How to Get a Service Dog Through Insurance

Costs associated with purchasing, training and raising service dogs can be significant; however, there are ways to cover these expenses.

First step to getting a service dog: obtain all relevant documentation from healthcare providers detailing your disability and why a service dog is necessary. There are various financial options such as FSA flexible spending accounts, grants, pet insurance policies and crowdfunding platforms.

Health Insurance

As service dog ownership can be costly, there are various strategies you can employ to cover its expenses. These may include using your Flexible Spending Account (FSA), applying for grants or taking out personal loans – or finding a nonprofit organization dedicated to service dog expenses which will enable you to purchase or raise a dog without breaking your budget.

Health insurance policies generally don’t cover the cost of service dogs since they are not considered medical equipment, but there are various pet insurance policies that may cover their expense, such as liability, life, or pet health policies. You should compare policies until one meets your budget requirements.

As a veteran, you may qualify for VA benefits to cover the vet bills and prescription medication of your service dog through his/her vet bills or prescription. However, the process can be lengthy; to be eligible you may require meeting with a mental health provider first.

As well as health insurance, loans from banks or credit unions may help cover the costs associated with purchasing your service dog. There are specific loans designed specifically for veterans or people living with disabilities – though keep in mind these may come with a higher interest rate than conventional bank loans.

Option for funding service dogs also include assistance from organizations dedicated to raising and training them, like Assistance Dogs International (ADI). This organization sets industry standards for training, placing, and managing organizations/individuals that specialize in service dog training. You could also seek financial aid from local nonprofits.

Another option for affording your service dog is using your Social Security or SSDI disability payments as a source of funding. These funds can cover food, grooming and other care for your service pet. Alternatively, California offers an Assistance Dog Special Allowance program which gives qualified people with service dogs a monthly allowance to care for them.

Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA)

Initial costs associated with getting and training a service dog may seem prohibitively expensive, but financing options exist that can make your costs more manageable. Nonprofit organizations that raise and train service dogs also may provide grants that make this happen more affordably.

Medicare and Medicaid do not cover service animals; however, private insurers often cover initial and ongoing expenses like food, veterinary visits, grooming services and tags incurred from owning one. Service dogs are considered medical equipment under certain conditions and therefore reimbursed accordingly.

One option available through your employer is opening a flexible spending account (FSA) or health savings account (HSA), which enables you to save on health and dependent care expenses with money deducted directly from paychecks before federal, state and social security taxes are applied. Note: Funds in an FSA must be spent before December 31st (unless the employer offers grace period ).

Another option for financing your service dog purchase is seeking financial support from the organization you plan on buying it from, many of whom offer partial financial aid or encourage their clients to raise funds in their communities. Finally, saving or taking out a personal loan are options available to you in order to cover its costs.

WEX has been helping employees take full advantage of their FSAs since 2001. We offer FSA and HSA management tools that make setting up and administering accounts through company wellness programs more straightforward, including intelligent carryover, grace periods, and other innovations aimed at making the most out of health care dollars.


Training, food and veterinary expenses can quickly add up when owning a service dog, so financing options may help cover these initial and ongoing expenses. One such financing solution available to those living with disabilities includes FSAs – flexible spending accounts which offer tax-free savings that could reduce upfront expenses associated with your animal. Credible offers personal loans at reasonable rates which may make purchasing one easier.

There are numerous organizations dedicated to raising and training service dogs. Typically these groups provide full funding for training the animal and pairing it with someone living with a disability. To locate one near you, visit Assistance Dogs International website and enter your specific geographic location – look for accredited programs which meet the needs of your disability!

If none of these programs qualify you, another way is to raise funds yourself. Reach out to your community and hold events which can raise funds; host fundraisers or reach out on social media in search of assistance.

As you begin fundraising, be sure to share your personal narrative on why a service dog is necessary for you. People tend to respond more favorably when hearing personal narratives and feeling connected with those they support – it makes fundraising much simpler!

While programs and financing options may help lower the overall cost of owning a service dog, it is still wise to be financially prepared for its added expenses. Owning one requires time and energy spent providing it with everything it needs to fulfill its duties for you – training sessions, food costs and vet visits should be factored into your budget when planning for this companion animal.

Pet Insurance

Pet insurance is a form of personal health coverage designed to save you money on medical costs incurred by your pets, such as vet visits, food supplements, medication, vaccinations and emergency procedures. Some plans also include coverage for boarding/grooming fees/trainer fees/behavioral therapy services provided through pet care facilities. Pet insurance costs no more for service dogs than for regular ones with providers offering various premium plans that fit various budgets.

There are also organizations that specialize in training and raising service animals as well as providing financial assistance for their handlers. These programs typically cater to specific disabilities with strict eligibility requirements. Once your dog is trained, these organizations often work closely with both of you over several weeks so it can perform the tasks necessary to assist. They’ll also offer guidance and training on how to best care for it after completion.

Many people inquire whether service dogs are covered under health insurance; unfortunately, most major providers do not cover the costs involved with having one; there may be smaller plans that provide partial coverage; veterans’ benefits may provide some financial support in getting and taking care of one.

Consider purchasing liability or life insurance for your service dog as soon as possible. These policies can help cover replacement costs if lost or injured while not costing significantly more than standard pet policies. Pawlicy Advisor is an ideal way to find an appropriate policy; using it allows you to compare plans from multiple providers at once in one convenient place before purchasing directly through either their website or over the phone – usually the transaction process is quick and seamless and the money should arrive either in your account within a few business days or be sent directly into it from them!