For many of us, our pet is just like a member of the family, and just like a family member we want to help them when they get sick or injured. Vet bills can be costly, however, and sometimes it can be a tough decision deciding whether or not you can really afford them. Pet insurance makes sure that, should the worst happen, you’re covered for your vet bills for your pets treatment.

Basic pet insurance covers cat, dogs and rabbits for life- meaning that, from the moment you take out your policy, your pet is covered until the day the day for any kind of condition they develop or any operation they need. With some companies you can opt to just get help with the initial treatment of a long term condition before paying the rest of the bills yourself, it all depends on your current situation and how much you want to pay. If your pet has been ill before you take out the policy, the plan will not cover existing conditions, however, and you can only start the plan after your pet as reached 6 weeks of age and had all their vaccinations.

One thing to note with dogs, however, is the idea of “select breeds”. This is a selection of dog breeds that will cost more if you have to take them to the vets, and therefore their premium will be higher. These breeds are: Bernese mountain dog, Bulldog, Beauceron, Deerhound, Dogue de Bordeaux, Estrela Mountain Dog, Great Dane, Irish Wolfhound, Leonberger, all Mastiff breeds, Newfoundland, Shar Pei, Old English Sheepdog, Pyrenean Mountain Dog, Rottweiler and St. Bernard. If you have a Shar Pei, of any age, you will need to get a full clinical history of your dog from the vet before you’ll be insured.

However, if you don’t have a very common pet, you will need different insurance. For example, there is separate insurance for horses and ponies, which will cover any vet costs and treatment the same as any normal pet insurance. The only different being that, because horse treatment can be very expensive and has to be done by a qualified equestrian vet, the premiums on horse insurance can be very high. The same follows if you have what insurers class as an “exotic pet” which includes birds, reptiles and any rodent. Due to the specialist nature of the treatment for reptiles and exotic mammals and birds your cover will be a lot higher and you will more than likely need to find a specialist insurer who can advise you on cover specifically for your pet. This is because there is such a wide range of different birds, reptiles and rodents you could insure that every animal needs their own policy.

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