7 Most Expensive Dog Breeds for Pet Insurance

A variety of dog breeds
© Kuznetsov Alexey/Shutterstock.com

Written by Angie Menjivar

Updated: March 2, 2023

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Veterinary costs continue to rise, and you should know what the most expensive dog breeds for pet insurance are to prepare yourself if you plan to own these types of dogs (or if you already own one of these dog breeds). The pet insurance industry alongside veterinary services continues to grow and the associated cost of obtaining insurance to cover tests and treatments also continues to rise. Dogs get injured much more frequently than other animals like cats. This is why they may end up at the vet’s office a lot more throughout their lifespan.

These dog breeds are the most expensive to obtain pet insurance for.

Some dog breeds are genetically predisposed to the development of certain health conditions. Additionally, some dog breeds, because of their size, frequently develop joint issues, hip issues, and heart issues. Especially if you have one of the seven dog breeds listed below, you should consider purchasing pet insurance. Yes, the premiums may be higher, but since your dog is more prone to requiring extra health care, pet insurance will save you thousands of dollars over the life of your policy.

What Is Pet Insurance?

Pet insurance is much like your typical health insurance for humans. It’s a policy that has specific coverage. You pay a monthly premium on the policy to enjoy the benefits for your pet. If your pet gets injured or gets sick, you need veterinary care. Without a pet insurance policy, all those related costs are due out-of-pocket and at the time of treatment. With a pet health insurance policy, you are still responsible to pay but your pet insurance company reimburses you up to 90% on all those veterinary costs.

Depending on the type of pet insurance policy you select, you may have to first meet an annual deductible as well as take care of any percentage not covered by your pet’s policy. Typically, pet insurance policies do not cover any pre-existing conditions. There are also some companies that limit the types of treatments your pet is eligible for. However, there are other companies that include coverage for specialty care and even rehabilitative care.

Many pet parents opt for a monthly premium over the gamble of their pets having a high vet bill. In some cases, the veterinary bill may be so high that you may not be able to afford proper treatment for your pet. To prevent this from becoming a decision you have to make, you can set your pet up with pet insurance to make sure that you can always afford the best treatment possible, no matter if it’s an accident or an illness.

Is Pet Insurance Worth It?

You may initially feel conflicted about whether pet insurance is worth it. You are required to pay a monthly premium, which varies depending on your pet’s details. Breed and age are factors when it comes to the types of policies your pets are eligible for and what they may cost. For most people, setting aside a standard amount every month makes significantly more sense than being faced with an unsettling veterinary bill that requires tough decision-making.

The 7 Most Expensive Dog Breeds for Pet Insurance

Since the breed is a factor that affects the type of policy your pet is eligible for and the total cost, you should know what the most expensive dog breeds for pet insurance are. Whether you’re looking into one of these breeds or you have one already and are considering pet insurance, learn why these dog breeds cost more to insure.

1. Great Dane

Gray Great Dane puppy lying down on white background

Great Danes cost more to insure because they’re prone to certain health issues.

©iStock.com/GlobalP

The Great Dane is a strikingly elegant dog well known for its size. These dogs can weigh over 100 pounds and because of their size, they are prone to developing issues with their hips. Great Danes are also known to develop heart problems. The type of medicine required for proper care is dependent on a dog’s size, which pet insurance companies account for. On average, it can cost 60% more to insure a Great Dane than your average pup.

2. Irish Wolfhound

Tallest Dogs: Scottish Deerhound

The Scottish Deerhound is the progenitor of one of the tallest dogs, the Irish Wolfhound.

©iStock.com/nemoris

Irish wolfhounds were previously a status symbol. They’re large dogs with large joints, which means that they’re more prone to developing joint issues. This type of breed is also known to develop gastric disorders. Because of these predispositions, your Irish wolfhound is likely to visit the vet a lot more frequently than other dogs. Therefore, it can cost around 40% more to insure an Irish wolfhound than it would to ensure a dog without susceptibilities to issues like these.

3. English Bulldog

An English Bulldog lying on its back on a white background

Because English Bulldogs are prone to a variety of health issues, they can cost up to 60% more to insure.

©iStock.com/WilleeCole

Unfortunately, English bulldogs are susceptible to a variety of conditions, including cardiac and respiratory diseases and hip dysplasia. They don’t do well in high-heat areas and because of their size, they can easily drown in any type of water. Because they have several skin folds, they also require extra care to keep their skin and coat healthy. Due to these issues with English bulldogs, you can expect to pay about 60% more on pet insurance.

4. Bernese Mountain Dog

Animals that Sweat - Dogs

Bernese Mountain Dogs are wonderful, affectionate, and intelligent dogs.

©Eve Photography/Shutterstock.com

Bernese Mountain dogs are originally from Switzerland, which means they are able to tolerate cold weather really well. Despite this resilience, this type of dog is prone to a variety of health issues like von Willebrand’s disease, allergies, and hypothyroidism. Therefore, if you plan to insure a Bernese Mountain dog, you can expect to pay just under 60% more than you would for a regular dog.

5. Mastiff

Tibetan Mastiff

Tibetan mastiff

©Kat_marinina/Shutterstock.com

These dogs are huge. Due to their size, they may develop hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, or other major conditions. The average cost for dog insurance ranges between $25 and $100, and you can expect to pay closer to $80 or more for insuring a mastiff.

6. Pit Bull

Two American Pit Bull puppies on a white background

Pit bulls are prone to allergies, skin diseases, and other issues, so they cost more than the average amount to insure.

©iStock.com/GlobalP

Pitbull pet insurance costs are high when looking at a scale of low, medium, or high insurance costs. Basic health insurance can cost somewhere between $40 and $50 per month and as you add on different coverages, you can expect to pay more. Pit bulls are known to develop issues like hip dysplasia, kneecap dislocation, and degenerative myelopathy. Additionally, because pit bulls have short coats, they are more susceptible to developing skin conditions like allergies and mange.

7. Dalmatian

Portrait of cute Dalmatian dog.

Portrait of cute Dalmatian dog.

©Lisjatina/Shutterstock.com

Dalmatians cost more to insure because they have an unusual urinary system. This urinary system unfortunately makes them more susceptible to developing major issues like urinary stones. They may also develop deafness. Aside from these major problems, dalmatians are known to develop conditions like allergies, seizures, and hypothyroidism. You can expect to pay a high cost to insure your Dalmatian. These totals, on average, range between $70 and $80. Again, customizing your insurance plan to add additional coverages may result in a higher cost than basic pet insurance.

What are the Cheapest Breeds of Dogs to Insure?

Yorkshire Terrier puppy sitting on the park grass

Yorkshire Terriers can live to be well over 20 years old.

©Shllabadibum Bubidibam/Shutterstock.com

According to one study on the cost of pet insurance, Goldendoodles, Miniature Yorkshire Terriers, and English Springer Spaniels were the cheapest dogs to cover. The price for these pooches averages at about $37 per month. Of course, rates vary depending on the insurance company you use, but these breeds are all known for being relatively healthy and living long lives, so policies will tend to be less costly since fewer potential health concerns are present.

Should You Purchase Pet Insurance?

Yes, and the sooner the better, especially for the dog breeds listed above. Pet insurance does not cover pre-existing conditions, so if you wait until your dog has developed a specific health condition to insure him or her, that specific health condition will no longer be covered on the policy. However, if you are proactive and make an investment in pet insurance starting from a young age, any disease or illness that your pet develops will be covered by the policy.

Consider your pet like any member of your family. They require insurance should any illnesses occur. But insurance also covers events like accidents that may result in broken bones or surgery. When your pet needs to stay overnight at the hospital, those costs are covered by insurance policies as well. Not all pet insurance policies are created the same way, so it’s important that you select a policy that offers the coverage you most need.

Some pet insurance companies may offer wellness coverage, which can help you cover the cost of preventative, ongoing care. Additionally, some pet insurance companies cover more alternative therapies, like complementary and rehabilitative care. Since these dog breeds may require special care, it’s important that you consider a pet insurance policy that covers specialty care, like oncology.

Although no pet parent ever wants to consider all the worst-case scenarios when it comes to their pets, these are all important considerations you must address to ensure that you never have to make a decision between your pet’s proper care and a high veterinary bill. Vet bills can quickly add up, putting you in a difficult financial situation. To prevent having to experience financial hardship on top of the emotional toll it takes when your pet is in the vet’s office, you can purchase pet insurance to have peace of mind knowing your pets can get all the care they need—when they need it.

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About the Author

Angie Menjivar is a writer at A-Z-Animals primarily covering pets, wildlife, and the human spirit. She has 14 years of experience, holds a Bachelor's degree in psychology, and continues her studies into human behavior, working as a copywriter in the mental health space. She resides in North Carolina, where she's fallen in love with thunderstorms and uses them as an excuse to get extra cuddles from her three cats.

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