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Insurance Pet Insurance

Pet Wellness Plans: Coverage for Routine Care

There are many costs involved with owning a pet, ranging from food and training to grooming, boarding, and veterinary care. That last one is important, though, as routine medical visits help ensure that your pet stays healthy and that you’re able to catch unexpected conditions early.

Pet wellness plans are a type of coverage that helps pay for those predictable and regularly scheduled check-ups. These plans aren’t intended for sudden illnesses or emergencies. Still, they can save you quite a bit on routine care throughout your pet’s life.

Pet wellness plans vs. pet insurance

A pet wellness plan is typically an add-on to a pet insurance policy that reimburses you for certain preventive care costs. It helps pay for routine vet visits, vaccines, procedures such as spaying and neutering, and other forms of preventive care.

On the contrary, pet insurance is a plan that covers expenses from unexpected care, such as severe illness or injury. Since these expenses can be costly (and aren’t predictable), pet insurance is a good choice for financial protection from unexpected veterinary care.

Pet insurance vs. wellness plans

What each type of plan typically covers

Pet wellness planPet insurance
Annual vet visit✖️
Dental cleanings✖️
Emergency care✖️
Flea treatment✖️
Heartworm prevention✖️
Prescription medication✖️
Routine lab tests✖️
Spay/neuter surgery✖️
Tick treatment✖️

It’s important to note that this is just a general idea of what pet wellness plans cover compared to pet insurance. Each provider will have its own unique coverage and limits. To learn more, check out our guide to wellness vs. insurance plans.

How do pet wellness plans work?

When shopping around for a pet wellness plan, you may first have to look at the pet insurance options available to you. That’s because, in most cases, pet wellness coverage is offered as an add-on to a pet insurance policy.

A pet wellness care plan will charge premiums monthly or annually. Your cost for coverage will typically depend on the type of pet you have, your pet’s age, how many pets you want to be covered, and even where you live in some cases.

Generally, pet wellness plans operate on a reimbursement model. Once your pet is enrolled, you can obtain routine care as needed and submit a reimbursement claim for all covered items. Most providers allow you to use any veterinarian in the United States.

With most types of insurance, there are waiting periods. Once you’ve enrolled your pet in a plan, you’ll have to wait typically 14 days until your coverage kicks in. This protects the insurance company to ensure you don’t enroll only once your pet requires care.

Best pet wellness plans

There are several different pet wellness plans to consider, depending on your pet, any existing policy you own, and your budget. Here’s a look at some of the best pet wellness plans we reviewed and what they offer.

  • Best for no reimbursement limits: Pumpkin
  • Best for an affordable plan: Spot
  • Best for reimbursing the most items: Embrace

Best for no reimbursement limits: Pumpkin

  • Wellness plans designed with vets
  • Annual exam & vaccine reminders
  • Special welcome box & toy for your pet

Pumpkin is a pet insurance company offering both pet insurance and preventive care. The company has an excellent rating from its customers on Trustpilot, with a 4.6 out of 5 as of October 25, 2021.

Its Preventive Essentials package helps you assess your pet’s current health, detect diseases early, and prevent illness year-round through vaccinations.

Pumpkin’s wellness plan earned our highest rating amongst the 17 companies we reviewed. One of the main reasons we scored it so highly was that it doesn’t limit the amount you can be reimbursed for covered items — a rarity for preventive care coverage.

Pumpkin designed its wellness plan with veterinarians to ensure that your pet has coverage for the most important parts of preventive care. While both dogs and cats are reimbursed for similar items, there are differences that we’ve highlighted below.

Pumpkin Preventive Essentials for dogs

Type of preventive careReimbursementWhat’s covered
Check-up100%The exam fee for a yearly check-up
Blood test100%One test for heartworm, lyme, ehrlichiosis, and anaplasmosis each year
Fecal test100%One test for roundworms, hookworms, and whipworms each year
Vaccinations100%Any two vaccines each year

Pumpkin Preventive Essentials for cats

Type of preventive careReimbursementWhat’s covered
Check-up100%The exam fee for a yearly check-up
Fecal test100%One test for roundworms, hookworms, and whipworms each year
Vaccinations100%One vaccine each year

To top it all off: each new pet receives a special welcome box and toy!

Best for an affordable wellness plan: Spot

  • Preventive care coverage starting at $9.95/month
  • Get reimbursed for up to 12 different types of care
  • No waiting period

Spot is a pet insurance company offering an accident and illness policy with an optional pet wellness plan. The company has an excellent rating from its customers on Trustpilot, with a 4.4 out of 5 rating as of October 25th, 2021.

Spot’s wellness add-on was the most affordable of all 17 policies we reviewed, starting at an additional cost of $9.95 per month.

Spot offers a 30-day money-back guarantee, and you may visit any U.S.-licensed vet. The Spot preventive care plan comes in two sizes: Gold or Platinum.

Here’s what’s covered with each plan:

Type of preventive careGoldPlatinum
Dental cleaning$100$150*
Spaying or neutering$150*
Wellness exam$50$50
Flea/heartworm prevention$25
Canine DHLPP or feline FVRCP$20$25
Rabies/canine lyme or feline FIP$20$25
Canine bordetella or feline FELV$25
Fecal test$20$25
Canine heartworm or feline FELV test$20$25
Blood test$25
Health certificate$25

*This $150 can be used for either dental cleaning or spaying or neutering. You will not receive $150 for each.

Best for reimbursing the most items: Embrace

  • Get reimbursed for over 20 different types of care
  • Choose from three different reimbursement limits
  • Available for use the day you sign-up

Embrace is our top-rated pet insurance company. Its preventive care coverage is an optional add-on to its accident and illness policy. The company has an excellent rating from its customers on Trustpilot, with a 4.4 out of 5 as of October 25, 2021.

Embrace’s Wellness Rewards was the best option for pet owners looking for a plan that includes the most reimbursable items possible.

Embrace’s Wellness Rewards has three different levels of coverage. Each year, you get to choose between an annual allowance of $250, $450, or $650.

Here’s a list of items that your allowance can cover:

  • Wellness exam fees
  • Vaccinations and titers
  • Flex, tick, and heartworm preventives
  • Spay/neuter surgery
  • Fecal and routine blood tests
  • Microchipping
  • Nutritional supplements
  • Grooming
  • Medicated shampoos
  • Toe nail trimming
  • Routine anal gland expression
  • Wearable pet activity monitors
  • Cremation or burial
  • Gastropexy
  • Preventive teeth cleaning
  • Prescription diet food
  • Training
  • Routine chiropractic care
  • Reiki, massage therapy, acupuncture
  • Hip dysplasia exams, radiographs, or other OFA testing

How we determined the best wellness plans

Our team conducted over 40 hours of research to compare 16 pet insurance companies to determine the best. Within this research, we spent time reviewing each companies’ coverage for preventive care.

Factors we considered when determining which wellness plans were the best included a review of 13 different types of preventive care, the cost of a plan, and how much each plan reimbursed you.

Can you take out a wellness plan without pet insurance?

Most wellness plans are offered as an optional add-on to a pet insurance policy. However, we found one company that allows you to take out a wellness plan without a pet insurance policy: Wagmo.

Best for only taking out a wellness plan: Wagmo

  • Get a free quote in less than a minute
  • Choose from three different plans
  • Get reimbursed up to $1,100 per year

Wagmo’s original mission was to provide pet owners with an alternative to pet insurance by offering stand-alone wellness plans. Today, it provides pet insurance and wellness plans but still allows each to be taken out separately.

The company has an average rating from its customers on Trustpilot, with a 3.7 out of 5 as of October 25th, 2021.

Enrollees choose from three Wagmo wellness plans, which offer up to $350, $650, or $1,100 in coverage per year. Plans cost $20, $36, or $59 per month, respectively, and coverage begins immediately.

The actual care that’s covered varies depending on the plan you choose. Here’s what’s covered under each plan:

Type of preventive careValueClassicDeluxe
Wellness visits112
Routine blood work111
Fecal test111
Dental care$100

Recap of pet wellness plans

CompanyBest for
PumpkinNo reimbursement limits
SpotAffordable plan
EmbraceReimbursing most items
WagmoOnly a wellness plan