Frequently asked questions about membership

General membership questions

How much is membership?

Standard membership is £25 per year but if you’re 60 years or over it costs just £12.50 per year. Life membership is £750.

When you become a member you will be helping us care for over 17,000 dogs every year as well as getting benefits for you and your own dog too!

How can I pay for my membership?

Direct Debit is the easiest and cheapest way to set up your membership but you can also pay by credit card or cheque.

How do I become a member?

You can set up your membership online now or by calling us on 020 7837 0006 (Mon – Fri from 9.00am– 5.00pm).

What are the benefits of being a Dogs Trust member?
  • Unlimited access to Vetfone™, 24 hour emergency advice from qualified veterinary nurses 365 days of the year.
  • FREE third party insurance - up to £1,000,000 cover per claim if your dog causes damage or injury to another person their property or pets.
  • Peace of mind with our Canine Care Card. The guarantee that Dogs Trust will take care of your dog should anything happen to you.
How old do I need to be before I can become a Dogs Trust member?

The minimum age for Dogs Trust members is 16 years old.

Can I take out a membership in joint names?

No, membership is only available to individuals.

Vetfone™ Questions

What is Vetfone™?

Vetfone™ is a telephone service offering unlimited access to veterinary advice.

That means 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days of the year.

Calls are answered by RCVS (Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons) qualified vet nurses. Vetfone provides a triage service with the caller being advised as to what they can do to help their pet and whether a visit to the vet is necessary and if so, how quickly.

How does Vetfone™ benefit me and my pet?

Since launching our partnership with Vetfone™, hundreds of Dogs Trust members have called for advice.

After the consultation almost 50% of cases didn’t need to see a vet at all, and what’s more many late night callers have been advised that a vet visit can wait until normal practice hours, saving our members up to £175 on potentially wasted trips to the out-of-hours vet.

Vetfone™ can provide peace of mind to owners worried about their pets any time of the day or night.

How much does it cost to call Vetfone™?

Calls are charged at 5p/minute from a UK landline. The cost of calls from mobiles varies, please check with your service provider.

Will I be able to speak to a vet on Vetfone™?

No, all calls are answered by fully qualified RCVS registered veterinary nurses.

How often can I call Vetfone™?

You can call Vetfone™ any time day or night, 365 days of the year. Members have unlimited access and can call as often as they need to.

Does Vetfone™ offer home visits?

No, all advice is given over the phone. They will tell you what you can do to help your pet or whether you need to go to the vet and, if so, how quickly.

What are the opening and closing times for Vetfone™?

Vetfone™ never closes, calls are answered 24 hours a day, every day of the year.

Can I call Vetfone™ about all my pets?

Yes, you can call if you're concerned about the health of any of your pets, not just your dog.

Third Party Insurance Questions

What does the insurance cover me for?

Membership provides third party public liability insurance of up to £1,000,000 per incident if your dog causes damage or injury to another person, their property, or pets.

The insurance includes your legal defence costs in such situations, where (a) a damages claim is brought in a civil court and (b) your legal defence costs where a prosecution is brought in a criminal court under Section 3 of the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 (or equivalent).

Fines, compensation and penalties connected with or resulting from a criminal court prosecution are excluded.

Do I have to register the dogs I want covered?

No, as a member, all your dogs are automatically covered, provided they are all pets (this does not cover businesses or working dogs).

Does insurance cover start immediately?

Insurance cover begins from when membership payment clears. Paying by card is the quickest way, however please note that payments are not processed immediately and it could take more than 24 hours before insurance cover is in place. A membership pack will be sent immediately, and although we will also try to contact you in the event of a payment failing, it is your responsibility to ensure your payment has cleared.

Is the insurance cover worldwide?

Yes. The insurance only applies to members who live in Great Britain, Northern Ireland, the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man or the Republic of Ireland, however, any incident elsewhere in the world other than offshore (defined below) would be covered, but only if the trip was a holiday (i.e temporary, up to six months) by any member normally resident in the territories described above.

'Offshore' means any offshore installation in the sea or tidal waters used or intended for the drilling, exploration, production, storage or recovery of gas or oil, or any support or accommodation vessel used or intended for use in connection with such installation.

I have a hearing dog for the deaf/guide dog for the blind, is it covered by the third party insurance?

The insurance currently covers assistance dogs provided by a recognised provider. Please be aware that this position could change.

If my dog were to cause damage to holiday accommodation would I be covered by the third party insurance?

Yes, damage to third party property is covered, including if the damage occurs overseas, provided that the overseas trip is a holiday and the member is a permanent resident of Great Britain, Northern Ireland, the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man or the Republic of Ireland.

If my dog causes damage to my rented house or flat, could I claim for damage to my landlord’s property?

No, your rented house or flat is considered your own residence so it would not be covered by third party insurance.

My dog and I visit a nursing home as a volunteer. Does the third party insurance cover this?

No, even though the member is a volunteer, the visits from the dog and carer would be considered work and therefore not covered by the insurance. However, if the member was taking their dog to work and the dog was not being used for work purposes it would be covered by the insurance.

My friends walk and look after my dog sometimes. Are these occasions covered by my third party insurance?

Yes, the insurance covers the member's dog, regardless of whether the member is present at the time damage occurs. If the dog is being walked or looked after by a friend or a member of the family then they are still covered. However if a member is looking after other people's dogs the third party insurance does not cover the dogs that belong to other people.

Does the insurance cover my dog for its own medical expenses?

No, this is not medical insurance and does not cover vet fees for your own dog.

Are banned breeds covered by the third party insurance?

There are 4 types of banned dog types: Pit Bull Terrier, Japanese Tosa, Dogo Argentino and Fila Braziliero.

Members with any of these types are only covered by the third party insurance if the dog is registered with the Index of Exempted Dogs or has been released under the Interim Exemption Scheme. In both cases all applicable conditions must be complied with for the member to be covered.

Please note that this information is subject to change depending on any changes in the law.

Are my other pets covered by the third party insurance?

No, the insurance is only for cases where your dog causes damage or injury to another person, their property, or pets.

What is the insurance cover amount?

Up to £1,000,000 cover per incident.

Is there an insurance excess to pay?

Yes, there is an excess of £200 per claim in the UK and £500 in Republic of Ireland. Please note the terms and conditions of the insurance, including the excess amount are subject to change.

How do I make an insurance claim?

Please call 020 7837 0006 Mon to Fri 9am to 5pm to speak to the legal department.

Please note: do not accept liability as this will affect your claim.

Canine Care Card Questions

What is the Canine Care Card?

The Canine Care Card is a free service that guarantees that Dogs Trust will take care of your dog in the event of your death.

When I have a Canine Care Card, what happens to my dog when I die?

We will look after your dog until we can find him or her a loving home, no matter how long it takes.

We will never put a healthy dog to sleep so dog owners can rest assured that their dog will be safe with us.

How do I register my dog for the Canine Care Card?

Simply fill in and return the application form that you will receive in your membership pack.

Once we receive this information we will keep it on file.