A little girl sits on a wooden bench beside her puppy who is cutely popping its head out of a grass basket

Yes or No – Do I Need a Dog Health Plan for Pooch?


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Do you have a dog health plan? Maybe you have a human health plan but haven’t decided on one for your furry family member. As a dog mum or dad, it’s worth keeping in mind that dog health problems are common and dog insurance can be a life savings saver (see what we did there?).

Dog health issues are every bit as common as human health issues. We even share many health conditions, like diabetes and low blood pressure for example. One big difference, however, is that unlike your doctor’s bills, vet bills aren’t government subsidized.

For this reason, let’s take a look at the many benefits of including pet insurance in your dog’s health plan.

A woman feeding a dog healthy raw snacks in a field as part of her dog health plan.

Do I need a dog health plan?

Do you need a dog health plan? Considering the potential costs that dog health problems can incur, it’s worth considering dog insurance. Just a glance at our top pet insurance claims for dogs from last year shows that simple issues like gastro and vomiting can sometimes result in vet bills of more than $10,000.

You stand to save a fortune through preventative care and well thought out planning. After all – prevention is easier, cheaper and gentler than cure. Before we check out the benefits of having a dog health plan, here are some common dog health problems to keep in mind:

Dogs are accident prone

Like humans, dogs can get injured. In fact, they’re far more likely to swallow something bad or get into a fight (with scratches and bites) than us humans are.

In 2023, PD Insurance paid a claim of $13,044 for a dog’s vet bills for a limb injury.

That makes dogs more prone to accidental injuries.

Dogs are social which means exposure to pathogens is common

As far as exposure to pathogens, dogs share a range of susceptibility to viruses we do. If you’re wondering can animals get coronavirus, for example, the answer is yes. The novel COVID-19 virus has been known to affect animals including dogs and cats.

Viruses that are commonly known to affect our canine companions include parvo, kennel cough and Leptospirosi, to name a few.

Dogs can have genetic health problems

Beyond this, dogs have many genetic illnesses that are passed on from parents to puppies. According to the Institute of Canine Biology, dogs can suffer from 619 genetic (hereditary) illnesses.

In fact, when you’re researching what dog breeds to adopt or buy, knowing which dogs have the most health problems could help you plan ahead, helping you give pets and pockets a soft landing.

A white dog standing on a bench near a fountain, seemingly unaffected by any dog health problems.

Dogs deserve a plan

If you’re looking into defining a well thought out dog health plan, we’d say a key component would be getting puppy insurance early on. This can help cover a broad range of vet bills and starting early gives your pet the benefit of lifetime cover.

Choosing a dog that’s a match for you

Choosing a good breed match for you should include research so you know what hereditary conditions they’re likely to have. A good safeguard is to speak to your vet about lifestyle options that reduce the likelihood of those conditions developing.

  • Exercise. For example, exercising dogs without walking when they’re bigger breeds that are more likely to experience conditions hip dysplasia. This helps lessen the weight on their joints.
  • Dog insurance. Another idea is choosing a pet insurance plan (like ours) that covers hereditary illness.
  • Pet nutrition. Understanding pet food insights and choosing the appropriate diet can positively impact preventative care and ongoing health.

Research and understand your breed’s common concerns

Know your breed’s dog health needs so you can plan to give them the right preventative care or pay for treatments. Each dog breed has been well researched and certain genetic illnesses are more prevalent in specific breeds than others.

Here are some common examples:

To help you do your research, we’ve rounded up some additional common dog breed health problems.

A boy in a blue set of overalls stands with his hand lovingly placed on his chocolate labrador who, now in its old age is safeguarded by dog insurance

Choosing dog insurance to suit your dog health plan

Now that you’re aware of some of the many reasons for having a dog health plan, let’s delve deeper into one special component: choosing dog insurance.

Cover to match breed, health and age

Dog insurance generally comes in different tiers of cover. Knowing what sort of dog health problems your dog could experience based on their breed and genetics along with their general health and age is a good way to choose the right level of cover.

Here are the three types of award winning PD Insurance cover for dogs:

  • Dental cover (includes accident and illness)

For example, if you know your dog is a breed that tends to have dental health problems, you can choose the tier than includes dental cover. This is the most comprehensive dog insurance and includes cover for accidents and illnesses.

  • Accident cover

Or, if they’re young and your budget is tight, maybe you just start with the basic accident cover for those unforeseen mishaps. You can always move onto a more comprehensive plan from there – just be sure to do so before any conditions arise. Once they do, they can’t be covered if you haven’t already got your plan in place and gone through the waiting periods.

  • Accident and illness

Importantly, accident and illness cover can help you pay for broad range of vet bills, making it a great benefit to your dog health plan. The sooner you get dog insurance the better the outcome if they do get sick or injured.

If you wait too long and a hereditary health condition starts before you get the appropriate level of dog insurance, then those conditions can’t be covered by your pet’s plan. Read why in our article about pre-existing conditions and pet insurance.

A woman holding a dog in front of a window, pondering about dog health problems.

Choosing dog insurance based on your pocket

Compare the costs of different plans and assess whether they provide good value for money. Consider the monthly premium, deductibles along with any additional fees. Remember, the cheapest plan may not always be the best option if it doesn’t cover all your dog’s needs.

Here are some resources to help you choose wisely:

Research the reputation and credibility of the provider offering the dog health plan. Read customer reviews, talk to other pet owners and ensure that the provider has a good track record when it comes to customer satisfaction and claims handling.

After all, you want pet insurance you understand and trust in your pet’s hour of need.

A young boy takes his dog for its daily afternoon walk as part of its dog health plan for staying fit

Other aspects of a great dog health plan

In addition to choosing dog insurance to suit your dog health plan, there are several lifestyle choices that also support dog health. In no particular order, here they are:

  • Training. Puppy training helps keep your canine’s mind and body active and helps you bond
  • Vaccinations. Pet vaccination schedules safeguard against a range of life threatening illnesses
  • Socialisation. Socialisation (read about puppy school) is key to having happy, well behaved dogs
  • Playtime. Playtime for dogs and cats might seem like a nice-to-have but it’s essential
  • Diet. Age, breed and health appropriate puppy food goes a long way towards great health

Now that we’ve looked at a more comprehensive set of dog health needs, let’s get back to this NB one:

Award winning dog insurance

A great way to choose dog insurance that suits your dog health plan is by choosing award winning cover. PD Insurance offers multi award winning dog plans to suit your pet and your pocket.

Not only do we offer one or more months of free pet insurance when you sign up, but you get total flexibility with our month-to-month policy option. Having dog insurance means helps you avoid being in a position where you have to say no to vet treatment because you can’t afford the costs.

Pet insurance isn’t just the cherry on top of any dog health plan – it’s the soft landing that lets you focus on your pet with fewer worries for their health. Click below to get a quote and take it from there.

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