Welcoming a new puppy to the family is an exciting time, but one that also signals the start of a lot of work. Being around to house train, socialise and entertain them can be like having another full time job. With a new pet being added to your home it may also signal the right time to consider insurance for your puppy.
Contents of this guide
Puppy insurance is a method of protecting against unforeseen vet bills caused by accidents or injuries that your puppy may suffer from. With all providers their puppy insurance policies are exactly the same as their dog insurance policies. But there may be some policy types on offer that are more suited to puppies than older dogs.
There are however some differences in terms of when you can get your puppy insured. Some providers offer to cover your puppy from 5 weeks old, with others this can be 8 weeks.
The average cost of owning and caring for a dog over its lifetime is estimated at anywhere up to £17,000. Without pet insurance these costs can be much higher depending upon the conditions or treatment your dog may require.
The Association of British Insurers have calculated that the average cost of a pet insurance claim in 2021 was £848 and with vet fee inflation currently at around 12%, this means that vet treatment costs are only rising. Therefore if your puppy gets ill and you are not covered, you could incur some large costs. There are some considerations for puppy insurance.
When your dog is young, much like humans, they tend to be healthier so you might think that insurance isn’t worth it until they get a little older. But, for a couple of reasons you might want to consider taking out a policy sooner rather than later.
Firstly, whilst illnesses and diseases are more unlikely in younger dogs, you can never be sure that a puppy won’t be susceptible to an illness which requires treatment.
Generally speaking the earlier that you get covered the better, firstly it’ll be cheaper to insure a younger dog, and secondly, depending upon the cover type that you choose you can ensure that any conditions that do arise can be covered and do not fall into the category of pre-existing.
If you’ve chosen to add a pedigree puppy to your home rather than a crossbreed or a mixed breed puppy then the risk of them developing a condition increases. Pedigree dogs are likely to have congenital conditions – those that they are born with – and therefore more likely to need treatment and make claims. Puppy insurance is there to help cover the cost of necessary treatment.
For example, French Bulldog puppies are most likely to suffer from congenital conditions such as Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome (BOAS), Corneal Ulcers, Patellar Luxation and spinal diseases.
With most providers you can get covered under 4 different cover levels.
The most comprehensive cover on offer is lifetime pet insurance and this represents a good choice if your looking for long term cover for your puppy throughout its life.
Time-limited is the other policy type that often proves popular with puppy owners. This provides cover against vet fees arising from accidents and illnesses up to a certain limit or for 12 months after the first date of treatment – whichever is reached first.
Your circumstance and budget are the most important factors to consider when it comes to finding the right cover for your puppy.
Getting your puppy insured when they are younger generally benefits you as the premiums will be cheaper, but there are a number of other factors that can influence the price of your puppy insurance premium.
As mentioned above, pedigree dogs are more likely to suffer from conditions passed down from their parents than crossbreeds or mixed breeds. As this is the case then you’ll find that pedigree breeds are more expensive to insure. Even with pedigrees you’ll find some difference in their cost.
For example, the following quotes were compiled on 20/02/2022 for a 3 month old male puppy living in Gravesend, Kent on a time-limited policy with a £2,000 per condition limit.
French Bulldog dog: £22.10/month
Labrador Retriever dog: 13.61/month
Shih Tzu dog: £9.12/month
Medium sized crossbreed dog: £9.06/month
Sometimes the age of your puppy has a bigger effect than you might think, even if it is a case of a few weeks in age. The health of your puppy is much more well known at 12 weeks as it would be at 6 weeks and as such, insurers can provide a more accurate premium. We have heard of cases where pet owners have corrected their pet age after incorrectly entering the pet’s date of birth only to learn of premium increasing due to the change.
If your dog has not had its vaccinations then you might find that your premium is slightly more expensive than if they had. You will likely also find that claims might be affected if your puppy suffers from an illness that could have been vaccinated against.
You might also find that puppies before they have been spayed or neutered will be slightly more expensive than those who haven’t. This increase is usually quite small.
|Labrador Retriever||Elbow dysplasia
Humeral head osteochondrosis
Cranial cruciate ligament rupture
|French Bulldog||BOAS, Corneal Ulcers, Patellar Luxation and spinal diseases|
|Cocker Spaniel||Hip dysplasia
Intervertebral Disk Disease (IVDD)
Degenerative mitral valve disease
|English Springer Spaniel||Ear conditions
Patient ductus arteriosus
Multifocal retinal dysplasia
Progressive retinal atrophy
|German Shepherd||Hip dysplasia
Degenerative disc disease
Dental Health Problems
Keratoconjunctivitis sicca (KCS)
|Staffordshire Bull Terrier||Hip dysplasia