Puppy insurance

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When should I start thinking about puppy insurance?

Having a new puppy in the house is exciting – and distracting. But along with teething troubles, toilet training and establishing house rules, it’s also a time to consider buying puppy insurance, so you’re covered for any vet treatment they might need.

Although you might be tempted to wait until your puppy gets older before you insure them, there are compelling reasons to get your insurance sorted while your dog is still young.

Keeping a dog is expensive. The PDSA estimates the cost of owning one at between £6,500-£17,000 over the whole of the pet’s lifetime. But if you don’t have pet insurance, those costs could get an awful lot higher: vet bills are rising at a rate of 12% a year and the average pet insurance claim has topped £750. So, if your puppy gets sick and you don’t have insurance, you could end up seriously out of pocket – canine problems like bloat, for example, could set you back as much as £480.

Then there’s the issue of pre-existing health conditions. Many pet insurance policies exclude these from cover. Choosing a longer-term type of pet insurance for your puppy while they’re young can help you avoid this exclusion. Plus, pet insurance prices tend to increase as your dog gets older and there’s a greater risk of a claim.

Compare puppy insurance policies with us today to help ensure your new pet is protected and you can afford any care they might need. Our guide also answers any questions you might have about getting cover for your puppy.

What types of dog insurance are there for my puppy? 

There are four main varieties of puppy insurance: 

Lifetime pet insurance – This isn’t the cheapest option, but it is the most comprehensive. It's usually easiest to get pet insurance by buying a lifetime policy when your pet is young. Your pet can be covered for their lifetime, provided you renew your premium every year. It can include all new and recurring conditions up to a certain cost limit. 

Maximum benefit pet insurance – your puppy will be insured up to a certain cost limit, as long as your premium is renewed. 

Time limited pet insurance – this usually runs for 12 months and there’s usually a cost limit. 

Accident only pet insurance – this is the cheapest option, but it only covers treatment related to your pet having an accident, not illness. 

What does puppy insurance usually cover? 

When insuring your furry friend, it’s important to know what they’ll actually be covered for. The last thing you want is for your pup to be unwell or injured, only to find out that your policy won’t pay out for the care they need. Your puppy insurance should cover vet bills, but you need to check exactly which ones. Your policy may also include:

  • Dental cover – this can cover dental work needed because of an accident or illness, but always check exactly what’s included. 
  • Kennel fees – if you had to go into hospital and couldn’t find anyone to look after your pup, this could cover the cost of kennel fees. 
  • Death by accident or illness – it’s not something you’ll want to think about while your dog is still a waggy bundle of tufty fur, but some policies will cover you up to the value of your pet if they pass away. 
  • Travelling abroad – if you’d like to take your puppy away on holiday with you, it’s increasingly easy to do so. Getting your pet insured for travel abroad means you can cover any medical costs, or maybe even the cost of your holiday, should something happen while away. It’s important to note that there may be restrictions to your policy for travel. For instance, you may be limited to travelling in Europe, so it’s best to check what you’re covered for, before you book your trip.    

What isn’t covered by puppy insurance? 

Policies can vary based on a number of factors, but you can typically find a number of common exclusions. Routine treatments won’t normally be covered, and you might find that some conditions are excluded. This is particularly important if your pup is a pedigree and prone to certain hereditary conditions. 
You should check your policy carefully for the following exclusions, and arrange any specialist cover that your little pup might need: 

  • Routine check ups 
  • Pre-existing medical conditions 
  • Vaccinations 
  • Flea treatment 
  • Spaying/castration 
  • Puppies under a certain age (six to eight weeks) 
  • Conditions within the first 14 days of taking out your policy 

How much does puppy insurance cost? 

Pet insurance needn’t be hugely expensive. 50% of people could achieve a quote of £167 per year for their dog insurance based on Compare the Market data in November 2020 for all cover types**. 
**50% of people could achieve a quote of £166.08 per year for their dog insurance based on Compare the Market data in November 2020 for all cover types.

Frequently asked questions

How will puppy insurance help?

Although pet insurance for your puppy isn’t a legal requirement, it can help cover costs if they get sick or are injured in an accident. It can also help with costs if they injure a person or another dog, or damage something.

Find out more about third party dog insurance.

What’s the youngest age at which I can get pet insurance for my puppy?

You should be able to get puppy insurance when your dog is between six and eight weeks old, so you don’t have to wait long before you can compare policies and take out insurance to give you peace of mind for your puppy.

What health issues affect puppies?

Here are the main conditions to look out for in your new best friend:

  • Infectious diseases – until they’ve completed their vaccinations (at around four months), puppies are at risk from a variety of infectious diseases like canine distemper, hepatitis, parvovirus and leptospirosis.
  • Birth defects – these could be abnormalities in any part of the body or organ system and may prevent normal development and growth.
  • Parasites – it can be quite common for puppies to develop these nasty little intestinal visitors, such as roundworms, hookworms and tapeworms.
  • Stomach upsets – puppies can be prone to gastrointestinal pains due to stress, illness, too many treats or other conditions.

How can I help keep my puppy healthy?

You should register your puppy with your vet within the first few weeks and arrange a health check appointment.

On your first visit your vet will probably ask you about your puppy’s history – where you bought him or her and if you have any details about their parents.
Your vet will then give your puppy a thorough physical examination, including:

  • checking your puppy's eyes
  • looking in their ears
  • examining their mouth
  • examining their coat
  • calculating their temperature
  • weighing them
  • listening to their chest (heart and breathing)
  • feeling their abdomen

Your puppy will need to have their first vaccinations when they’re around eight weeks old.
It’s also a legal requirement to have your puppy microchipped by the time they’re eight weeks old. If you don’t do this, as well as risking a fine, you may invalidate your pet insurance.

How do I find a good deal on puppy insurance?

To find puppy insurance that suits the needs of your young dog, simply use our price comparison service.

All you need to do is tell us a few details about your puppy and we’ll show you a range of quotes, allowing you to compare prices and policy details to find the right puppy insurance for you.

On average, it can take three minutes to complete a pet insurance quote through Compare the Market based on data in November 2020.