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Dog insurance

Find out why you need a policy and how to get the right cover, then compare cheap dog insurance quotes.

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We're certainly a nation of animal lovers, with 86% of owners considering their pet to be part of the family.[1]

Canines are amongst the more expensive animals to own, due to their size and nature

It follows that many of us would undoubtedly be devastated if our dog was injured or unwell and we couldn't afford the treatment they needed.

The fact is that canines can be very expensive to buy and to keep. But by planning ahead and taking out adequate insurance, we can keep our four-legged friends in the best possible health and cover unplanned costs if an accident or emergency occurs.

Dog insurance helps to cover the expense of vets' bills if your pooch gets ill or is hurt in an accident.

Some policies also help with costs associated with, for example, the death of your animal, your pet being lost or stolen, or even your dog hurting another animal or a person.

Why dog insurance is important

Dogs are amongst the more expensive animals to own, due to their size and nature.

Pedigrees can cost a lot to buy, and other items such as collars, leads and baskets can all add to the initial cost - and that's before the daily cost of food is factored in.

Then there are the veterinary fees. Due to their energy and inquisitive personalities, dogs are at greater risk of getting hurt than some pets and common injuries such as those to the leg and paw can cost hundreds, if not thousands, of pounds to treat.

Dog

Whilst up-front and day-to-day costs are manageable for many households, unexpected costs are often just not affordable to owners.

But having insurance will give you peace of mind that if something does happen out of the blue, your pet will be well cared for.

There are different types of dog insurance cover and - depending on your budget and your canine's needs - some of the main options to consider will include time-limited policies, maximum benefit policies and lifetime or covered for life policies.

You can find out more about those options in our guide to pet insurance, while you might also want to think about some the following cover options.

Alternative therapies

Alternative therapies such as homeopathy, massage and acupuncture can be useful treatments for canines as well as humans.

Not all insurance policies will cover these kinds of therapies, but some do, so compare policies to find out which might best suit your pooch.

Third party liability

If your canine injures a person, another animal or property, you might be liable for damages if that person or the animal's owner decides to make a civil claim.

Some dog insurance policies offer third party liability cover. This means that if you are found to be liable for injuries caused by your dog to a person or animal, or for damage caused to someone else's property, the insurance company will pay damages up to a certain amount.

Death due to an accident or illness

Under some policies, the insurer will pay a lump sum if your dog dies following an accident or illness.

This might cover, for example, the cost of an expensive pedigree animal. Some policies might also pay for your four-legged friend to be cremated if his or her death was caused by an accident or illness.

Taking your dog abroad

Under the Pet Travel Scheme (PETS), dogs can be brought into the UK without quarantine so long as they meet certain conditions.

Pet travel might be included as standard in your policy or you might have to take out an add-on to cover your trip

This has made it more straightforward for owners to take their dogs on holiday with them, but it's wise to take out insurance in case something happens whilst you are away.

Pet insurance can cover accidents, illness and emergencies whilst you are on holiday. Pet travel might be included as standard in your policy or you might have to take out an add-on to cover your trip.

Other emergencies

What would happen if you had to go into hospital unexpectedly? Would you be able to arrange for a friend or relative to look after your animal at short notice?

If not, your dog might need to stay in a kennel, which can be costly. Some policies take this into consideration and will cover emergency fees up to a certain cost.

Whichever policy you opt for, we advise you to read the small print carefully to make sure you have the right level of cover.

And remember that insurance is intended to cover unexpected illnesses and events, not things such as vaccinations and routine grooming treatments - don't forget to factor in these costs before you buy a dog.

Puppies

To find out more about the requirements for puppies and to compare quotes, read our guide to puppy insurance.

Take a look at our infographic to find out more about what you'll need to feed your dog or puppy.

By Rebecca Lees