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As with human medicine, veterinary medicine has progressed greatly in recent years, allowing us to treat many more serious injuries and illnesses than ever before. However, with better veterinary care available, the cost of tests, surgery and medicines can soon mount up, especially if you dog’s condition requires treatment by a specialist. As such, we strongly advise all dog owners to insure their pets against expenses incurred through illness or accident.

Dogs can be very inquisitive creatures, getting into all sorts of scrapes the moment our backs are turned, and the end results can be very expensive. A referral to an orthopaedic specialist following a road traffic accident, can easily cost £1000 - £3000, but the cost of chronic conditions such as skin complaints, cancers, allergies, diabetes, hip dysplasia and arthritis (to name but a few!), can very quickly run into hundreds, if not thousands of pounds. Having pet insurance means that you will never have to compromise on veterinary treatment for your pet, and never have to make the awful decision between having your pet put to sleep or allowing him to make a full recovery.

If we become ill the NHS pays, with our animals, the costs come out of our own pockets. Having to make difficult decisions about what treatment we would like our pets to receive, versus what we can actually afford is never easy, particularly when we’re upset by seeing our loved ones ill or injured. Pet insurance will cover the cost of all non-routine treatments, whether it’s something simple like a cut pad, or major injuries from a road traffic accident, allowing you to concentrate on getting your animal better instead of worrying about the bill.

Incredibly, one out of three people will make claims on their pet insurance each year, so it is important to make sure you get the right policy. The levels of cover and excesses will obviously vary between companies, but the most important thing to go for is an insurance that gives lifetime or lifelong cover. This means that a policy will keep paying out for a chronic or recurring condition for the lifetime of your dog, where as others will tend to exclude an illness after 12 months – so please read the small print!

The choice of insurance companies and policies on the market nowadays can be mind-blowing, so if you’re unsure about which to chose, please feel free to contact the surgery to discuss what sort of policy would suit you and your dog best. The practice has no allegiances to any insurance company, and can give honest, independent advice, based on our experiences of helping pet owners make claims on their policies.