What is a pedigree pet?

It is the offspring of two animals of the same breed, also known as a purebred.

If you are buying a pedigree animal make sure you get the formal paperwork and certificate that proves it is a purebred.

Most insurers will ask for these documents when you make a claim.

Is insurance for a pedigree more expensive?

Yes it can be, because pedigree pets cost more than mixed breeds and are more prone to illness.

This means you will be more likely to make an expensive claim on your pet insurance, so insurers charge more to cover the risk.

When looking for insurance for your pedigree pet make sure the policy is comprehensive and can cover treatment for any hereditary conditions they develop.

Look out for hereditary conditions

Pedigree dogs and cats are more likely to suffer from specific illnesses than mixed breeds, so find out what conditions your pet could develop and make sure you get an insurance policy that will cover them.

Here are some of the conditions the most popular pedigree pets often suffer from:

Pedigree dogs

  • Boxer dogs: They can suffer from brachycephalic airway syndrome or breathing difficulties because of their short faces. Cancer and heart conditions, like cardiomyopathy and aortic stenosis, are also common.

  • Dalmatians: Deafness is common and as many as a third suffer from hearing problems. Many Dalmatians are prone to bladder stones, and they are also more susceptible to heart disease than many other breeds.

  • Labradors: Labrador retrievers are susceptible to joint problems like dysplasia, which can make walking and running very painful. They can also suffer from atopic dermatitis, a skin condition that causes rubbing and scratching.

  • Cocker spaniels: Inflammation of the outer ear and ear canal (otitis externa) can be common. They also often get eye problems including PRA (progressive retinal atrophy), glaucoma and cataracts.

Pedigree cats

  • Persian cats: Their short faces mean they can suffer from breathing problems like brachycephalic airway syndrome. Many Persian cats also develop kidney disease, ringworm and heart disease.

  • Ragdolls: Gastrointestinal problems are quite common in Ragdolls, and they can also develop bladder stones. Their docile temperament can also make them more susceptible to injuries and accidents.

  • Bengal cats: They can be susceptible to the genetic condition Pyruvate Kinase Deficiency (PK Def). This is present from birth, and can cause muscle wasting, so many cats with PK Def will not live past four years old.

  • Maine Coons: One of the largest domestic cat breeds, Maine Coons often develop joint problems like hip dysplasia and knee luxation. They can also suffer from genetic conditions including spinal muscular atrophy and PK Def.

Find the right policy

Pedigree pets often need repetitive vet treatment, so you must think carefully when choosing which level of pet insurance you buy. There are four main types you can choose from:

  • Accident only policies

  • Time limited polices that cover a condition for a maximum of 12 months

  • Maximum benefit policies that cover a condition up to a set limit

  • Lifetime policies that offer a cover limit that renews every year of your pet's life

Lifetime cover is the most expensive choice, but offers the most comprehensive financial cover against hereditary conditions for a pedigree pets.

Here is more information on what the different levels of cover offer, and which one you should choose for your pet.

Get insurance as soon as possible

You should insure your pedigree pet from a young age, because they are less likely to have any pre existing conditions which become excluded from cover.

Most insurers will not cover pets that already have a medical condition, or will not pay out for claims relating to that problem. Here is how to find cover for pets with medical conditions.

Many policies have age restrictions, and will only insure pedigree puppies and kittens once they are six to eight weeks old, and may refuse to cover pets when they are older than eight years old.

Look at what else is covered

Make sure the policy offers all of the protection you need for your pedigree pet instead of only looking at the vet cover.

Some of the additional features you might need include:

  • Lost and found insurance

  • Death cover

  • Boarding costs

  • Third party liability insurance*

  • Foreign travel cover

* Dogs only

Look out for how much cover you have for the theft of your pet, because pedigree animals can be targeted by thieves.

Most insurers will cover the purchase price of your pet, but there may be an upper claim limit so make sure this is enough to cover the amount you paid.

Here is exactly what is covered by a pet insurance policy.

Find the best pet insurance policy

To find the right policy for your pedigree pet you need to:

  1. Consider what illnesses your pet specifically your chosen breed, could develop

  2. Look for a policy that will give you the best cover for those illnesses

  3. Check the whole policy to make sure it covers what you need it to

  4. Compare pet insurance policies that meet your needs

  5. Find the policy offers the cover you need at the best price

Check the policy documents carefully before you buy your policy so you know what is covered, and what exclusion could prevent your insurer paying out.