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Top 5 dog breeds you definitely need pet insurance for

February 27, 2012

dog broken leg

Taking out pet insurance for your dog is becoming an essential part of being a responsible dog owner, at least according to the RSPCA and similar organizations. People somehow seem to think differently, at least that’s the impression you get if you look at the number of dogs insured. Apparently only 3% of dogs are insured in the US, while the UK is doing much better with 20% of all dogs being insured. If you take into account that nearly 50% of all dogs need veterinary treatment for sickness or accident every year, the proportion of insured dogs seems much smaller. 

Most people think pet insurance is just like car or house insurance. What they tend to forget is that if your car or house is damaged, your potential loss is always smaller than the value of your car or house. So if your car is worth $20 000, the repair will never cost you $40 000 after an accident.

But with a dog it is all different. Your French Bulldog puppy may have cost you $2000, but vet bills will not necessarily stop there. If your dog needs a complex operation, it may cost you anywhere between $2-10 thousand. In addition, while you can easily dump your car or move into a new house, your French Bulldog is a member of your family, so you can’t just say “I can’t afford the operation, let’s get a new dog instead”.

A lot of dog owners try to avoid taking out pet insurance by choosing a generally healthy, low maintenance breed. However, this logic only goes as far as breed specific, or genetic diseases are concerned. Every dog can be hit by a car, can be bitten by other dogs, can fall off the stairs and so on. So when you are making a decision about whether to purchase pet insurance or not, please always differentiate between breed specific health issues and accidental coverage. In essence, you should insure your dog regardless of the breed, but with certain breeds not insuring your dog means taking a huge risk.

Let’s see the breeds that in our experience you should definitely insure:

  • Bulldogs (English and French)
  • Mastiffs (Neapolitan and English)
  • Bernese Mountain Dog
  • Great Dane
  • Dalmatian


You may come across other lists on the internet that focus on the number of claims by breed or something else. We listed these breeds, because in our experience on top of accidents, these breeds are the most likely to require expensive surgery for breed specific health issues. 

When choosing your pet insurance, the most important thing is to do your research thoroughly. Make sure you consider all the features and only get what you need thus keeping your costs down. Some policies for instance include lost pets, theft, emergency boarding fees, vet helpline, travel insurance and legal fees in case your dog bites the postman. You also want to read the small print, because some policies don’t cover certain health problems above a certain age and these may be just what you need. Most policies don’t cover normal vet expenses such as spaying or castration and vaccinations, so make sure you know what is covered before you buy to avoid surprises.

We highly recommend that you take out pet insurance especially for the above listed breeds and also suggest that you choose your policy very carefully.

Catgegory: Dog Facts