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Insurance Pet Insurance

Should Service Dogs Have Pet Insurance?

Service dogs are often life-changing for people with disabilities. A service dog and a typical pet both form bonds with their families and “people,” but a service dog is trained to mitigate a physical or psychological disability.

These dogs are highly trained to help their owner’s specific disabilities, but like any dog, they can get sick, get injured, or require veterinary attention. 

If you have a service dog, it’s often wise to get pet insurance. Keep reading to find out how pet insurance for service dogs works, which providers are the best, and other financing options to consider if you decide pet insurance isn’t for you. 

In this guide:

What is a service dog, and how much does it cost?

Service dogs are more than just pets; they are trained to perform specific tasks that assist people with disabilities. This includes guiding the visually impaired, alerting those who are deaf, assisting those with mobility issues, and providing support for various medical conditions.

A service dog can cost between $20,000 and $40,000. This high price reflects the extensive training and strict breeding standards required to ensure they can perform their expected task. 

Beyond the purchase price, service dogs require routine veterinary care. This includes annual checkups, vaccines, dental cleanings, and lab tests, which can cost $700 to $1,500 per year on average. If a service dog suffers injury or illness, owners can spend much more. 

  • Stomach issues can cost dog owners up to $29,086.
  • Skin conditions can cost up to $4,138. 
  • Ear infections can cost up to $12,954.

That’s why pet insurance is worth it for many owners. It could help a disabled service dog owner re-enter their daily routine sooner rather than later.

Do you need pet insurance for service dogs?

Pet insurance for service dogs isn’t mandatory, but we recommend it. Service dogs make life easier for people with disabilities; in some cases, owners would be unable to leave their homes or function in society without their dogs.

The primary function of pet insurance is to alleviate the financial burden of unexpected medical expenses. This is crucial for service dogs, whose health affects the autonomy and well-being of their owners. 

Similar to insuring a family pet, insuring a service dog is also a matter of love and responsibility. Owners love their service dogs and want to know they can provide the best care possible. Pet insurance can help you do that.

What does pet insurance for service dogs cover?

Pet insurance companies don’t have specialized policies for service dogs. So if you want pet insurance, you’ll get a standard plan instead. 

Pet insurance helps cover veterinary costs for unexpected injuries and illnesses. Injuries can include broken bones, foreign body ingestion, snake bites, and other animal attacks. Illnesses can include ear infections, vomiting, allergies, and even cancer. 

Most plans will cover surgeries, X-rays, hospitalization, and medication prescribed by your vet. They often reimburse a portion of costs—for example, 70% of expenses—after you meet your deductible. 

Many pet insurance policies don’t cover pre-existing conditions, which are ailments your pet showed signs of before your policy’s start date. Also, most pet insurance plans don’t include coverage for preventive care, such as annual exams and vaccines. However, many companies offer optional wellness plans for these costs. 

Top pet insurance providers for service dogs

Pet owners have a number of pet insurance plans to choose from, and they work much like the plans you might get for yourself. They have policies and premiums, and they limit how much or what they will cover.

We’ve researched the top pet insurance companies for your service dog. Click the company name in the table below to find out more about it.

CompanyBest forEditorial rating (out of 5)
LemonadeFast claims4.7 
EmbraceQuick coverage4.7
SpotVariety of terms4.5

Lemonade – Best for fast claims

Editorial rating: 4.7 out of 5

  • Uses AI for efficient, quick claims processing.
  • Coverage includes emergencies, surgeries, and more.
  • Optional add-ons include dental care and end-of-life support.

Lemonade Pet Insurance stands out as a top choice for service dog owners thanks to its rapid claims processing. Its comprehensive coverage includes accidents, illnesses, surgeries, and more, with options for dental and preventive care add-ons. 

The waiting period is shorter than many competitors, especially for accidents (two days). But it doesn’t cover pre-existing conditions and is available in limited states

  • Annual coverage: $5,000 – $100,000
  • Deductible: $100, $250, or $500
  • Reimbursement: 70%, 80%, or 90%
  • Waiting period: 14 days for illness and 30 days for orthopedic conditions (no accident waiting periods)
  • Exclusions: Pre-existing conditions, alternative medicine, breeding, grooming, boarding, cosmetic procedures, basic behavioral training
  • Preventive care? Yes

Embrace – Best for quick coverage

Editorial rating: 4.7 out of 5

  • Flexible policy options, including wellness rewards.
  • Coverage includes genetic, breed-specific, and chronic conditions.
  • Will cover some pre-existing conditions after a symptom-free period.

Embrace Pet Insurance offers flexible coverage options for service dogs, including accidents, illnesses, and wellness rewards. Coverage extends to genetic, breed-specific, and chronic conditions, which may apply to many service dogs.

Most notably, Embrace covers curable pre-existing conditions if your pet is symptom-free for 12 months. This could include non-chronic ear infections, gastrointestinal upsets, and urinary tract infections (UTIs). It also has a quick two-day waiting period for accidents. 

  • Annual coverage: $5,000 – $30,000
  • Deductible: $100, $250, $500, $750, or $1,000
  • Reimbursement: 65%, 70%, 80%, or 90%
  • Waiting period: 2 days for accidents; 14 days for illnesses; up to 6 months for orthopedic conditions
  • Exclusions: Pre-existing conditions (with exceptions), cosmetic procedures, breeding
  • Preventive care? Yes

Spot – Best variety of terms

Editorial rating: 4.5 out of 5

  • Highly customizable policies to fit various needs and budgets.
  • No age limits for enrolling new pets.
  • Coverage includes accidents, illnesses, and optional wellness care.

Spot Pet Insurance offers customizable coverage for service dogs, with a wide range of deductibles, reimbursement rates, and annual benefit limits—including unlimited options. 

This adaptability is crucial for service dogs, who may require varying levels of care throughout their lifetimes. Also, the lack of age restrictions makes Spot a great option for insuring older service dogs. It covers accidents, illnesses, surgeries, and optional wellness care, including checkups.

  • Annual coverage: $2,500 – unlimited
  • Deductible: $100, $250, $500, $750, or $1,000
  • Reimbursement: 70%, 80%, or 90%
  • Waiting period: 14 days for accidents and illnesses
  • Exclusions: Pre-existing conditions, cosmetic procedures, breeding costs, day care, boarding
  • Preventive care? Yes

Fetch – Best coverage

Editorial rating: 4.9 out of 5

  • No limits on claims and high reimbursement rates.
  • No breed or age restrictions for pets.
  • Comprehensive coverage, including holistic care.

Fetch provides service dog owners with comprehensive coverage that includes accidents, illnesses, and holistic treatments such as acupuncture and physical therapy. It stands out with high reimbursement rates (up to 90%) and no claim limits. 

Fetch’s coverage also includes behavioral therapy, which is hard to find in the pet insurance space. Also, it doesn’t restrict coverage based on breed or age, so it’s an inclusive option for all service dogs. 

  • Annual coverage: $5,000, $10,000, or $15,000
  • Deductible: $250, $300, or  $500
  • Reimbursement: 70%, 80%, or 90%
  • Waiting period: Up to 15 days for accidents and illnesses
  • Exclusions: Pre-existing conditions, cosmetic procedures, breeding costs
  • Preventive care? Yes

ASPCA – Best for reliability

Editorial rating: 4.3 out of 5

  • Customizable plans with a range of coverage limits.
  • Covers accidents, illnesses, hereditary conditions, and behavioral issues.
  • Short waiting periods and coverage for illness exam fees.

ASPCA has provided pet insurance since 2006 and hasn’t rebranded, like many other companies have, in that time. It stands out for its reliability, short waiting periods, and additional benefits, including illness exam fee coverage. This makes it a solid choice for service dog owners looking for a dependable insurance provider with a history of customer satisfaction.

Its coverage includes accidents, illnesses, hereditary conditions, and behavioral issues. You can customize policies with various deductibles, coverage limits, and reimbursement options.

  • Annual coverage: $2,500 – unlimited
  • Deductible: $100, $250, or $500
  • Reimbursement: 70%, 80%, or 90%
  • Waiting period: 14 days for accidents and illnesses
  • Exclusions: Pre-existing conditions, cosmetic procedures, breeding costs
  • Preventive care? Yes

Is working dog insurance more expensive?

No, pet insurance isn’t more expensive for service dogs than it is for adopted dogs and cats. But some factors could influence costs. Insurance premiums are based on a pet’s breed, age, medical history, and the plan’s coverage details.

Many service dogs are high-quality breeds, such as Labradors and golden retrievers, that may be predisposed to certain genetic conditions. Comprehensive plans covering these issues may carry a higher price tag.

Also, service dogs often work for many years and may require additional coverage for orthopedic injuries or chronic illnesses. The customizable plans from Spot and Embrace allow owners to adjust coverage levels and costs to suit their dog’s lifetime needs.

But the top-rated insurers we reviewed, including Lemonade, Fetch, and ASPCA, offer service dog owners flexibility and don’t restrict enrollment based on breed or pre-existing conditions. So with the right policy, working dog insurance doesn’t have to be more expensive.

Other ways to finance service dog expenses

Pet insurance plays a critical role in managing costs associated with a service dog. But other financing options can provide support:

Flexible spending accounts

More employers are offering pet insurance as a workplace benefit. But even if yours doesn’t, many offer flexible spending accounts (FSAs). These accounts allow employees to use pretax dollars for qualified medical expenses, including costs related to a service dog. 

It must be a documented disability, and the dog must be trained to do tasks or assist the owner with tasks they cannot do themselves. Most FSAs don’t cover emotional support animals.

Government assistance

Government assistance programs such as Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Veterans Affairs (VA) may help with service dog costs. The VA, for instance, may cover veterinary care for veterans’ service dogs. 


Several nonprofits that assist with service dog costs include Canine Companions, Assistance Dogs International, and Paws With A Cause

These organizations offer various forms of support, such as financial aid for training and routine care. They sometimes even provide service dogs at no cost to eligible individuals.

Crowdfunding and community support

Crowdfunding platforms—for example, GoFundMe—enable individuals to raise funds online for specific causes, including service dog expenses. Users create a campaign, share their stories, and solicit donations from the public. 

Veterinary payment plans

Veterinary payment plans, e.g., VetBilling, allow pet owners to spread out the cost of medical care over time. You can often find these plans at veterinary clinics. They involve an initial down payment followed by regular monthly payments.