Dog handlers at the Purina Pro Dog Nationals by the Dogs New Zealand kennel club

PD and Dogs NZ Celebrate One Year of Linking Paws


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Next month we’re celebrating the first-year anniversary of the national Dogs New Zealand kennel club and PD Insurance partnership. It’s been an incredible period of sharing valuable pet health information, launching Dogs NZ Insurance by, evolving the Dogs NZ Breeder Partner Programme with free starter cover, and much more.

We all know the pet care sector comprises many moving parts, from breeders, trainers, boarding services, groomers, retailers, pet insurance providers and more to our all-important vets and pet owners. With linked paws, PD Insurance and Dogs New Zealand aim to build stronger connections with the wider pet community and share vital information on animal health that benefits everyone.

After all, knowledge is power and that’s what this partnership aims to deliver to pet enthusiasts and pet owners with the aim of giving our pets their greatest lives.

A young girl holding a black dog at a Dogs NZ Breeder Partner event.

PD and Dogs NZ sharing knowledge on pet health

Within the pet sector, each business or organisation within each industry has specialist knowledge on particular aspects of pet health and wellbeing.

Dogs New Zealand, as the national kennel club, is custodian of the breed registry and best breeding practices. As with all long-established entities, it has evolved over time to meet the needs and interests of its members and other stakeholders.

“We look at breed standards through a health lens now. We take a canine health and welfare perspective approach to breed conformation characteristics.”

– Steven Thompson, Director/Secretary of Dogs NZ

Breeders are responsible for producing healthy litters, free from genetic illness, via ethical breeding processes. Trainers help our dogs put their brains and brawn to the best use, helping to ensure they are easily managed and well socialised. Vets are the custodians of our pets’ health, giving them the quality medical care they need to recover from illness or injury.

As a pet insurance provider, PD Insurance plays a big role in protecting the health of pets too – something that our products help provide but also our investment in research and data analysis. This includes:

PD Business Development manager, Danielle, pets dogs at a Dogs New Zealand kennel club event

a) claims data

We regularly analyse claims data to see trends in pet health issues across breeds, ages, species, locations and more, within any given month or year. This data can be valuable in helping identify issues afflicting animals at certain times or places, or in specific ways. The insights gleaned benefit the ongoing development of healthy pet parenting and good breeding practices and help pinpoint what issues vets may need to tackle in the short to mid-term.

b) research

The second arm of our data analysis focus explores research we undertake by surveying thousands of pet owners each year to uncover their most keen worries, needs, wants and preferences for their pets. This data can be used to look at ways to best support pet owners, vets, breeders and other pet care providers, and explore what gaps may be needed in pet medical care and companion animal products and services.

Pedigree dogs presented by a Dogs NZ Breeder Partner.

PD and Dogs NZ raising awareness for dog health and welfare

Together, PD Insurance and Dogs New Zealand are able to use this research and data to inform and support breeders and pet owners. Importantly, all our initiatives are led by a health-first approach.

“We are focused on the ongoing development of minimum health testing standards for all our breeds because it gives breeders the best opportunity to make sound breeding decisions. It gives them the best opportunity to have healthy, well-adjusted puppies.”

– Steven Thompson

This is seen in the more recent approach to the ongoing development of breed standards that Dogs New Zealand kennel club registered breeders work with. It’s seen in our messaging around raising awareness of the benefits of pet insurance for breeders, owners, trainers, vets and, of course, pets.

Other areas we work collectively in around pet health education include our twice-monthly media releases, weekly digital newsletters, ongoing website blog news and regular events. For example, in the last year PD Insurance has produced a dozen news pieces featuring substantial information or quotes from the Dogs New Zealand kennel club and we’ve taken part in even more events together.

You can view these media releases and blog news posts along with other highlights on the PD and Dogs NZ partnership page.

PD COO Michelle together with PD Business Development managers and Dogs Dogs New Zealand Kennel club representative at the Purina Pro Dog Nationals

Stronger together for a shared audience

PD Insurance and Dogs New Zealand have multiple print and digital platforms where we connect with pet owners, breeders, trainers and vets. Together we’re helping raise awareness about all things pet health and welfare, including how pet insurance works in providing a safeguard to pets and people, across the following sources (and more):

  • NZ Dog World magazine

We publish feature articles on pet health issues in NZ Dog World, Dogs New Zealand’s monthly member magazine. Topics range from pet dental health and pet ownership to seasonal dangers and much more.

  • Dog-iE News newsletter

The weekly Dogs New Zealand kennel club newsletter includes pet health topics that link through to feature videos, articles and media releases. Find out about becoming a member of Dogs New Zealand and receiving this e-newsletter and the monthly magazine.

  • PD Insurance blog

PD’s pet parents blog is dedicated to raising awareness of the types of health problems pets face, including prevention, diagnoses and treatments, as well as exploring the light hearted side of pet ownership. Topics cover the full range of pet and pet ownership needs from finding the right pet-human match for your lifestyle to raising, training, socialising and feeding pets for health and happiness.

  • PD partner news page

PD’s pet industry news page features interviews with leading pet health and welfare experts across New Zealand to help bring unique insights on pet health care to partners. Here we also share valuable highlights from our research to help raise awareness around the latest concerns of pet owners and partners, to assist the wider pet industry.

  • Media releases

A significant part of the Dogs New Zealand kennel club and PD partnership is reaching audiences beyond our own, via media channels. Our media releases help highlight the work we do and our goals, along with positioning PD and Dogs New Zealand as thought leaders with a drive to educate, delight and provide soft landings to pets and pet parents. Read some of these articles on our partnership and co-branded insurance offerings.

A Dogs NZ Breeder Partner's dog display's its long gentle and elegant snout

Educating New Zealand about pet insurance

As part of the PD partnership with Dogs New Zealand, one of the broader aims is educating people about the value of pet insurance. Many people only discover the benefits after they’ve experienced a loss of a pet or had to endure crippling vet bills.

A recent PD survey of 2,000 pet insurance customers found 12% had no choice but to euthanise a pet in the past because they couldn’t afford vet treatment and didn’t have pet insurance at the time. As Director/Secretary of Dogs New Zealand, Steven Thompson elaborates:

“Pet insurance means not having to say, ‘I can’t afford that’. Without it, your options may then be leaving the dog in pain and letting nature take its course or you have to euthanise the dog.”

Dogs New Zealand and PD are working to bring a greater understanding of the importance of pet insurance to more pet owners. This, with the intention of providing that safety net before it’s needed and in time to help pay for vet bills as they arise.

The King Charles Spaniels, registered with the Dogs NZ Kennel Club, are bred by a Dogs NZ Breeder Partner as part of their PD partnership in New Zealand.

Dogs NZ Insurance by

One of our most meaningful milestones has been launching Dogs NZ Insurance by While Dogs New Zealand is now in its 138th year, this achievement marks the first time the kennel club has offered pet insurance, making this not just a PD and Dogs New Zealand milestone, but a special moment for pets in general.

This includes a fresh new starter cover program to support breeders and their clients.

Free starter cover for new puppies

Free pet insurance starter cover is exclusively available to Dogs New Zealand breeder partners so they’re able to provide a soft landing for every puppy that heads to a new home.

Being empowered to gift this to new puppy owners allows breeders to have fewer worries about the future of their puppies. It also means the new owners are able to settle in their young canines with less stress about illness and injury. This in turn means they can spend more time in bonding and training their young one.

“From an owner’s point of view that takes the pressure off those first few weeks. You don’t have to think about it for a little while so you can just enjoy settling your dog in.”

– Rhea Hurley, Dogs New Zealand Canine Health and Welfare Officer

Dogs NZ Breeder Partner Programme’s free starter cover includes the following benefits:

  • 4 weeks of free starter cover
  • $1,000 in accident and illness protection
  • No excess during the starter cover period

Once the free starter cover ends, new owners can also benefit from an additional three months of free cover from Dogs NZ Insurance by if they sign up for a full policy. Having cover for vet bills across a wide range of health complications and accidental injuries, as well as third party damage liability cover, helps pets stay healthy and helps owners financially.

A pedigree pup belonging to a Dogs NZ Breeder Partner.

Vet bills aren’t subsidised but pet insurance fills the gap

Providing wider access to ongoing insurance cover throughout a pet’s lifetime is a key part of the PD and Dogs New Zealand partnership. In human health care, doctors’ bills are government subsidised; pet insurance helps fill a similar financial gap for vet costs.

PD Insurance and the Dogs New Zealand kennel club are aware that these costs can be prohibitive to many pet owners, which is why we’ve invested in free starter cover, in cost-effective and value-rich plans delivered by Dogs NZ Insurance by, and in raising the bar on animal health awareness across the pet community.

“Some new owners will be getting insurance that otherwise wouldn’t have. Having free starter insurance opens their eyes to this safeguard. It gives them an opportunity to learn more and that will hopefully see us having more insured animals.”

– Rhea Hurley
PD Business Development Manager, Danielle at a Dogs New Zealand Kennel Club event

Dogs NZ Breeder Partner Programme

The evolution of the Dogs NZ Breeder Partner Programme is definitely a special partnership milestone. It’s become better equipped to help raise awareness around pet health and breeding issues, and of the benefits of having pet insurance to mitigate these from the earliest possible moment.

The programme supports breeders by sharing how pet insurance helps, by offering their litters the above-mentioned free starter cover and by then rewarding them for their client referrals. Bringing health to more pets is a collaborative effort and this programme is specially designed to make this happen in a way that is beneficial to everyone involved.

If you’re not already, find out about joining the registered Dogs NZ Breeder Partner Programme here.

Supporting best breeding practices

At its heart, the Dogs NZ Breeder Partner Programme encourages and supports breeders to undertake best breeding practices for the best possible litter outcome.

 “Health screening for dogs is important to having puppies. This includes health testing the parents and considering both mum and dad dogs’ temperament.”

– Rhea Hurley

Read PD’s interview with Dogs New Zealand Canine Health and Welfare Officer Rhea Hurley showcasing how the kennel club supports health schemes that promote dog breeds without health problems.

Insurance as an extension of breeder care

We’re aware of the invaluable work that registered dog breeders do to whelp healthy puppies, such as health screening dog parents, running DNA tests to eliminate genetic health problems and so much more. We realise this significant investment of time and effort, in helping ensure dogs are able to parent healthy happy litters, tends to lead to a level of love and sense of connectedness to puppies.

We like to think the Dogs NZ Insurance starter cover gives breeders greater comfort in sending puppies to new homes.

“I think it gives breeders a bit of peace of mind. Many have a real hard time rehoming their puppies because they’ve been with them for eight weeks and are attached to the little guys.”

– Rhea Hurley
A woman standing next to a Bernese Mountain Dog, a Dogs NZ Breeder Partner.

PD and Dogs New Zealand kennel club events

Over the last year, PD and Dogs New Zealand have attended and exhibited at many animal events across the country. We’ve hosted stands with educational materials and taken the chance to engage on a personal level, face to face with breeders, owners and dog enthusiasts in general.

A couple of the biggest events include:

A group of people standing next to each other in sailor suits, representing Dogs NZ Breeder Partner.

PURINA Pro Plan National Dog Show  

The PURINA Pro Plan National Dog Show was a key event in the Dogs New Zealand kennel club calendar and PD Insurance was proud to sponsor a junior handler.

Seeing the outstanding skills of junior handlers being showcased was an absolute highlight. The incredible work that goes into training and handling dogs is testament to the quality canine community we have in New Zealand.

Michelle from PD and Rhea from Dogs New Zealand co-hosting the PD stand at the Pet Expo

Auckland Pet Expo

Read about the Auckland Pet Expo, which was attended by more than 20,000 visitors. It was an incredible opportunity for PD and Dogs New Zealand to showcase what the kennel club is doing for the canine community. We had lots of giveaways, educational material and meaningful conversations with dog lovers.

Read PD’s interview with Steven Thompson to find out about many of the kennel club’s newest and ongoing canine activities.

Joining the PD partnership fold

PD is very proud to be a partner with Dogs New Zealand kennel club. It’s been an incredible year and we look forward to what we will achieve in the future.

If your organisation would like to join the fold and become a PD Insurance partner then get in touch. Each time you share the benefits pet insurance with your clients, you earn pet care programme rewards and more pets get the soft landing they deserve.

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