Dog Pet Insurance

Published: 13th August 2012
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Dog Pet Insurance: We all hope that our pooch will not become sick or infirm at some time in their lives, but the reality is that one in two dogs will suffer with some form of disease, age related deterioration or accident during their lifetime. When that happens the cost of treatment alone can be extremely expensive, especially if you have no insurance cover for your dog. Keeping a dog today without some form of insurance is a risky business.

Whether you live in the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand or Europe if you care for your dog then you have to have some form of dog insurance, even if the policy only pays for a percentage of the treatment.

So how do you find the right insurance and the exact policy that will cover your needs?

Make a list of pet Insurers for your particular country. The go through them one by one either online or telephone. This is important as insurers vary considerably in different conditions.

So here is a list of what you need to check:
Some insurers charge higher premiums for different breeds. Check to see if your breed of dog is exempt or it will be charged a higher premium.

Do they have exceptions on the age of your dog and is there a lower and upper age limit?

Do they offer a multiple policy discount if you have more than one dog and indeed more than one pet?

Read the small print, this is sometimes where policyholders go wrong. Do not just scan the small print; make sure you understand what you are purchasing.

Do they charge an excess (The amount you will have to stump up yourself in the event of a claim)?

Does their policy only cover accidents?

Does their policy cover both accidents & illness?

Do they offer a comprehensive policy, which covers preventive care (checkups, vaccinations, neutering, etc.) along with accident and illness coverage?

What does the policy exclude in the form of deductibles, co-pays and caps on coverage, for example some will only pay 80% of the costs for treating your pet's illness, others will pay 100%.

As some breeds are prone to genetic disorders does the policy exclude any genetic or hereditary conditions for your pet?

Are there any extra charges for wellness checks, drugs, dental treatments, cancer treatment, etc? Most policies do not include dental cover.

Can you use any veterinarian you want or are you restricted to the ones the insurance company recommend?

Do they offer lifetime cover, which is more expensive and you would have to stay with the same insurer? Overall this form of policy would be worthwhile if you have cover for the life of your dog.

Do they offer third party insurance like damage to people's property or injury to a person or animal?

Usually lower priced dog pet insurance policies do not have the same cover as the more expensive ones. Somewhere in between there is a happy medium.

You have to remember that vaccinations, flea control; spaying and castration along with existing illness are not covered.

The cost of keeping your pet healthy can be expensive without the right kind of protection. A large percentage of dog owners will not have insurance, looking on it as being too expensive and unable to afford the premiums. They will often choose euthanasia in preference to paying the vet for treatment.

Even when insurance has been taken out and you submit a claim in the event of your dog needing veterinary attention the insurance company, in most cases, will only pay you instead of the vet. You will normally have to pay for the veterinary treatment and claim of the insurance company yourself.

Pet insurance is always worthwhile, with dogs living longer and keeping active into old age. The only problem is the cost. Unfortunately most dog owners do not take this into consideration when purchasing a puppy.

There has to be a solution as an increasing number of dogs are being put down when needing an operation because of rising costs. Unfortunately the innocent dog is nearly always the first to go when faced with this decision.

What about a national health service for pets where everyone who keeps pets contribute? Just a thought!
Ian Nicholson is passionate about all things dogs after fifty years of involvement with them. He invites you to visit him at and download a free eBook on keeping your dog healthy in old age and also learn more about pet insurance

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