Get the Best Pet Insurance in Nova Scotia for 2023

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As one of the countries in the world with the most pets, Canada’s heart melts at the sight of a cute kitten or a silly puppy. Yes, we love our pets. In Nova Scotia, where 41% of pet owners let their pets sleep in their beds, more than a quarter of pet owners declare themselves ready to spend more on pet food and products that deliver extra health or wellness benefits.

That’s right, Nova Scotians pamper their pets, but as a pet owner, there are some things you can’t control. If your pet got sick or injured, would you be able to afford the thousands of dollars it may cost to treat them? Is your pet protected?

This guide will introduce you to the different elements of pet insurance in Nova Scotia, what is covered, how much it costs, why you need it and where to adopt a pet in Nova Scotia.

How does pet insurance work in Nova Scotia?

Nova Scotia pet insurance works just like pet insurance in the rest of the country. It’s there to relieve pet owners when they get unexpected veterinary costs related to their animals’ health. The comparison tool above can help you choose the best pet insurance in Nova Scotia for you and your companion, so you can relax knowing that you are empowered to act when your pet runs into a medical emergency.

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

Watch out!

Most pet insurance policies have a waiting period between signing the contract and the actual start of coverage. Keep that in mind after you sign the contract because during that period your pet isn’t covered, which means you’ll have to pay any bills without the help of insurance.

In most cases, you will have to pay for any veterinary expenses first before the insurance reimburses you according to the rate covered under the policy. Rates of reimbursement are commonly somewhere between 80% and 100%. For example, Fetch allows you to choose between 70% and 90% bill coverage for an annual coverage amount starting as low as $5,000 and going up to unlimited annual coverage.

Some pet insurers allow you to choose whether you get reimbursed or if they pay the vet directly. Note that if they pay the vet directly, you will be limited to vet clinics and animal hospitals in their network, which may quickly become 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 this option for your policy.

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

Expert advice

Always 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. Many insurers today have Apps you can upload the documents to directly, thus quickening the reimbursement procedure.

How much is pet insurance in Nova Scotia?

Pet insurance in Nova Scotia comes at a variety of prices. The cost of pet insurance depends on factors such as your animal, their age, what is covered, your reimbursement rate, the deductible you desire (which can be per year or per condition) and the payout limit.

The average monthly insurance premium in Nova Scotia is $46 for dog insurance and $24 for cat insurance. Many insurers offer multi-pet discounts, so it might be worth looking into that if you have several pets.
Below you can see how much pet insurance costs in Nova Scotia for a Labrador Retriever, Bluenoser’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 (+$8.15/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 (+$36/month)
    • Alternative therapy
    • Behavioural therapy
    • Medical devices

Bronze 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

$39.56 monthly premium

$63.87 monthly premium

$162.94 monthly premium

If it’s a cat you want to insure, here is an example of pet insurance for a cat in Nova Scotia, using Trupanion pet insurance and the Nova Scotian’s most common feline 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 Nova Scotia?

Good to know

Most pet insurance providers offer an annual deductible, but Trupanion’s deductible is per condition, meaning you only pay the deductible for every new condition diagnosed.

Most insurers provide coverage nationally, so the pet insurance prices in Nova Scotia 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 Nova Scotia?

Typically, pet health insurance in Nova Scotia covers any medical emergency your pet may suffer from. That could mean an accident, getting sick or a longer-term condition that needs continued therapy. What treatments are available to you, the amount reimbursed and how much you’ll have to pay yourself will depend on your policy’s details.

Accident and illness coverage

If your pet has an accident or gets sick, most pet 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 is always better than reacting when it comes to your pet’s health (and your wallet’s too). However, only the best pet insurance in Nova Scotia will cover preventive 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 programs or separate well-being pet insurance 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 Nova Scotia?

No. As a private service, pet insurance will not change for providers in different provinces in Canada. Most pet insurance companies offer coverage to anyone living anywhere in Canada, and often even include the U.S. Therefore, pet insurance in Nova Scotia will be no more expensive than Quebec pet insurance or Alberta pet insurance — though the pets themselves may differ significantly!

Also, keep in mind that some areas are naturally riskier for pets, which will also influence the price. Use the comparison tool above to get an idea of how much pet insurance would cost you.

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Is pet insurance worth it in Nova Scotia?

The simple answer is yes, insurance for your pet is almost always a good idea. If you have a young, healthy animal who will only need routine visits to the vet, then you might be well able to pay for that by putting a little money aside from your paycheck.

However, many animals run into health problems at least once in their lifetime, and the vet bills in these cases can quickly pile up. Pet insurance becomes even more worthwhile if you have an older animal or one that is prone to health problems. In that case, you are unlikely to be able to save enough to pay for long-term care without suffering financial stress yourself.

Not having adequate protection can mean having to pay surprisingly painful fees (that are difficult for any budget) or, in a worst-case scenario, not being able to pay for treatment for your pet at all.

Although the cost of treatments differs slightly from animal to animal, let’s have a look at some typical costs associated with healthcare for dogs, as an example:

Veterinary services for an adult dogCost
Routine visit
Parasite prevention
Dental x-rays
Teeth cleaning
Tests and screening
Is insurance for pets worth it in Nova Scotia?

As you can see, the cost of routine visits and normal, preventative care is not negligible. If you visualize a scenario, maybe with an older pet, where standard care needs to happen more frequently and health can suddenly deteriorate, causing additional problems, you can see the need for more comprehensive insurance.

Meanwhile, a younger dog, from a relatively healthy breed might only need accident insurance to cover them if they are injured. Naturally, if you have a generous emergency fund in a high-interest savings account and are at ease using some of that on your pet’s health, your insurance needs will also be different than someone living on a paycheck-to-paycheck basis.

Either way, it is better to have insurance you don't use than not to have insurance and need it!

Watch out!

Pet insurance policies do not cover pre-existing conditions, so it’s best to get insured before your pet runs into health problems, ideally as soon as you get them.

What is the NSVMA?

The Nova Scotia Veterinary Medical Association, or NSVMA, is the authority that safeguards the public interest of Nova Scotians through the regulation of Veterinary Medicine in the province. The NSVMA screens all vets and veterinary professionals applying for the mandatory license to practice in Nova Scotia, to ensure they are competent and qualified.

The NSVMA can also help you choose your vet in Nova Scotia or follow up on any bad experiences with a professional at a clinic or animal hospital you have in the province.

What is SPCA Nova Scotia Pet Health Insurance?

The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) in Nova Scotia is particularly active in the province and even provides pet insurance for cats and dogs. Although it focuses on Nova Scotia and therefore caters to the specific needs of Nova Scotians, all Canadians can purchase Nova Scotia SPCA pet insurance wherever they live.

Where to adopt a pet in Nova Scotia?

If you’re thinking of adopting a pet in Nova Scotia, there are plenty of animal shelters to choose from. However, one passionate group stands out in the Bluenose province: Nova Scotia’s SPCA. There are six SPCA animal shelters spread out around the province, and all of them have a no-kill and open-admission policy, welcoming and giving second chances to thousands of animals each year. Nova Scotians tend to favour cats as companion animals, but there are plenty of other animals to adopt as well.

Good to know

In Nova Scotia, you need a pet license to own a pet. It costs $15 per animal over six months of age plus a one-time fee of $10 per pet.

What should I consider when choosing pet insurance in Nova Scotia?

Nova Scotian pet owners have several options to insure their pets so that their animals' health is protected while preventing a blow to their wallets.

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

  • Animal: Not all animals carry the same risks, so pet insurers will cover different things for different animals. Larger animals are usually more expensive to insure than smaller animals.
  • Age: In general, a younger animal will have a cheaper premium and overall insurance policy that an older animal of the same species. Also, note that an older animal is more likely to develop a health condition, and insurers do not cover pre-existing conditions.
  • Breed: Insurance for some breeds is more expensive than others. For example, pet insurance for pure breeds costs significantly more than pet insurance for mixed breeds.
  • Gender: Male animals are more expensive to insure than their female counterparts. 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. The most comprehensive policies sometimes eliminate the deductible.
  • 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 raise the cost of your premium.

Which is the best pet insurance in Nova Scotia?

The best Nova Scotia pet insurance will vary from person to person and pet to pet. What’s good for you might not be good for your neighbour and vice-versa. Insurance for pets is about fulfilling the needs and well-being of your animal at an expense that is reasonable and affordable to you. The cheapest pet insurance in Nova Scotia might not be the one that best suits your pet's needs, which would 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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