Pet insurance for dogs and cats and what a Michigan vet recommends

Welcoming a new fluffy life into your home is an exciting time. Between the beds, toys, treats, and other essentials – you need to make sure your new family member has regular check-ups and doctor visits. If you're considering a furry family member, you may want to consider pet insurance - at least according to one Oakland County veterinarian.

Dr. Karen Fidell is an emergency vet at Oakland Veterinary Referral Services (OVRS) and visited with FOX 2's Amy Lange and Brandon Hudson about their pets – and her recommendation is pretty simple about insurance.

"I think pet insurance is a great idea. it's going to help you defer and get reimbursed for the cost of expensive medical bills," Dr. Fidell said.

The biggest benefit, Dr. Fidell says, is the flexibility you get by having pet insurance on your dog or cat.

MORE: Dog in Metro Detroit shelter for nearly 300 days needs a home

"You can take it anywhere, you can use it at any facility, you can keep your regular vet, you can go to emergency or referral institutions. I think it's a great idea for most people," she said.

What are the three types of pet insurance?

Dr. Fidell recommends you shop around before buying insurance for your pet and consider the age, breed, and where you live.

"There are probably about a dozen companies or so that are fairly familiar. So you do need to do your homework before you sign up. When you sit down to look at it, consider the breed. If you don't have the pet and you're looking to adopt, consider the breed, because that's one of the variables," she said.

There are three types of pet insurance to consider – and what those factors about your pet will really help you determine which is best for you.

  1. Wellness
  2. Accident only
  3. Accident and illness

Dr. Fidell said the last of which is more of a major comprehensive plan. But without knowing your pet's age, breed, and more before you start shopping around could lead to a bit of a surprise when it comes to price.

"All of those things will affect the price that you pay for your regular monthly premium."

Should you get pet insurance?

Dr. Fidell said, while she recommends it for most pet owners, it will really come down to you and your pet.

"The first thing to consider is the type of pet that you have. The breed will affect the cost of the insurance. So will the age of the pet and the gender of the pet. Where you live will affect that decision as well," she said.

WATCH: Most unique pet insurance claims

The cost of your pet insurance will vary wildly based on those things but you do have options and Dr. Fidell said it's cheaper than ever before

"You have a lot of options. It's really affordable these days to get pet insurance and there's a lot of variability in the plans in the co-pays. You have choices," she said.

Are generic pet prescriptions okay?

If you do find that your pet is in need of care, Dr. Fidell said they always try to get the most affordable option to the pet owner.

"When it comes to our medications, most of our vet medications are extremely affordable. There are really just a handful of drugs that we use for things like more serious infections or chemo/therapeautic-type drugs that are going to have a high cost. Any place we can use generic (medication), we're going to use them," she said.

Dr. Fidell recommends that, if you want to shop around, you should. Similar to pet insurance, she recommends you check the costs at other locations.

"It's always a great idea to ask. You can ask for a written prescription and then go to an online pharmacy such as Chewy, Foster and Smith, and things like that where you might get better pricing – or even go to Costco. You can go to your regular Costco for less expensive prescriptions."