Dr. Michael W. Fox

Pet Health Insurance

Vegetarianism: A Bioethical Imperative
Dr. Fox on the Tonight Show
In Memoriam_Feral Cat Mark Twain
DVD Links
Releasing Cats To Live Outdoors
Outdoor Cats, Wildlife And Human Health
Cat and Dog Nutrition--the Thiamine Issue
Cat Food Recipe
Cat Tail Deemed To Be Good Vaccination Spot
Cat Behavior
Cat Vaccination Protocols
Declawing Cats
Feline Stomatitis Complex
Cat Litter Box Issues
Introducing A New Cat
Introducing A Dog Into Cat's Home
Choosing To Live With A Dog
Dog Vaccination Protocols
Dog Mutilations
Dog Food Recipe
Dental Problems In Companion Animals
Dog Food and Feeding Issues
Dr. Fox's Good Medicine Juice
The Truth About Manfactured Dog and Cat Food
Companion Animals Harmed By Pesticides
Dominance-based Dog Training
Dr. Fox and the Super Dog Project
Guide to Congenital & Heritable Disorders in Dogs
Dogwise E-Books
Concerning Outdoor Chaining/Tethering Of Dogs
Dogs In Shelters
Dr. Fox's Good Dog Cookie Recipe
Don't Clone Your Dog Or Cat!
The Pros and Cons of Neutering Your Dog
Recovering Canine Health And The Natural Dog
Animal Vaccination Concerns
Care For Dogs and Cats With Renal Failure
Urinary Tract Stones
Green Pet Care
Puppy and Kitten Breeding Mills
Pure Water for Cats and Dogs--and All
Dental Problems In Companion Animals
Chemical-related Human Diseases In Companion Animals
From Mineral Oil & Multiple Sclerosis to Plastics, Nanoparticles
Companion Animal Care
Companion Animals and Flea and Tick Treatments
Behavioral Problems and Drug Solutions: A Last Resort
Preventing Fleas
Domestication and Diet
Lyme Disease and Wildlife Management
Disease and Animal Rights
GMOs and Pet Food
Journal of AVMA and GMOs
Indoor and Outdoor Poison Hazards for Pets
Carrageenan In Pet Foods
Cats, Dogs and Cadmium
Fluoride In Pet Food - A Serious Health Risk?
Best Manufactured Pet Foods
Pet Food Letters
Nutrigenomics and the Pet Food Revolution
The Ethics of Krill Oil and Protein Supplements
Animal-Insensitivity Syndrome
Wolves and Human Well-being
Wolf-Dog Hybrids
Crying Wolf Too Much
Betrayal of Wolves and Public Trust
The 'One Medicine'
Pet Health Insurance
The Veterinary Profession
  Pharmaceutical Cruelty In Animal Farms: Consumer Beware
Pig Parts For People
Conflicts Of Interest In The Veterinary Profession
Bioethics: Its Scope And Purpose
The Bioethics And Politics Of Manufactured Pet Foods
Animal Rights, Human Rights And Wrongs
The Future of the Veterinary Profession
Holistic Veterinary Medicine
Veterinary Ethics and Economics
Veterinary Bioethics and Animal Welfare
Principles Of Veterinary Bioethics
What Price Our Animal Relationships?
Changing Diets for Health's and Earth's Sake
Wildlife Conservation
Wildlife Reseach Needs Ethical Boundaries
Wildlife Management Practices
How Animals Suffer Around the World
Feeling for Animals and Animal Liberation
Animal Altruism and Abilty To Empathize
What Makes Animals Happy?
The Empathosphere: Animal Prescience, And Remote Sensing
Mental Effects on Physical Health: The Mind-Body Connection
Animal Spirits
Light Of Compassion
Religion, Science and Animal Rights
Animal Suffering And The God Question
Healing Animals & The Vision of One Health
Islam And Animals
Panentheism: The Spirituality Of Compassion
One Earth, One Health
Why We All Must Care For Animals and the Environment
Quality Of Life In Animals
Healing Agriculture's Broken Connections
Mammon Vs. Civil Society
Justice For All Beings And The End Of Terrorism
Universal Bill Of Rights For Animals And Nature
Science Writers' and Reporters' Political Agendas
Cambridge Declaration On Consciousness
Michael W. Fox Resume'
Dr. Fox Biographical Interview
Interview: History of Animal Welfare Science
Curriculum Vitae
Books By Dr. Fox
Dr. Fox Lectures, Seminars and Workshops
My Life For The Animals
To Kiss Salamanders and Stones


By Dr. Michael W. Fox

This topic of pet health insurance, in the dark shadow of America’s human health insurance mess and less and less affordable health care, may seem absurd. But as I have emphasized in earlier writings, cat and dog owners should discuss this with their veterinarians especially if they have a purebred or “designer” puppy or kitten with extreme physical traits such as pushed-in faces ( braychcephaly), twisted limbs and extreme infantilism ( paedomorphosis) and probable genetic/inherited health problems which may surface with maturity. DNA tests are now available to identify some of these.

​A  Pet Insurance study by LendEDU.com gives some insights, noting that only16.85 percent of cat owners surveyed had pet insurance while 26.72 percent had coverage for their dogs. Of those with Full Coverage, 85.33 percent thought that their pet insurance was worth it as did 82.14 of  those with Accidents & ​Illness coverage, but only 63.64 percent of respondents with Accidents Only coverage thought it was worth it. 67.52 percent of the respondents with pet insurance learned about it from their veterinarians.

 To help pet owners decide, there are some on-line information sources: https://www.consumeraffairs.com/pets/pet-insurance/ and Consumer Reportswww.consumerreports.org/pet-products/is-pet-insurance-worth-cost/ : also the North American Pet health Insurance Association at www.naphia.org gives a list of members and coverage costs which averaged around $465 for dogs and $ 316 for cats in 2015 for accident and illness insurance per year. Some may be better off setting up their own emergency-care fund for their animal companion and avoid the emotional and financial trap of unforeseen veterinary costs.

The escalating costs of pet health care mean that many cats and dogs are only taken to the veterinarian when they are really ill, which means much cost and animal suffering that might have otherwise been avoided by regular Wellness examinations. To help pet owners understand the complexities and ups and downs of pet health insurance, veterinarian Dog Kenney, DVM has written a helpful guide, Pet Health Insurance: A Veterinarian’s Perspective.( Philosophia Publishing, 2016, Price $ 13.66) For more details visit www.petinsuranceguideus.com.

 I was recently solicited by a public relations firm to write about pet health insurance, the communication stating:   I’d like to offer you a story idea about the true cost of pet care. We love our pets and spare little or no cost to keep them healthy – but that can rack up quite a bill. For example, a report from Healthy Paws Pet Insurance about the cost of caring for pets shows that the most common illness for dogs and cats is stomach issues, which can lead to these costs: Digital X-rays: $150 – $400. Endoscopy: $800 – $1,000Biopsy: up to $1,500.  Ultrasound: $300 – $500. CT scan: $3,000.  Total: up to $6,400 – for stomach issues!”

Yet this “most common illness for dogs and cats” can be prevented, and often effectively treated,  simply by providing biologically appropriate, healthful diets rather than feeding many of the manufactured cat and dog foods on the market and often sold by veterinarians that can cause “nutrigenic”  ( diet-associated) diseases, as documented in my book Healing Animals & the Vision of One Health and in Not Fit for a Dog: The Truth About Manufactured Cat and Dog Foods which I co-wrote with two other veterinarians who share my concerns.

This solicitation confirms my concern is that some pet insurance providers, aligned with the corporate consolidation of companion animal veterinary practices, could lead to over-treatment, unwarranted and costly diagnostics and exclusive promotion and sale of particular manufactured pet foods, profitable prescription diets and other services; what some critics say is a one-size-fits-all medical assembly line.

The world’s largest pet food manufacturer, Mars Inc., recently acquired VCA Antech Animal Hospitals with 780 animal hospitals in 43 U.S. states coupled with the acquisition of some 900 Banfield Pet Hospitals in 2007 ( after Banfield acquired Pet Partners, a smaller group of 60 general practices, in 2016) and also of BluePearl, the nation’s biggest chain of companion animal specialty and emergency care clinics with 53 locations in the U.S. according to the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, March 1, 2017.  With Banfield’s Optimal Wellness Plans, Mars may next become a player in marketing its own pet health insurance schemes.

While such corporate consolidation of veterinary hospitals may have limited benefits for pet owners, an estimated 85-95 % of veterinary hospitals are still owned independently, some merging to create their own collaborative private corporations to reap the benefits of economies of scale and increased profitability by pooling equipment and other capital expenses and integrating specialist referral services. Low-cost, basic service and non-profit animal hospitals, often in association with local animal shelters and humane societies operating in low-income communities are being established across the U.S. The classic model is the U.K’s People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals. Founded in 1917 by animal welfare pioneer, Maria Dickin CBE, the PDSA is the UK’s leading veterinary charity. Operating through a UK-wide network of 51 Pet Hospitals and 380 Pet Practices (contracted private practices), PDSA provides free veterinary care to the sick and injured pets of people in need and promotes responsible pet ownership. Having to euthanize a beloved companion animal for economic reasons is a reality for many people who cannot afford needed veterinary services. This puts an emotional burden also on veterinarians and as a recent extensive survey by Dr. Barry S. Kipperman and associates reveals ( J.Amer Vet Med Assoc. April 1, 2017, p 765-794) is a significant factor in professional career satisfaction and burnout.

 It is my hope that companion animal health care will not go the way of the increasingly profit-driven and dysfunctional human health care industry where monopolistic drug companies inflate prescription-drug prices (as they do also with veterinary medicines) and where diagnostic errors and medical mistakes led to more than 250,000 deaths each year in hospitals according to a 2016 Johns Hopkins University study. Owners of companion animals must accept responsibility for their animals’ health with annual Wellness appointments with veterinarians who embrace the principles of preventive and integrative, holistic medicine as advocated by the American Holistic Veterinary Association; and who are amenable to installment and other alternative ways of payment for those who have neither pet health insurance nor the immediate funds available for services rendered.



Check the link below for a Dr. Fox C-Span feature concerning "Animal Testing"

Dr. Michael W. Fox on C-Span

--Video Link--

Dr. Michael W. Fox

What right do we humans have to exploit other animals?  Where does that right come from and what are the limits if any?  What duties or obligations do we have in our relationships with our dogs, cats and other animals domesticated and wild?

          Follow and support Caroline Kraus and her Moments of Truth Project documentary film as she travels across the U.S. asking people, who variously live, work with and care for animals, these and other relevant questions.

Is there an overriding consensus and what are the reasons why people respond very differently to these questions, which in part examine our character, culture and future?

The viewing and discussion of this kind of documentary should be part of every school curriculum and will be of interest to all who work with, profit from and care for animals. Project Home Page: http://momentsoftruthproject.com/  To see the interview with Dr. Fox go to http://momentsoftruthproject.com/dr-michael-fox/