you've adopted an older dog, too — it's likely an older pet will develop a new illness or injury as they continue to age. But, if you wait until your pet gets sick or hurt, we won't be able to cover your vet visit."

When comparing pet insurance quotes and providers, you'll generally see a significant difference in price as the pet ages. So act promptly. Get a price quote in 30 seconds here now.

Comprehensive care

Pet insurance doesn't work exactly like health insurance for humans does. Applicants will have their pets' coverage limited (or they'll be turned down completely) if the dog has pre-existing medical conditions. Since these conditions are more likely to occur as your dog ages, it behooves you to get a policy before that day arrives.

"A pre-existing condition is any injury or illness which occurs or shows symptoms before coverage starts or during a waiting period," Spot pet insurance explains. "A condition is considered pre-existing whether or not it's been officially diagnosed or treated; all that matters is when it occurred or symptoms first displayed."

But, Spot notes, pet owners that fall in this category still have options. 

"However, with plans provided by Spot, this doesn't mean the condition can't be covered in the future if the condition is curable," they explain. "An injury or illness that is curable, cured, and free of treatment and symptoms for 180 days will no longer be regarded as pre-existing, with the exception of knee and ligament conditions. If a knee or ligament condition occurs before the coverage effective date or during a waiting period, any future ones won't be covered."

In short: By acting before your pet's health deteriorates, you'll put yourself in the running for more comprehensive care. So don't put it off for later. You may wind up jeopardizing your coverage options.

The bottom line

There are multiple strategies pet owners can utilize to secure the best insurance for their dogs. But the easiest - and arguably the best - way to do this is simply to apply when your dog is still young and healthy. By waiting, you'll increase your likelihood of paying higher premiums for fewer coverage options.

That said, don't just sign up with the first pet insurance provider you get a quote from, either. Be sure to shop around to find the best plan for you and your furry friend.

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