What makes German Shepherds great pets?
German Shepherds have a reputation for being pretty tough. As puppies, they can be a little boisterous, but if trained properly they will grow to be excellent family dogs.
As German Shepherd owners know, these dogs are fiercely loyal to their pack, highly intelligent and very courageous. But if socialised at an early age with clear boundaries, there's no reason for this behaviour to lead to any aggression. They are the preferred breed of the police and armed forces, and they form a strong bond with their handler.
Taking out German Shepherd pet insurance could help keep your dog in the best health possible and protect you from unexpected and expensive vet bills.
Do German Shepherds have any known health conditions?
German Shepherds can become prone to certain health conditions, including:
- hip and elbow dysplasia
- eye disease
- bloating of the stomach
These dogs need plenty of exercise. If they stay fit and healthy they can live for up to 14 years.
What types of pet insurance policies are there?
There are four main types of pet insurance for dogs:
- Lifetime policy
- Maximum benefit – these policies set a limit to costs covered
- Time limited
- Accident only
You can see a summary of the differences between these types of policy in our guide to pet insurance.
Tips for keeping your German Shepherd healthy and happy
- Diet: As a large and active dog, it’s essential that your German Shepherd is getting the right nutrition. Feed your dog dry or wet food, or a combination of both, making sure the ingredients are natural and contain a good amount of quality animal protein. It’s also a good idea to split your dog’s daily food allowance into several smaller meals, to avoid indigestion and help maintain energy throughout the day. Speak to your vet if you’re unsure about your dog’s dietary requirements.
- Exercise: German Shepherds were originally bred to herd flocks of sheep. This makes them a very active breed with plenty of energy for daily activity. Boredom and lack of exercise could lead to behavioural problems including chewing or excessive barking, so it’s important to give your German Shepherd a good amount of varied exercise, to keep him or her happy. Aim for two hours of exercise every day. As well as walks, that could include ball chasing, agility training and swimming.
- Staying social: Like all dogs, German Shepherds need to have an active social life to keep them happy and positive. This includes both dog-to-human contact, and dog-to-dog interactions. Leaving your German Shepherd alone for long periods of time could cause them to become anxious or lead to destructive behaviours. If you’re out for long periods during the day, consider hiring a dog walker or putting your dog in a daycare centre, to keep it out of trouble.
- Vet check-ups: Regular visits to the vet can help you maintain your dog’s health, especially as they grow older. A general visit will allow for a thorough check of your dog’s physical health, including eyes, ears, teeth and limbs. You should also stay aware of any vaccinations your dog may need and get these renewed as necessary.
- Oral health: Good oral hygiene can help tackle bad breath and drooling, as well as keep illnesses like periodontal (gum) disease at bay. Aim to brush your dog’s teeth with its own toothbrush at least once a week, and provide dental sticks or chews to promote good all-round oral hygiene.
Frequently asked questions
What is third party pet insurance and do I need it?
Third party pet insurance can give you cover if your dog injures another pet or a person, or damages or destroys property. Even if your German Shepherd is not aggressive, you might find it gets into trouble with other dogs. This type of insurance is also known as third party public liability insurance. It’s included as standard with most pet insurance policies, so it’s best to check your policy first, before buying it separately.
What if my German Shepherd is lost or stolen?
If your dog is lost or stolen you could receive practical help from your German Shepherd pet insurance. Some pet insurance policies offer a public reward for finding your dog. Also, some policies can pay towards the cost of advertising the fact that your dog is missing, for example with lost-dog posters, to help bring about their safe return. Policies could also pay you compensation if your dog isn't found, up to the cost that you paid for your pet.
Why should I compare German Shepherd insurance with Compare the Market?
If you'd like to compare pet insurance quotes, we can help. We'll first ask you a few questions about you, your dog and the level of cover you want. We'll then search pet insurance providers and get back to you with great-value pet insurance policies for your German Shepherd.
All you need to do is decide which policy best suits you and your dog.
What do I need to get a quote?
To compare insurance with Compare the Market, you’ll need to know:
- your pet’s age, breed and gender
- how much you paid or donated for them
- whether your pet has been neutered or spayed
- whether they’re microchipped
What our expert says
“German Shepherds are one of the most loyal and sociable dog breeds, making them perfect for families and great at responding to training. However, this also means they can get anxious if left home alone for long periods of time.
“If you’re regularly out for more than six hours at a time, it might be worth putting your German Shepherd into daycare or hiring a dogwalker, to keep your pup from feeling lonely while you’re away.”