can pet insurance cover antibiotics?

can pet insurance cover antibiotics?
Posted by Jennifer Maniet, DVM on Dec 20 2019

The first antibiotic, penicillin, was discovered in 1928. Since then, antibiotics have saved countless human and animal lives. All pets are at risk for developing infections that require antibiotics, and pet owners may not be prepared to pay the cost. But before we look at how a pet insurance policy can help pay for prescription medications like antibiotics, let’s take a closer look at how antibiotics are used.

Benefits of antibiotics for pets

Antibiotics are a type of medicine used to treat infections caused by microorganisms such as bacteria. Antibiotics kill or slow the growth of bacteria that invade the body without killing other essential cells in the body.

Veterinarians prescribe antibiotics to treat many illnesses and injuries including urinary tract infections, respiratory infections, bacterial skin infections, and wounds. Antibiotics are grouped by class because each class is uniquely designed to target certain bacteria and specific areas of the body for a particular species. The cost of antibiotics will depend on your pet’s breed and weight, the medication form, and the treatment duration.

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Commonly prescribed antibiotics for dogs are:

  • Amoxicillin-clavulanate (Clavamox)
  • Cephalexin (Keflex)
  • Enrofloxacin (Baytril)
  • Amoxicillin (Amoxil)
  • Doxycycline (Vibramycin)


Commonly prescribed antibiotics for cats include:

  • Amoxicillin-clavulanate (Clavamox)
  • Cefovecin (Convenia)
  • Enrofloxacin (Baytril)

What are the risks of antibiotics?

Just as with any other medication, there are risks and side effects. The most common antibiotic side effects are nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Rarely, allergic reactions can also occur. Some antibiotics may have negative side effects on specific organs such as the kidneys, liver and nervous system. Be sure to consult with your veterinarian about the potential risks for your pet before starting any antibiotic.

It’s also important to note that since antibiotics have been used against infections for a long time, antibiotic resistance is on the rise in our pets. This means that bacteria develop a resistance to antibiotics, making them ineffective. There are things you can do as a pet owner to help prevent this from occurring.

Tips for giving pets antibiotics:

1. Give antibiotics exactly as prescribed

  • Stick to a strict schedule and don’t skip any doses. If you miss a dose, contact your veterinarian for further guidance.
  • Give the correct dose for the total number of days as your veterinarian prescribes, even if your pet seems better.
  • Do not share one pet’s antibiotics with another pet.
  • Do not share prescription medications with other pets and humans.

2. Report any side effects to your pet’s veterinarian immediately.

Will pet insurance cover antibiotics?

Yes! At Petplan, medications prescribed by your veterinarian as treatment for an illness or accident are covered, including nutraceuticals and antibiotics.

Keep in mind that no pet insurance policy will cover the treatment for a pre-existing condition (a medical illness or injury that shows signs or symptoms prior to the start of their pet insurance policy or during the waiting periods). That’s why it’s so important to protect your pet as early as possible before unexpected illness and injury strike.

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