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Pet insurance important for pedigree pooches

22 August 2008 / by Rachael Stiles
Pedigree dogs cost their owners 15 per cent more in vets' fees than mixed breed dogs, making pet insurance even more important to avoid hefty bills, according to research from Saga.

The insurance provider has found that the average vet bill for a dog is £309.28, but expenses can run a lot higher than this, even into the thousands for ongoing conditions, and owners of pedigree dogs have to contend with higher bills than their mongrel-owning peers.

A recent documentary by the BBC, Pedigree Dogs Exposed, revealed how pedigree canines often suffer from genetic diseases as a result of inbreeding, usually due to an emphasis being placed on aesthetics rather than the dog's health, especially for those which are entered to compete in dog shows.

There are seven million dogs in the UK, and the 75 per cent of which have pedigree status, cost their owners a collective £10million a week in vets' fees, which could often be avoided if they had pet insurance for their pooches.

Vet bills have risen more and more in recent years as increasingly complicated and expensive procedures and treatments are developed for dogs, and owners can now be expected to shell out as much as £4,000 for a fractured leg, or up to £10,000 if their pet suffers from a prolonged and complicated disorder or disease.

"Every pet owner knows that the cost of keeping a dog is high, but it is sad to see that costs for pedigree dogs have escalated due to inbreeding." commented Andrew Goodsell, chief executive of the Saga Group Ltd.

"Without appropriate insurance in place, owners could be faced with the prospect of having to withhold care because it's simply too expensive. Whether you have a pedigree pooch or a mongrel, it is important to make sure they are adequately covered."

Saga has made up a free guide to help owners of cats and dogs to keep their beloved furry friends in good health, offering tips on thing like preventing illness and dietary requirements.

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