This content was reviewed by our licensed insurance agent, Michelle Schenker.
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Sometimes our dogs need to go on a prescription diet due to a health condition, general maintenance, or weight loss. But is this an expense that pet insurance will pay for? Let’s find out if pet insurance covers prescription food and, if so, what restrictions there may be.
What Is Prescription Dog Food?
Prescription dog food is also referred to as a special diet or therapeutic diet. Veterinarians prescribe special diets to help treat a condition, aid in weight loss, or general maintenance for pets. These foods are scientifically formulated to meet the needs of your dog’s specific health requirements.
These diets can only be purchased with a prescription from a vet. They differ from over-the-counter dog foods because they are formulated to support specific health issues like food allergies, cancer, gastrointestinal problems, kidney issues, arthritis, obesity, and more.
Does Pet Insurance Cover Prescription Dog Food?
Depending on your pet insurance company, it may include coverage for special diets. Prescription food is sometimes excluded from coverage by pet insurance providers, so if this is something you want to be included, you’ll want to ensure you choose a company that offers it.
Which Pet Insurance Covers Prescription Food?
The table below shows which companies in our pet insurance reviews offer coverage for prescription food, special diets, or therapeutic diets when used to treat a condition.
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*Extra fee through the Wellness Rewards program (but must buy an insurance policy to add Wellness)
**Covers 50% of the cost, less the deductible and 10% coinsurance
*Embrace is the only company that offers coverage for prescription diet food when used for general maintenance or weight management. However, this coverage is only offered through Embrace’s Wellness Rewards program, which can only be purchased in conjunction with Embrace’s accident and illness plan.
**Trupanion caps its coverage of prescription pet foods. The policy covers 50% of the cost of prescription dog food, less your deductible, and 10% coinsurance for treating a covered health condition for up to two months of normal feeding.
What Are The Best Brands Of Prescription Dog Food?
Some of the most popular brands of prescription dog food include:
- Hill’s Prescription Diet
- Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets
- Royal Canin Veterinary Diet
- Blue Buffalo Natural Veterinary Diet
Are There Alternatives To Prescription Dog Food?
Depending on your pet’s health condition, you may be able to try an alternative diet to prescription dog food. Your veterinarian may recommend a raw diet for some dogs because they can be easier to digest than most commercial diets.
Another option is to get over-the-counter dog food that’s aimed toward assisting the health condition your dog is facing. For example, buying food that supports weight management could be an adequate alternative if your dog is overweight and needs to lose a few pounds.
A different example is if your dog suffers from allergies, you could do an at-home allergy test to determine which foods you should avoid feeding them or an elimination diet with your vet’s assistance. Then proceed to purchase food that excludes those ingredients.
Remember that if your vet recommends a prescription diet for your dog, you shouldn’t shrug this off. There is likely a very good health reason for this suggestion and it would be wise to heed the advice to feed them the best diet you can to ensure they’re living their best life.Tagged With: Medication, Reviewed By Insurance Agent