Pet Wellness Guides > Does Pet Insurance Cover Chemotherapy? - Pet Insurance Review

Does Pet Insurance Cover Chemotherapy?

Posted: 12/13/2023 | BY: Jenna Bruce | Categories: Health problems , Pet care , Top Tips

No pet parent ever wants to hear that their fur baby has cancer. It’s a heartbreaking diagnosis because we want to spend more time with our loved one. Luckily, veterinary medicine has come a long way in recent decades and there are now cancer treatments that can extend our pets’ lives. Chemotherapy is one such treatment, but it comes with a big price tag. That’s why many pet parents are wondering “Does pet insurance cover chemotherapy?”

Keep reading to learn more about pet cancer, cost of treatments and which pet insurance providers cover the cost of chemotherapy.

does pet insurance cover chemotherapy?

Cancer is the #1 Cause of Death in Older Pets

As our pets age, they begin to experience more and more health issues. Older dogs and cats are prone to developing cancer. In fact, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association, one in four dogs will develop a tumor in their lifetime. Some may be benign, while others will be malignant.

The AVMA goes on to say that half of dogs over the age of 10 will develop cancer. And according to the Colorado State University (CSU) Flint Animal Center, one in five cats will develop cancer in their lifetime. 

Types of Cancer Treatments Available for Pets

There was a time when a diagnosis of cancer was a death sentence for pets. But those days are behind us as new treatments have become available, extending our fur babies’ lives.

The type of cancer treatment your pet receives will depend on the type and severity of the cancer. While there are a variety of cancer treatments available today, the following are the most commonly used:

Chemotherapy

Similarly to chemotherapy in human cancer, specific drugs are used to target and destroy cancer cells. The decision of whether or not chemotherapy is the right treatment option is based on the stage of your pet’s cancer, the type of cancer they have and their overall health and condition. While chemotherapy is very effective, there can be negative side effects to discuss with your vet.

Radiation Therapy

Radiation therapy is a popular cancer treatment that sends a specific field of energy into an organ (or a specific spot in the body) where the cancer is located. It can be used by itself or in conjunction with chemotherapy or surgery, should the case of cancer be severe.

Surgery

Surgery is one of the most common treatments for cancer in pets and is often successful when there is a single tumor without malignancy and the tumor can be completely removed. It is often used with chemotherapy and radiation.

How Much Does Pet Chemotherapy Cost?

Pet oncology is a specialized field of veterinary medicine, and these vet professionals have obtained additional education to become board-certified. There is also advanced technology and equipment used in many modern cancer treatments. While this means our pets receive better care, that care comes with a hefty price, making it more important than ever for pet parents to have pet insurance.

The cost of treating pet cancer can vary depending on each patient’s treatment plan. Some pets may only need surgery to remove a tumor while others will require surgery and chemotherapy. 

According to the American Kennel Club, the total cost of chemotherapy for dogs and cats can range between $3,000 to $10,000 and even more. The average price for a dog’s cancer treatment is $4,137, while the average price of cat cancer treatment is $3,282.6.

How Do I Choose the Right Pet Insurance for My Pet’s Chemotherapy?

Most pet insurance companies will cover the cost of cancer care, provided your pet was enrolled before diagnosis. If your pet has already been diagnosed, the cancer will be considered a pre-existing condition, and no pet insurance provider covers pre-existing conditions. That’s why it is critical that pet parents sign their fur babies up when they are young and healthy, before they begin to develop serious health conditions.

In order to find the right provider for your situation, consider the following:

  • Do you want coverage to include wellness care?
  • Are you interested in also using alternative therapies such as acupuncture?
  • Does the company cover older pets?
  • Does coverage include diagnostic testing to diagnose cancer?
  • Is your pet’s breed susceptible to certain hereditary or congenital conditions that will also need to be covered?

Pet Insurance Providers That Cover Cancer Treatments

Accident & Illness plans typically cover cancer care, including diagnosis and treatment. Here are the top providers based on reviews from pet parents just like you:

 

Top Pet Insurance Providers of 2024

RatingProviderTotal Review
4.9Embrace14,218
4.9Healthy Paws7,477
4.9Trupanion60,294
4.9Fetch2,038
4.9Lemonade783
4.8Nationwide21,392
4.8Prudent Pet125
4.7ASPCA11,404
4.7Hartville164
4.7PetPartners110
4.7Spot5,258
4.6MetLife493
4.5Pets Best7,196
4.4AKC889
4.4Figo2,577
4.3Pet Assure12
4.3Pumpkin1,161
3.2ManyPets2,152

 

If you want cancer coverage, you’ll need to purchase an Accident & Illness plan, as Accident-Only plans do not cover illnesses, only costs related to accidents and injuries.

References:

  1. https://www.avma.org/resources/pet-owners/petcare/cancer-pets
  2. https://www.csuanimalcancercenter.org/
  3. https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/health/my-dog-has-cancer/

 

Disclaimer

The information contained on this blog is intended for informational and educational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice. It is not a substitute for professional veterinary care. Always consult with your veterinarian before making any changes to your pet's health care or treatment plan.

The authors of this blog are not veterinarians and do not claim to be experts in pet health. The information provided here is based on our own experiences and research, as well as information from reputable sources. However, we cannot guarantee the accuracy or completeness of this information.

We encourage you to do your own research and consult with your veterinarian before making any decisions about your pet's health.

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