(WTNH) – Being a pet owner can come with some pretty high costs, especially if your furry loved one unexpectedly gets sick or hurt. It makes you wonder if pet insurance is the answer.

We are Stretching Your Dollar with what to consider or decide.

When your pet isn’t feeling well, the last thing you want to worry about is money. But is pet insurance worth it?

Brian Vines at Consumer Reports says it’s hard to do an apples-to-apples comparison of pet insurance providers because the rates and plans vary widely.

“Pet insurance is largely a la carte, where you can go with a base sort of coverage or something like an accident only plan, but there’s also plans that cover dental insurance or preventative care. So it really is a highly individualized sort of product that you’re shopping for,” Vines explained.

He says one of the positives of most pet insurers is that you can keep the vet you already go to instead of being confined to a list of in-network doctors.

When determining whether pet insurance is right for you, Vines says to ask yourself what you want out of that insurance.

“If you’re looking for return on investment, it may not be the best thing for you because people fairly well break even. But if you like that peace of mind that knowing that you’ve put money away or there’s someone behind you in case something catastrophic or just bad does happen to your pet, it may be a worthwhile investment for your peace of mind,” Vines says.

He adds that pre-existing conditions often exclude pets from getting coverage. So if your pet is older or has health issues already, insurance might not be right for you.

There are alternatives to pet insurance such as self-insuring by putting aside money in a designated savings account or taking your pet to a veterinary school where you can get a discount on care.