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Dental insurance for pets

Mouth problems are more common in animals than you might realise, so including dental cover on your pet insurance is worth considering.

Key points

  • Not all pet policies include dental cover as standard - check yours!
  • Policies vary widely - ensure you have the cover level you need
  • Most will cover illness or accident and injury
  • Some providers will offer insurance for cosmetic work

If you have a pet, you may have encountered all sorts of teething problems - quite literally.

Dental problems such as gum disease, fractured teeth and ulcers are more common in animals than you might realise, so it's a very good idea to make sure they are covered by your pet insurance.

The cost of treating dental problems can quickly run into hundreds of pounds, especially if your pet has teeth extracted or needs anaesthetic or antibiotics.

So read on to find out how you can protect your pet, not to mention your wallet, if the need for dental treatment should arise.

Why does my pet need dental insurance?

Animals can be accident prone and can get themselves into all sorts of scrapes in which their mouths or teeth can get hurt.

Dogs in particular like to chew all sorts of things that they shouldn't, such as stones, which can lead to chipped or broken teeth and cuts.Dog and cat

Also, pets can be born with problems such as overgrown gums or missing teeth, or their milk teeth might not fall out naturally.

These kinds of issues can be unpleasant but can be easily treated with the right cover in place.

As with all types of policy there might be an initial period, such as a few months, where you are unable to make a claim and would have to meet the cost of any treatment yourself.

Does my pet insurance already include dental cover?

Don't assume that your existing policy will pay out for any dental treatment your pet needs, as some don't include it at all.

Many policies do include dental treatment but the level of cover varies, so read the policy documents carefully to know what you're getting.

Did you know...?

  • Restricted policies can cost less than other pet dental insurance, but make sure you know what's covered and what isn't

Accidents and illness

The majority of policies on the market offer dental protection cover against accident and illness or accident and injury, but do not cover cosmetic work.

Under this type of policy, if your pet hurts their mouth or develops an illness, the cost of treatment will be met up to a specified amount.

The limit can be several thousands of pounds under some policies, so pet dental insurance can certainly be a worthwhile investment if your animal needs a lot of care.

Restricted policies

Some insurers pay for dental treatment only in certain circumstances, such as where there is external damage or where milk teeth have to be removed

A restricted policy might also cover, for example, extractions needed as a result of injury.Labrador

Restricted policies can cost less than other pet dental insurance, but make sure you know what's covered and what isn't.

Multi-pet dental cover

Some pet insurers offer a multi-pet discount, which means that the cost of dental cover for a second animal is lower than for the first.

Prevention is better than cure

Sometimes, dental problems in animals are unavoidable, but some dental issues can be prevented by good hygiene and care.

The Dogs Trust recommends that your dog's teeth should be brushed daily with an adult toothbrush and pet toothpaste.

Dogs should also be given appropriate rubber toys to chew rather than bones and stones, which can break their teeth.

The Cats Protection charity also recommends brushing feline teeth, although cats need to be trained to allow you to do it daily.

Giving your cat dry food can help to keep their teeth clean, whilst providing toys to chew on can also help your cat's dental hygiene.

A successful insurance claim might even depend on good dental care or annual or regular health checks being carried out, with your policy potentially becoming invalid otherwise.

So looking after your pet's teeth and gums is a good habit to get into, financially as well as health-wise!

By Rebecca Lees