Get the Best Pet Insurance in Alberta for 2023

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Canadians are major pet lovers. Yes, pets are a central part of Canada with more than half of Canadian households having at least one of them. But Alberta takes the win when it comes to the most pets per home. In the Wild Rose Country, 63% of households have pets among their family members.

We all love our pets, but sometimes, disaster strikes — they get sick or suffer an injury. As a pet owner, your pet’s well-being is your responsibility, but if your pet’s health was in jeopardy, would you be able to afford the large dollar sign it may cost to treat them without your wallet taking a big hit? Is your pet protected?

This guide will introduce you to the different elements of pet insurance in Alberta, what is covered, how much it costs, what to do in an emergency and why you need it.

How does pet insurance work in Alberta?

Alberta pet insurance works like pet insurance in other Canadian provinces and territories. It’s there so pet owners don’t have to pay unexpected veterinary costs for their animals out of their own pocket. The comparison tool at the top of the page can help you choose the best pet insurance in Alberta for you and your companion, so you can relax knowing that you have the tools to act when your pet gets into a medical emergency.

Once you’ve chosen the pet health insurance that fits your pet’s (and your wallet’s) needs, the insurance provider will propose a premium (that they calculate based on several factors such as the type of animal, age and breed) that you will have to pay each month.

Watch out!

Most pet insurance has a waiting period after you purchase the policy. Keep that in mind in the weeks after you sign the contract because during that period your pet isn’t covered, which means you’ll have to pay in full, without the help of insurance.

Normally, you will have to pay for any veterinary expenses first before the insurance acts with a reimbursement. Rates of reimbursement are commonly somewhere between 80% and 100%. For example, Desjardins offers 80% of expenses covered and a 10% discount if you insure 3 or more pets with them.

Some pet insurers give you the option for them to pay the vet directly but note that in these cases, you will have to look for a vet clinic or animal hospital that partners with your insurance provider, which may be a little impractical in the case of an emergency. But if your preferred vet clinic or animal hospital is already a part of their network, then it might be worth considering for your policy.

Providers do occasionally also offer a 24-hour helpline that you can call for advice or help to find a vet.

Expert advice

Always request and save all the receipts and documentation from the vet or hospital as pet insurance providers tend to ask you for all the paperwork associated with your pet’s health condition.

How much is pet insurance in Alberta?

Pet insurance in Alberta can vary in cost depending on a few factors such as your animal type, age, what is covered, your reimbursement rate, the deductible and the annual payout limit.

Below, you can see how much pet insurance costs for a Labrador Retriever dog, Alberta’s most common breed, using Desjardins pet insurance for a puppy as an example.

Bronze Paw

  • $2,000 max accident coverage
  • $2,000 illness coverage (per condition, per year)
  • 80% reimbursement rate
  • $100 annual deductible
  • Optional $500/year max dental care coverage (+$9.04/month)

Silver Paw

  • $4,000 max accident coverage
  • $4,000 illness coverage (per condition, per year)
  • 80% reimbursement rate
  • $100 annual deductible
  • $700/year max dental care coverage
  • Optional $350/year for each category (+$40.04/month)
    • Alternative therapy
    • Behavioural therapy
    • Medical devices

Gold Paw

  • Unlimited accident coverage
  • Unlimited illness coverage
  • 80% reimbursement rate
  • $100 annual deductible
  • $1,000/year max dental care coverage
  • $350/year for each category
    • Alternative therapy
    • Behavioural therapy
    • Medical devices
  • Preventive care included

$43.96 monthly premium

$70.95 monthly premium

$181.07 monthly premium

If it’s a cat you want to insure, here is an example of pet insurance for a cat in Alberta, using Trupanion pet insurance and Wild Rose Country’s most common breed, the Domestic Shorthair, as an example:

AgeDeductible per conditionReimbursement rateMonthly premium
<12 months
<12 months
5 years
5 years
How much is cat insurance in Alberta?

Most insurers provide coverage nationally, so the cost of pet insurance in Alberta should be similar to the cost of pet insurance in Ontario, for example. Sometimes, there are differences between urban, suburban and rural areas because pet ownership comes with different risks in each of these areas. Cat insurance is, however, typically less expensive than insurance for dogs. It pays to compare insurers to get the best pet insurance in Alberta at the best price.

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What does pet insurance cover in Alberta?

Typically, pet health insurance in Alberta covers anything unexpected that happens to your pet’s health, which could mean an accident, sickness or longer-term condition that needs sustained treatment. The availability of the treatments, the amount reimbursed and how much you’ll have to pay out of pocket will depend on your policy’s details.

Accident and illness coverage

If your pet has an accident or becomes sick, most insurance policies will cover the costs of:

  • X-rays
  • Short stays for monitoring
  • Emergency diagnosis
  • Prescriptions
  • Any needed surgery
  • MRIs and other scans
  • Chemotherapy

Preventative care coverage

Being preventive always pays off when it comes to protecting your pet’s health (and your wallet too, in the long run). However, only the best pet insurance in Alberta will cover these kinds of treatments, including:

  • Annual examinations
  • Vaccines
  • Flea treatments
  • Urinalysis and fecal analysis
  • Parasitic treatment

Pet insurance does not typically cover routine trips to the vet, but some insurers offer wellness add-ons or separate policies that cover common, recurring tests and procedures.

Watch out!

Pet insurers rarely cover pre-existing medical conditions, meaning it’s always best to get insurance when your pet is young!

Is pet insurance more expensive in Alberta?

Pet insurance in Alberta will cost roughly the same from an Albertan provider as it will if the insurer is based in another province. Pet insurance is private, which means its coverage doesn’t change from province to province. Pet insurance companies generally offer coverage to anyone living anywhere in Canada, and in most cases even include the U.S. Therefore, Alberta pet insurance will cost the same as BC pet insurance or Nova Scotia pet insurance — though the pets themselves may differ significantly!

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Is pet insurance worth it in Alberta?

Yes, pet insurance is almost always worth it, even for younger pets. Some say that pet insurance isn’t worth it for healthy pets, suggesting instead to put money aside every month for an unexpected medical emergency. If your pet is still young and healthy, it might only need to see the vet for routine visits, in which case it is possible that you could pay for these by putting aside some money from your paycheck.

However, if you have an older animal or one that is prone to health problems, then you are unlikely to be able to save enough to pay for long-term care without suffering financial strain yourself. Let's take some examples.

Joseph, 34, from Calgary, has a French Bulldog puppy called Wizz. Joseph is making good money in his job as a sheet metal worker, and Wizz is healthy, young and unlikely to have any problems. If Joseph can put aside $50 a month he will probably be able to cover routine costs like:

Vet visits
Dental treatment
Parasite treatment
Dog health costs

Watch out!

Pet insurance companies do not cover pre-existing conditions, so if your little friend gets diagnosed with a long-term medical disorder, you might not be able to insure them for it and will have to foot the bill in full.

Let's take another example for contrast. Hank, 45, lives in Fort McMurray. She has a Rotweiller called Paws, who she loves very much but who is starting to feel the weight of his age at 12 years old. Let's look at some of the costs that Hank might have to pay as she looks after Paws:

Arthritis treatment
Cancer treatment
Ligament repair
up to $5,000 per knee
15c -70c / pill
Cost of dog health treatments

Although Joseph’s veterinary costs are overshadowed by Hank’s, they may both do well to secure pet insurance for their dogs. Joseph is able to put enough money aside now, but if his Bulldog has a long-term health problem, his savings may not cover his furry friend’s needs. Hank’s canine companion would also benefit from pet insurance so Hank can have some peace of mind of knowing she can protect her elder dog and that she can afford to give Paws the care he needs.

What is the ABVMA?

The Alberta Veterinary Medical Association, ABVMA for short, is responsible for regulating all veterinary activity in Alberta. The ABVMA screens all vets and veterinary technologists applying for a license to practice in Alberta to ensure they are competent and qualified. They also require veterinary professionals to continually upgrade their skills continuously with a minimum number of mandatory sessions each year.

Keep the ABVMA in mind when choosing your vet in Alberta or if you have a bad experience with a professional at a clinic or animal hospital in the province.

Is there CAA Pet Insurance in Alberta?

If you are a member of the Canadian Automobile Association, you could be eligible for a discount on CAA pet insurance in Alberta. The provincial affiliate is called the Alberta Motor Association (AMA), but keep in mind that the CAA’s main purpose is car insurance and assistance.

Discount or not, insurance coverage can widely vary from policy to policy, so it’s always worth comparing details to choose the best pet health insurance in Alberta for your four-legged family member.

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What to do with your pet in an emergency in Alberta?

Be it because of blizzards, hail storms, high winds, blowing snow, and even the occasional tornado, the weather in Alberta can get extreme. And that’s without counting the serious cold in the dead of winter. Weather like this can quickly become life-threatening and put people and pets at risk.

If you live in Alberta, you probably already do what you’ve got to do to keep yourself safe, but as a pet owner, you also have to keep your pet safe in these situations.

You might be asking yourself, does pet insurance cover emergency visits? The answer is yes, if your pet has a medical emergency, weather-related or not, pet insurance is there to help you financially. It is useful to map out where your nearest emergency pet hospital or emergency pet clinic is around you so you know where to go in a crisis. You can also have a pet emergency kit with first aid basics and the following:


  • Toys/favourite blanket
  • Treats
  • Muzzle, leash and collar


  • Toys/favourite blanket
  • Litterbox with litter (disposable aluminum roasting pans work well)
  • Harness and leash


  • Carrier and something to cover it
  • Water spray bottle to moisten their feathers
  • Timed feeder to ensure the feeding schedule is smooth


  • Something for transportation (could even be a pillowcase)
  • Soaking bowl
  • Heating pad

In addition, it is a good idea to know where your community will post news and updates during an emergency. The Alberta Emergency Alert app is worth downloading for its emergency alerts which can help you decide what to do.

In the case of a tornado, keep your pet indoors. If the emergency is a flood, contain your animal on an upper level. If it’s a fire, take your companion to a safe place well outside the affected area.

Alberta is a beautiful province with an abundance of natural landscapes, but it also has plenty of wildlife. In most urban areas of Alberta, the main wildlife danger to pets is coyotes, so be aware of your home’s surroundings to keep them safe.

What should I consider when choosing pet insurance in Alberta?

Pet owners in Alberta have a lot to choose from when it comes to pet insurance to protect their animal friends and prevent a hit to their wallet.

Here are the major factors that will affect the cost of the best pet insurance for you:

  • Animal: Not all animals carry the same risks, so pet insurance premiums and coverages will differ from animal to animal. Larger animals are usually more expensive to insure than smaller animals.
  • Age: In general, the younger the animal, the cheaper the premium and overall insurance will be. Also, an older animal is more likely to develop a health condition, and insurers do not cover pre-existing conditions.
  • Breed: Some breeds are more expensive to insure than others. For example, dog insurance for Saint Bernards costs significantly more than cat insurance for a mixed breed.
  • Gender: Male animals are more expensive to insure than female animals. Also, spayed females have the lowest premiums in cats and dogs.
  • Deductible: The higher the deductible, the cheaper the premium. However, remember that your insurance will only reimburse your vet fees after you’ve paid the deductible from your own wallet.
  • Location: Where you live with your pet will influence how much you pay. Certain regions and environments carry more outdoor risks than others.
  • Add-ons: You can purchase additional coverage such as wellness plans or preventive medicine, though these will increase the cost of your premium.

What pet insurance is best in Alberta?

The best Alberta pet insurance will be different for every person and every pet. What’s good for you might not be good for your neighbour and vice-versa. Pet insurance is about fulfilling the needs and well-being of your pet at a cost that is suitable and affordable to you. The cheapest pet insurance in Alberta might not be the one that best suits your pet's needs, which probably will cost you in the long run.

Always remember to read a policy carefully before you purchase it, so you know exactly what is and isn’t covered in the case of an accident or illness.

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