Does insurance cover service dogs? Expenses of acquiring and maintaining a service dog

Does insurance cover service dogs? Expenses of acquiring and maintaining a service dog

Does insurance cover service dogs? Expenses of acquiring and maintaining a service dog

Service dogs provide invaluable assistance and support to their owners in their day-to-day tasks. Prospective owners should know what these specially trained dogs can do and whether insurance will cover them. In our blog today, Tony Flynn tackles one of the biggest questions out there: Does insurance cover service dogs?

By exploring this question, you will have all the information necessary on the expenses of acquiring and maintaining a service dog. Let’s get started!

Does insurance cover service dogs?

Does insurance cover service dogs?

Does insurance cover service dogs?

Does health insurance cover service dogs? Most medical plans are not related to coverage of service animals’ costs. Health insurance doesn’t cover the cost of buying or caring for a service dog. Neither Medicaid nor Medicare cover the costs of service dogs. Insurance plans for people typically do not extend coverage to animals. People who could benefit from having one of these amazing animals must find alternative financing options.

Can I receive coverage for a therapy dog under my health insurance?

Emotional support animals (ESAs) can comfort psychiatric patients. However, the ADA does not recognize them as service animals.

Unlike service dogs that require specialized training, ESAs only need affection and companionship. It is important to note, however, that they are not covered by health insurance providers in the same way that service dogs are.

Does insurance provide coverage for service dog training?

Can insurance cover a service dog training? Insurance does not provide coverage for service dog training. Fortunately, a tax deduction and other support can help ease the financial burden of owning a service dog.

Assistance Dog Special Allowance Program (ADSA)

The ADSA Program helps pay for the care of signal, guide, and service dogs by giving their owners $50 per month.

This funding helps pet owners pay for food, vet bills, and grooming for these invaluable animals that help them live independently.

Flexible Savings Account (FSA)

One smart decision is to open a Flexible Savings Account (FSA) for tax-free savings. Make sure you have your doctor’s letter of medical necessity (LMN), which is required to be eligible, and reap the benefits!

Payroll systems for employers

Moreover, employers can provide their workers with disabilities with a variety of payment options. Service animal expenses can be covered by pre-tax income for disabled workers.

It should be noted, however, that these flexible payments do not include emotional support dogs.

Expenses of acquiring and maintaining a service dog

Expenses of acquiring and maintaining a service dog

Expenses of acquiring and maintaining a service dog

Depending on the breed, a service dog can be purchased for anywhere between $15,000 and $30,000. Some service dogs can cost $50,000 or more.

Service dogs require food, vet visits and exams, vaccinations, toys, and possibly training. These things can all add up. Service dogs require much more training than other dogs do. Owners may spend as little as $500 or as much as $10,000 annually on these costs.

Estimated annual dog fees

Along with the initial cost of a service dog, annual costs may also include:





Vet Care

(Regular and Emergency – from standard spay and neuters to emergency care)


Heartworm prevention


Flea/tick prevention


Toys and treats


Health insurance


Expect to pay a professional dog trainer between $150 and $250 per hour when getting your own service dog trained. Depending on how long it takes to fully train your dog, you can estimate the final cost. The skills your dog needs to learn will also affect the final cost.

Complex tasks require more time to learn, which increases training costs. Some dogs can take up to two years to fully train to carry out the necessary tasks.

These expenses might be out of reach for many people who require service animals. Veterans, the visually impaired, and physically disabled people can get financial assistance. If you don’t qualify for full service dog funding, these organizations may help.

Can you insure service dogs through Medicare and Medicaid?

Can you insure service dogs through Medicare and Medicaid?

Can you insure service dogs through Medicare and Medicaid?

Medicare and Medicaid provide healthcare. Medicare, a federal program, covers people over 65 and the disabled under 65. This program’s benefits are mostly age-based, not income-based.

Medicaid covers low-income people. Medicare may cover some disabilities. If you qualify for Medicare and Medicaid, you may be able to get a special needs plan that covers both.

Although Medicare covers a range of disability-associated expenses, service animals are not covered. This includes vet visits and food bills.

Fortunately, they may cover special equipment or mental health treatment to lower service animal costs. Unfortunately, Medicaid does not provide coverage for these types of services either.

Service dog

Service dog

Service dog

Service dogs are distinct from pets and other animals that provide emotional support, therapy, or assistance to humans. They are not just animals; they are working partners!

The ADA defines a service animal as any dog trained to help people with disabilities. The ADA has provisions for miniature horse users.

Service dogs assist disabled people in many ways. There are sight guides, deaf alerts, wheelchair assistance, and seizure protection. These faithful companions are true wonders! They remind people to take their mental-health medications and comfort PTSD sufferers. You should not pet service dogs because your action can cause serious result. Learn more about the reasons in why can’t you pet service dogs?

Don’t be fooled by an animal wearing a vest or ID. It does not always mean that the animal is indeed a service animal. Under the ADA, “service” animals only provide comfort, companionship, and emotional support.

Who is eligible to receive a service dog?

The ADA permits the utilization of service dogs or miniature horses for those living with disabilities. It’s because these animals can be taught to support people in various ways. Here are some examples:

Partially or completely blind/ Deaf/ Paralysed/ Suffering from epilepsy or a mental health condition such as PTSD.

Then you may greatly benefit from having your psychiatric service dog. These loyal companions help disabled people live independently.

Physical or mental impairments that limit life activity or cause someone to be seen as disabled are protected by the ADA. The ADA protects those who fall within these three broad definitions.

Emotional support animals vs. service dogs

The two types of animals are distinct: support and emotional support. Support animals fulfill a specific function because of the disability of their handler.

Emotional support animals, however, only provide their owners with comfort and joy. These animals aren’t as well-trained, and you can become a service animal without spending tens of thousands of dollars on training.

Owners of ESAs, however, are less protected by the law. Businesses must accept service animals and the people who handle them, but they are free to reject emotional support animals.

Obtaining a service dog

Obtaining a service dog

Obtaining a service dog

Ready to meet your new companion? Follow these steps for a successful search:

Find out if you qualify.

In the majority of cases, to qualify for a service dog, you must meet certain criteria related to medical conditions. Depending on your condition, it may be beneficial to look into specific breeds as well.

If you have any inquiries or concerns about this process, don’t hesitate to contact your doctor and ask!

Choose a program.

When looking for a service dog, it’s a good idea to look at more than one provider before picking one.

If desired, you also have the option of training your pup, though this may be more time-consuming and costly than enrolling in an existing program.

Gather materials.

Stock up on all the necessary items your service dog will need before their arrival: food, toys, and other supplies. To save you from having to explain why they are service animals (if asked), think about getting them certified as well, although it’s not mandatory. By doing this, both of you can go out in public without any disruption or confusion!

Kinds of service dog insurance need acquiring

Kinds of service dog insurance need acquiring

Kinds of service dog insurance need acquiring

Service animals are expensive and vital to your quality of life, so you may want to consider dog insurance for them. We’ll discuss each of these examples below, including liability, life, and health insurance for service dogs.

Make sure your auto insurance covers dog injuries if you can drive.

Liability insurance for assistance dogs

Emotional support animals and service animals are covered by homeowners’ and renters’ insurance. It may cover lawsuits and medical expenses if your pet accidentally injures someone or damages property. Ensuring the safety of both you and your pet!

Can service dogs be rejected by insurance companies?

As mentioned, service dogs follow the same rules as other dogs. Thus, insurance companies may not cover your service dog if it is a Pit Bull or Rottweiler.

Life insurance for assistance dogs

Show dogs, working animals, and expensive breeds all benefit financially from pet life insurance. Since service dogs are expensive to train and hard to replace, such coverage is especially helpful.

Dog life insurance costs

The cost of dog life insurance varies based on several factors, such as breed, location, the chosen level of coverage, and the deductible amount. Generally speaking, you can expect to pay anywhere from $250 up to a staggering $900 in premiums every year, depending on your pup’s age.

Service dog health insurance

If you have a service dog, it is generally a good idea to get pet insurance for it. Pet insurance can protect both your service dog’s health and your finances if it gets sick or injured. Service dog insurance covers diagnostics, medical conditions, etc. to keep your dog working as long as possible.

The VA’s service dog health insurance benefit is limited to disabled veterans who have received PSAS. Veterans will be enrolled in a contracted veterinary health insurance plan with these benefits:

  • Annual vet visits for check-ups, immunizations, dental cleanings, and more are necessary.
  • So that the animal can help veterans, it must be treated for any long-term illnesses or problems.
  • Emergency services
  • Prescription drugs

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) provides a veterinary health insurance benefit and other benefits in support
of service dogs to maximize the life and utility of these specialized dogs. VA does not provide service dogs (SD) but
does provide this insurance benefit for eligible Veterans through VHA Prosthetic and Sensory Aids Service (PSAS) which
administers this program.

As cited in

Nationwide Pet Insurance will cover a replacement service dog if your pet dies.

The good news is that service dogs don’t have to pay more for pet insurance than regular pets do. Various plans are available for you to select from, depending on your priorities and budget.

Options for financing the purchase of a service dog

Options for financing the purchase of a service dog

Options for financing the purchase of a service dog

The initial investments and continued upkeep for a service dog may appear beyond your reach, yet you might be eligible for financial aid.


If you need a service dog, there’s no shortage of organizations that can assist. Veterans can get help finding a partner from the VA.

See below for a complete list of nonprofit groups that train and match service dogs with people who need them!

Raising funds

Some organizations pay part of the service dog fees and encourage families to fundraise locally.


Get a doctor’s Letter of Medical Necessity (LMN) to use your insurance’s Flexible Spending Account (FSA) to buy a service dog.

Individual loans

If fundraising or financial aid is not an option, personal loans could be a viable choice. Even with bad credit, loan amounts can cover adoption, training, and veterinary bills. However, unlike grants or fundraising proceeds, these loans must be repaid in full over time.

Obtaining a service dog with an individual loan may be costly. An animal is an extensive venture that requires money for nourishment, veterinary care, and other costs.

Debt is not a good investment unless you can afford your dog’s needs and the loan payment plan.

Social Security Disability Income (SSDI)

If you qualify for SSDI, you can use some of your monthly payments to pay for service dog training and care. SSDI may also give you a lump sum to pay for a service animal.

VHA Prosthetic and Sensory Aids Service (PSAS)

Veterans receiving VA benefits may be eligible for service animal coverage. The PSAS provides this insurance benefit for eligible veterans without service dogs.

Complete or in part financial assistance programs

Complete or in part financial assistance programs

Complete or in part financial assistance programs

Check out Assistance Dogs International to find the right organization for you. Their website lets you search for accredited businesses, projects, and grants by address!

Veterans’ programs

The VA refers people to accredited organizations and offers service dog benefits. Many groups don’t charge for the dog or the training of the dog:

  • America’s VetDogs
  • Brigadoon Service Dogs
  • K9s For Warriors
  • Patriot PAWS
  • Retrieving Freedom, Inc.

Programs for autistic individuals

Behavior disruption, tethering, and rescue tracking can help autistic people with service dogs.

  • Can Do Canines
  • Canine Companions for Independence
  • Dogs for Better Lives
  • Paws With A Cause
  • Retrieving Freedom, Inc.

Programs for those who are physically challenged

MS, muscular dystrophy, spinal injuries, and visual or hearing impairments can cause mobility issues.

Mobility problems

  • Brigadoon Service Dogs
  • Can Do Canines
  • Canine Companions for Independence
  • Canine Partners for Life
  • Canine Partners of the Rockies
  • Paws With A Cause
  • Service Dogs, Inc.
  • Service Dog Project (SDP)

Inadequate eyesight

  • Guide Dogs for the Blind
  • Guide Dogs of America
  • Guide Dogs of the Desert
  • Guiding Eyes for the Blind
  • The Seeing Eye

Broader issues with health

  • Can Do Canines
  • Canine Partners for Life
  • Eyes Ears Nose and Paws
  • Paws With A Cause

Programs aimed at kids

Service dogs offer children living with disabilities or other needs a source of comfort and physical help.

  • Brigadoon Service Dogs
  • Can Do Canines
  • Canine Partners of the Rockies
  • Paws With A Cause
  • Retrieving Freedom, Inc.

FAQs Does insurance cover service dogs?

How can I get a service dog for anxiety for free?

How to get a free service dog? Your doctor must write that you have an emotional or psychiatric disability. You are receiving treatment and need a service animal to qualify for one.

What does an emotional support dog cost?

Depending on the breed, service dogs can cost anywhere from $15,000 to $30,000. In some cases, they can be even pricier than this, up to an eye-watering sum of $50,000 or more!

Can you get psychiatric service dog grants?

Some organizations grant psychiatric service dogs to disabled people.

Does Blue Cross Blue Shield provide coverage for service dogs?

Does insurance cover a service dog? Sadly, health insurance does not cover the costs associated with owning or taking care of a service animal. However, individuals who are qualified can take advantage of FSA and HSA funds to help make up for any shortfall in their income.


Are service dogs covered under insurance? As we discussed, most insurance policies do not cover service animals. However, many insurers are considering covering these life-changing animals. Contact them directly to learn more about the benefits available to your companions. Thanks for reading our post at!

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