Grooming is a daily activity for most pets; they’re all devoting a lot of time to putting their fur in good order. Some pet parents even go a step further and implement certain physical modifications to make their Max dazzle.
Doggie plastic surgery is a trend among millennials. The younger generations are image-conscious and tend to direct that same attitude to their furry companions. Furr-tunately for our four-legged friends, pet cosmetic surgery insurance is not standard practice.
Cosmetic procedures for pets are available, but most vets are not in favor of the interventions. Pet cosmetic procedures have no legitimate medical basis and cause pain and discomfort for animals. The extra cost discourages many owners from going through with the idea of giving their pet a little nip-tuck.
What are Pet Cosmetic Procedures?
Dogs frequently go under the knife for plastic surgery procedures like ear cropping and tail docking. They are done purely for aesthetic reasons. Interestingly, though, in the public perception, these alterations are not considered plastic surgery – just routine. But is crushing muscle and nerves without an anesthetic the best way to say you love your little fellow?
Your dog may disagree that the experience is routine. Not to mention the trauma that awaits it in a few years, when it gets neutered. If that‘s not enough, a new trend is emerging, implanting prosthetic canine testicles that alleviate the discomfort of emasculated-dog owners.
For cat owners who want to prevent scratching, a routine procedure is declawing, a fancy word for amputating the end bones of their paws. Yes, you save yourself a trip to the furniture store, but what about the behavioral problems your cat develops.
Are Cosmetic Procedures for Pets Harmful?
Evidence suggests that cosmetic procedures result in chronic pain. Physical alteration can affect a pet’s behavior. Dogs communicate with body language, and a shorter tail can compromise their ability to communicate effectively.
Another cosmetic procedure for a pet that prevents effective communication is devocalization, removal of vocal cords to decrease the volume of a bark. There is a reason animals make noise. Vocalization is their way of expressing emotions and intentions. Pet owners bothered by barking can address the problem with proper training and not the surgical scalper.
Cosmetic changes are not reserved just for the veterinary clinic. They frequently happen out of the operating room. Tattoos and implants are growing in popularity as well, but pet insurance doesn’t cover them.
The problems that pets develop after pet cosmetic procedures overwhelm owners. The solution for owners is to abandon their pet to the pound, where life will not be better for it, just because it’s cute.
You may be spotting a trend here; the owner’s wishes surpass the pet’s wellbeing. In recent years, many organizations have expressed disapproval of the practices, and pet insurance providers refuse to cover the cost of cosmetic procedures for pets.
Does Pet Insurance Cover Surgery?
Standard pet insurance policies cover surgery for justifiable medical reasons. With some, the type of surgery can even be cosmetic. Certain breeds have specific physical attributes that result in chronic medical issues that are correctable with cosmetic surgery.
Still, not every pooch has plastic surgery to be photogenic. Commonplace procedures are eyelid lift to prevent scratched cornea, nostril intervention to help dogs breathe easier, and tummy tucks not to look slimmer but to prevent infections.
In cases where a health benefit results from a surgical alteration, pet insurance plans cover procedures that have a health benefit for the pet.
Ethical Discussion about Pet Health
Animal welfare organizations are actively campaigning against pet cosmetic procedures, and many countries are implementing laws that forbid cosmetic procedures for pets that are cruel and offer no health benefits.
Vets are starting to advocate against the procedures that do not benefit their patients as well, as the ethical discussion has taken center stage.
Cats and dogs have unique features, and owners need to love their pets the way nature created them – not to put them through the pain and discomfort, so their perception of how they should look can come true.
The responsibilities of a parent are the same, no matter if it relates to a human child or an animal. Worrying about the wellbeing of your pet is the priority, not your preferences and comfort.