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Pet insurance is not required by law, and it's estimated only around 15% of pet owners in the UK actually take out a pet policy for their dog. You may choose not to insure your dog but, in certain cases it's certainly be wise to invest in pet insurance.
Almost all pedigree dogs are prone to inherited health problems. For example, hip dysplasia is a painful inherited condition where the hip joint is malformed and this health issue tends to affect larger dog breeds such as rottweilers, retrievers and St. Bernards. However, many smaller dog breeds such as the Pug can also be affected.
Dog breeds such as the West Highland White Terrier are prone to skin problems, and the popular Cavalier King Charles often develop heart problems. Check with your breeder to find out any potential health issues and insure your dog if found to be at high risk of developing health problems.
Dogs who are active, or like to swim or dig are more at risk from accidents and injury than their more sedentary counterparts. Dogs who take part in agility, doggie dancing are more likely to become injured. Please note that working dogs such as guard dogs are not covered by standard pet insurance policies.
All dogs are at risk from dog theft but breeds such as Chihuahuas and toy breeds are at particular risk, as are Staffordshire Bull Terriers and French Bulldogs. Owners of these breeds should consider taking out pet insurance.
Pet insurance is recommended for owners of rare breeds, not only because of the risk of theft, but any inherited health issues in the breed may not be apparent. Pedigree puppies such as the Chow Chow can cost several thousand pounds, so insurance is advisable.
The arrival of the pet passport has given dog owners the freedom to travel abroad with their dog on holidays. If you travel regularly with your pet abroad, then pet insurance is essential. You’ll be covered if your dog falls ill when you are abroad.
If you have no savings to fall back on, or couldn't afford the cost of a major accident or injury then pet insurance is crucial. Even minor procedures can quickly run into hundreds of pounds, and without pet insurance there’s a real risk of not being able to treat your pet.
Many pet owners without pet insurance often put money aside each month in case of an accident or injury. However, there is always the risk that any savings would not be enought to cover a major health issue.
There’s currently over a 1,000 banned dogs on the exemption list in the UK. By law these dog require to have 3rd party liability cover or risk having their dog taken away.
Big and heavy dog breeds cost more to treat at the vets than small dogs. So, if you own a large dog such as a Great Dane or Dogue de Bordeaux you should really consider taking out pet insurance.