AKC eNewsletter

The AKC Pet Healthcare Plan: An Invaluable Resource For Breeders To Recommend To Puppy Buyers

By Theresa Shea, editor

Longtime Dalmatian breeder Meg Hennessey learned firsthand the value of being enrolled in the AKC Pet Healthcare Plan.

The AKC Pet Healthcare Plan helps owners provide essential care for their dogs. (American Eskimo Dog; Isabelle Francais ©AKC)

“I had a puppy that I had not yet registered and enrolled in the healthcare plan. She broke her leg while playing with my other dogs in the backyard,” said Hennessey, who serves as treasurer of the Dalmatian Club of America. “I’d had her just three weeks.”

Hennessey took the puppy to her veterinarian, who set the leg in a cast.

“The expenses for having a broken leg are pretty steep with anesthetic and emergency services. If the puppy had been covered by health insurance, treatment would have been so much more affordable,” she added.

Hennessey has since registered the puppy, which is now enrolled in the AKC Pet Healthcare Plan.

“I’m going to talk about the plan with my new puppy buyers,” Hennessey said. “The healthcare plan is a great idea because it adds value to an AKC registration. Puppy buyers will see that they can really get something for their money.”

“What happened to my puppy was an accident, and I know that accidents don’t just happen to me. They can happen to anyone at anytime. Insurance only comes in handy when you need it,” she added. “The AKC Pet Healthcare Plan provides some peace of mind.”

“The AKC Pet Healthcare Plan is a really good thing,” said Hennessey. “I will definitely recommend this to my puppy buyers. This is something they can use.”

The AKC Pet Healthcare Plan is available nationwide to dogs younger than 9 years of age. By helping out with the financial side of dog ownership, the insurance plan allows dog owners across the country to take advantage of quality healthcare for their four-legged family members. When puppies are individually registered with the AKC, owners can opt to receive 60 days of pet healthcare insurance, with absolutely no obligation to purchase an annual plan afterward.

Breeders can play a key role in spreading the word about the AKC Pet Healthcare Plan by talking with puppy buyers about the plan and how it can help provide essential care for their newest family members.

“With healthcare being one of the most important aspects of responsible dog ownership, pet insurance allows owners to care for their pet’s health in the same way they do for themselves and other family members,” said AKC Chairman Ronald H. Menaker. “For the many dog owners who are put in difficult situations emotionally and financially when their dog becomes sick or is injured, the AKC Pet Healthcare Plan can help alleviate the heart-wrenching decisions over whether they can afford treatment.”

The American Veterinary Medical Association endorses the concept of pet health insurance that provides coverage for health maintenance (wellness) as well as for illness and accidents. While pet health insurance is gaining momentum in the United States, it is a proven success in the United Kingdom where it has been available for more than 25 years. The Kennel Club in England uses PetPartners’ insurance services exclusively to provide critical financial assistance to thousands of dedicated and responsible dog owners.

The AKC Pet Healthcare Plan is available nationwide to dogs younger than 9 years of age. (Cardigan Welsh Corgi; Isabelle Francais ©AKC)

“Responsible, knowledgeable breeders serve as lifelong resources for puppy buyers, answering questions and giving advice about training, nutrition and development from puppyhood through old age,” said Jerry Peterson, president of PetPartners Inc., the company that administers the AKC Pet Healthcare Plan. “We are thrilled the AKC Pet Healthcare Plan is a resource breeders can recommend to their puppy buyers. It helps dog owners to budget sensibly and responsibly for the lifelong healthcare needs of their pets.”

As the most knowledgeable group of people in dogs, no one understands the responsibility of dog ownership and dog welfare like breeders.

Blackie Nygood, AKC delegate for Delaware’s Mispillion Kennel Club, registers every puppy she sells with the AKC and knows those puppies can receive 60 days of coverage under the AKC Pet Healthcare Plan.

“I tell my puppy buyers that when they pick their puppy up, they need to allow at least two hours. I give a grooming demonstration. I sit down with them at the kitchen table. We talk about nutrition. I go through the bill of sale, which includes a statement about pet insurance,” Nygood said. “I recommend the AKC Pet Healthcare Plan to my puppy buyers and encourage them to sign up for their 60 days of complimentary coverage.”

The AKC Pet Healthcare Plan has benefits for new puppy owners that reach beyond the healthcare arena. By offering the option to receive 60 days of introductory healthcare coverage for newly registered puppies, the AKC has created another avenue to show its commitment to responsible dog ownership.

The claims process is simple for veterinarians because the client pays the veterinarian in the usual way. The company then promptly reimburses allowable costs directly to the pet owner, eliminating any administrative burden on veterinarians.

To find out more about the AKC Pet Healthcare Plan, visit www.akcphp.com or call toll-free (866) 725-2747.

  Ronald N. Rella, director, Breeder Services
Theresa Shea, editor | Email: AKCbreeder@akc.org
Customer Service | Phone: 919-233-9767 | Email: info@akc.org

© The American Kennel Club 2006