More and more people are becoming pet owners in Canada, as a pet population survey in 2022 showed that 60% of households reported owning at least one dog or cat.
As pet ownership surges, so have the costs of maintaining and caring for the animals. The estimated annual cost of owning a puppy ranges from $5,016 to $5,103, and caring for a dog costs $3,999.
Since veterinary care is a big part of a pet owner’s expenditures, getting pet insurance from providers like Trupanion and Fetch by the Dodo would be a sensible choice to protect against unexpected veterinary bills.
Below, you can learn about the best pet insurance companies in Canada and the insurance plans they offer.
What is Pet Insurance?
Pet insurance is health insurance for your pet that protects against unexpected veterinary bills. It helps to minimize the financial consequences in the event of sickness or injury.
At some point in their lives, dogs and cats would require veterinary attention. Whatever health issue they experience down the road, there is no way of knowing how severe it might be or how much it would cost.
With pet insurance, your pet gets coverage that aids in defraying the costs of the required veterinary care and provides high-quality, up-to-date services that your pet needs.
The cost of pet insurance typically depends on the following factors:
- Type of animal
- Desired deductible amount
How Does Pet Insurance Work?
As with any insurance, pet insurance involves paying your insurance provider a fee in instalments, called a premium.
When your pet falls ill or becomes injured, the insurance provider will cover all or a part of the costs up to a maximum percentage. So, your pet gets high-quality care while your out-of-pocket costs are limited.
Pet insurance covers costs associated with medical expenditures due to the following:
- Sudden illness
- Emergency care
- Diagnostic tests
Some pet insurance plans include wellness packages that cover preventive care like checkups and vaccinations.
When it comes to pet insurance premiums, several factors influence the amount:
- The age of your pet
To ensure access to affordable care and coverage in the event of an illness or injury, get insurance early or while your pet is in healthy condition.
Best Pet Insurance in Canada
There are various pet insurance companies and plans offered today. Doing research is crucial in finding the insurance plan suited for your precious pet. To help you choose the best pet plan, this post will list the top 12 providers of pet insurance in Canada.
Trupanion pet insurance in Canada comes in a single policy for all pets and covers the medical expenses of new, unexpected illnesses and injuries. It features coverage of 90% of eligible costs, deductibles of $0 to $1,000, and no payment limit.
Coverage includes new illnesses and injuries, breed-specific conditions, unidentified health issues (including those without an official diagnosis)
- Congenital health issues developed before birth
- Veterinary supplements
- Herbal therapy
- Prosthetic devices and carts
- Medical procedures (diagnostic tests, surgeries, hospital stays, and medications.
Routine care like regular vet checkups, vaccines, and preventive medications are not covered.
Trupanion advises clients to enroll their pet any time before the 14th birthday of their pet to be eligible for the insurance benefits.
2. Fetch by The Dodo
A leading pet insurance provider in North America, Fetch by The Dodo covers over 300,000 dogs and cats.
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With a Fetch the Dodo plan, the average cost of pet insurance for dogs is $50 a month. With cats, the average monthly expense for insurance is $30.
This pet insurance plan offers up to 90% reimbursement and covers pets of any age. It requires no enrollment fee, and cancellation can be done anytime.
This plan covers a range of services such as prescription medications and supplements, emergency vet visits, sick-visit exam fees, hospital stays, breed-specific issues (including hip dysplasia), injury and diseases in every adult tooth, and hereditary and congenital conditions.
Discounts are available to holders of quarterly or annual plans and up to 15% off if your pet is healthy in the first year of enrollment with the Healthy Pet Credit.
The program is not available in New Brunswick and Quebec.
Petsecure offers four different plans (Secure 1, Secure 2, Secure 3, and Secure 4) that meet the diverse needs of clients and their pets.
All Petsecure plans reimburse up to 80% of veterinary costs, including exam fees and taxes. Coverage includes:
- $1,000 to unlimited for illnesses and accidents
- $200 to $600 for dental care
- Wellness coverage of $450 for its premium plan
Petsecure requires a waiting period of 48 hours for accidents, 14 days for illnesses, six months for cruciate ligament injuries or intervertebral disc disease, and six months for dental coverage.
Clients can enjoy a 10% discount on their premium by having three or more pets with Petsecure policies. The discount increases to 15% by enrolling six or more pets.
4. Pets Plus Us
Pets Plus Us is a leading Canadian pet insurer that helps pet owners handle the various aspects of pet ownership through its pet insurance plan options.
- Accident & Illness
- Offers coverage of $7,500 to $15,000 annually and helps pet owners save up to 90% on veterinary bills.
- Choose to be paid 70%, 80% or 90% of the veterinary bill (including the tax)
- No breed exclusions and no limit on pet age
- Accident Insurance
- Provides $5,000 in coverage per year for treatments of injuries due to accidents
- Offers reimbursement of 80% of the veterinary fees (including the tax)
- Flex Care
- An optional add-on to your Accident & Illness Policy
- Includes annual exams, vaccinations, dental care, and pre-existing conditions, among others
- Not available with any pet insurance in Quebec
5. Healthy Paws
Healthy Paws Pet Insurance and Foundation, or Healthy Paws, offers a single pet insurance plan that reimburses up to 90% of your veterinary bills caused by an unexpected illness or injury.
A Healthy Paws plan coverage includes new accidents and illnesses, hereditary or congenital diseases, cancer, chronic and genetic conditions, and emergencies. Alternative and emergency care and medically-necessary veterinary treatments are also covered.
Once your pet is enrolled, Healthy Paws requires waiting periods before your coverage becomes effective. The waiting period for accidents and illnesses is 15 days. For disorders related to hip dysplasia, it is 12 months.
6. Peppermint Pet Insurance
Peppermint is a Canadian-specific pet insurance provider that provides four pet plan options (Lite, Base, Plus, and Prime) with varying deductible amounts and benefits limits.
Each plan features a reimbursement level of up to 80%, including exam fees and taxes. The benefit limits range from $1,500 to $5,000, depending on the plan. Also included is special coverage of $350 per year for alternative therapy, behavioural therapy, and medical devices.
Other covered services are behavioural therapy, boarding/kennel fees, lost pet advertising, acupuncture, massage, and cremation/burial expenses.
Peppermint requires the following waiting periods: 48 hours for accidents, 14 hours for illnesses, and six months for cruciate ligament injuries and intervertebral disc disease.
The provider gives a 10% discount if you insure three or more pets with the company.
Furkin Pet Insurance offers comprehensive pet health insurance coverage for dogs and cats between 7 weeks and 14 years of age and includes unexpected accidents, illnesses, and emergencies.
Considered the best pet insurance in Canada, Furkin offers annual coverage of $20,000 and up to 80% reimbursement of your eligible veterinary costs. Plus, its additional perks total over $3,000 a year.
The coverage includes exam fees (and applicable taxes), diagnostics, medical procedures, anesthesia and surgery, and hospitalization.
Emergency care, prescription medications, dental injuries, alternative therapies, and hereditary and congenital conditions are likewise covered.
Coverage starts at 48 hours for accidents, 14 days for illnesses, and 180 days for cruciate ligament conditions.
Furkin offers coverage in all provinces and territories, excluding Quebec.
8. Sonnet Pet Insurance
Sonnet Pet Insurance is offered by Sonnet, Canada’s first fully online insurance company, which also provides home and auto insurance.
Sonnet covers up to 80% of your vet bill, including exam fees and taxes. A Sonnet pet insurance plan typically covers the following:
- Illness or accident coverage of up to $2,500 per occurrence per year
- X-rays and diagnostics
- Dental care coverage of up to $300 per year
- Alternative therapy, behavioural therapy, and medical devices of up to $350 annually for each category
After enrollment of your pet, Sonnet will require waiting periods based on your type of claim:
- 48 hours for accidents
- four days for illnesses
- six months for cruciate ligament injuries or intervertebral disc disease
- six months for dental coverage
Sonnet Pet Insurance is available to residents of Alberta, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, B.C., and P.E.I.
Desjardins is a financial cooperative in North America with 7.5 million members and clients. It offers a full range of financial and insurance services, including pet insurance.
It reimburses up to 80% of your pet’s healthcare costs in the event of an illness, injury, or accident. Below are some of the features of the provider’s different plans:
- Accident and illness coverage of up to $4,000 per accident and per illness
- Dental care coverage of up to $1,000
- Alternative therapy, behavioural therapy, and medical devices of up to $350 per category
Desjardins requires pets to complete a mandatory waiting period before they become eligible for the benefits:
- 48 hours for accidents
- 14 days for illnesses
- six months for dental care
The provider processes claims within five to ten business days of receiving them, with more complex claims needing a longer time. Reimbursements can be through direct deposit.
BCAA, or the British Columbia Automobile Association, in partnership with Pets Plus Us offers pet insurance in BC to members and non-members.
- Accident Plan
- Offers $5,000 annually in coverage for unexpected injuries such as broken bones, cut paws, and swallowed objects
- Accident and Illness Plan
- Offers coverage of $7,500 or $15,000 annually for veterinary care, treatment for accidents and illnesses like diabetes and cancer
- Flex Care
- From Pets Plus Us, Flex Care is an optional add-on policy that includes coverage for annual exams, vaccines, dental, and even pre-existing conditions.
BCAA members get 12% savings on BCAA Pet Insurance, and non-members save 7%. Non-members may sign up to enjoy a discount of less than $8 a month.
11. The Personal
The Personal Insurance Company offers an insurance program to cover 80% of the pet care costs, less the annual deductible. Pet owners pay only one deductible per year.
The provider features three pet insurance plans: Bronze Paw, Silver Paw, and Gold Paw.
- Bronze Paw covers up to $2,000 per accident and per illness and optional dental care for up to $500.
- Silver Paw covers up to $4,000 per accident and per condition, with up to $700 per policy year for dental care.
- Gold Paw features unlimited coverage for accident and illness and dental care coverage for up to $1,000 per policy year. Additional coverage for alternative therapy, behavioural therapy, and medical devices is available for $350 per category.
The Personal requires a waiting period of 48 hours for accidents, 14 days for illnesses, and six months for dental coverage and cruciate ligament and intervertebral disc disease.
12. OVMA Pet Insurance
The Ontario Veterinary Medical Association, the largest veterinary association in the province, offers OVMA pet insurance with three levels of coverage for dogs and cats of all ages throughout Ontario and across Canada.
OVMA’s three pet insurance plans (Unlimited, Extended, and Comprehensive) cover up to 80% of your vet bills in the event of accidents or illnesses.
- $2,500 coverage per accident and per illness
- $300 yearly dental coverage
- $5,000 coverage per accident and per illness
- $400 yearly dental coverage
- Unlimited coverage per accident and per illness
- $600 coverage for yearly dental coverage
- Yearly wellness coverage ($450 for dogs and $350 for cats)
The provider of pet insurance in Ontario also offers a 3% loyalty discount after your first policy and, on your second anniversary, 5% for the lifetime of the policy.
Comparison Table of the Best Pet Insurance Providers in Canada
|Insurance Company||Percentage of Reimbursement||Illness Coverage||Accident Coverage||Dental Coverage||Other Benefits|
|Trupanion||Up to 90%||Get a quote||Get a quote||Get a quote||No payment limit|
|Fetch||Up to 90%||Get a quote||Get a quote||Get a quote||Covers any age; no enrollment fee|
|Petsecure||Up to 80%||$1,000||$1,000||$200-$600||$350 wellness coverage in a premium plan|
|Pets Plus Us||Up to 90%||$7,500- $15,000||$5,000||Get a quote||No breed exclusions; no limit on pet age; Blue Ribbon benefits|
|Healthy Paws||Up to 90%||Get a quote||Get a quote||Get a quote||No maximum limits on claim payouts|
|Peppermint||Up to 80%||$1,500 to $5,000||$1,500 to $5,000||Get a quote||Coverage includes exam fees and taxes; $350 in coverage for medical devices, behavioural and alternative therapy|
|Furkin||Up to 80%||Up to $20,000||Up to $20,000||Up to $20,000||Additional perks worth over $3,000 a year|
|Sonnet||Up to 80%||Up to $2,500||Up to $2,500||Up to $300||$350 in coverage for medical devices, behavioural and alternative therapy|
|Desjardins||Up to 80%||Up to $4,000||Up to $4,000||Up to $1,000||$350 in coverage for medical devices, behavioural and alternative therapy|
|BCAA||Up to 90%||$7,500 or $15,000 annually||$5,000 annually||Get a quote||BCAA members save 12%; non-members save 7%|
|The Personal||Up to 80%||$2,000 to unlimited||$2,000 to unlimited||Up to $1,000||$350 in coverage for medical devices, behavioural and alternative therapies|
|OVMA||$2,000 to unlimited||$300 to $600|
What to Look For in Pet Insurance
Many pet insurance companies out there today offer several plan options. When shopping for pet insurance, look into the following aspects:
- Details of what an insurance plan covers
- How much the pet insurance plan will cost
- How much will the insurer reimburse
- What the deductible is
- If the provider requires you to pay upfront and reimburses you after
- A plan that covers the services your pet needs
- If the provider is transparent about how the terms and conditions of its policies will affect cost and coverage
- If insurance plans clearly explain their policy limits and pricing structures
Consider the comprehensiveness of a pet insurance plan rather than focusing on the monthly premium cost or looking for the cheapest pet insurance in Canada. The key is to look at the big picture to find the best insurance plan for your pet.
Pros and Cons of Pet Insurance
Pet insurance, like most other insurance, comes with benefits and disadvantages.
Here are the benefits of having pet insurance:
- Peace of mind
- Coverage often includes all breeds and older pets
- You can choose your veterinarian or veterinary office
- Offers different payment terms (monthly, quarterly, semi-annually, or annually)
- No need to dip into emergency funds when your pet gets sick or injured
- Helps save money down the road since it is more affordable than paying vet bills out-of-pocket
- It can be the difference between pets being treated or put down
Some of the drawbacks of pet insurance include:
- Pre-existing conditions are not covered
- Many pet insurance plans do not include annual checkups and routine vaccinations
- Deductibles may increase with the age of your pet
- You may still have out-of-pocket costs to shoulder
- You usually have to pay upfront and then file for reimbursement after
- Your pet may not always use all benefits that come with a plan
Is Pet Insurance Worth It?
Pet insurance is worth having if you plan to minimize vet costs in the future and avoid paying unpredictable vet visits, which can be astronomical in many cases. The key is to purchase pet insurance before your pet needs it.
Providers do not cover pre-existing conditions and often recommend owners sign up their pets early to get coverage. Fractures, dog bites, swallowing items, or ligament repairs can cost thousands of dollars to treat.
Getting pet insurance will be the best decision you can make for your pet. It ensures your pet has the best possible care, and you save on costs. With a suitable pet plan in Canada, you enjoy peace of mind knowing you have financial protection when your pet suffers from an injury or illness.
Why do vets recommend Trupanion?
More than 2,300 veterinary hospitals and over 10,000 veterinarians have partnered with Trupanion to offer Vet Direct Pay. This tool enables Trupanion to pay veterinary hospitals across North America directly at checkout and pay 85% of claims directly to hospitals in five minutes or less. This feature has allowed the provider to pay over $1.6 billion in vet bills.
How much is pet insurance per month in Canada?
Pet insurance in Canada costs around $20 to $40 for dog insurance and about $10 to $25 per month for cats. The cost depends on several factors, such as the type of pet, if it has a pre-existing condition, or if the policy includes accidents or illnesses (which can be costly) and other coverage choices.
Is it better to get pet insurance or put money aside?
Getting pet insurance may be a better option because, when you need to bring your pet to the vet, you can get back 90% of your covered bill once you meet your annual deductible. On the contrary, if you used your savings, it would all be spent on that single visit alone.
Is it worth shopping around for pet insurance?
Pet insurance can be significantly costly, so shopping around is worthwhile. You could also likely pay thousands for insurance if you hold on to a single policy over the life of your pet. Compare insurance companies to find a policy that provides the right coverage for your pet at the right price.