Breed Tips

Does Pet Insurance Cover Routine Care?

Routine care isn’t typically covered in base pet insurance plans. However, some providers may offer solutions for this. Let’s dive a little deeper so you can better understand pet insurance and routine care for your pet. Many people would agree that having a pet is a blessing. All the love, loyalty, fun, and happy memories that you share with your pet are what make them feel like family.

Compared to the love they give us, pets do not demand much in return. Caring for your pet includes; providing for their medical needs, meals, grooming, toys, beds, litter, walks, and more can be added to the list of pet care. Pet insurance helps to cover the cost of eligible vet bills for accidents and illnesses that may occur unexpectedly. Preventative care options available at an additional cost can also help cover costs for certain vaccinations, dental cleaning, annual wellness exams, and more.

So, let's get to it.

What is Routine Care for Pets?

Routine care is the general care your pet needs on a regular basis to help keep them healthy. Routine care and checkups can also help veterinarians closely monitor pets with ongoing illnesses. It usually includes the following elements –

  • Vaccinations – After the first round of vaccines, your pet needs booster shots every year or every 3 years depending on the vaccine. Annual vaccinations are for Lyme, Leptospirosis, Bordetella, Rabies, Distemper, and Canine Influenza. After the initial vaccine, boosters for Rabies and Distemper can be administered every 3 years.1 It is highly recommended that you vaccinate your pet to protect them from major preventable diseases.

  • Dental Care – We are supposed to brush our teeth twice a day. For pets, keeping up with their dental care is important. It helps prevents tooth decay and infection. While you can brush your pet’s teeth every day, they may still need a prophylactic cleaning with an ultrasonic scaler and polisher. Both dogs and cats can develop plaque and tartar that can lead to dental calculus, gingivitis, and tooth decay. A lack of dental hygiene can cause bad breath, painful tooth decay, and tooth root abscesses.2

  • Flea and Tick Prevention – These are tiny parasites that can pose a huge problem for your pet’s health. Apart from diseases like Lyme disease, Babesia, Ehrlichia, and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, ticks can also cause severe rash, skin allergies, and can carry tapeworms.3 There are medications and natural remedies that can help prevent fleas and ticks.

  • Heartworm Prevention - Heartworm is a parasitic nematode worm which infests the hearts of dogs, cats, and other animals. Heartworms can damage the heart, lungs, liver, and kidneys, and could lead to death. It’s recommended you give your pet preventive medication regularly to help prevent infestation.4

  • Grooming – Grooming is an important part of routine care, needed to help maintain the overall health of pets. It generally includes things such as bathing, nail, and fur trimming, brushing of teeth, and ear cleaning. While some people opt to take care of this at home, a regular visit to a professional can provide a thorough grooming of your pet.

Does Pet Insurance Cover Routine Care?

There are several elements to the routine care of pets.

  • Vaccinations - Whether or not pet insurance covers vaccines depends on the specific plan you have. Some pet insurance providers may offer coverage for vaccinations for an extra cost, while others may not offer any coverage options for them.

  • Dental Care – The accident-only plans that many providers offer usually covers dental extractions resulting from injuries. Some accident and illness plans can cover dental diseases like gingivitis, stomatitis, periodontal disease, tooth abscesses, and oral growths/tumors. Dental cleaning is not usually covered in a base pet insurance plan. Some providers offer optional wellness add-on coverage that can cover the eligible costs of routine dental cleanings.

  • Heartworm, Flea, and Tick Prevention - Most of the plans in the market don’t cover flea and tick prevention in their base coverage. Some providers offer preventive care add-ons that can cover the eligible costs of flea and tick control for pets.

  • Grooming - Pet insurance plans typically do not cover grooming. You should check the provider’s coverage to see if they offer coverage for routine grooming services.

How Much Can I Expect to Spend on Routine Care for My Pet?

As routine care is an expected expenditure, it should be planned and budgeted for well in advance. According to the ASPCA, the average cost of routine care for a pet is as follows –

Routine Care

Cost for a Dog

Cost for a Cat


$120-$300 annually

$115-$230 annually

Dental Care

$170-$350 per session

$100-$300 per session

Flea and tick prevention



Heartworm prevention




$40-$300 per session

$20-$100 per session

How Can Spot Pet Insurance Help?

Spot Pet Insurance offers optional wellness coverage you can add to your accident-only or accident and illness plan for an additional cost. Spot’s wellness coverage can help to cover the eligible costs of dental cleanings, heartworm preventative, vaccinations, flea and tick preventives, annual exams, and more! Get a quote today!


Routine care is usually a planned expense and can be budgeted for in advance. This is why most pet insurance providers do not cover these costs in their base plans. However, there are add-ons available which can cover the eligible costs of preventive measures taken for your pet’s health. Spot Pet Insurance helps by offering optional preventive care coverage to cover the eligible costs of various preventive measures for your pet.


  1. “Pet Vaccines: Schedules for Cats and Dogs,” Web MD,, Nov. 9, 2022.

  2. “Pet Dental Care,” American Veterinary Medical Association,, accessed Dec. 19, 2024.

  3. “Safe Use of Flea and Tick Preventive Products,” American Veterinary Medical Association,, accessed Dec. 19, 2024.

  4. “Heartworm in Dogs,” American Heartworm Society,, accessed Dec. 19, 2024.

  5. “Cutting Pet Care Costs,” ASPCA,, 2021.

The information presented in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute or substitute for the advice of your veterinarian.

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