All you need to know about pedigree dog insurance

Prices for pedigree dogs are soaring, with pups being sold for upwards of £6,000. If you’re going to buy an expensive dog, you’ll want to know you have the right pet insurance in place. Pedigrees can also be at higher risk of developing hereditary conditions. With that in mind, here’s all you need to know about insurance for your pedigree dog.

Prices for pedigree dogs are soaring, with pups being sold for upwards of £6,000. If you’re going to buy an expensive dog, you’ll want to know you have the right pet insurance in place. Pedigrees can also be at higher risk of developing hereditary conditions. With that in mind, here’s all you need to know about insurance for your pedigree dog.

Mubina Pirmohamed
Insurance expert
4
minute read
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Last Updated 4 NOVEMBER 2022

What is a pedigree dog?

A pedigree dog, as defined by the RSPCA, is the puppy of two dogs of the same breed. A pedigree must also be registered with the relevant breed club, society or the Kennel Club

What are the most popular pedigree dogs?

There are 221 pedigree dog breeds, although according to the Kennel Club, most Brits tend to opt for a Labrador, Cocker Spaniel, French Bulldog or Bulldog.

How do I buy a pedigree puppy?

If you’re thinking of getting a pedigree dog, you’ll want to make sure it’s happy and healthy. The Kennel Club is a great place to start and has useful information on finding the right breeder.

The Blue Cross is also a good source of advice, including how to spot a bad breeder.

Your pedigree pup is likely to come with paperwork, including their pedigree (a record of their ancestry) and their Kennel Club Registration Certificate.

See what paperwork you should have on the pets4homes website.

How much is insurance for a pedigree dog?

Pedigree dog insurance is often more expensive than cover for crossbreeds or mongrels. This is because pedigree breeds are more susceptible to genetic disorders.

But how much you pay for your pet insurance will depend on a number of factors, including your dog’s age, where you live and how much cover you opt for.

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What are some of the most common hereditary conditions?

Some of the most popular pedigree dogs are prone to inherited disorders:

  • Labrador: these hugely popular dogs are sadly prone to canine hip, shoulder and elbow dysplasia.
  • Golden Retriever: a popular family pet, Goldies often suffer from hip and elbow dysplasia. They can also suffer from cancer, although this is less common.
  • Cocker Spaniel: gentle, easy-going Cocker Spaniels can be prone to hip dysplasia, eye diseases and kidney diseases.
  • Boxer: these strong, confident dogs are at risk of developing breathing difficulties, bloating and deafness.
  • Border Terrier: these dogs are generally robust but can be prone to hip dysplasia, Spike’s disease (similar to canine epilepsy) and genetic conditions that can affect their eyesight.
  • German Shepherd: like most deep-chested dogs, German Shepherds can suffer from bloating. They’re also prone to hip and elbow dysplasia.

What does pedigree dog insurance cover?

The most important thing your pet insurance policy will cover is your vet bills (although it’s unlikely to cover routine treatment, such as vaccinations or dentistry). Depending on your policy, pet insurance can also cover:

  • Death due to illness or accident
  • Your dog going missing – the costs of advertising, rewards and compensation payment if your dog isn’t found
  • Kennel fees, or other care costs – if you become ill and can’t look after your dog
  • Compensation for the costs of cancelling your holiday if your dog becomes ill
  • Liability insurance – if your dog harms another person or animal and you have to pay damages
  • Emergency care – if you take your dog abroad
  • Alternative treatments, such as homeopathy, if recommended by your vet.

Find out more about which vet fees pet insurance can cover

Types of pet insurance policy

To find the best pet insurance policy for you, you’ll need to weigh up the pros and cons of the available options. This usually boils down to the level of cover you want and how much you’re willing to pay.

There are four types of pet insurance to look for when comparing deals:

Accident-only pet insurance

Accident-only pet insurance covers your pet’s vet bills if they’re hurt in an accident, but not if they get ill. This type of policy is likely to be cheaper than comprehensive insurance and may work well if you have a young dog or cat that’s fit and healthy.

Most accident-only policies last for 12 months. If your pet needs treatment beyond that, you might not be covered. There’s usually a limit on how much you can claim, so be sure to check this.

Time-limited pet insurance

Time-limited pet insurance covers illnesses, as well as accidents, for up to 12 months after the condition is diagnosed or to the limit of the policy – whichever comes first. After that, the condition won’t be covered, even if you renew the policy. Pre-existing conditions aren’t covered, either.

This is the most basic illness-related pet insurance, but it could be a good option for older dogs as there’s no age limit. It can also offer valuable support if pets of any age fall ill with a short-term illness.

Maximum benefit pet insurance

Maximum benefit pet insurance covers accidents and illnesses up to a maximum amount per condition. Once you’ve reached the limit, you’re no longer covered for that condition.

This could be a problem if your pet develops a serious long-term condition that’s expensive to treat. However, because there’s no time limit, it could be useful for maintaining your pet’s health over the long term – for example, if they need ongoing medication.

Lifetime pet insurance

Lifetime pet insurance is the most comprehensive pet insurance available. As long as you maintain the policy, your pet will be covered for accidents, injuries and illnesses throughout its life. It may even include the costs of putting your pet down, as well as cremation or burial.

There are usually limits on how many claims you can make per year or per condition – sometimes both. Once you reach this limit, you can’t claim for that particular condition until you renew. The limit then resets once you renew the policy.

This means that, as long as you stay with the same policy provider, you’ll be covered if your dog develops a chronic condition.

The best pet insurance for you depends on your budget and needs. But whichever policy you choose, read the small print carefully and find out what’s excluded, so you can avoid any nasty surprises.

The best pet insurance for you depends on your budget and needs. But whichever policy you choose, read the small print carefully and find out what’s excluded, so you can avoid any nasty surprises.

What affects the cost of my pet insurance premium?

Five factors will affect how much you’ll pay for your pedigree pet insurance:

  • Your dog’s age
  • Your dog’s health history
  • What level of cover you want
  • How much excess you’re prepared to pay
  • Your postcode.
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Compare pet insurance

Get a pet insurance quote and you could start saving now

Get a quote