Pedigree and purebred dog insurance

Pedigree pets are both more likely to suffer from health conditions and more expensive to buy, also making them more expensive to insure. Find out more about how pedigree dog insurance works.

How pet cover works for pedigree dogs

Pedigree dogs are not only more expensive to buy, but also more expensive to insure than their crossbreed friends. This is because they are more prone to developing conditions passed down from their parents. With this in mind finding the right level of dog insurance protection for your pedigree.

Contents of this guide

What is a pedigree dog?

Like with most things, there are different definitions of a pedigree dog. Some people believe that if the dog’s parents are both from the same breed then the dog will be a pedigree too. Whilst other have a stricter definition which needs the dog to be recognised as a registered pedigree by The Kennel Club.

Similarly you might find some differences between pedigree and purebred dogs. Whilst most insurers use these terms interchangeably there is a subtle difference. A purebred dog is one where both parents are the same breed, whilst pedigree goes slightly further by having the breeding history recorded.

When taking out pet insurance be sure to understand your chosen provider’s definition of pedigree so you can make sure you answer the questions accurately.

Generally speaking most insurers define pedigree dogs as: “Parents of the same breed”

Crossbreeds are defined as: “Parents of 2 different breeds”

Mixed breed or mongrels are defined as: “Parents of 3 or more different breeds”

What can pedigree dog insurance cover?

Standard dog insurance policies cover you against costs of vet treatment for your pedigree dog. They also come with a number of elements to the cover that might be particularly useful for pedigree dog owners.

  • Farewell cover provides a pay out in the event that your pet dies from an accident or illness.
  • Lost and found cover is there to help you in the event that your dog strays, gets lost or is stolen. It provides support with advertising and rewards to recover your pet. In recent months dog theft has increased hugely because of the demand for new pets, this is particularly prevalent for popular pedigree breeds.
  • Boarding fees help in the event that you become ill meaning you are no longer able to care for your dog.
  • Holiday cancellation cover supports you with compensation in the event of needing to cancel your holiday or cut it short because of an illness with your dog. Pedigree dogs are more likely to suffer with illnesses than cross or mixed breed dogs.
  • Third party liability insurance offers cover against any damages you are liable to pay which have been caused by your dog harming another person, another animal or someone else’s property.
  • Overseas travel cover can help if you take your pet abroad and then requires emergency treatment. It can also support you if you lose your pet passport or even if you require repatriation.

Types of pedigree pet insurance

Pet insurance can be categorised into 5 categories listed below from typically least to most comprehensive:

  • Accident only – provides cover against fees arising from accidents.
  • Time limited – provides cover for a specific time period, usually 12 months, against accidents and illnesses.
  • Maximum benefit – providing cover for accidents and illnesses up to a specific cover amount.
  • Lifetime insurance – offers cover for accidents and illnesses up to a cover limit which is then reset at each renewal.
  • Pre-existing conditions pet insurance – provides cover for accidents, illnesses and pre-existing conditions, usually these limits are reset or raised at each renewal.

Due to the cost of pedigree dogs as well as them being a much loved member of the family, lifetime dog insurance is usually the preferred option for the comprehensiveness of the cover which protects against hereditary conditions should they arise.

If those hereditary conditions have already affected your dog, and you wish to protect those, then pre-existing conditions cover could provide the cover you need.

How much is pedigree dog insurance?

Insurance for pedigree dogs will be more expensive than it is for cross and mixed breeds. This is due to those hereditary conditions that often affect pedigree breeds.

Our latest price check (26/2/2022) has shown that the cheapest lifetime cover on offer is £18.26/month from PetProtect.*


*Cover based on £4,000 cover limit for a 42 month old female Labrador Retriever living in Colchester, Essex.

What affects your premium?

Aside from the pedigree breed you have other major things that impact the price you receive are:

  • Where you live – living in a built up urban area will typically mean you’ll receive a higher price than if you live in a rural location. This is because of the cost of vet treatment and the risk of accidents.
  • Age of your pet – The older your pedigree dog the more expensive it will be to insure them. This is because, like humans, the older they get, the more likely they are to become ill.

Common heredity conditions in pedigrees

Nearly all pedigree dogs will in some way be susceptible to hereditary conditions. We’ve taken a look at the UK’s top 10 pedigree dogs and their most common hereditary conditions:

  • Labradors: They typically suffer from canine hip, shoulder and elbow dysplasia.
  • French Bulldog: Typical conditions include eye conditions such as corneal ulcers as well as BOAS – a condition affecting their breathing often requiring vet treatment.
  • Cocker Spaniel: Usually find issues with hip dysplasia, eye diseases and kidney diseases.
  • Bulldog: Similar to French Bulldogs, these can be prone to breathing difficulties as well as hip dysplasia.
  • Dachshund: A number of potential illnesses including spinal problems (IVDD), Cushing’s Disease and eye problems.
  • English Springer Spaniel: Hip and elbow dysplasia are common conditions found with Springer Spaniels
  • Golden Retriever: Typically conditions include hip and elbow dysplasia. They can also suffer from cancer.
  • German Shepherd: Alsatians can suffer from bloating, alongside hip and elbow dysplasia.
  • Pug: Pugs are liable to luxating patella affecting mobility as well as eye conditions such as PRA (Progressive Retinal Atrophy) which can ultimately lead to blindness.
  • Staffordshire Bull Terrier: Eye conditions are common within this breed, particularly cataracts, entropion, ectropion and PRA. Mobility issues like hip dysplasia can also impact this breed.

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