There is so much to do in California with your pup, from hiking in the mountains to swimming in the ocean. However, that opens up more possibilities of your dog having an accident. Getting stuck in a thorn bush, burning pads on the hot beach sand, or even having a skin irritation are not out of the realm of possibilities.

This doesn’t mean you should keep your dog inside 24/7, though. Instead, you can protect your wallet with pet insurance and still go on all the adventures you dream of with your best friend beside you.

All of our top-ranked pet insurance providers offer coverage in California. The monthly premium is based on your dog’s breed, zip code, pre-existing health conditions, age, and other factors.

Article Overview

Most Popular Dog Breeds In California

California’s favorite dog breed is the Labrador Retriever.1 Below is a list of the most popular dog breeds in two major California cities.2

Los Angeles

  1. French Bulldog
  2. Bulldog
  3. Labrador Retriever
  4. Golden Retriever
  5. German Shepherd

San Francisco

  1. French Bulldog
  2. Golden Retriever
  3. Labrador Retriever
  4. Pembroke Welsh Corgi
  5. Poodle

How Much Does Pet Insurance Cost In California?

We ran quotes for plans in California with our best-rated pet insurance providers (see below). We chose breeds based on the list of popular dog breeds above. None of the quotes we ran were for pets with microchips or pre-existing conditions.

Please know that you should expect small annual increases for any pet insurance provider based on vet costs rising or more claims being submitted in the location where you reside. So if you are quoted $30 per month today, that does does not mean it will stay that price for the life of your pet.

All quotes are from January 2021.

We suggest you read our pet insurance reviews to find out why we chose these three companies as the best. Keep in mind that coverage details and customer service are important factors too, not cost alone.

We recommend obtaining quotes from at least three different companies to see what price range you are looking at. You can obtain free quotes from multiple insurance companies here.

Which Cities In California Are Pet-Friendly?

Below are the most pet-friendly cities in California based on the 100 largest U.S. cities.3Note: We excluded cities that fall outside of California from our table.

  Most Pet-Friendly Cities Pet Budget* Pet Health & Wellness** Outdoor Pet-Friendliness***
San Diego 11 90 3 7
Irvine 17 98 8 2
Sacramento 18 50 36 2
Los Angeles 27 97 13 3
Oakland 33 83 30 8
Long Beach 37 81 40 10
San Francisco 41 100 18 1
Bakersfield 47 48 71 35
Fremont 50 92 54 5
Stockton 68 41 94 39
Riverside 76 86 64 32
San Jose 78 59 88 26
San Bernardino 89 62 95 18
Santa Ana 95 95 46 55
Fresno 100 91 99 46

*Pet budget was determined by considering vet care costs, minimum pet-care provider rate per visit and dog insurance premiums.

**Pet health and wellness was determined by considering veterinarians per capita, pet caretakers per capita, animal trainers per capita, pet businesses per capita, dog-friendly restaurants per capita, share of pet-friendly hotels, dog-friendly shops per capita, pet meetup groups per capita, doggie daycare and boarding establishments per capita, pet-friendliness of rental markets, average home square footage, share of single-family detached homes, share of homes with one or fewer occupants per room, animal shelters per capita and strength of animal protection laws.

***Outdoor pet-friendliness was determined by considering weather, dog parks per capita, parkland as a share of the city area, walk score, dog-friendly trails per capita and dog shows per capita. 

California Pet-Friendliness Statistics

There are some other notable statistics you might like to know regarding cities in California.3

  • Based on 100 of the largest U.S. cities:
    • Stockton has the lowest veterinary-care costs, and Bakersfield has the 5th lowest
    • Irvine, Los Angeles and San Francisco are tied with New York for having the highest dog insurance premiums
    • San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Diego are tied with Las Vegas for having the most pet businesses per capita
    • San Diego is tied with 5 other cities for having the most dog-friendly restaurants per capita
    • Stockton is 96th and San Bernardino is 97th for having the fewest dog-friendly restaurants per capita
    • San Francisco is tied with 5 other cities for having the most dog parks per capita
    • Santa Ana is tied with 3 other cities for having the fewest dog parks per capita
    • San Diego has the most animal shelters per capita, and Los Angeles is 5th
    • Chula Vista is 94th for having the fewest animal shelters per capita

Pet Insurance Story In California

Below is a real-life pet insurance story from a customer in California.

Rattlesnake Bite

Max was playing at the local dog park with friends when an unwelcome rattlesnake entered the fenced-in area and bit Max on the bridge of his nose. Max was rushed to the nearest vet, and the vet staff went into action performing emergency care.

Rattlesnake in grassThe next few hours would be crucial for Max as he endured two doses of anti-venom (costing over $1,000 each). Max needed to stay overnight in the hospital, and if he survived, he’d require extensive follow-up care (e.g., antibiotics, steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, bloodwork, etc.). The overall cost could easily be as high as $8,000.

Max’s pet parent, Sunshine, knew life without Max would be unbearable, so she approved the procedures. Thankfully, a couple of weeks before the snake bite, Sunshine had bought pet insurance on Max. She was relieved she had made the decision before the snake bite and could now focus on Max’s health instead of her financial situation.

Max began improving the next day and has returned to his playful self. Figo covered all but 10% of her post-deductible expenses, and Sunshine’s reimbursement was in the bank within five days.

Should I Get Pet Insurance?

Things can change in the blink of an eye. At one moment, your dog could be playing at a dog park and the next, he’s in excruciating pain. Pet insurance can help you financially during an emergency and shift your focus onto the treatment and recovery of your dog. Learn more about why pet insurance is worth it.

Will you get a pet insurance quote for your Cali pup?

Sources: [1] Reader’s Digest, [2] AKC, [3] WalletHub

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