Cats and dogs are a staple of many American households. After all, when people think of pets, they usually picture the family dog or cat. In fact, many veterinarians only treat cats and dogs. However, rabbits are also a popular pet in the U.S. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, 1,534 households in 1,000 owned rabbits, which is found in a survey in the 2017-2018 pet ownership and demographics sourcebook. Like any animal, rabbits are also prone to certain health conditions and need veterinary care. But is there rabbit pet insurance? There is, and below we’ll look at what options you have for rabbit pet insurance.
- Why is Rabbit Pet Insurance Important?
- Rabbit Pet Insurance: Where to Find and How Much?
- Alternatives to Traditional Rabbit Pet Insurance
Why is Rabbit Pet Insurance Important?
Like any exotic pet, rabbits come with a host of health problems that can affect them specifically. Some common problems, as listed by VCA Animal Hospitals, include:
Diarrhea: Rabbits can be prone to this condition if their diet is incorrect, such as too many carbs and not enough fiber. Like humans, stomach upsets can also come from bacterial, parasitic or viral infections. Eating something inappropriate can also cause this problem. Stomach problems in rabbits can be fatal without treatment.
Gastrointestinal stasis: This is a common problem that can affect rabbits if they do not get enough fiber. Too many carbs can upset the bacterial levels in the rabbit’s gut, which help digest food. At this point, food stops moving through the GI tract, which can result in lethargy, dehydration, decreased appetite and painful gas.
Mucoid enteropathy: This is a type of diarrhea where mucus is present in the excrement. Specific causes are unknown, but a proper diet is essential for prevention.
Bladder stones: These are usually made of calcium and may manifest as a variety of symptoms from weight loss to blood in the urine.
Heat Stroke: Rabbits cannot sweat, so they actually do better in the cold than the heat. Rabbits should be kept in temperatures at or below 80 degrees Fahrenheit with good ventilation in their homes. Since sometimes it can be hard to keep certain areas cool, as in the case of air conditioner failure in warm regions while no one is home, heat stroke can be a common problem.
According to SaveABunny animal rescue, vet care for a rabbit can come as an expense you definitely have to budget for if you don’t have rabbit pet insurance. Check-ups can run in the $25-55 range. SaveABunny is located in California, and vet charges can vary by location. However, if your rabbit develops a health problem, emergency care can run in the hundreds of dollars. You can either set aside a rabbit annual care fund, or if you prefer to feel more protected, you have the option of exotic pet insurance.
>>MORE: What does Pet Insurance Cover?
Rabbit Pet Insurance: Where to Find and How Much?
Rabbits fall under the designation of an exotic pet. There are many ways to define an exotic pet, but Calgary Humane Society offers up the easy definition of any pet that is not a cat or dog. Since most pet insurers only insure cats or dogs, this is a good definition for the purposes of this article.
Currently, the only pet insurer that offers pet insurance of exotic animals is Nationwide Pet Insurance. It offers rabbit pet insurance under the Avian & Exotic Pet Plan. The plan covers both accidents and illnesses. It also covers exams, prescriptions, X-rays, lab fees and hospitalization, to name a few services.
Nationwide (sometimes referred to as VPI since it acquired the brand) is a well-rated pet insurance company that offers comprehensive coverage. In order to get a quote for this plan, Nationwide wants people to call its number: 888-899-4874.
To get an idea for how much it takes to insure a rabbit through Nationwide, we got a quote for a rabbit in New Jersey. For a $7,000 yearly allowance, $2,000 maximum per incident and 90% reimbursement, it comes out to about $12/month. So exotic pet insurance is surprisingly inexpensive.
Alternatives to Traditional Rabbit Pet Insurance:
If you want rabbit pet insurance, you currently only have the one option. But if Nationwide currently goes over your budget or you’d like to review other alternatives for the sake of choice, you can look into other ways to cover the care of your pet rabbit.
A popular alternative to pet insurance is pet care value plans. The most common option you’ll see is Pet Assure, which specifically covers rabbit care. How these programs work is that you get an ID card that you take to a local network veterinarian. Then you get a percentage off the bill using the ID card, like possibly 25 percent off. However, you have to enroll in the program through an employer, which could mean asking your employer to offer coverage as a benefit.
You also have the option of sourcing low-cost veterinary care on your own, if you don’t want rabbit pet insurance. For instance, you might ask a local rabbit rescue if they know of any low-cost services or who the rescue uses for care. You could ask your vet if they know of any discount programs or rebate options for medications. Your local veterinary school might also be able to help if you ask about low-cost rabbit care options.
You might also consider looking into credit options. CareCredit is a popular option that offers no interest if you pay off your balance during a promotional timeframe. These timeframes run for six, 12, 18 or 24 months.
The Wells Fargo Health Advantage Card is also specifically set up to allow lower-financing on care bills. However, that card comes with a 12.99 percent APR.
- While most pet-owning households have a cat or dog, rabbits are still a popular pet option in the U.S.
- Like any pet, they come with their own health concerns. Rabbits are particularly susceptible to life-threatening stomach issues if they do not get enough fiber in their diet, as well as heat stroke issues. Vet bills can get expensive, often in the hundreds of dollars, so you may want to consider rabbit pet insurance.
- The only pet insurance company that offers exotic pet insurance, which includes rabbits, is Nationwide. Nationwide offers comprehensive coverage of both illnesses and injuries.
- You have other options for covering your rabbit’s vet care, as well. You can find a discount card program, like Pet Assure. You could find credit options, like CareCredit or the Wells Fargo Health Advantage Card. Finally, you could ask your local veterinary school, rescue or vet’s office about low-cost care or further discounts.