Your dog is part of the family and deserves to get the best possible veterinary care when necessary. There is no National Health Service for pets, and veterinary fees continue to rise at a faster rate than general inflation. If you can afford it, we would certainly recommend taking out pet insurance.
Things to look for when choosing a pet insurance policy:
- Check that the level of insurance cover is adequate for your pet as they all differ. Individual companies can guide you.
- Check that there is no time limit on how long you can claim for each illness. If your dog gets a chronic illness that requires treatment for the rest of his life, a policy that only offers annual cover will only pay out for the first year.
- Check that your policy does not have a ‘cut-off’ age where the policy ceases to provide cover as many policies will not cover your dog beyond the age of 8 years.
- Insurance premiums for crossbreeds will often be cheaper than for pedigree or purebred dogs. Prices may also differ depending on where you live in the UK, as this reflects local differences in vet fees.
Remember that you will have to pay an excess when you claim for each new condition or illness and this may increase as your dog gets older. Usually around £40-£70 will have to be paid towards the cost of treatment. Also, if your pet has already been treated for a condition before taking out your policy, then the insurance company will most likely not cover any further treatment for that condition.
Pet insurance may seem expensive, but it really could mean the difference between life and death for your dog; it would be heartbreaking to have to have your dog put to sleep just because you couldn’t afford the necessary veterinary treatment. On the other hand, if your dog is lucky you may never have to claim any money back, but at the very least it really does give you peace of mind.
If you are having trouble meeting your dog’s vet bills, Dogs Trust might be able to help. If you are interested in third party insurance (in addition to, not replacing, veterinary insurance) our Membership package might be of interest to you.