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How attached to your pet are you? Enough to spend hundreds, even thousands, on the animal in medical costs? Years ago, no one would have even thought about pacemakers, chemotherapy, spinal surgery, even kidney transplants to cure an ailing pet. However, advances in veterinary medicine have made those procedures and others a large part of the decision-making process in medical care for pets. Unfortunately, the ability to now save a beloved animal from being otherwise "put to sleep" does not come without a high price tag. One owner of a miniature Dachshund recently spent over $1,800 on surgery to repair a herniated disk.

Enter health insurance for pets. A number of companies are beginning to spring up that offer pet insurance that works similarly to the health insurance that protects you and your family. Some of these companies are advertising "premiums" as low (?) as 30 cents a day. Also like humans, rates are based on the pet's age and any previous illnesses it might have had. The fees might also rise as the pet gets older. Other factors involved in pricing are the pet's breed (some of which are known to have specific health related conditions; larger pets also require more medication) and the area in which you live (vet bills vary greatly by locale).

Types of coverage can run the entire range and can allow for use of any veterinarian and will cover surgery, hospitalization, prescriptions, x-rays, office calls and laboratory fees. Some allow use of any veterinarian, offer deductibles ranging from zero on up, and have no age limits. Others place limitations on these items to control costs. Even multi-pet discounts are offered.

But before you run out and sign up for such coverage, consider these cost factors according to the American Kennel Club. The average veterinary visit for a dog is in the range of $300. Translated over the dog's normal life span of eleven years, that works out to over $3,300. So, do the math before you buy.

Is pet insurance worth it? Only you can place a value on the life of you pet.