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Why you should get pet insurance before winter

Golden retriever dog running on fresh snow
The unfortunate reality is, accidents happen, and they may be even more likely to occur during extreme weather. Maya Karkalicheva / Getty Images

Ensuring your beloved pet is happy and healthy is your top priority for pet owners — and that often comes with a cost. 

Paying for food, toys, daycare and other necessities is just a small fraction of what you'll spend to keep your dog or cat safe and satisfied. Bills for veterinarian visits and unforeseen animal hospital trips should also be accounted for. That's why you shouldn't wait to get pet insurance, which enables you to get reimbursed for medical-related expenses.

The unfortunate reality is, accidents happen, and they may be even more likely to occur during extreme weather. As winter approaches, make sure both you and your pet are prepared. With pet insurance, you'll have peace of mind that your pet can and will get the care it needs. 

Online marketplaces make shopping for pet insurance easy. For example, on Fetch by the Dodo's website, you simply enter your pet's information and get a quote instantly.

Be prepared this winter 

Are you still trying to decide if pet insurance is worth it? Don't wait too long. After all, there is an ideal time to buy pet insurance — often when your furry friend is young and doesn't have pre-existing conditions. However, you may want to also consider the time of year.

It's important to have coverage during months that can pose a serious risk to your animal's health and safety. In some cases, cold weather can be just as dangerous as heat for pets. 

The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) warns about the potential for pets to get hypothermia or frostbite in cold weather. The frigid weather could also worsen certain types of medical conditions like arthritis. "Arthritic and elderly pets may have more difficulty walking on snow and ice and may be more prone to slipping and falling," the AVMA adds.

In one easy, comprehensive plan, Fetch by the Dodo offers up to two dozen benefits, covering costly things like emergency vet visits, hospital stays, prescription medications and more. This type of coverage could come in handy in case of an emergency this winter. 

Start your pet insurance search now simply by entering your dog or cat's breed, age and your location to view your coverage options. Find a plan tailored to your needs (and budget).

The National Weather Service (NWS) also reports that more dogs are lost in the winter than any other time of year. So, it's vital that you get your dog properly checked out, chipped, and prepared in case of an emergency before the weather worsens.

"Thoroughly wipe off your dog's legs and stomach when he comes in out of the sleet, snow or ice," the agency suggested. "He can ingest salt, antifreeze or other potentially dangerous chemicals while licking his paws, and his paw pads may also bleed from snow or encrusted ice."

Best time to get pet insurance

It's true, puppy or kitten owners have the most benefits when it comes to pet insurance. You're more likely to get a cheaper insurance policy since your pet is younger and healthier (get insured before any serious conditions emerge and your rates change). You'll also have more visits the first year so you'll actually use your policy rather than using it as a backup in case of an emergency.

"The younger your pet is when you enroll, the better. As pets get older, their risk of getting sick or hurt goes up, which means they'll cost more to insure," Fetch by the Dodo explains on its website. "Plus, like other providers, we don't cover pre-existing conditions - which means that the more injuries and illnesses your pet goes through before you enroll, the more limited your coverage will be."

Pet insurance is essential, especially if you're budget conscious. You don't want to be hit with unexpected bills and worry about expenses piling up. Sign up for an insurance plan today to keep your pet covered.

Bottom line

Vet visits can get pricey, depending on your animal's needs. As inflation hit a 40-year high this past year, prices for vet services also spiked 10%, The Associated Press recently reported, citing government data. That number could rise again. 

Pet insurance typically ends up costing dog owners between $30 to $70 per month and cat owners $15 to $40 per month. That's a small price to pay compared to the long list of vet bill expenses that could pop up. Plus, there are always ways to cut costs if you need to.

If you don't already have pet insurance, you should strongly consider getting it before winter hits, as cold weather hazards could pose risks to your pet and potentially cause health problems.

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