If you’re thinking about adopting a rescue dog or have already welcomed one to your home, it’s important to make sure that you have the right cover from your pet insurance policy.
According to DogsTrust, around 130,000 dogs get sent to rehoming centres in the UK each year.
Rescue dogs end up in the care of a shelter or charity for many unfortunate reasons, including pet allergies, owners moving house, affordability, or simply the fact that a new dog doesn’t fit in with other family members or existing pets.
Rescue dogs and other animals can be adopted from local charities, shelters and organisations such as:
Yes, you should get pet insurance for your rescue dog. Whether your pet has been adopted or bought is irrelevant when purchasing this type of insurance.
Rescue dog insurance is essentially the same as standard dog insurance. It provides cover for your pet to help pay towards veterinary costs in the event of an accident which requires treatment, such as surgery or medication.
Though, depending on the type of insurance you pick, it could cover aspects which are more tailored to the injuries and traumas a rescue dog could have.
You’ll need to gather all of your dog's medical information in order to apply for pet insurance. Make sure the shelter gives you everything they know about the pet you’re rescuing. This includes:
Many trusts and shelters will perform an evaluative assessment on their animals before allowing them to be adopted, so even if your dog didn’t come with a record, you should have access to some important medical information.
For standard dog insurance, there are four main types of insurance:
When applying for insurance you should declare that your dog is a rescue.
This depends on the policy and the level of cover you have chosen.
Typically, pre-existing conditions or recurring conditions aren’t covered by standard policies, but if your dog suffered another illness in relation to their pre-existing condition, that new problem might be covered. It’s important to read the terms and conditions carefully before choosing your pet insurance, so you don’t get caught out.
You can choose policies based on time limits, or have a lifetime guarantee that refreshes each year.
Some pet insurance policies may add on extra compensation if they are aware that your dog is a rescue, but usually, policies function the same for all types of dog.
It’s recommended that you insure your dog as soon as you bring them home, as accidents and sudden illnesses can happen at any time.
Pet insurance is only effective from a specific start date, so it’s recommended to have a policy in place ready for your new dog's arrival. If not, you’ll have to pay for any vet fees yourself - unless there’s an agreement with the charity or shelter that you got your dog from.
Do watch out for cooling-off periods on insurance policies, you may not be able to claim during this time. Usually it’s 14 days.
This entirely depends on the dog in question. Some dogs settle into new environments quickly, adjusting to their surroundings with ease and comfort.
Other dogs, particularly more traumatised and nervous ones, may take longer to settle and will usually require more TLC to help them get used to their new living arrangements.
It could take a few weeks, or a few months. If your dog is really struggling to adapt to their new lifestyle, you may want to think about contacting your vet who could offer practical help and advice.
The organisation you have rescued your pooch from will be able to give you advice on how to welcome it to your family. Here are some tips from the RSPCA to help your rescue dog settle in to their new home:
And, finally, just show your new rescue dog all of the love they deserve.
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