Pet Insurance

Does Pet Insurance Cover X-Rays?

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Last Updated: February 8, 2024 | 2 min read | Leave a Comment

This content was reviewed by our licensed insurance agent, Michelle Schenker.

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Retriever pet standing on examination table as a female veterinarian assesses the dogs xrays on a tablet.

The use of radiography (X-rays) is just as common in veterinary practice as it is in human medicine — and, relatively speaking, just as expensive. Veterinarians regularly use X-rays, as well as other imaging tools (ultrasound, MRI, CT), to diagnose health conditions in our furry friends. Pet insurance may cover X-rays, but it depends on several factors. We’ll explain when X-rays are covered by pet insurance and the reasons your dog may need this crucial diagnostic tool.

Does Pet Insurance Cover X-Rays?

Yes, X-rays are eligible for coverage through pet insurance policies, but you need to be aware of the restrictions. First, if your dog needs an X-ray for any type of pre-existing condition (one that occurred before you purchased your policy), then it’s excluded from coverage. However, if your pup requires X-rays for a recent accident or a new symptom that’s not associated with a pre-existing condition, then this diagnostic imaging may be covered by pet insurance.

How Much Are X-Rays For Dogs?

Dog X-ray costs range from $75 to $500 per radiograph, with the average cost between $150 to $250. However, your total cost can vary widely depending on several factors, including the number of X-rays required, whether your pup needs sedation or anesthesia, the location of the body, the geographical area of your vet’s office, and more.

When Are X-Rays Necessary For Dogs?

X-rays are one of the most commonly used diagnostic tools in veterinary medicine and are invaluable in helping your vet diagnose many conditions resulting from accidents, illnesses, or genetic health problems.

Dogs frequently require X-rays to detect:

  • Broken bones
  • Orthopedic problems, such as hip dysplasia or a luxating patella
  • Intestinal blockage
  • Dental problems
  • Tumors or enlarged organs

When Does Pet Insurance Not Cover X-Rays?

X-rays are excluded from coverage by pet insurance companies if the need is associated with a pre-existing condition or an excluded accident or illness. For example, if your pup was diagnosed with hip dysplasia before you enrolled her in pet insurance, then any subsequent X-rays or other treatment she needs for this condition will not be covered.

Also, if you’ve recently signed up for pet insurance, you’ll have a waiting period before your pup’s coverage kicks in. So, for example, if your pup swallows a foreign object and requires vet attention during this waiting period, any X-rays required to check for intestinal blockage won’t be covered.

Our Personal Experience With A X-Ray Claim

I submitted a claim to Pets Best for my dog’s Tibial Plateau Leveling Osteotomy (TPLO) surgery, which included a $284 charge for two radiographs and a $99 radiology consultation fee. Thanks to my 80% reimbursement plan with Pets Best, I was only responsible for 20% of the total $383 charge for these X-rays. The process was straightforward and eased the financial burden of my dog’s surgery.

Jeff Butler, Goldendoodle parent

Which Pet Insurance Company Should I Choose?

All of the currently available U.S. pet insurance policies cover X-rays as long as the need isn’t related to a pre-existing or excluded condition. However, not all insurance providers are created equal when it comes to other items that are covered. See our pet insurance reviews to compare the top pet insurance providers. We break down everything from coverage and exclusions to plan customization options and sample price quotes to help you find the best fit for your pup’s unique needs and your budget.

Why Trust Canine Journal?

Sally has over 20 years of experience in human health sciences communications, including 10 years as an expert on pet health conditions and treatment. She’s also spent over a decade researching pet insurance as part of an expert team at Canine Journal. As dedicated canine professionals and long-time dog owners, we test and research the best pet products, not only for our own pups but for all of our readers. 

The information provided through this website should not be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease; it is not intended to offer any legal opinion or advice or a substitute for professional safety advice or professional care. Please consult your health care provider, attorney, or product manual for professional advice. Products and services reviewed are provided by third parties; we are not responsible in any way for them, nor do we guarantee their functionality, utility, safety, or reliability. Our content is for educational purposes only.

Disclaimer: Information regarding insurance company offerings, pricing, availability, and other contract details are subject to change by the insurance company at any time and are not under the control of this website. Information published on this website is intended for reference use only. Please review your policy carefully before signing up for a new insurance contract or any other contract as your unique circumstances will differ from those of others who may be used for example purposes in this article.

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