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
#8220;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,#8221; said Hennessey, who serves as
treasurer of the Dalmatian Club of America. #8220;I#8217;d had her just three weeks.#8221;
Hennessey took the puppy to her veterinarian, who
set the leg in a cast.
#8220;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,#8221;
Hennessey has since registered the puppy, which
is now enrolled in the AKC Pet Healthcare Plan.
#8220;I#8217;m going to talk about the plan with
my new puppy buyers,#8221; Hennessey said. #8220;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
#8220;What happened to my puppy was an accident,
and I know that accidents don#8217;t just happen
to me. They can happen to anyone at anytime. Insurance
only comes in handy when you need it,#8221; she
added. #8220;The AKC Pet Healthcare Plan provides
some peace of mind.#8221;
#8220;The AKC Pet Healthcare Plan is a really good
thing,#8221; said Hennessey. #8220;I will definitely
recommend this to my puppy buyers. This is something
they can use.#8221;
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.
#8220;With healthcare being one of the most important
aspects of responsible dog ownership, pet insurance
allows owners to care for their pet#8217;s health
in the same way they do for themselves and other
family members,#8221; said AKC Chairman Ronald
H. Menaker. #8220;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.#8221;
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#8217; insurance
services exclusively to provide critical financial
assistance to thousands of dedicated and responsible
The AKC Pet Healthcare
Plan is available nationwide to dogs younger
than 9 years of age. (Cardigan Welsh Corgi;
Isabelle Francais ©AKC)
#8220;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,#8221; said Jerry Peterson, president
of PetPartners Inc., the company that administers
the AKC Pet Healthcare Plan. #8220;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.#8221;
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#8217;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
#8220;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,#8221; Nygood said.
#8220;I recommend the AKC Pet Healthcare Plan to
my puppy buyers and encourage them to sign up for
their 60 days of complimentary coverage.#8221;
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,
or call toll-free (866) 725-2747.