Getting your pet vaccinated is the best way to prevent it from getting sick. Vaccines have antigens that prepare your pet’s immune system to recognize and fight off disease-causing organisms. Most vets recommend following a vaccine schedule that includes core vaccine shots spread out over your pet’s first year of life. If your pet wasn’t vaccinated when it was young, it’s recommended to begin vaccinations even once it’s an adult.
We at the This Old House Reviews Team have compiled everything you need to know about pet vaccinations, including the best pet insurance providers that cover vaccination costs.
What To Know About Pet Vaccination Coverage
Most standard pet insurance plans don’t cover vaccinations. This is because pet health insurance is meant to cover vet bills related to unexpected injuries and illnesses, not routine costs you can plan for, like vaccinations. However, many providers offer wellness add-ons you can tack on to your base policy for an additional monthly cost. These plans will cover the costs of vaccinating your pet.
The cost of adding a wellness plan to a standard pet health insurance policy is minimal, usually $10–$25 per month. A preventive plan not only covers core vaccinations but also other routine veterinary care, such as annual wellness exams, dental care and cleanings, grooming, spaying and neutering, flea, tick, and heartworm prevention, and more.
Vaccinations can cost several hundred dollars without insurance, depending on your location and which vaccinations you’re giving your pet. Having a pet wellness plan for one year will likely cost you less than the total cost of all core vaccines, and you’ll be reimbursed for anywhere from 70% to 100% of the costs, depending on your pet insurance premium.
What Are Common Pet Vaccinations?
Vets separate pet vaccines into core and non-core categories. Most pet insurers only cover core vaccines, since those prevent the most rampant illnesses. Core vaccines are strongly recommended for all pets based on exposure risk, disease severity, and possible transmissibility to humans.
Common vaccinations for dogs include the following:
- Canine hepatitis
- Canine parvovirus
Your vet may also recommend vaccines for Bordetella bronchiseptica (kennel cough), Borrelia burgdorferi, or leptospirosis depending on the type of pet you have.
Core cat vaccines include the following:
- Feline calicivirus
- Feline herpesvirus type I (rhinotracheitis)
- Panleukopenia (feline distemper)
Your vet may also recommend vaccines for feline leukemia virus, Bordetella, Chlamydophila felis, and feline immunodeficiency virus.
Top 3 Pet Insurance Companies for Vaccination Coverage
Lemonade is a popular pet insurance provider with a preventive wellness plan that covers common vaccinations, including rabies, Bordetella, and DHLPP, which is a combination shot for distemper, parvo, and influenza. Lemonade has two preventive care packages, though you only need the basic prevention package to get vaccination coverage. Lemonade’s wellness coverage begins the day after enrolling.
Pros and Cons
✔ Has no age limit, so even your adult dog’s vaccines will be covered
✔ Includes coverage for up to six vaccines or boosters
✔ Donates to animal advocacy organizations
✘ Is only available in 37 states
✘ Some customers report slow customer service wait times
Learn more: Lemonade Pet Insurance Review
Free quote: Get a quote from Lemonade
Spot is another popular pet insurance provider that offers preventive coverage. Pet parents can choose from two preventive packages: Gold or Platinum. Both plans cover the canine DHLPP vaccine for distemper and parvo as well as the feline FVRCP vaccine. The Platinum plan also covers the canine Bordetella and feline FELV vaccines and covers more vaccinations in general.
Pros and Cons
✔ Includes a QuickPay feature for reimbursement within a few days
✔ Offers 24/7 vet telehealth support for questions
✔ Has no upper age limit
✘ Doesn’t cover pets under 8 weeks old
✘ Doesn’t provide customer service on weekends
Learn more: Spot Pet Insurance Review
Free quote: Get a quote from Spot
Embrace’s coverage works differently than other providers. The company offers a Wellness Rewards program that functions as a budgeting tool and rewards customers for being proactive about their pet’s care. You can choose from three annual reimbursement levels: $250, $450, or $650. Core vaccines are covered no matter which you choose. The only difference is the financial amount covered.
Pros and Cons
✔ Provides the Full Wellness Rewards amount the day you sign up
✔ Has an online chat feature for customer service
✔ Doesn’t have per-treatment limits
✘ Costs more than some competitors
✘ Doesn’t have customer service on Saturday or Sunday afternoons
Learn more: Embrace Pet Insurance Review
Free quote: Get a quote from Embrace
Vaccinations are an essential part of your pet’s health care. Many pet insurance providers offer preventive care plans to cover vaccines, but most won’t allow you to purchase a wellness plan by itself. It must be added to a base policy for an additional monthly fee, usually $10–$25.
There are many affordable pet insurance providers to choose from if you don’t already have a policy. See our list of cheap pet insurance companies to find the most cost-effective options. Be sure to shop around and get quotes from multiple providers to find the best deal and coverage.
FAQ About Pet Vaccination Coverage
Our Rating Methodology
The This Old House Reviews team is dedicated to thorough, in-depth reviews of each product or service that we detail in our content. Determined to build trust with our readers through transparency, accuracy, and accountability, we’ve built a detailed rating system to score pet insurance brands. Included in this methodology are the following six factors with their respective scoring weights:
- Coverage (25)
- Plan options (20)
- Monthly cost (20)
- Company reputation (15)
- Customer service (10)
- Species eligibility (10)
Our researchers keep all data in each company’s score up to date, making any changes to our content when necessary to provide our readers with the most accurate information on relevant metrics, such as plan options, customer service, reputation, and monthly cost.
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