Warranties are tricky things, and the Optimum Wellness Plan offered by Banfield (aka that hospital inside most PetSmart stores) is basically a warranty.

And not a cheap one. For cats, the plans start at $251 a year — plus a one-time enrollment fee of $40 — and go up from there.

The plans include free office visits, free vaccinations, and 15% off most services. But unless your pet actually gets sick, it’s probably not worthwhile.

That said, if your pet does get sick, you should definitely consider it.

For example, last year the plan saved us $700 on Sandy, who had some bad teeth, badly in need of extraction. Since the vet would need to sedate her, clean up her teeth to see which ones could be saved, and then do the extraction, we were given an estimate of $1,200. a year ago.

The Active Prevention Wellness Plan charged $311 plus the $40 enrollment fee. We paid about $190 for the extractions, putting the bill just under $550.

And that’s not taking her vaccinations into account. Between the office visit and shots, that was $112 included in the cost of the plan.

So, big savings.

Recently, Patches been puking regularly. As in, three or more times a week. Off to Banfield we went.

The vet said it was almost certainly the feline version of acid reflux, but she wanted to run some tests to be sure all was well with the internal organs — particularly the pancreas.

Between blood work and internal organ screening, the bill came to $288.

I grabbed a Wellness Plan pamphlet off the wall and quickly determined that most of the tests were covered under the plan.

Once we signed up, the tests came to $94. Aka, $194 less than planned.

In addition, Patches is due for her vaccination soon. Between the shots and the office visit, we’d be looking at just under $113.

Finally, since Sandy’s plan was still technically in effect (it was on renewal hold), Patches got $15 off the enrollment fee.

So, of the $327 we spent for the plan, $307 would need to be spent anyway. Which means that Patches will get a dental cleaning for $10.

I’d call that a good deal.

We did also renew Sandy’s plan. Snub-nosed cats are apparently far more likely to get dental disease, and so she could really use the preventative yearly cleaning. Between that and the cost of the vaccination/office visit, the plan makes sense.

Usually, though, a healthy pet isn’t going to need the plan. Until you know your pet isn’t well, a Wellness Plan probably isn’t worth the cost.

 

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Catseye July 16, 2012 at 7:04 pm

Honestly, that's the first time I've heard of a pet wellness plan that actually paid off. Good job!

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Abigail Reply:

Yeah, it's why you generally want to wait until you're sure your pet needs it. It still requires careful consideration, though.

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Abigail Reply:

Yeah, it's why you generally want to wait until you're sure your pet needs it. It still requires careful consideration, though.

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2 bareheadedwoman July 23, 2012 at 9:56 am

i'll have to check our local petsmart plan prices but if they are the same, it certainly would be a big savings compared to NYC vet prices.

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3 GirlNDGuideTF July 23, 2012 at 1:03 pm

Do they have a limit on the cat's age or pre-existing conditions when you enroll?

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Abigail Reply:

I don’t believe so. I didn’t encounter any. Granted, Sandy wasn’t in bad health, per se. But they looked at the teeth and said some of them definitely needed to come out. I was still able to sign up for the plan despite the “pre-existing” condition.

I know that they do have a special plan for older cats. I don’t think you have to choose it, but it covers more extensive care and tests, I believe.

[Reply]

Abigail Reply:

I don’t believe so. I didn’t encounter any. Granted, Sandy wasn’t in bad health, per se. But they looked at the teeth and said some of them definitely needed to come out. I was still able to sign up for the plan despite the “pre-existing” condition.

I know that they do have a special plan for older cats. I don’t think you have to choose it, but it covers more extensive care and tests, I believe.

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Reply

4 Rado Diastar July 29, 2012 at 10:18 pm

Hi there this is kind of of off topic but I was wanting to know if blogs use WYSIWYG editors

or if you have to manually code with HTML. I’m starting a blog soon but have no coding skills so I wanted to get advice from someone with experience. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

[Reply]

Abigail Reply:

I’m not familiar with the WSIWYG editor. My best advice is to buy a good, simple theme and/or get someone who will do most of the design for you. I know only the absolute basic HTML, and the theme is set up well enough that I don’t need to worry about.

[Reply]

Abigail Reply:

I’m not familiar with the WSIWYG editor. My best advice is to buy a good, simple theme and/or get someone who will do most of the design for you. I know only the absolute basic HTML, and the theme is set up well enough that I don’t need to worry about.

[Reply]

Reply

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