Preventive Care and Wellness Coverage in Pet Insurance


Ru Chen

- Updated February 22, 2024

Key Takeaways

  • Preventive care and wellness plans cover routine pet needs and checkups
  • Early detection of issues means better health for your pet
  • Regular checkups can prevent expensive pet expenses in the long run
  • You can get preventive care and wellness plans on top of standard pet insurance
Preventive Care and Wellness Coverage in Pet Insurance

Pet insurance is essential for all pet owners worried about expensive costs of urgent vet expenses and pet treatments. However, what about routine check-ups and pet care that doesn’t involve emergency visits to the veterinarian? That’s where pet wellness plans and preventive care coverage come in. They reimburse costs of routine pet care like dental cleanings, parasite prevention, wellness exams, vaccines, and more.

In this guide, we go over everything you need to know about pet preventive care and wellness plans, their pros and cons, and how to decide what pet insurance coverage is best for your pet.


Understanding Preventive Care and Wellness Coverage

Preventive care coverage is a type of insurance coverage that reimburses certain routine pet services. Whenever you get billed for eligible pet expenses, preventive care coverage will give you cash back.

Wellness plans and preventive care are not the same as pet insurance, which cover other types of pet expenses such as surgery for illnesses and accidents. A wellness plan is typically cheaper than standard pet insurance. Preventive care coverage as an add-on usually costs less than $20 a month and can save you much more than that in routine pet care and expenses.

Expenses that are eligible for coverage can vary depending on the insurance company. You can expect preventive care coverage to include:

  • Core pet vaccines
  • Dental cleanings
  • Heartworm prevention
  • Annual wellness exams
  • Routine health screenings

Some pet insurance companies also offer add-ons to enhance your pet insurance preventive care coverage. Add-ons may include spaying/neutering, advanced tests, and breed-specific needs.

Importance of Preventive Care for Pets

Prevention of Common Health Issues

Preventive care plays an essential role in maintaining the well-being and happiness of pets. With preventive care such as vaccinations and health checkups for pets, pets can avoid health issues, parasites, and deadly diseases such as rabies. Issues like chronic pain and poor diet can also be discovered through routine wellness exams, allowing vets and pet owners to tackle these problems before they worsen.

Parasite control is an important aspect for pets vulnerable to fleas, heartworms, and intestinal parasites that can cause life-threatening issues in pets. However, with regular tests and preventive medications, it becomes easier to manage and avoid parasitic issues in pets.

Dental issues can also be effectively avoided through routine dental cleaning. This is different from brushing your pet’s teeth a few times a week at home. A professional dental cleaning of pet teeth by a vet is recommended for enhanced oral hygiene, health, and early detection of any dental issues. In addition, routine dental care for pets can reduce the risk of systemic health problems that are associated with poor dental health.

Early Detection of Health Problems

Other than preventing health problems, preventative care involves tests and screening that allow vets to detect health problems before they worsen. Early detection can prevent pet health issues from becoming more serious and expensive to treat.

For example, if a vet notices irregularities on a pet’s wellness exam, they might prescribe medications or lifestyle changes. These can help the pet go back into the regular range of health. However, without routine checkups, you may not become aware of the same issue until it has worsened to the point of painful physical symptoms. This time, the vet may prescribe stronger medications and treatment plans that have worse prognoses and more expensive costs.

Because of how important early detection is when it comes to health concerns, preventive care is a critical part of a pet’s wellbeing. Wellness coverage can help pet owners offset the costs of preventive care, potentially saving hundreds if not thousands of dollars throughout a pet’s lifetime.

Coverage Options in Pet Insurance Wellness Plans

Each pet insurance company offers its own preventive care or wellness plan, either as add-ons or standalone coverage options. Claims eligible for reimbursement can vary greatly depending on the pet insurance company, but let’s go over the most common covered expenses in pet wellness plans.


Vaccinations play a critical role in protecting pets against potentially deadly diseases. Pet insurance plans with wellness coverage will typically cover the most common vaccinations for your pet, such as core vaccines (ones recommended for all pets of a species). For example, cat owners are advised to give their cats vaccines for rabies, feline calicivirus, feline rhinotracheitis (FVR), rabies, and feline distemper.

Non-core vaccinations may require an upgraded version of a pet insurance plan, which comes with a higher add-on cost.

Preventive Medications

Pets can benefit greatly from preventive medications, including flea and tick prevention and heartworm prevention. Internal parasites can cause serious health problems in dogs, cats, and other pets. Preventive care plans usually include screening for fleas, heartworms, and other common pet diseases.

Note that a wellness plan might not grant you reimbursements if the claim you file is for a pre-existing condition or treatment. For example, if you are already paying for anti-parasite medication before obtaining the wellness plan, some pet insurance companies may not provide coverage for your pet’s ongoing treatment costs.

Routine Check-Ups and Exams

The main reason why pet owners choose wellness plans for their pets is for the coverage of routine checkups and exams. Pet tests that are eligible for coverage may include:

  • Blood tests
  • Fecal test
  • Annual wellness exam
  • Urinalysis
  • Parasite tests

All pets are recommended to have a physical checkup at least once a year as a part of their preventive health care. If further exams are needed, your vet may recommend additional testing, which may be covered depending on the scope of your wellness plan.

Detecting a pet health issue in the early stages, especially before outwards symptoms manifest, means easier treatment procedures and fewer vet expenses in the long run. Without routine pet wellness exams and checkups, health issues may only be discovered in their later stages when symptoms have worsened to a point where it is difficult to treat the illness.

Dental Care

Many preventive care plans for pets cover dental cleanings and exams. While dental care can see less urgent than other types of health care, it is actually critical in preventing disease in pets. It can maintain better overall health since poor dental health can exacerbate and cause other health issues.

A majority of dogs and cats have teeth issues around 3 years old, which can intensify as the years go on. A pet with poor oral health can suffer from frequent infections, discomfort, bad breath, and systemic health issues. Dental exams and routine dental cleaning for your pet can help you uncover issues before they worsen.

Dental treatment for pets can be quite expensive, from a few hundred dollars up to $3,000 depending on the dental issue. Common pet dental conditions include:

  • Periodontal disease
  • Tooth abscesses
  • Root canals
  • Misaligned teeth
  • Gum disease

Dental injuries include:

  • Tooth loss
  • Oral trauma
  • Jaw fractures

Check with your chosen pet insurance company to see whether their pet insurance policy includes dental, as well as the scope of their dental coverage in their preventive care plan. Some pet insurance companies only grant dental coverage if the pet is free from periodontal disease at the time of enrollment.


Benefits of Preventive Care and Wellness Coverage

Improved Quality of Life for Pets

Routine preventive care can improve a pet’s overall quality of life. If there are any issues or potential health concerns, you can take early action to mitigate their impact on your pet. Preventive care ensures that your pet is up to date with the recommended vaccinations, has the necessary heartworm and tick preventative measures, and receives proper dental care.

While brushing a pet’s teeth can be done at home, a proper dental cleaning performed by a professional is much more effective in ensuring good dental health.

Cost Savings in the Long Run

Preventive care and wellness coverage can help save you money in the long run. Although many pet owners feel like routine checkups are not expensive enough to warrant extra insurance coverage, these routine vet checkups and pet services can add up to be quite expensive over the years.

While routine pet care won’t cost tens of thousands of dollars each time you take your pet to the vet, a wellness plan can save you money in the long term. Consider an add-on wellness plan or preventive care plan from a pet insurance company to offset the overall cost of veterinary care.

In addition, by detecting health issues earlier through routine checkups and precautionary treatments like vaccinations, pet owners can avoid more expensive procedures later down the line. For example, detecting conditions of a serious health condition before they manifest visible, clinical signs can mitigate or cure the disease. When it comes to health, early intervention often means a better prognosis and more affordable treatment plan.


Tips for Choosing a Pet Insurance Plan with Preventive Care Coverage

Research Coverage Options

With so many pet insurance companies and plans, it’s a good idea to research various options. Take a look at our expertly reviewed top 5 best pet insurance companies of the year to get started.

When looking for pet insurance with preventive care coverage or wellness plan add-ons, consider the following factors:

  • Coverage limit: This is the upper monetary limit of how much the pet insurer will cover in a year. For wellness plans, there may instead be a designated reimbursement limit instead.

  • Exclusions: Pets may not be eligible for complete wellness coverage if they have pre-existing conditions and diagnoses, or if they don’t meet the breed or age requirements. Check the pet insurance company’s plan details carefully.

  • Additional benefits and perks: Pet insurance companies often grant special perks to pet owners. For example, the insurer may provide 24/7 pet health support lines or discounts to popular pet brands.

  • Deductible: An insurance deductible is how much you need to pay out-of-pocket before insurance kicks in. The good news is depending on your preventive care plan, you might not need to meet an annual deductible first. Preventive care coverage is often more flexible than standard pet insurance.

Assess Your Pet's Needs

Evaluate your pet’s age, breed, and health status. Preventive care coverage is often ideal for younger pets that don’t have any pre-existing conditions and are healthy. At this point, preventive care can help maintain the pet’s great health status.

If your pet’s breed or species has certain unique needs or risk factors for disease, consider comprehensive or specialized pet insurance coverage instead. When buying pet insurance products, it is important to cater to your pet’s needs first instead of going for the cheapest pet insurance on the market.

It is also a good idea to consult with your vet to see if there are any special considerations regarding your pet. For example, if your pet’s breed is prone to parasites, then make sure you choose a wellness plan that covers routine parasite checks and deworming treatments.



Preventive care and wellness plans are essential add-ons to pet insurance policies. With a pet wellness plan, it becomes easier and more affordable to detect pet health issues earlier. Early detection means early treatment, which often results in better health results for your pet. A preventive care plan typically includes:

  • Routine pet checkups and exams
  • Vaccinations
  • Dental cleanings
  • Anti-parasite medications

Take the time to research different pet insurance companies before making a choice. Finally, remember that even though pet wellness plans are not ideal for every pet owner, preventive care is. Every pet can benefit from health checkups, dental cleanings, and other routine pet services.

About The Author

Ru Chen

Ru Chen

Content Writer

Ru Chen is a content writer with several years of experience in creating engaging and well-researched articles. She mostly writes about insurance, business, digital marketing, and law. In her free time, she can be found watching horror movies and playing board games with her partner in Brooklyn.

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