Pet Insurance

Pet Insurance Alternatives To Consider For Your Dog


Last Updated: March 8, 2024 | 6 min read | Leave a Comment

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

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Are you looking to save money on your pet’s health care expenses? There are alternatives to pet insurance for you to consider. Some companies offer coverage for routine care, discounts on in-network vets, emergency funds, and more. In some cases, you may even be able to use one of these alternatives in conjunction with a traditional pet health insurance policy. Find out what each of these plans has to offer and if one of them could benefit you.

At A Glance: Best For…

Emergency FundDiscount PlanWellness Coverage
Pawp logo
Pet Assure logo
Banfield logo
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Oops, Were You Seeking Pet Health Insurance?

The companies reviewed on this page are NOT insurance providers. So, if you are looking for more comprehensive health protection, we recommend you check out our pet insurance reviews. Our experts have analyzed over a dozen pet insurance companies to help you find the best for your needs and discover the companies that deliver the best products on the market today. You can also use your free tool below to get quotes from multiple pet insurance providers.

Best Emergency Fund: Pawp Review

Pawp logo

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Pawp offers a $3,000 emergency fund to help cover unexpected, emergency vet bills. How does it work? Pawp charges $24 per month, no matter the breed, age, medical history, etc. Unlike pet insurance, there’s no copay or deductible. In the event of an emergency*, Pawp may reimburse up to $3,000 per year, but it can only be used once per year. So, if your pet experiences multiple emergencies in a year, you can only use your Pawp emergency fund once for a maximum claim of $3,000.

How do you obtain access to your Pawp emergency fund? If something has happened to your pet, you place a video call to a Pawp veterinarian to discuss necessary care. The vet will confirm whether or not your pet’s emergency qualifies for access to your fund.

Next, you can take your pet to any vet within four hours, admit them for care, and obtain treatment. Once you receive your final invoice, have someone at your vet’s office call Pawp’s hotline to review the charges. Pawp will then provide payment for any eligible items, up to $3,000 total.

Examples of emergencies that are eligible for coverage include toxic ingestions, choking and difficulty breathing, severe blockages, severe internal and external injuries, and more. Pawp doesn’t cover scheduled surgeries, regular checkups and wellness visits, vaccinations and routine procedures, pregnancy and pregnancy-related issues, and more.

*An emergency is defined as your pet requiring vet care immediately. Accidents or illnesses that lead to a vet recommendation for the pet to be seen in the near future but not immediately are not covered. Only true emergencies requiring urgent medical attention are eligible for the emergency fund.

Protect up to 6 pets under 1 planOnly covers vet care that is required immediately
One price, regardless of pet’s age, breed, medical history, etc.14-day waiting period until your emergency plan is available
No reimbursement process; Pawp pays for eligible items before you leave the vet clinicPawp vet must confirm your emergency to activate your fund
Emergencies related to pre-existing conditions are eligible for coverageFund can only be used once per year for an emergency bill up to $3,000
Multiple forms of customer support: live chat, FAQ, and send photos or video chat with vet


Read Our Full Review Of Pawp

Best Discount Plan: Pet Assure Review

Pet Assure logo

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Pet Assure can save you 25% on vet bills. How does it work?

  1. You can purchase a Pet Assure plan directly using this link (or check with your employer in case they offer it as a benefit).
  2. Enroll in a Pet Assure plan and find an in-network vet.
  3. Show your ID card to the in-network vet at the time of service and receive a 25% discount on most in-house medical services, including dental cleaning, spay and neuter procedures, diabetes management, cancer care, allergy treatments, parasite screenings, tumor removal, wellness visits, and more.

You can also purchase a wellness plan through Pet Assure.

Pre-existing conditions are coveredNot all vets honor the plan, so finding a provider near you that you trust may be difficult
Can be used with pet insuranceIf your pet has an expensive procedure, you’ll most likely have to pay a lot more than you would with traditional pet insurance
Accepts all pet ages, breeds, and health conditions
All medical services are covered
No annual limits


Single CatSingle DogFamilyUnlimited
Type Of PetCat, Rodent, Reptile Or Other Small AnimalDog, Horse Or Other Large Animal2-4 Pets Of Any SizeEvery Pet In Your Household
Price Per Month$9.95$11.95$16.95$21.95
Price Per Year$79$99$149$199

Examples of savings on common vet procedures:

Vet ServiceAverage Cost*Your Savings
Routine Wellness Exam$45Save $11.50
Vaccinations$118Save $29.50
Fecal Exam$57Save $14.25
In-House Lab Work$96Save $24.00
Dental Cleaning & X-Rays$475Save $118.75
Emergency Sick Exam$90Save $22.50
X-Rays$120Save $30.00
Cruciate Ligament Repair$825Save $206.25
Tumor Removal$525Save $131.25
*Based on actual vet bills of Pet Assure members

Mint Wellness

Price Per Month$18$34$57
Wellness Visit$100 (1 visit)$100 (1 visit)$200 (2 visits)
Vaccinations$100 (2)$150 (3)$200 (4)
1 Routine Bloodwork Test$100$100$100
1 Fecal Test/Urinalysis (up to $50)checkmarkNo x markNo x mark
1 Fecal Test (up to $50)No x markcheckmarkcheckmark
1 Urinalysis (up to $50)No x markcheckmarkcheckmark
GroomingNo x mark$100$200
PreventativesNo x mark$100$200
1 Dental (up to $100)No x markNo x markcheckmark
Maximum Reimbursed$350$650$1,100

Promo Code

Use code caninejournal to get 15% off sitewide at Pet Assure. Use this link to get started.

Read Our Full Review Of Pet Assure

Best Wellness Coverage: Banfield Review

Banfield Pet Hospital Bhere logo

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Banfield is a wellness membership plan. How does it work? You pay a monthly fee, and in return, the company covers many of your pet’s preventative care needs.

To take advantage of the plan, you must visit a Banfield Pet Hospital, primarily found at one of 1,000 PetSmart stores. The plans offer annual preventative care coverage for your dog or cat, including two wellness exams, vaccinations, dental care, and more.

If you’re interested in wellness coverage for your pet, many traditional pet insurance providers offer wellness coverage as an add-on or stand-alone product. Be sure to compare Banfield against other wellness coverage plans to make sure you buy the best plan for you and your pet’s needs.

Widely available across the U.S.Annual contract required

Unlimited office visits
No illness or injury coverage
Weekend and evening hoursContract automatically renews each year
$15 discount on membership fee for additional petsSome Banfield reviews online complain about upselling while at appointments, so the bill is rarely fully covered by the annual fee
Personalized plans availablePlans are often more expensive than competitors’ wellness plans
Can be used in conjunction with pet insuranceMust visit a Banfield location


Banfield’s Optimum Wellness Plans’ pricing varies based on your pet’s breed, age, size, location of residence, and several other factors. I’ve put together a couple of pricing examples below from March 2023. As you can see, a young cat is more than an old dog based on the location, with vet care in a metropolitan city being higher than in a rural midwest town.

Black Labrador Retriever 

The following quotes are for a 4-year-old, 20-pound spayed female born on 01/01/2020 in Clive, IA.

  • Active Care: $36.95/month
  • Active Care Plus: $49.95/month
  • Special Care: $62.95/month

Mixed Breed Cat

The following quotes are for a 1-year-old, 8-pound spayed male born on 03/01/2023 in Alexandria, VA.

  • Active Care: $39.95/month
  • Active Care Plus: $58.95/month
  • Special Care: $70.95/month
Early CareEarly Care PlusActive CareActive Care PlusSpecial Care
AnimalPuppy/Kitten Younger Than 6 MonthsPuppy/Kitten Younger Than 6 MonthsDog/Cat Older Than 6 MonthsDog/Cat Older Than 6 MonthsDog/Cat Older Than 6 Months
2 Physical ExamsCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
Wisdom Panel HealthPuppy OnlyPuppy Only
Diagnostic TestingCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
Fecal ExamsCheckmark (3/year)Checkmark (3/year)Checkmark (2/year)Checkmark (2/year)Checkmark (2/year)
DewormingCheckmark (5/year puppy, 4/year kitten)Checkmark (5/year puppy, 4/year kitten)Checkmark (2/year)Checkmark (2/year)Checkmark (2/year)
Spay/Neuter SurgeryCheckmark
Dental CleaningCheckmarkCheckmark
Urine TestingCheckmarkCheckmark (2/year)
Additional Diagnostic TestingCat Only
Preventative X-Rays (3 Views)Checkmark
2 Eye Pressure TestsDogs Only
2 ElectrocardiogramsDogs Only
Unlimited Office VisitsCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
Discount On Most Other Banfield Services & Products5%10%10%15%20%

Optional add-ons include parasite control, spay/neuter, additional dental, chronic care, and a Wisdom Panel DNA test.

Read Our Full Banfield Review

Emergency Fund by Petcube Review

Petcube logo

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The Emergency Fund by Petcube is nearly identical to Pawp. The only main difference is that Pawp is $24 per month, and Petcube’s Emergency Fund is $29 monthly.

Like Pawp, the Emergency Fund by Petcube offers a $3,000 emergency fund that can be used once a year. You have access to a virtual vet 24/7 to get approval for your pet’s emergency, and after the vet confirms your pet qualifies for access to your fund, you have up to four hours to get your pet to the vet. You can have up to six pets under one plan regardless of age, breed, or pre-existing conditions.

Protect up to 6 pets under 1 planOnly covers vet care that is required immediately
One price, regardless of pet’s age, breed, medical history, etc.14-day waiting period until your emergency plan is available
No reimbursement process; Petcube pays for eligible items before you leave the vet clinicPetcube vet must confirm your emergency to activate your fund
Emergencies related to pre-existing conditions are eligible for coverageFund can only be used once per year for an emergency bill up to $3,000
Multiple forms of customer support: live chat, FAQ, and send photos or video chat with vet


  • $29/month

What About Eusoh?

Eusoh logo

Eusoh was a pet insurance alternative that reimburses your pet’s eligible illness, injury, and wellness expenses. It was previously our best pet insurance alternative pick but it is no longer offering its services after September 2022.

Should I Get Pet Insurance Instead?

Are you unsure about going with one of these pet insurance alternatives, emergency funds, discount plans, or wellness programs? Consider all of the available options to manage the financial risk of pet ownership when by also learning more about pet insurance. By having more information, you can determine the best tool to help assist you when pet emergencies strike and financial burdens weigh you down.

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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