Ugh, insurance. What an off-putting term. But the idea of needing it and not having it is even more off-putting – especially when you have a new puppy… you just never know what you might run into. Kudos to you for starting to think about getting your puppy’s insurance sorted!

It’s important you get yourself covered in any care your new bundle of joy might need.

That being said, with the sheer volume of puppy insurance products available, it can be quite overwhelming to know what to go for, and understand all the different levels of cover. Luckily for you, we’re here to explain some of the best puppy insurance for you both. 

In this article, besides tackling insurance gently, we’ll cover: 

  • What is puppy insurance?
  • What are the different types of puppy insurance?
  • What is not covered by puppy insurance?
  • Do you need puppy insurance?
  • How to choose the best puppy insurance for you and your pet?
grayhound puppy looking at camera
Photo by Chris Arthur-Collins on Unsplash

What is puppy insurance?

Vet treatment can be surprisingly expensive and it’s often the case that many puppy or dog owners find themselves struggling to meet those unexpected costs. So as you can imagine, a puppy insurance policy is a great way of protecting you from this, and gives you the gift of peace of mind. Avoided stress is always helpful. 

Here’s a couple of examples for when puppy insurance would come in handy: 

  • Gus the Beagle had a very severe ear infection which caused him to get very poorly very quickly. The cost of tests, consultations and medication quickly led to a bill of over £200. Ear infections are a common illness and can happen often especially in the floppy eared breeds. 
  • Gizmo the sausage dog decided to help himself to the family’s easter eggs. With chocolate being highly toxic to dogs, Gizmo required extensive treatment including an overnight stay in the hospital running up a bill of nearly £900! Naughty sausage!

Without puppy insurance, the owners of Gus and Gizmo may have been as sad as their puppies. But since they were insured, they’ve managed to stay grounded and strong for their puppies as they just had to pay the excess on their policy.

What are the different types of puppy insurance?

There are various types of puppy insurance policies available. The best puppy insurance depends on what fits you and your puppy best:

Lifetime cover (reinstatement cover)

Not gonna lie, often the most expensive of all policies, but covers a hell of a lot…literally.. Lifetime cover offers ongoing cover for illnesses or injury throughout your pet’s life, which means your puppy will be covered for a set amount each year that gets automatically renewed as your policy renews. This policy also covers ongoing medical conditions that your pet may need cover for in the years to come. 

Maximum benefit policies

This policy provides a fixed amount of money for each illness or injury. There is no time limit but once the full amount has been reached any further illness or injury won’t be covered until the policy renews. 

Time limited 

Time limited policies have a set period for which treatment of each illness or injury will be covered. After that, it’s all you my friend.

Accident only

These policies provide a fixed sum for any accidents. They may include a small portion towards illness but are mostly for unexpected accidents. To be honest, this would be perfect insurance for clumsy humans.

What’s not covered by puppy insurance?

Generally, puppy insurance doesn’t cover the routine costs of having a puppy such as:

If you’re lucky, your policy may consider a claim for neutering but it’s usually only if it is recommended on medical grounds. Yep, we know. Pretty annoying.

pug puppy wrapped in blanket
Photo by Matthew Henry on Unsplash

Do you need puppy insurance?

Alright, so puppy insurance is not legally required, but you may want to consider it as it does come with quite some benefits:

  • Protection from unexpected vet bills if your puppy is ill or involved in an accident. We’ll ‘touch wood’ for you on this one, but we simply can’t tell the future can we?
  • Some policies will cover dental treatment, end of life cover, lost and found assistance and pets abroad cover. All these extra things do add up, you know?
  • Multi pet discounts if you insure more than one pet, not necessarily from the same species. This may be a great option for those of you with a thing for having a big doggy family or a menagerie! 
  • Third party liability, if your pet causes injury or damage to another person or another person’s property. Especially in those first years…don’t want to get into a fight with your neighbours about their chewed-up flower beds.
  • Some policies will cover the cost of behaviourists or other specialists if recommended by your vet. That’s about the best news you could get right?

How much does puppy insurance cost?

The cost of puppy insurance is something you should also factor in when you decide to get a puppy and are choosing which breed. 

Puppy insurance costs vary between dog breed sizes and types. Typically, the larger the dog, the larger the premium as vet costs are higher for larger breeds. For example, insurance for a Great Dane can be as much as 3 times higher than a Chihuahua’s! It’s also because it’s thought that larger dogs can be more prone to causing damage (mostly accidental) so third party cover is higher. We don’t necessarily think this is true though…size isn’t everything in the dog world.

Some breeds are known to have common health complaints. Flat-faced breeds such as French Bulldogs, British Bulldogs, Pugs and Boxers can often have breathing problems requiring treatment or even expensive surgery, so puppy insurance might indeed be a great help, but it will cost you!

How to choose the best insurance for you and your pet

So if you’ve made up your mind about purchasing puppy insurance, the next step is to figure out which policy to buy. The first step for this is to keep in mind that the cheapest cover isn’t always the best option. Some policies offer free online vet consultations which can be useful!

Be sure to read through what each policy offers so you are clear what is and isn’t covered; comparison sites can help you out to keep you from feeling overwhelmed by all the choices. 

If you decide that puppy insurance isn’t really for you, don’t worry, you’re not alone. Not everyone chooses to take out insurance – some prefer to pay for bills as they come by setting aside money each month that would otherwise have been spent on insurance for any emergencies. This is a great method for these super organised families….wish we could be like those sometimes.

puppy lying on floor
Photo by T.R Photography 📸 on Unsplash

Ah, that wasn’t so bad, was it? Puppy insurance, or any insurance for that matter is never a joyful topic to talk about, but we hope we’ve made it a little easier for you, and made you feel better equipped in your journey with your puppy. 

To fill your brain with more puppy information, you might want to read our article on the ultimate checklist for getting a new puppy. It includes everything you think you need and more. Hope your wallet is full. 

We have many more nuggets of advice as well as a personalised lesson programme in our Zigzag puppy training app. There’s also a team of puppy training experts on hand to answer any of your questions. Don’t worry, you don’t need insurance to download it, so go ahead!