Vet dentist checks dog for periodontal disease

How to Choose the Best Pet Dental Insurance


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How do you go about choosing the best pet dental insurance plans? As a cat or dog parent this is a great question to ask yourself – gum (periodontal) disease, fractures, abscesses, cavities and dental disease in dogs and cats are common. Just like they are in humans.

On top of this, we all know having dental work is not much fun (to say the least). It’s no game in the park for humans or pets. However, taking the sting out of dental procedure costs with a pet dental insurance plan gives you the freedom to focus on your pet’s TLC rather than the bills eating into your savings.

That’s why choosing the best pet dental insurance plans for pockets and pets is something to seriously consider. But how? In this article PD walks you through the steps of what to know and what to consider to find pet cover that suits your pocket and your pet.

Not all pet insurance plans include dental

It’s important to know that not all pet insurance covers dental. At the very basic level, most plans cover accidents only, then as you increase your cover you can choose accidents, illness and dental. It’s very much up to you.

When it comes to choosing the best pet dental insurance plans, your first step is exploring insurance providers that provide this level of cover. Since dental health care is generally costly, pet insurance plans that include this type of cover tend to be the top tier cover options.

For example, PD Insurance offers an Accident plan, Classic plan and Deluxe plan. Each one offers numerous protection points. Like accidents and third party liability pet insurance cover, for instance. Our Deluxe plan is the ideal plan for pet parents wanting to safeguard pets and pockets for dental issues, providing cover across several dental treatments.

But how likely are pets to need dental cover – aren’t they generally healthy? Let’s find out.

vet investigates dog's mouth for dental and periodontal disease prevention

Is your pet prone to dental disease?

Any pet can get cavities or other oral health problems. However, some pets are born with a higher likelihood due to genetics. Others may develop caries, gingivitis or dental disease as a result of diet or lifestyle. It’s also all too possible to fracture a tooth accidentally.

Let’s look at how genetics, food and oral hygiene can play a role in oral health. This will give you good insights into safety measures to keep pets’ oral hygiene in balance.

It can also help guide your decision in looking for the best pet dental insurance plans because you’ll have a good idea of your pet’s needs. Explore which dog breeds have dental problems more often.

Genetics and dental disease

Certain breeds are predisposed to dental disease. It’s worthwhile doing a bit of research to get an understanding of what your dog or cat’s vulnerable points might be with hereditary conditions.

Dogs. A study of 22,333 dogs from the Royal Veterinary College’s VetCompass programme shows brachycephalic breeds are at higher risk of dental disease, as are small dog breeds. However several other dog breeds including Spaniels, Toy Poodles and Greyhounds were also on the list.

The study also reinforced that dogs become more prone to dental disease as they get older. Just like we humans do. Since dogs are our longtime best friend it’s no surprise we also have many of the same health conditions.

Cats. This goes for cats as well. Breeds like the Maine Coon and Siamese are just a few that are likelier to experience disease. Research also shows that cats with periodontal disease tended to be heavier. This is just another reason to watch those kilos. Read about average cat weight and National Pet Obesity Day.

That’s not to say they’ll most certainly experience periodontal disease or other oral health problems. It simply means that having safeguards in place is doubly worthwhile even if you know they’re healthy.

woman hugs her dog and her daughter and feels happy both the family and dog have dental insurance plans to guard them financially

Diet to support oral health

The diet you choose to feed your pet at any given life stage can greatly support their overall health.

For example, kittens and puppies grow very fast and need a tailored diet that caters to their nutritional profile. Some breeds grow for longer so they have more / extended growth phases. These cats and dogs also need tailored food to meet their bone and muscle development.

Different breeds have all sorts of tendencies that you can cater to through diet, which is why pet nutrition is such a valuable and precise science.

Feeding well is also about reducing the risk of obesity in pets, something affecting more animals today than at any other time in history. With good food in the right quantities you can give your pet a buffer that could reduce the risk of dental disease.

Oral hygiene to safeguard against dental disease

A safety step in human and pet oral health is good hygiene. Better brushing on top of good nutrition is going to reduce the number of bacteria that can otherwise cause problems in the mouth.

You can’t discuss the process of tooth brushing with your cat or dog. However, you can get them accustomed to handling their mouth, which will come in handy for giving them medication and checking their gums etc along the way. From there, it’s a hop, skip and jump to having them happily allow you to brush their teeth.

Here’s what you do to brush your cat’s or dog’s teeth:

Did you know some dogs need braces to help keep their teeth and mouth healthy? It’s amazing what you don’t realise you’re unaware of until you learn about it. Choosing the best pet dental insurance plans is about knowing your pet’s oral health needs and safeguarding against them.

As with anything, this is worthwhile taking into account before things go wrong, rather than after. When it comes to oral health care, prevention is way better than cure. Unlike a broken leg that can grow back together, a tooth removal for example means that tooth is gone. Permanently.

cat yawns showing it's teeth

Can dental disease kill a dog or cat?

You may not know it but the gut bacteria is developed from the mouth bacteria. Bad mouth bacteria – essentially an over-abundance of certain bacteria that may otherwise be harmless – sets the stage for cat and dog gut health.

When things take a nasty turn in oral health they don’t just affect the mouth. Bacteria associated with dental disease can infiltrate into the soft tissues and bloodstream. Left untreated, dental disease like periodontal disease can eventually lead to far more serious health conditions.

These include heart, kidney and liver disease and others. Over time these can progress causing heart failure and even death. So if you’re looking to choose the best pet insurance dental plans, you’re doing a wonderful thing by your cat or dog.

Why research the best pet insurance dental plans?

Since your cat or dog is healthy you probably have time to wait before looking into the best pet insurance dental plans, right? Well, unfortunately that’s often not the case. Dental disease such as periodontal disease can often go completely unnoticed in pets.

Dogs especially can keep right on eating despite the dental disease progressing quietly. Vets often discover it during a visit for some other health issue or simply during an annual check-up. These are fairly common finds, for example:

Read more about common dental health conditions affecting pets here.

Be aware that something like periodontal disease leads to permanent bone loss and can’t be reversed. If, however it’s identified early on when it’s still known as gingivitis there’s still hope.

This is not the only reason to research the best pet insurance dental plans in advance. Another reason is that once your pet has an oral health problem it’s too late to get dental cover for diagnosis and treatment. In New Zealand, pre-existing conditions aren’t covered by pet insurance.

man holds his dog and is happy to have chosen the best pet dental health insurance plans that cover oral health treatments

Choosing pet dental insurance plans

As you can see, choosing the best pet dental insurance plan for you comes down to several things:

  • Pick an insurer that offers dental cover (ok, very obvious) on top of cover you want for other health issues
  • Comprehensively understand your pet’s oral health, both current and future
  • Cross check this against what’s covered by each policy you’re comparing
  • Expect the unexpected, as who knows when or what accidents and illnesses are ahead
  • Decide which plan best meets your pet’s needs and yours, including your budget

The beauty part is when it comes time to claim. Knowing you’ve researched pet dental insurance well and selected the most suitable plan gives you peace of mind and peace of pocket.

Let’s go a little deeper…

How to choose the best when comparing pet dental insurance plans

When comparing pet insurance plans for dental cover, you’ll get a great idea of what’s best for your pet based on what is and isn’t covered. Narrow your selection to your top three or so then look into the extent of cover before exploring the waiting periods each has in place. Read about the excess they charge and when that’s applied, along with how long it takes for them to reimburse claims.

Read some reviews from customers. This will give you a clear idea of who customers see as the best pet insurance provider. Customer reviews are important because these reflect how well a provider communicates with pet owners and tends to their needs. It also shows you whether customers are happy with the claims process.

As mentioned earlier, PD Insurance includes dental cover as part of the Deluxe Plan for cats and dogs. This means we’ll help cover vet bills for treating several oral health conditions, minus the fixed excess you choose.

Conditions covered include tooth abscesses and gingivitis (gum disease). They also include tooth extractions for a range of associated problems. For example, fractured teeth, cavities, dental disease caused by infection and baby teeth that sometimes don’t come out on their own.

woman holds her cat lovingly

Giving your fur baby the assurance of insurance

Now you know why it’s important to research the best pet dental insurance plans and you’re furnished with the facts to help you choose the right one for your pet. As a cat or dog parent having this type of safety check in place is a great way to return their unconditional love. Not to mention safeguard your bank balance.

Choosing insurance can be full of trying to interpret funny jargon, sure (but not always!). However, if you know what you’re after and you choose a provider that loves communicating with you, it can be easy. At PD Insurance we love communicating with our customers about how we can keep them and their pets happy. So, take a look at our cat and dog plans, remembering dental is included in our most comprehensive plan.

If you’re busy researching the best pet dental insurance plans then why not consider our award winning pet cover? It takes no time to get a quick quote and if you buy online we’ll give you one or more months of FREE pet insurance!

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