Pedigree dogs can cost you a lot of money, so you’ll want to make sure that you have the right pet insurance, especially as these types of animals are often considered to be more at risk of developing hereditary illnesses. Here’s what you need to know…

What is a pedigree dog?

The Royal Society for the Protection of Animals defines a pedigree dog as:
“The offspring of two dogs of the same breed, which is eligible for registration with a recognised club or society that maintain a register for dogs of that description.”

Pedigree dog insurance

How much does pedigree dog insurance cost?

According to our research, the average annual cost of pet insurance for a Shar Pei is £569.64*, while an English Bull Dog comes in at £594.24*.

The average claim on a pet insurance policy is £750 (according to latest figures from the Association of British Insurers), and if specialised and prolonged treatment is required, costs of several thousand pounds are not unknown. So why not see how much pet insurance could be for your pedigree – it could save you money in the long-run.

Before purchasing a policy, check that the plan covers hereditary conditions. These are more likely to recur throughout your dog’s life, so you might want to consider purchasing lifetime insurance, in spite of the additional costs that could be involved. As your policy won’t cover any pre-existing conditions, it’s best to insure your dog while it’s young.

*Our average premiums are from data in September 2017.

What are some of the hereditary conditions?

Pedigree animals, also known as a purebreds, can be some of the most expensive pets to insure – unlike mixed breeds, purebreds are more prone to illness. This is why it’s important to compare policies so that you’re not caught out by unexpected vet fees.

Some of the most popular pedigree dogs can be prone to hereditary conditions:

Labradors: one of the UK’s most loved breeds, the Labrador is also prone to canine hip, shoulder and elbow dysplasia.

Golden retriever: the ‘goldie’ is a popular family pet – originally a working dog – often trained as assistance dogs because of their calm temperament. However, hip and elbow dysplasia are a common problem for the breed. They can also suffer from cancer, although this is less common.

Cocker spaniels: known for being gentle, easy-going and affectionate, cocker spaniels can also be prone to hip dysplasia, eye diseases and kidney diseases.

Boxer dogs: strong and confident in their nature, the boxer is also at risk of developing breathing difficulties, bloating and deafness.

Border terrier: although a robust dog, there are some health problems to be aware of, such as hip dysplasia, Spike’s disease (similar to canine epilepsy) and genetic conditions that can affect their eyesight.

German shepherd: the loyal and intelligent German shepherd, like most deep-chested dogs, can also suffer from bloating, along with hip and elbow dysplasia.

What could pedigree dog insurance cover?

Besides veterinary bills, you might want your dog insurance policy to include the following cover:

  • Death due to illness or accident
  • Your dog going missing – costs of advertising and rewards, and a compensation payment if your dog cannot be returned
  • Boarding kennel fees or other care costs if you become ill for several days and are unable to look after your dog
  • Compensation for the costs of cancelling your personal holiday if your dog becomes ill
  • Liability insurance, if your dog harms a person or another animal and you have to pay damages
  • Emergency care if you take your dog abroad
  • Alternative treatments, such as homeopathy, recommended by your vet
Besides the breed, what else affects the cost of dog insurance?

What types of pet insurance are available?

Lifetime insurance provides cover for your dog throughout its life, provided you maintain your premiums. To keep the cost down, it’s usually best to take out this form of insurance when your dog is young. Lifetime insurance normally has an annual limit on the amount that can be claimed for a particular condition, but every time the cover is renewed, this limit may be refreshed as well.

If you decide lifetime insurance isn’t for you, another option may be maximum benefit cover. This type of insurance sets a maximum amount that can be claimed for a particular condition, but the amount is not reset each year – so if you use 50% of the maximum benefit in one year, only 50% of it will be left in future years.

You could also consider accident only or time limited policies. However, these might not be the most suitable form of insurance for a dog that may develop a hereditary illness. Accident only covers your dog in the event of an accident but won’t cover long-term illnesses, while time limited will only cover the cost of vet treatment for 12 months, after which the condition will be excluded.

What else affects the cost of dog insurance?

What else affects the cost of dog insurance?

The age of your dog, its health, the level of cover you purchase and the policy excess (the amount you have to pay out of your own pocket if you make a claim) all affect the premium.

The insurance provider may also charge higher premiums if you live in an area where vet bills tend to be higher.

Any pre-existing conditions are excluded from cover, so it may be beneficial to get lifetime insurance from a puppy.

We know how important it is to find the right protection plan for your pet. To make things simple, use our pet insurance comparison service to compare your options and get the right cover for your pet.

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