I didn't go that in depth as you did. I looked at the numbers a bit more practically. The average vet costs per year from all the sites I looked at is somewhere between $100-$400. Now, I used my dog Zero as an example since Brutus is too old to qualify. Zero is 1.5 yrs old, healthy and a cocker spaniel. I figured that I probably would not buy insurance to cover a routine, annual vet visit, but I would want insurance for emergencies (hit by car, ate something he shouldn't have, etc...) They quoted me at the site 22.50 a month with a $500 deductible and coverage of up to $10,000 for accidents and illnesses w/a 10% co-pay. This basically means that if Brutus talks Zero into playing in the street and Zero gets hit by a car that I'd be out $500 out of pocket right off the bat. Now, that $22.50 a month is going to cost me $270 a year in premiums so I'm also out that money. Let's say Zero does get hit by a car and the cost is $2,000 to fix him (I pick this number at random as I have no clue how much it costs to fix a dog who's been hit by a car). I'm out $770 up front (premiums + deductible) and another $150 (10% of the remaining $1500). So that's $920 I had to spend to avoid spending the $1,080 the insurance company picked up. To me, that's not worth it. I have to pay $270 a year anyway, plus routine vet visits come out of my pocket. (If I take the plan that does pay for routine visits, my premium goes up to $38 so I'm now paying $450 a yr in a year where my dog is healthy and requires no emergency care. That is definitely a bad deal.)

I advocate saving money up and I think you come out ahead. If you just stick $100 a month (that's only $25 a week or $5 for every working day of the week) in a savings account, you end up with $1200 for a doggy rainy day fund. Now, if Zero gets hit by the same car I have $1200 laying there just to deal with canine emergencies. Can I get $800 from my regular rainy day fund? Sure, not a problem. I've saved that much money just in not paying premiums.