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Home > Insurance > PetSmart Pet Insurance Review 2024 (Banfield Pet Hospital): Pros, Cons & Verdict

PetSmart Pet Insurance Review 2024 (Banfield Pet Hospital): Pros, Cons & Verdict

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Banfield Pet Hospital purchased PetSmart’s clinics, PetSmart Veterinary Services back in the year 2000. They now operate out of more than 1,000 PetSmart locations nationwide providing veterinary care and services for pets.

Banfield offers veterinary care packages called Optimum Wellness Plans to help pet parents offset the cost of preventative care for dogs and cats. These wellness plans are not to be confused with pet insurance, as these are not technically insurance policies and do not offer the same scope of coverage.

In this article, we will take an extensive look into the Optimum Wellness Plans offered by Banfield through PetSmart and see how they compare against pet insurance policies.

Our Verdict

We give PetSmart Pet Insurance a rating of 3 out of 5 stars.

PetSmart’s Banfield Pet Wellness Plan Review

  • Unlimited office visits
  • Covers preventative care services
  • Personalized plans available
  • Discounts for Banfield products and services
  • Available across the United States
  • No coverage for accidents or illnesses
  • Services only covered at Banfield locations
  • An annual contract is required
  • Plans are expensive compared to wellness add-ons for pet insurance
  • Customers feel pressured by staff upselling at appointments

Other Top Rated Pet Insurance Companies

Best Overall
Our rating: 4.6 / 5
Most Customizable
Our rating: 4.4 / 5
Best for Wellness Plans
Our rating: 4.0 / 5

About PetSmart’s Banfield Partner

PetSmart’s partner, Banfield Pet Hospital operates out of PetSmart locations and offers veterinary services right there within the store. They also have Optimum Wellness Plans for pets that take care of preventative care services in full for either a monthly or yearly installment.

These wellness plans should not be confused with your typical pet insurance policy, as they are much different. With pet insurance, you either pay a monthly or yearly premium in conjunction with an established deductible, reimbursement percentage, and an annual limit for coverage.

Pet insurance policies can vary but typically cover accidents and illnesses, but some do offer additional wellness packages as an add-on service. With Banfield’s Optimum Wellness Plan, things like accidents and illnesses are not covered since these packages are for preventative care only. There are three different levels available for both dogs and cats.

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Pricing & Plans (Updated in 2024)

Optimum Wellness Plans

Company Sample Monthly Cost for Dogs Sample Monthly Cost for Cats Learn More
Banfield Optimum Wellness Plan $59.95 $49.95 Get Quote
MetLife Pet Insurance with Wellness Add-on $50.15 $31.00 Get Quote
Hartville Pet Insurance with Preventative Prime Add-on $62.25 $44.19 Get Quote

Base Policy

Banfield offers three different Optimum Wellness Plans so that pet owners can choose which one best suits their needs. These plans are available for both dogs and cats. They also have separate puppy and kitten packages for those 6 months old or younger. Customers pay a fixed price for services each month regardless of breed, age, and medical history.


Banfield’s services do not offer the same type of flexible plan customizations that can be found with your average pet insurance policy that involves deductibles, reimbursement percentages, and annual limits. Here’s an extensive overview of the plans offered within Banfield’s wellness packages:

Dogs and Cats

Active Care

The Active Care Plan is the least expensive package offered by Banfield. It’s in place to cover all the basics of routine care.

What’s Covered:
  • Office visits (unlimited)
  • Vet chat (unlimited)
  • Virtual visits (limited to 2/year)
  • Pet Wellness one-on-one visit (limited to 1/year)
  • Comprehensive physical exam (limited to 2/year)
  • Vaccinations
  • Diagnostic testing (limited to 1/year)
  • Fecal exams (limited to 2/year)
  • Deworming (limited to 2/year)
  • Health certificates
  • 10% discounts on Banfield products and services

Active Care Plus

The Active Care Plus Package includes everything included in the Active Care plan but includes one professional dental cleaning per year, urine testing, and an increased discount on Banfield products and services.

What’s Covered:
  • Office visits (unlimited)
  • Vet chat (unlimited)
  • Virtual visits (limited to 2/year)
  • Pet Wellness one-on-one visit (limited to 1/year)
  • Comprehensive physical exam (limited to 2/year)
  • Vaccinations
  • Diagnostic testing (limited to 1/year)
  • Fecal exams (limited to 2/year)
  • Deworming (limited to 2/year)
  • Health certificates
  • Professional dental cleaning (limited to 1/year)
  • Urine testing
  • 15% discount on Banfield products and services

Special Care

The Special Care package is in place for dogs and cats that have more chronic issues and need a little extra TLC. This package includes everything that the Active Care Plus package includes plus preventative x-rays, eye pressure tests, electrocardiograms, and an increase in the discount for Banfield products and services.

What’s Covered:
  • Office visits (unlimited)
  • Vet chat (unlimited)
  • Virtual visits (limited to 2/year)
  • Pet Wellness one-on-one visit (limited to 1/year)
  • Comprehensive physical exam (limited to 2/year)
  • Vaccinations
  • Diagnostic testing (limited to 1/year)
  • Fecal exams (limited to 2/year)
  • Deworming (limited to 2/year)
  • Health certificates
  • Professional dental cleaning (limited to 1/year)
  • Urine testing
  • Preventative X-Rays (limited to 3 views)
  • Eye pressure test (limited to 2/year)
  • Electrocardiograms (dogs only, limited to 2/year)
  • Additional diagnostics (cats only, limited to 1/year)
  • 20% discount on Banfield products and services

Puppies and Kittens

Banfield’s Optimum Wellness Plans also feature packages for the little ones. Preventative care within the first 6 months is a bit different, which is why the puppy and kitten packages are offered. They feature the Early Care plan and the Early Care Plus plan.

The only difference between the two is that the Early Care Plus Plan will cover spay or neuter surgery and offers a 15 percent discount on Banfield products and services compared to the 10 percent discount for the Early Care plan. Once your puppy or kitten reaches 6 months of age, they will be eligible for the dog and cat packages.

What’s Covered:
  • Office visits (unlimited)
  • Vet chat (unlimited)
  • Virtual visits (limited to 2/year)
  • Pet Wellness one-on-one visit (limited to 1/year)
  • Comprehensive physical exam (limited to 2/year)
  • Vaccinations
  • Diagnostic testing (limited to 1/year)
  • Fecal exams (limited to 3/year)
  • Deworming (limited to 4/year)
  • Health certificates
  • Spay or Neuter (Early Care Plus only)
  • Discount on Banfield products and services
  • Wisdom Panel Canine DNA Test (Puppies only)

Parasite Control Add-On

Parasite prevention is another important aspect of preventative care. While parasite-preventative medication is not included in any of the wellness plans, it’s an optional add-on that can be included in your monthly or yearly plan cost.

Banfield Price Comparison for Dogs

Pet insurance companies will base a dog’s insurance policy prices on their size, breed, age, location, and the agreed-upon coverage plan. Banfield’s wellness plans do not base their prices on anything other than the chosen package and your geographical location.

Here’s an example of the monthly cost comparison for a young Great Dane in Fort Worth, Texas compared to the monthly cost of a senior French Bulldog in the same location:

Great Dane French Bulldog
Male or Female Male Female
Age 1 9
Location Fort Worth, TX Fort Worth, TX
Reimbursement Level None None
Annual Deductible None None
Annual Max None None
Price per Month for the Active Care plan $35.95 $35.95

Banfield Price Comparison Dogs vs Cats

Pricing for Banfield’s wellness plans is dependent on your location. Unlike pet insurance, they do not base their prices on breed, medical history, or age unless your pet is eligible for puppy or kitten packages.

Banfield Optimum Wellness Plan Monthly Cost for Dogs Monthly Cost for Puppies Monthly Cost for Cats Monthly Cost for Kittens
Active Care $35.95/month $39.95/month (Early Care) $27.95 $36.95/month (Early Care)
Active Care Plus $46.95/month $49.95/month (Early Care Plus) $41.95 $43.95 (Early Care Plus)
Special Care $59.95/month Not Available $49.95 Not Available

(Since Banfield operates differently than average pet insurance and prices are the same regardless of dog breed and age, I added this table to compare the average monthly cost for dogs vs cats. The information I would have provided in the original table would have been redundant. Let me know if this is a problem and I will happily fix it.)

Deductibles & Claims

One of the upsides to having a wellness plan through Banfield is that you don’t have to worry about meeting a deductible or submitting any claims. This service operates much differently than your average pet insurance policy. With Banfield, you will either pay a monthly or yearly installment for your pet’s care and will face no upfront costs for the services you receive that fall within that scope.

What Do Banfield’s Optimum Wellness Plans Cover?

Banfield’s Optimum Wellness Plans cover a wide variety of preventive care services. Specific limitations and extra services are dependent on which package you choose and the age of your dog or cat. While we have covered the specifics in detail above, here’s a comprehensive list that includes all the available services covered by the company and a list of what will not be covered.

  • Office visits
  • Vet Chat™
  • Virtual Visits
  • Pet Wellness One-on-One visits
  • Comprehensive physical exams
  • Vaccinations
  • Diagnostic testing
  • Fecal exams
  • Deworming
  • Unlimited interstate health certificates
  • Professional dental cleaning
  • Urine testing
  • Preventive x-rays
  • Eye pressure test
  • Electrocardiograms
  • Discounts on most other Banfield products and services
Not Covered
  • Accident coverage
  • Illness coverage
  • Emergency care
  • Services related to accidents or illnesses
  • Care received outside of Banfield Pet Hospital
  • Prescription medication
  • Supplements
  • Alternative therapies
  • Behavioral issues

Pre-Existing Conditions

The Banfield Optimum Wellness Plans do not cover any specific coverage for pre-existing conditions since the plans are designed specifically for preventative and routine care services, but office visits for both new and existing health concerns are included. Treatment for any pre-existing condition will not be covered in a wellness plan but it’s important to note that no pet insurance providers offer coverage for pre-existing conditions, either.

Waiting Periods

Unlike pet insurance policies, Banfield’s Optimum Wellness Plans do not have a waiting period for care. Once your pet is enrolled under your chosen package, they are immediately eligible for all the covered services within your plan.

Reviews from Customers

Customers offer mixed reviews regarding Banfield’s wellness plans. While it’s convenient to pay a monthly fee upfront without having to worry about any other costs for preventative care, there are costs associated with any injuries or illnesses.

Some people feel they would be better off paying upfront for costs rather than committing to a full year of monthly payments while others are grateful to have a wellness plan, especially for puppies and kittens that have more extensive preventative care needs within the first several months of life.

Certain customers did feel that they are pressured during appointments and that the staff will try and upsell their various products and services, so they rarely escape appointments free of charge.

The biggest complaint among customers was the 12-month commitment to pricing and an expensive fee if you wish to cancel early. There were instances where pets had passed away and Banfield insisted they either wait until the 12-month plan is completed or pay the associated fee, which was highly frowned upon by many.


What Are the Main Differences Between an Optimum Wellness Plan and Pet Insurance?

Pet Insurance takes a more reactive approach to cover accidents and illnesses that occur unexpectedly and could pop up at any time. Wellness plans offer a more proactive approach and focus on preventative medicine. Here’s a quick comparison between Banfield’s wellness plans and traditional pet insurance:

Banfield Optimum Wellness Plans
  • Includes office visits for new and existing pet health concerns
  • Single base price regardless of breed, age, or medical history
  • Fixed pricing for certain packages
  • No deductibles, claims, reimbursements, or annual coverage limits
  • No coverage for accidents, illnesses, or emergency services
  • The plan is only effective for care at Banfield Pet Hospital
Pet Insurance
  • Coverage for accidents and illnesses
  • Involves deductibles, reimbursement percentages, and annual limits
  • Customization options for coverage
  • Occasional wellness plans as add-ons only
  • Premiums vary depending on the pet’s breed, age, and medical history
  • Only provides reimbursement once the deductible is met
  • Covers most (if not all) veterinary clinics in the USA

How Is Payment Collected for Optimum Wellness Plans?

There is an enrollment fee when getting set up on a Banfield Optimum Wellness Plan. In addition to the enrollment fee, you can either choose to pay for the full year upfront or you can set up a 12-month payment plan.

If you pay for a full year in advance, you will need to re-enroll each year without an enrollment fee if done within 90 days of the plan lapsing. If you pay monthly for the 12 months, you will automatically be re-enrolled each year with no additional re-enrollment fees.

Is There Any Multiple Pet or Other Discounts?

There is only a discount on each additional pet’s enrollment fee, not on their plan costs. As for other discounts, no others are available except for the discount percentages on certain products and services offered by Banfield.

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Our Verdict

While Banfield does not offer traditional pet insurance or any type of accident or illness coverage, they do have comprehensive wellness plans that can help offset the cost of preventative veterinary care. There are some mixed reviews among consumers and there’s no shortage of bad reviews, but we do like the variety of choices and services offered, especially for kittens and puppies that have more preventative care needs during those first 6 months.

  • Pet Keen acknowledges that it is not licensed as an insurance agent, and therefore will not offer any advice regarding insurance, nor recommend a particular coverage, policy, or insurance company.
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