Toys, crates and food…these are the first things we think about buying when getting a Cavapoo. Puppy insurance, however, is probably not the first thing you think about, but should be top of your list when buying a dog. Here we explain why.
You will need puppy pet insurance for your Cavapoo from the day you collect them, to help protect against any unexpected costs related to your dog’s health. It can assist you in paying for expensive vet bills should your Cavapoo need to be treated for an illness or injury.
Some pet insurance providers will also pay out if your Cavapoo dies, is lost or stolen or causes damage to a third party’s property.
But how much does dog insurance cost? What should a good policy include? When is the best time to purchase pet insurance? And how do know if you are getting the best insurance for your pooch?
Here we’ll explain everything you need to know about insuring your Cavapoo.
Why you need to insure your Cavapoo
It estimated that 67% of dogs in the UK have some form of pet insurance, whilst in America, figures show that only 1-2% of the nation’s 90 million dogs are insured!
Dog insurance for many may seem like an unnecessary expense, costing on average around $510/£279 a year. But if you compare this to the average dog insurance claim, which according to the Association of British Insurers is £279 (although a lot of claims can run into the thousands if your pet develops an on-going condition), you can see why insuring your Cavapoo makes perfect financial sense.
It is believed that vet bills are likely to rise year on year, due to the sophistication and cost of revolutionary treatment. So, if you’re unsure whether pet insurance is worth it now, you may want to consider how you would deal with an unexpected veterinary bill in the future.
Personally, I believe that pet insurance for our Cavapoo Rosie is a necessity, and we treat it in exactly the same way as we do with our car insurance. Its peace of mind if things were ever to go terribly wrong.
The potential health risks for a Cavapoo
Different breeds of dogs can carry different health risks. As a mixed breed between a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and a Poodle, Cavapoos tend to have fewer health problems than their parents. This is due to their hybrid vigor (also known as heterosis), which improves the function of all biological systems, resulting from the mixing of the genetic contributions of both parents.
That said, due to the lineage, Cavapoos may be more susceptible too:
- Eye problems. There are numerous eye conditions that can affect Cavapoos, ranging from mild to severe, and all with different symptoms and treatments. Conjunctivitis, dry eye and cherry eye are the most common and easiest to treat, however, conditions such as cataracts and progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) are a group of degenerative eye diseases that can lead to blindness in dogs. These are thought to be genetic, hereditary disorders, although their specific causes are not yet fully understood.
- Syringomyelia. This is a condition that Cavaliers are prone to and could potentially be passed on to their offspring. Syringomyelia is when fluid-filled cavities develop in the dog’s spinal cord, in the area close to the brain. This disease is highly pathological and may cause severe pain and discomfort to your dog.
- Gum disease. This occurs when some of the dogs deep supporting structures around the teeth, start to become inflamed. This begins when food, bacteria and minerals accumulate along the gum line, leading to the build-up of a brown scale known as tartar. This decay eventually creates pockets of bacteria within the gum which can spread around the body and damage the liver and kidneys.
- Heart disease. Mitral Valve Disease tends to hound the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel world, with around half of all Cavalier deaths occurring because of this disease. It is not as common in Cavapoos, but it can be passed down from the Cavalier parent. Mitral Valve Disease is a degenerative disease of the mitral valve of the heart which usually leads to heart failure, or congestive heart failure, in which the still-functioning heart cannot pump enough blood around the dog’s body.
Insurers are wise to the fact that different breeds of dog are more susceptible to illnesses, and therefore their treatment may cost more. You will often be asked to state your breed prior to being presented with a policy, so that they can assess the different levels of cover to offer you.
When do I need to get puppy insurance?
Although most new owners might be tempted to wait until their puppy gets older before insuring them, there are compelling reasons to get your insurance sorted while your dog is still young.
The optimum time to purchase pet insurance is when your Cavapoo is between six and eight weeks old. If you take lifetime insurance from the start, as long as you renew your cover each year without a break, most policies continue to pay out, even for ongoing conditions that may have developed over time.
But remember, most policies come with a 14 day cooling off period, in which you are unable to make a claim, so you should factor this in and purchase your insurance 2 weeks prior to picking your puppy up.
Check with your breeder beforehand as some may even provide insurance for the first 4-5 weeks post collection, with the option to extend the cover once the puppy is safely settled in your possession.
Keeping a dog is expensive. The PDSA estimates that the cost of owning a medium-sized breed such as a Cavapoo will cost at least £7,000-£11,000 over the whole of your dog’s lifetime.
In America, it can cost anywhere from $9,600+ per year to own and look after your dog. But if you don’t have pet insurance, those costs could get an awful lot higher – especially if they have ongoing health issues and need additional care.
On top of that, vet bills are rising at a rate of 10-12% each year across the globe, so, if your puppy gets sick and you don’t have insurance, you could end up seriously out of pocket.
What does puppy insurance usually cover?
When insuring your furry friend, it’s important to know what your dog will actually be covered for. The last thing you want is for your pup to be unwell or injured, only to find out that your policy won’t payout for the care they need.
Your puppy insurance should cover vet bills, but you need to check exactly what, as most exclude things such as routines exams and vaccinations.
Most insurances will cover you if your dog has an accident, has been bitten, is injured or has swallowed objects or toxic ingredients. It may also include the cost of associated services, such as X-rays, MRIs, ultrasounds, sutures, medications, hospitalization, and surgery.
If your dog develops a serious illness such as cancer, arthritis, ear infections, eye problems etc, then you can get reimbursed for the costs. A good policy should cover all your expenses, from diagnosing the health condition to the treatments your dog needs to get better.
You can get pet insurances that also cover hereditary conditions, travelling abroad, kennel fees, euthanasia, alternative therapies, and behavioral issues, but these are likely to be additions to the basic policy.
What things are not covered by pet insurance?
When buying pet insurance for your Cavapoo, it is just as important to be aware of some of the things that your insurance will not cover you for.
- Pre-existing conditions, illnesses, and injuries waiting periods before your policy beings, routine examinations, and pregnancies.
- Making a claim for the first 48 hours or illnesses that present themselves within the first 14 days of your policy are not permitted.
- Routine treatments such as grooming, vaccinations, flea treatments, wormers, nail clipping, de-matting cannot be claimed for.
- Spaying or castration are also not covered.
- Dental treatment is not always covered so this is something you should watch out for.
- 3rd party accidental insurance is often included but most will not pay out if the damage is the result of your dog fouling, vomiting, or urinating on any items.
You should always read the terms and conditions fully to ensure that you have all the pet insurance you need for your Cavapoo.
What are the main types of pet insurance?
There are 4 main types of pet insurance that you can take for your dog.
- Lifetime Cover. If you take lifetime cover for your dog, then you can enjoy peace of mind that your pet is insured against illness or injury for their entire life – even if it is a chronic or long-term ailment. As long as you insure your pet before a certain age (usually 5 years depending on the breed), then you can normally receive cover for any new illnesses or injuries they may suffer from in the future. This comes with the caveat that you renew your policy each year without a break.
- Accident Only Cover. This is often considered the cheapest insurance on the market, as this type of pet policy provides a fixed sum of money for each injury your dog gets. The catch with this insurance is that it does not cover your dog for illness and there is often a financial limit to how much money you can reclaim.
- Time-limited Cover. This policy last for a specified amount of time (usually 12 months) and has a per condition limit before it is excluded.
- Maximum Benefit Cover. Maximum benefit pet insurance gives you a pre-set amount that can be allocated for injury or illness and comes with no time limit. If your pet develops a long-term health condition or needs ongoing treatment for an injury, for example, you can claim as many times as you need to until the maximum amount has been reached. After this, you will no longer be able to claim for that illness or injury, even if your pet needs further treatment.
How much does Cavapoo puppy insurance cost?
In addition to the type of insurance your dog needs, there are some factors which will affect the cost and cover of your policy. Such as:
- Gender. Often male dogs have higher premiums than female dogs.
- Breed. Larger dogs such as Golden Retrievers and German Shepherds tend to cost more to insure, as they have shorter life spans and are prone to more health issues than Cavapoos. Pedigrees are also more costly to insure than a cross-breed.
- Age. The younger you can insure your Cavapoo the better, as they tend to have minimal health issues in their early years.
- Location. Premiums can vary according to where you live. Those in more densely populated areas often carry higher insurance costs.
- Excess. Often the high the excess you are willing to commit to, the lower the premium you will pay.
- Multi-Pet. Some insurers will offer deals and discounts if you choose to insure more than one pet at a time with the same policy provider.
So as you can see, it really depends on the individual requirements of your Cavapoo puppy as to how much it is likely to cost you to adequately insure them. That said, on average in 2020, owners paid £436 per year/£36 per month to insure their dogs. In America the cost of dog insurance is comparable, working out at around $48 per month for comprehensive cover.
Remember, that sometimes cheap insurance does not provide enough cover, whereas expensive policies do not necessarily provide the best coverage. Please make sure that you shop around, go by recommendations and always read the small print.
Does dog insurance cover behavioral issues?
You should always check the details of your policy to see whether this type of treatment is covered, as it is often excluded – particularly when it comes to cheaper policies. Lifetime policies are more likely to include behavioral conditions, especially if it is diagnosed by your vet and treated by a certified animal behaviorist.
Most insurers will only pay treatment costs for behavioral problems for a limited period of time (such as 6 months) with the level of vet fee cover, varying.
If your dog does have a behavioral problem, then you should seek expert advice from your vet who can check that the condition is not caused by an illness of injury before referring your dog on.
Does dog pet insurance cover euthanasia?
Decisions around euthanasia can be incredibly difficult for owners, although they can take comfort knowing that their dog will no longer be suffering.
Some pet insurances will pay towards the cost of euthanasia, but you should always check the fine print beforehand.
Most insurers acknowledge that euthanasia is used as a final result, and will cover the procedure when illness, injury or old age prevails and affects the quality of your dog’s life.
Often the level of pay out provided covers putting your pet to sleep along with burial or cremation costs. So, insurance companies will offer additional levels of cover to pay out for the value of the dog if it under a specific age (usually 9 years) if they have died from an accident or illness.
Depending on the policy you choose will determine the amount an insurer will pay towards putting your dog to sleep. If they do not cover the full amount, then you will be expected to make up the difference.
If your dog is over the age of 9, some insurers will not cover the cost of putting your pet to sleep or cremation. Even if you have selected this type of cover it can become void after a certain point.
Policies will also exclude euthanasia for financial or behavioral reasons, or when a court order judgement has been made for an animal to be euthanized.
What is the best puppy insurance for my Cavapoo?
Unfortunately, there is no universal best puppy insurance that is right for everyone.
There are, however, a few things you should look out for such as the maximum number of vets bills you will be covered for and the maximum financial amount that you can claim. The higher the reimbursement and benefit limit, the less likely to be out of pocket you will be.
How much puppy insurance cover do you need?
Some of the most important considerations when deciding on your cover is the type of policy (see above) and the level of veterinary bill cover on offer. Both of these factors will affect the overall price of your policy.
As there are so many different policies on the market, it is often difficult to know just how much vet cover is needed for total peace of mind.
The average dog insurance claim in the UK in 2019 was £793, whereas in America the most common dog treatments cost an average of $252.75 each. In order to ensure that you are covered for every eventuality, you will probably want to consider a limit that is higher than these costs – especially with such high tech advances in modern veterinary care.
As different breeds also require different levels of cover, it is worth speaking to other Cavapoo owners, vets and breeders to understand how susceptible to certain diseases your dog is likely to be.
Buying your pet puppy insurance can feel overwhelming, and is not something that should be bought on a whim. Make sure you do your research into the most common issues that your Cavapoo may be prone too and weigh up the financial implications of having to fund them yourself.
Compare different insurers using online comparison sites, but make sure that you understand fully what is included and what is excluded from each policy.