People suffer depression and grief when a loved one dies. And the same type of bereavement exists for people who were close to their pets. Many feel misunderstood in regards to this emotion and are likely to hide their emotions. They therefore may have never thought of having funerals to relieve this pain and come to terms with the loss. But you might consider some type of simple ceremony with a number of close friends (who also understand the joy of pets).

You may wish to have your pet cremated and this can be done in an individual or mass cremation. (A mass cremation doesn't necessarily mean the ashes of your pet are mixed with others, but you will need to ask.) Some people feel comforted by having their pets' ashes close by or one can scatter them in an areas the pet loved.

You may also have your pet buried in a pet cemetery. But be sure to ask the pertinent questions of costs including any yearly maintenance fees.


Veterinary Pet Insurance is the largest provider with 75,000 policies. It's minimal coverage- Major Medical 40- costs $59 annually for a puppy or kitten and $109 for a 10 year old animal. You get maximum coverage of $1,000 per medical incident and $5,000 per year.

Their VIP Advantage Plus (don't you just love these names?) Costs $171 annually for a puppy or kitty and $299 for a 10 year old animal. You get $4,000 per incident and $12,000 per year. Both required a $40 deductible and a 20% co payment on the first $180 of charges.

A Kiplinger's article noted however that the coverage varied extensively between the two policies. A fracture requiring a pin would pay $325 maximum under the cheapest of their policies but up to $880 under the most expensive plan. Payments for diabetes ranged from $295 to $800- a huge difference when the care of your pet is on the line and your finances are limited.

Coverage does not include routine maintenance- vaccinations, dental cleaning nor does it cover pre existing conditions. A recurring problem would only be covered if there had been no treatment required for the six months prior to the time the policy went into effect

PETS: (1997) The average amount an owner will spend on a pet before deciding on additional treatment or euthanasia is $576 according to a survey of small pet veterinarians. Also look in the near future for a lot of pet HMO'.s The current ones leave a lot to be desired in terms of complete care, but with so many people in love with their animals and with the cost of care going up astronomically, it's time is here.

PET INSURANCE: (1998) Pet Assure out of Dover NJ offers and HMO type insurance programs for all sorts of pets- though most notably to dogs and cats with reptiles and birds in next order. They offer a 25% discount of veterinary services. Cost is $99 annually for the first pet and $79 for each additional pet. There are no deductibles, pre existing conditions or increased premiums for old or sick pets or benefit limits. The Pet Products Manufacturers Association noted that the average dog and cat owner spends about $1,200 a year on food and services for their pets. The program in available only in limited areas so far with just 13 states and 150 animal hospitals. But look for this to grow big time.

Pet Insurance: (2003) Hartville Group has started to market its pet health insurance policies to the thousands of U.S. employers that now offer this added-value benefit.

Pet insurance : (2003) Veterinary Pet Insurance (VPI) experienced a 45% growth rate in 2002,. Gross sales for 2002 reached $74.8 million, an increase from $51.7 million for the previous year. VPI research predicts that pet owners carrying pet insurance will increase fivefold by 2007, providing an additional quarter of a billion dollars in veterinary income to the industry. Today, the nation’s estimated 23,000 veterinary hospitals each serve an average of 25 pet insurance policyholders

Pets: There are approximately 340,000 policies in force covering dogs, cats, birds and exotic pets for more than 6,400 medical problems and conditions. Optional vaccination and routine care coverage is also available. Policies are available in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Pets: According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) 2002 Household Pet Survey, Americans spent $19 billion on Veterinary Care and Medications in 2001 - an increase of nearly $8 billion in five years.

Selecting Safe Pets, Nemours Foundation (2005)

Pet Services:  (2005) All sorts of products when  your pet dies.

Pets at Risk: (2006) Several states are moving to protect pets in families ripped apart by domestic violence.

Maine, Vermont and New York have passed laws this year that allow judges to include pets in protective orders. Illinois and New Jersey legislators are considering similar measures, and animal welfare advocates in other states, including California, are urging action.

Pets: (2007) U.S. consumers spent $36.3 billion on their animals in 2005, up from just $17 billion in 1994.

About 63% of U.S. households own a pet, up from 56% in 1998. The number of dogs, cats and other pets now totals about 359 million. 

Veterinary Pet Insurance (VPI 2008), the nation's oldest and largest provider of pet health insurance, recently analyzed its medical claims received in 2007 to determine the top 10 most commonly claimed conditions for dogs and cats. For both canines and felines, the top 10 conditions accounted for about 25 percent of all medical claims received last year.

Canine                                       Feline

1. Ear Infections                        1. Urinary Tract Infections

2. Skin Allergies                        2. Gastritis/Vomiting

3. Pyoderma/Hot Spots              3. Chronic Renal Failure

4. Gastritis/Vomiting                   4. Enteritis/Diarrhea

5. Enteritis/Diarrhea                   5. Diabetes Mellitus

6. Urinary Tract Infections         6. Skin Allergies

7. Benign Skin Tumors              7. Colitis/Constipation

8. Eye Inflammation                 8. Ear Infections

9. Osteoarthritis                       9. Respiratory Infections

10. Hypothyroidism                 10. Hyperthyroidism