Does Pet Insurance Cover Grooming & Nail Clipping?
To be a responsible dog owner, grooming and nail care need to be part of your routine.
However, if you want to outsource these duties, could insurance help cover the costs?
Today, we’re going to answer the question: Does pet insurance cover grooming and nail clipping?
We’ll delve into what pet insurance typically includes, what it doesn’t include, and a couple of nail care tips to keep your pup’s paws happy.
Related: The Best Dog Insurance Options Australia.
Let’s dive in.
Understanding Pet Insurance
Before we dive into the specifics of grooming and nail clipping coverage, let's start by understanding what pet insurance is all about.
Pet insurance is a financial safety net for pet owners.
These expenses can include accidents, illnesses, surgeries, and even some preventative care treatments or euthanasia.
Does grooming and nail care fit into one of those categories?
Debatable. Let’s dive deeper.
To help frame this conversation, we have created a guide to pet insurance in Australia. Click here to read:
Related: Is Pet Insurance Worth It Australia?
Does Pet Insurance Cover Grooming & Nail Clipping?
To cut to the chase, no. Most pet insurance does not cover grooming and nail clipping.
Let’s talk more about what pet insurance usually covers to discover why.
What pet insurance typically covers
What’s the point of having pet insurance? Well, its role is to provide coverage for medical expenses related to your dog’s health.
Although grooming and nail care could be seen as health expenses, they aren’t essential health expenses.
Here are some of the common inclusions in most pet insurance policies:
If your dog gets injured, pet insurance can help cover the veterinary bills. These could be costs related to diagnostics, surgery, and medications.
It covers the cost of diagnosing and treating various illnesses, such as infections, cancer, or chronic conditions. But it might not cover existing illnesses or chronic illnesses (more on that in the next section).
- Prescription medications
Pet insurance often includes coverage for prescription medications prescribed by your veterinarian. To claim these expenses, you’ll need to declare the prescription to the insurance company. Medication can be one of the most expensive aspects of caring for a sick dog, so this is one of the main benefits of insurance.
- Chronic conditions
Some policies cover the ongoing management of chronic conditions. By that I mean your insurance will cover continuous prescription medications and check-ups.
If your dog needs to stay at the veterinary hospital, pet insurance can help you with the associated costs.
- Emergency care
Pet insurance provides peace of mind in emergencies when your dog needs immediate medical attention. This could also cover emergency euthanasia if your vet recommends this as the only humane course of action.
- Preventative care
Some pet insurance plans offer optional coverage for routine care like vaccinations and wellness check-ups.
So as you can see, grooming isn’t normally on the list. So let’s look at the exceptions to the rule to see if pet insurance may cover costs associated with grooming.
Exceptions – Optional Extras For Pet Insurance
So if grooming and nail care aren’t typically included in pet insurance policies, could they be covered in special cases? Here are the exceptions that could (technically) include these services:
- Medical necessity
Your pet insurance could cover grooming or nail care if it becomes a medical necessity for your dog. For example, if your dog's overgrown nails lead to an infection or mobility issues, your pet insurance might cover the treatment. However, your insurance company could argue that the infection is due to neglect as you can upkeep your dog’s nails at home. So be mindful of this.
- Add-On Coverage
Some pet insurance companies offer optional add-on coverage for routine wellness care, which can include grooming and nail trimming. This usually comes at an additional cost but can be worth it for the peace of mind.
- Accidental Injury
If your dog suffers from an accident during a grooming appointment or grooming by you, the resulting vet bills might be covered under the accident portion of your policy. Accidental nail injuries, like broken or cracked nails, may also be covered as urgent care.
- Breed-specific policies
Some policies, particularly those designed for specific breeds, might include grooming coverage as part of their comprehensive package. For example, insurance policies for poodles may include routine sheering to upkeep their coat under a wellness clause.
- Holistic or alternative therapies
Sometimes holistic care and alternative therapies are covered by your pet insurance. If you visit a holistic veterinarian who includes grooming as part of their treatment plan, you may be in luck. But this is highly subjective and will vary widely from company to company, policy to policy.
- Therapy dogs and working dogs
In some cases, therapy and working dogs may have different coverage rules. Grooming might be considered a reimbursable expense.
Reading the Fine Print
So we’ve been through the typical inclusions of pet insurance policies and the caveats.
These caveats all depend on the terms and conditions of your policy.
If you’re searching for dog insurance, it's crucial to carefully read the policy documents and understand what is and isn't covered.
Insurance policies can vary widely between providers. Even within the same provider, there may be different levels of coverage available and wellness additions.
If in doubt, ask! You could reach out to an insurance broker who could help you find a policy that includes grooming as part of a wellness clause.
Alternatively, reach out to companies directly to understand what their coverage includes.
Nail Care Tips for Pet Owners
So sadly, your pet insurance more than likely does not cover routine grooming and nail clipping.
Luckily, there are several steps you can take to manage your dog’s nail care and grooming costs on your own. Here are some ideas:
- Groom your dog yourself
Dog nail care seems intimidating, but it’s quite easy once you get the hang of it.
You’ll need to invest in dog nail clippers or a dog nail grinder.
Then follow YouTube tutorials to learn how to groom your pup’s nails on your own. You could also ask a groomer or vet to show you how to do it.
As for grooming, dog grooming kits are easy to find. Depending on your dog’s breed, you may not need to groom them that often.
Follow your dog’s breed guidelines on how to groom them properly. You can also ask a groomer to show you the ropes.
- Choose a policy with optional wellness coverage
If grooming your dog is especially important for you and you want the extra coverage, dig deep to find a pet insurance policy that offers optional wellness coverage.
For example, Knose Pet Insurance offers a wellness plan.
- Budget for nail care
If you want to outsource dog grooming, you need to budget for it. Start by finding out what the typical cost for grooming is in your local area. Then set aside a specific portion of the budget for routine grooming and nail care every quarter.
For some ballpark figures:
Professional dog nail clipping costs $20+.
Full grooming can cost $70-100+ per month depending on your dog’s breed. (2)
- Of course, these will vary depending on where you live in Australia too.
Your dog’s nails need clipping every one to two months. (3)
Your dog may need a thorough grooming session once a month. So calculate the average costs and add it as a line item into your budget. That way, it’s always accounted for!
- Build a dog fund
A dog fund is just another way of saying a “pet savings account”. Opening a dedicated savings account for your dog’s care is a great way of budgeting for your dog. Maintaining this pot can help cover grooming and other uninsured costs in case of emergency or dips in your household income.
- Sign up for your vet’s membership package
Some vets offer a membership package which combines benefits and discounts at their practice. These can include free unlimited consultations, dental check ups, annual screenings and health checkups, discounts on medications and food, with most also offering free nail clippings. It is worth seeing if you vet offers a membership service if you are wanting to subsidise the cost of nail grooming. Check out Greencross Vet’s Healthy Pets Plus plan and Fur Life Vet’s Best Mates program.
So does pet insurance cover grooming & nail clipping? Not really, no.
Pet insurance primarily focuses on medical expenses related to your pet's health and wellbeing.
Yes, nail care is part of your dog’s wellbeing. But it’s easily taken care of at home.
Therefore, routine grooming and nail clipping are generally not covered. There are exceptions and optional coverage choices to explore so do reach out to pet insurance companies to review your options.
If you want to take dog nail care into your own hands, check out our articles below to get started:
A groomer or vet can cut your dog’s nails, but this isn’t the only option. You can learn to clip your dog’s nails at home yourself. This will save you grooming costs. However, if your dog’s nails are injured (broken or cracked) seek a licensed professional for help.
- Twin, A. September 24, 2022. “Pet Insurance: What it is, History, and How it Works”. Investopedia. Retrieved August 27, 2023. https://www.investopedia.com/terms/p/pet-insurance.asp
- “Pets in Australia: a national survey of pets an people”. 2022. Animal Medicines Australia. Retrieved August 27, 2023. https://animalmedicinesaustralia.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2022/11/AMAU008-Pet-Ownership22-Report_v1.6_WEB.pdf
- Turner, B. March 4, 2022. “How Often Should You Cut Your Dog's Nails?”. Preventive Vet. Retrieved August 27, 2023. https://www.preventivevet.com/dogs/how-often-should-you-cut-your-dogs-nails