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Health Issues That Are Covered Under Pet Insurance

bulldog at animal hospital getting examined by vet to get diagnoses

As pet owners, we understand that our furry friends can sometimes face health challenges, and the cost of veterinary care can quickly become an unexpected financial burden. 

Investing in pet insurance in Canada can provide peace of mind and ensure our beloved companions receive the care they need without breaking the bank. In this article, we'll help you make an informed decision about safeguarding your pet's well-being and your financial stability. So, let's dive in and learn more about the protection offered by pet insurance for our four-legged family members.

Common Health Issues for Dogs


Accidents happen without warning, so you can't always prepare for them financially. While illnesses (see below) are more common claims for pet insurance, accidents can be much more serious. For example, in devastating situations like a dog being hit by a car, surgery can be the only way to save their life. In the worst situations, pet insurance can mean the difference between being able to pay for an expensive life-saving procedure or not.

Other types of common accidents in cats and dogs, include things like dog bites, cruciate ligament rupture, porcupine attacks, and torn or broken nails. When new and unexpected, all are typically covered under pet insurance policies.


Pet insurance typically provides protection for a wide range of illnesses and the treatments. This can include anything from allergies and respiratory infections to cancer, kidney failure, or diabetes. Dogs and cats are each susceptible to different types of diseases and pet insurance coverage can help with the cost. Some breeds of dogs and cats are additionally susceptible to specific types of illnesses (and accidents in some cases), so ensuring you have sufficient pet insurance coverage can save heartache and dollars. Checking your pet insurance policy for coverage on these breed-specific conditions is important as some policies specifically exclude coverage here. As one example, some larger dogs can have a stronger hereditary predisposition to hip dysplasia, so checking policies thoroughly is strongly advised. 


Allergies are another issue that most pet health insurance covers. The insurer often pays for diagnostic tests and medications if a dog is allergic to certain foods, plants, or other substances. This is also an area where some breeds of dogs and cats have a greater likelihood of experiencing allergies of some kind. Researching your pet’s coverage ahead of choosing a policy is valuable in understanding the right pet insurance coverage for your pet

Accidental ingestion

Dogs can be prone to accidentally ingesting foreign objects, such as a toy, a pair of socks, balloons, or even some foods or toxicities they shouldn't be eating. This can lead to significant digestive issues and life-threatening emergencies. Pet health insurance covers the eligible costs associated with this type of emergency situation. These issues typically emerge at very short notice and with significant consequences for both the pet and veterinary costs. Planning ahead can ensure the pet is treated in a timely manner and difficult financial decisions can be eased. 

Common Health Issues for Cats


Cats are notorious for their adventurous nature, making them prone to accidents. Things like motor vehicle accidents, cat fights, falls and torn or broken nails can all be sudden, unexpected and harrowing for both cat and pet-parent. Pet insurance will cover the eligible cost of x-rays, surgery, and emergency room visits in case of an accident. 


Cats can be as prone to illnesses as dogs, and pet insurance policies provide coverage for these too. Similarly to dogs, illnesses are common than accidents in cats, so having pet insurance will ease the risks of these more frequent situations. Common cat illnesses include anything from urinary tract infections and respiratory issues to feline leukemia or kidney failure. This is another area where checking your insurance policy can be really important. Some pet insurers do exclude coverage from breed-specific conditions (although PHI Direct does not exclude these) and being informed can prevent difficult situations in the future. 


Pet insurance typically provides coverage for allergies in cats. Allergic reactions can be severe and even life-threatening, so having the eligible costs of diagnosis and treatments taken care of can be a relief. 


Some cats accumulate fat and develop masses sometimes due to a sedentary lifestyle - especially as cats get older or they are an indoor cat. Be reminded that a mass could be benign or malignant, so appropriate diagnostic tests should be done first. If they are diagnosed with a mass, surgery is often the only option. Pet health insurance helps to cover the cost of these treatments. 

How Does Pet Insurance Handle Diagnostics Costs?

Pet insurance companies often have specific requirements when it comes to diagnostics costs. Depending on the policy, they may cover or reimburse a set percentage of these costs to policyholders. You'll need to check with your pet insurer regarding their specific coverage and policies for diagnostics. 

Diagnostic costs could include tests such as blood work and ultrasounds, X-rays and CT scans, or even biopsies and other specialized procedures. Even if you decide not to go ahead with treatment (such as late-stage cancer) the diagnosis may still be covered. 

a cat being examined by a vet

Emergency Care For Pets

Pet insurance likewise covers the cost of emergency care for both illnesses and injuries. It typically includes anything from procedures to stabilize a pet's condition to surgeries or other treatments needed to save its life. Again, coverage may vary depending on the insurer, so check with them before signing up for a policy. 

In some scenarios, pet insurance might even cover some end-of-life costs, should it be necessary. This can help relieve some financial burdens of such an emotionally challenging situation. 


If your pet requires surgery, their policy should cover some of its associated costs. Pre-operative tests, anesthesia fees and medication, and post-operative care such as X-rays or lab work can be hugely expensive. But be reminded that an insurance company may not cover all costs, so it's best to read the fine print, or ask them questions directly. 

Pets can need surgery for all sorts of reasons, from a luxating patella to bladder stones. The cost is often high, giving you another reason to protect your dog or cat with pet insurance and to provide some predictability to household budgets. But remember, some policies may not cover pre-existing conditions or certain types of surgery, so be sure to research those things properly.

What's Not Covered Under Pet Insurance?

While pet insurance policies generally cover a wide range of health issues, there are certain pet illnesses that most plans do not include. Pre-existing conditions, which are health problems that your pet had before coverage commenced, and encompassing applicable waiting periods, are typically excluded from coverage. Additionally, some policies do not cover congenital or hereditary conditions (although as we've mentioned, PHI Direct does cover these).

It’s important to note that routine and preventive care, including vaccinations, dental cleanings, and parasite prevention, are also often not covered under standard pet insurance plans. It is essential to carefully review the details of any pet insurance policy to understand the limitations and exclusions before deciding on the right policy for your pet.

Final Thoughts

Pet insurance provides a valuable safety net for pet owners, covering a wide range of health issues that can impact our beloved companions and cause unexpected shocks to household budgets. From common illnesses and injuries to chronic conditions and hereditary diseases, pet insurance can ensure that you can provide great medical care to your furry friend, right at the moment it’s needed, without the burden of large veterinary bills. 

By investing in a pet insurance policy with PHI Direct, you gain peace of mind that the money is there when you need it for many new and unexpected medical situations. It can save you from large unexpected pet costs related to veterinary care. 

As a pet parent, it's useful to understand the benefits of pet insurance and select a plan that best suits the unique needs of our cherished companions. If you have any questions, please reach out to PHI Direct’s pet team. We’d love to connect with you and answer your questions.