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3 pet insurance moves new dog owners should make – CBS News

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Pet ownership can be fulfilling and exciting, particularly after adopting or buying a new pet. For dog owners, there will be many items to account for ranging from vaccinations and veterinarian visits to house training and teaching your dog how to walk on a leash. It’s also smart to consider pet insurance at an early age.
Pet insurance is both a cost-effective and helpful way for owners to reduce pet care costs while maintaining a steady stream of coverage and care for their furry friend. That said, this unique form of insurance doesn’t operate like traditional insurance policies. New dog owners, then, should take certain steps now to protect both their finances and their new pet. Below, we’ll break down three pet insurance moves new dog owners should make now.
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Here are three smart pet insurance moves owners of new dogs should consider making now.
The first pet insurance move new dog owners should make is to simply get started. Pet insurance will only grow more expensive and less comprehensive the longer owners wait to act. They should look to secure a plan now, then, when premiums will be cheaper and pet insurance companies are more likely to offer more in-depth care. By acting at an early age owners will also circumvent issues with covering their dog’s pre-existing medical conditions. Since a new dog is unlikely to have these issues, owners will lock in a better plan than if they had waited for those conditions to develop (pet insurance companies won’t cover pre-existing conditions until they’ve healed completely). 
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There are multiple pet insurance companies on the market right now so don’t feel compelled to accept the first policy you get a quote for. Instead, shop around and see what each provider is willing to offer (and at what price point). You may be surprised to discover some of the items a robust pet insurance policy will cover and you don’t need to necessarily spend a lot to get those protections. You won’t know all of your potential options, however, until you shop around and compare providers, policies and prices. 
If you have a veterinarian you trust, whether from another pet or just one you’ve recently started using to care for your new dog, then speak to them about pet insurance. Not only is your veterinarian well-versed in your pet’s medical history but they’re also likely familiar with your dog’s breed and medical condition. This knowledge is important as it can help you tailor your potential pet insurance coverage to what your dog needs now or will in the future. By incorporating your veterinarian into the conversation you’ll improve your chances of paying for care that you can actually use – and you’ll save some money in the process.
There are many things to add to the checklist for dog owners. But pet insurance should be near the top of that list. This unique form of protection can safeguard both your wallet and your new dog’s health. To that end, new dog owners should get started early to save money on a policy and shop around to find the best provider for their needs. They should also consider speaking to their veterinarian to more effectively personalize their new dog’s pet insurance options. By making these moves at an early age they can better improve their chances of securing valuable insurance protection for the months and years to come. 
Matt Richardson is the managing editor for the Managing Your Money section for CBSNews.com. He writes and edits content about personal finance ranging from savings to investing to insurance.
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