Do You Need Pet Insurance for Puppies?
Dogs are Australia’s most popular pet, so it’s no wonder we spend so much time carefully selecting the right one to join our families. And once you’ve chosen the perfect pooch, it’s important to look after it from an early age so that it settles in quickly and is happy and healthy. But when you’re caught up in the excitement of having a new pet, it can be easy to forget that young pups can be susceptible to more illnesses than older dogs. So what do you need to know about pet insurance for puppies?
There is an age limit
In most cases, you can’t take out pet insurance for your dog until it’s eight or nine weeks old. This is for a few reasons, but partially because that time frame is crucial for their immunity. New puppies are given vaccinations every three to four weeks until they’re around 16 weeks old, and depending on the level of cover you get, these vaccinations may be covered by your insurance policy after the eight week mark.
There are multiple levels of cover available
There are essentially three tiers of pet insurance to consider for your pup. You can take out cover for illness, accidental injury or routine care. Here’s a breakdown of what you receive under each tier:
- Illness cover: This helps pay for veterinary, pharmaceutical and other costs that are related to any unexpected illnesses.
- Accidental injury: This provides cover for veterinary expenses that may arise as a result of an accidental injury, which can include broken bones. This also provides cover for things like car accidents.
- Routine care: This covers the cost of many routine care treatments, including deworming, desexing, teeth cleaning, puppy training classes and prescription dog food (if needed), as well as a range of other inclusions.
What’s best for you?
Routine care cover can be expensive and although it covers many important treatments, you may prefer not to take out a level of cover this high for a new puppy. Accident only cover is a good option for a new pet that has no pre-existing health conditions. This type of insurance provides cover for any injuries caused by an accident, including anything from snake bites to injuries caused by fights with other animals to skin conditions. However, it’s important to be aware of the exclusions. Typically, flea or tick treatments won’t be covered, nor will any other conditions that are seen as preventable.
What isn’t covered?
If your puppy already has a pre-existing condition, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to receive cover for treatment relating to that condition. However, if your puppy is diagnosed after you take out your insurance policy, you probably will be eligible for cover.
As previously mentioned, most policies won’t provide cover for puppies under eight or nine weeks, but on the other end of the spectrum, a dog over the age of eight is usually ineligible for cover as well. Also, certain breeds cost different amounts to cover. Some breeds aren’t eligible for cover at all, as they may be susceptible to a range of pre-existing or genetic conditions, such as breathing issues. If you’re not sure how much your puppy will cost to insure, check out this dog breed insurance calculator to get a rough idea of what your premiums will be.
Are there any other benefits or ways to cut costs?
Yes! Some insurance brands will offer a bonus for insuring more than one pet under the same policy, so if you own two dogs, consider insuring them together to receive a discount. Make sure you claim everything you are eligible for as well – it’s important to take advantage of the coverage you receive. You can also compare policies online to ensure that you’re getting the best possible value for money. If you find a policy of better value, consider switching.
At the end of the day, your decision to get pet insurance for your puppy is completely up to you. It’s simply a matter of weighing up the costs and assessing whether the benefits are worth your while. While your puppy is young, it’s unlikely you will need a high level of cover, but it’s still a good idea to consider your options, as you never know what can happen. Good luck and enjoy your time with your new furry friend!
Our guest blog contributor Richard Laycock is a Pet Insurance Expert at finder.com.au