Times are tight. The last thing you need is a monster vet bill. Should you get health coverage for your dog? Deciding whether or not to purchase it requires serious consideration.

Beyond choosing to get or not get pet insurance, figuring out which company is the best fit can be overwhelming.

Thanks to Dr. Nancy Kay, DVM, Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine and author, you’ll have all the information you need to make your decision. Everything from the issues to consider to the right questions to ask, you’ll find it all in Dr. Kay’s Speaking for Spot: Be the Advocate Your Dog Needs to Live a Happy, Healthy, Longer Life (www.speakingforspot.com).

For a few quick pointers from Dr. Kay to help get you started, keep reading. Then read or download the Woof Report Pet Insurance Tip Sheet we’ve created with Dr. Kay for more information.

Crunch the Numbers.

Consider the types of expenses you might encounter if there was a medical emergency, such as surgery, an ultrasound evaluation and specialist consultations. Could you absorb such costs if needed and how do these numbers compare to the cost of medical insurance for your pup?

Look to the Future.

Think about your dog’s health in the future. Perhaps purchasing insurance when your dog is young makes sense so you can be rest assured there will be no exclusions for pre-existing conditions, and you may have the option of locking in a lower premium rate.

Start with the Vet.

After you’ve decided on purchasing insurance, start by asking your vet and vet clinic staff for advice on pet insurance carriers, you’ll likely get the inside scoop on which ones have worked out best for their clients.

Compare and Learn.

Once you have a few carriers to consider, you can compare the policies for details. How does each policy handle preexisting conditions? How many repeat vet visits for similar treatments are covered? What about inherent diseases and anticipated conditions? What are the policy coverage options and claim processing turn around times?

The Scoop:

Read, print or download the Woof Report Pet Insurance Tip Sheet, compliments of Dr. Nancy Kay, to help you decide if pet insurance is right for you. Find detailed information about the issues you need to consider and a list of questions to ask prospective carriers. Click below to find it in our Dog Owner Resources page.

Learn more about Dr. Nancy Kay, DVM, and her book, Speaking for Spot: Be the Advocate Your Dog Needs to Live a Happy, Healthy, Longer Life

Visit Pet Insurance Review, an independent source to compare rates and coverage, get quotes and read customer reviews for leading pet insurance carriers.