Cats and dogs need dental treatment too - and the costs can quickly add up. The good news is, pet insurance can help.
It can be tough to find pet insurance that includes dental cover, and sometimes it can seem like you’re spending more time on your pet’s teeth than your own. Both cats and dogs are susceptible to similar dental issues as people, and can leave your little buddy in pain. Pet insurance can help take away some of the pain - and the pain of the cost, too.
A quick Google search might suggest that there are a lot of comprehensive pet insurance policies out there that cover dental care for pets. Unfortunately, most (if not all) of these policies only cover routine dental (i.e. things like cleaning) - AND up to a maximum of $50 per year. Just make sure you read the fine print to know what you're getting!
Compare pet insurance policies with $2000 of annual dental cover
Is dental covered under pet insurance?
Most pet insurance policies specifically exclude dental treatment.
If your dog suffers tooth damage after being hit by a car, for example, an accident policy might cover broken bones and other injuries, but not dental issues such as fractured teeth.
The same can also apply to illness cover. You cannot assume that oral diseases such as gingivitis or periodontal disease are covered by your pet insurance policy, even with sickness cover.
It's important to know:
- If you have not specifically purchased a pet “dental illness” extra, you probably aren’t covered for any major pet dental treatments.
- The “dental illness” extra is not available with all insurers, and you will need to specifically look for it
What do pet dental plans actually cover?
Including pet dental cover with your policy will cost a bit more than going without, but can be a valuable investment. It's a good idea to consult your vet before taking out a policy for an idea of how likely you are to use these benefits and to learn how to properly care for your pet’s teeth.
Dental plans usually cover the following:
- Tooth removal
- Dental diseases resulting from infection
- Retained deciduous teeth
- Tooth fracture
These are most of the common dental conditions likely to affect cats and dogs, but any other oral diseases or dental conditions are not covered. Ensure you read the PDS properly as each policy is different. Also good to know: there's normally a waiting period before you can claim for dental benefits - and this can be as long as 2 years, so make sure you take out pet insurance sooner rather than later.
What dental treatments are never covered?
Pet dental plans do not cover the following treatments:
- Cosmetic dental procedures
- Root canals
- Odontoclastic resorptive lesions (one of the most common dental issues in cats)
- Other oral treatments not listed above
Regular pet dental care can help minimise the chances of these and other dental issues. A routine care extra, usually only available with comprehensive pet plans, can reimburse you for teeth cleaning costs to help keep your pet’s teeth in good shape.