A life in the harsh climate of Alaska can be softened with a pet and it’s clear as to why. Sled dog owners have a team of furry companions to share their life with. Other residents share their warm fires snuggling next to the feline friend of the family. Yet, no matter what lifestyle you lead, being a pet owner can be rewarding but expensive.
From Anchorage to Prudhoe Bay, pet parents are paying more for pet costs. According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), dog owners spend an average of about $1,400 annually on food, care, and health expenses.2 This is why many pet owners may be considering investing in MetLife Pet’s award-winning pet insurance.1 Alaska pet parents can read on to learn more about how pet insurance can help you provide your pets with the best care.
Protect your Pets
Why Pet Insurance May Be a Good Idea if You Live in Alaska
Because of the robust ecosystem, Alaskan wildlife is often found in residential areas and rural areas alike. Between the bears, moose, porcupines, and coyotes, it’s important to keep your pet safe. Especially if they spend a lot of time outdoors, where they may be seen as prey.
Pet Insurance could help offset costs of covered veterinary care expenses if your pet is attacked by a wild animal, your puppy eats something that makes them sick, or if your cat catches hypothermia in the cold.3
The way it works is simple. First, you set up your policy, choose any add-ons you want to include to it, and pay your monthly premium. When your pet needs medical attention, you can take them to any licensed veterinarian in the U.S. Pay the vet bill and then submit any receipts and medical records to MetLife Pet. You may be reimbursed for up to 100% of the cost depending on your policy.3,4
Why Choose a MetLife Pet Insurance Policy?
Among all the other options for pet insurance, the Pet Independent Innovation Awards presented MetLife Pet Insurance with the “Pet Insurance of the Year” award in 2022.1
MetLife Pet offers customizable plans to fit every pet parent’s needs. Here are just a few reasons pet parents may consider MetLife Pet to be an option for the best pet insurance in Alaska:
- Our mobile app lets you file and process claims right from your phone.
- Our policies can cover up to three cats or dogs under one shared deductible.
- Our waiting period is short for accident or illness coverage.5,6
- Our policies cover cats and dogs of all breeds and ages.
How MetLife Pet Insurance Works in Alaska
Visit the vet
Take your pet to any licensed vet or emergency clinic in Alaska or anywhere else in the United States for treatment.
Submit your claim
Once you’ve paid, submit your vet bill and any medical records to MetLife Pet as a claim.
Get money back quickly
We’ll review the claim and typically reimburse you for approved expenses within 10 days.3,7
MetLife Pet Insurance Is Available in Alaska. See What’s Covered
Getting your pet a MetLife Pet Insurance plan could help you to focus more on getting care if your pet gets injured or falls ill. We offer plans that flex to fit your family’s needs, from our standard plans to our Preventative Care and Wellness Plan add-ons.8
Let’s take a look at a few things our policies can routinely cover:
- Emergency care
- Diagnostic testing
- Alternative therapies
See our insurance coverage and exclusions page for a deeper dive into how we can help your specific pet needs.
How Much Is Pet Insurance in Alaska?
MetLife Pet Insurance policies can start at $9 per month for cats and $15 per month for dogs. However, because our policies are highly customizable, premiums can vary.9
Your monthly premium depends on a few factors, including your policy limits, deductibles, and reimbursement rates.10 Here’s a breakdown of what else may affect your pet insurance cost:
- Your zip code
- Your pet’s species and breed
- Your pet’s sex 11
- Your pet’s age
Notable claim in Alaska
One way to decide if pet insurance is worth it to you, could be to look at previous claims. Here’s how MetLife Pet helped a cat owner in Fairbanks, AK.12
Veronica, a Maine coon kitten ingested something she shouldn’t have. An X-ray revealed the foreign object, but she needed surgery to have it removed. Between the testing, anesthesia, and surgery itself, the total vet bill was around $2,300. However, her pet parents’ MetLife Pet policy covered about $2,100. Veronica is back to being her frisky feline self and feeling much better now!
Pet Injuries and Illnesses Typically Found in The Land of the Midnight Sun
Alaskan pets are prone to the same injuries and illnesses that all pets face such as diabetes, cancer, osteoarthritis, and other afflictions. However, because of their location, Alaskan cats and dogs can be at a higher risk for a few specific ailments. For example, Alaska has had a distemper outbreak over the past few years.13 Here are a few other ailments that can have a high chance of afflicting Alaskan pets:
Canine parvovirus: Parvo can be dangerous but preventable disease in puppies up to 20 weeks old. They can get infected through contact with infected feces that have touched your dog’s feet, food bowl, and/or water dishes. The virus attacks the gastrointestinal system of puppies who already have weak immune systems. It can be recommended to prioritize getting the parvo vaccine for your puppy and keep them away from public spaces like dog parks until they’re fully vaccinated.
Canine distemper: Distemper is another highly contagious disease that most veterinarians recommend you get a vaccination for your dog. The virus attacks the nervous system, respiratory system, gastrointestinal system, and even the brain.
Hypothermia and frostbite: Because of the colder climate in Alaska, cats and dogs may be at a higher risk of getting hypothermia and frostbite. Pet parents should monitor for signs of shivering and lethargy, along with seeing if their pet’s paws, tails, and nose are especially cold to the touch.
Most Popular Dog Breeds in Alaska
You may see all kinds of dogs in Alaska, from sled dogs like Siberian huskies to purse dogs like pomeranians. But three breeds truly stand out. According to CutePaws, these are the top three most adopted dog breeds in the state.14
- Labrador retriever: Lovable and loyal, this breed is prone to hip and elbow dysplasia, cancer, and heart disease.
- Chihuahua: Spunky and stubborn, this breed is prone to periodontal disease, upper respiratory infections, and intervertebral disc disease.
- Mutt: Mutts' personalities and health conditions vary based on their genetic makeup.
Adoptable Dogs and Cats in Alaska
Now that you’ve learned more about the life pets can have in Alaska and how you can best care for them, you may be considering adopting a dog or cat who’s looking for a home. With PetFinder, you can browse dogs up for adoption and cats up for adoption right from the comfort of your own home.
If You Live in Alaska, Consider Insuring Your Pet
Pets of all breeds and sizes can need medical care during their life. Whether it’s getting your new puppy vaccinated or caring for your elderly arthritic cat, these costs can add up. Alaskan pet parents also need to be wary of large predators, outbreaks of common diseases like parvo and distemper, and hypothermia.
Pet health insurance can help Alaskan pet parents. Get started with a free quote for MetLife Pet Insurance in Alaska!
There is no substantive difference between a MetLife Pet Insurance policy in Alaska and a MetLife Pet policy in another U.S. State.
1 “2022 Pet Insurance of the Year Award” Winners, Pet Independent Innovation Awards
2 “Cutting Pet Care Costs,” American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
3 Provided all terms of the policy are met. Application is subject to underwriting review and approval. Like most insurance policies, insurance policies issued by IAIC and MetGen contain certain deductibles, co-insurance, exclusions, exceptions, reductions, limitations, and terms for keeping them in force. For costs, complete details of coverage and exclusions, and a listing of approved states, please contact MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC.
4 Reimbursement options include: 70%, 80%, 90% and 100%. In addition, there is also a 50% option for MetGen underwritten policies only and a 65% for IAIC underwritten policies only.
5 Wait period for accident coverage is midnight EST compared to 2 to 15 days for competitor's; wait period for illness coverage is 14 days compared to 14 to 30 days for competitor's, based on a January 2021 review of publicly available summary information about competitor's offerings.
6 Accident coverage and Preventive Care coverage (for those who select it) begins on the effective date of your policy. Illness coverage begins 14 days later.”
7 Approximately 80% of claims are processed within 10 days or less.
8 Available at an additional cost.
9 Calculation based upon select plans and coverages. Actual rates may vary based on pet age, breed, location, deductible, reimbursement rate, and annual limits you choose.
10 Deductible options range include: $0−$750 in $50 increments and $1,000, $1,250, $1,500, $2,000 and $2,500.
11 For IAIC policies only
12 All claims paid amounts are based on MetLife internal claims data from October 2022.
13 “Beware: Distemper Outbreak,” Alaska SPCA
14 “Most Popular Dog Breeds in the U.S.,” CutePaws
Coverage underwritten and issued by Independence American Insurance Company (“IAIC”), a Delaware insurance company, headquartered at 11333 N Scottsdale Rd, Ste 160, Scottsdale, AZ 85254 or Metropolitan General Insurance Company (“MetGen”), a Rhode Island insurance company, headquartered at 700 Quaker Lane, Warwick, RI 02886. Coverage subject to restrictions, exclusions and limitations. Application is subject to underwriting review. See policy or contact MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC for details. MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC is the policy administrator for this coverage. The entity may operate under an alternate, assumed, and/or fictitious name in certain jurisdictions as approved, including MetLife Pet Insurance Services LLC (New York and Minnesota), MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions Agency LLC (Illinois).