The simple answer to this is yes! The first question you may have however is: what is classed as an older dog? Any dog aged 8 years and older is clinically classed as geriatric in Veterinary terms. This is usually the same rule that insurance companies tend to go by, bar the odd exception. 

You may even ask, why there is even the question in the first place of whether there is pet insurance available for an older dog?

Well, it’s down to the geriatric policies an insurance provider may include, or not include, within the plans that they offer

Some insurance companies choose not to offer cover for certain conditions related to old age, or ultimately cover accident and injury only. It’s important to note that these insurance companies and policies are few and far between. And the majority of insurance companies (whilst they do offer a reduced cover that usually wears a far more attractive price tag), do in fact offer a policy that will cover illnesses too for your older dog. These policies that cover illnesses, as well as accident and injury, are quite often referred to as ‘fully comprehensive’ cover in the insurance world.

Always read the small print

Whilst it is indeed possible to find an insurance policy that covers ‘all of the above’, it’s imperative to read the small print. This will usually include important information such as exclusions of the policy. (This is important regardless of what age your pet is!). Exclusions will state anything that will not be covered by the policy. This will almost always include ‘previous known conditions’, this is unfortunately where a lot of people can get caught out. So we would always recommend to check anything that you are unsure of with your insurance company.

It is certainly no secret that insurance for your older dog is usually the most expensive one during your pet’s lifetime 

This is usually down to the fact that statistically, aged 8 and over, your dog is more likely to develop an illness, or experience an accident or injury. This is usually due to your dog’s older age. An example of this is arthritis. A disease typically seen in older dogs and which often requires daily medication to ensure your pet is kept comfortable. Arthritis inevitably ‘slows’ your dog down compared to their younger years. Meaning that their muscles aren’t working as much as they used to, causing your dog to become weaker. A weaker body allows for more chance of injury, and the ability for an accident to happen.

When it comes to the increased premium, people usually solely look at the monthly or yearly cost alone

It’s important to note however that geriatric polices tend to also have ‘hidden fees’ such as co-payments. These though must at least be stated in the terms and conditions. A co-payment is often where you need to pay a percentage of the total bill, along with the insurance premium and excess. It’s imperative that this is not overlooked when choosing your dog’s insurance policy. If your dog requires treatment of a significant cost the amount needed for the co-payment can come as quite a shock.

In a nut shell, pet insurance is readily available for your older dog

It usually gives better cover if you’re able to carry on a yearly insurance plan that you already have in place for your dog. That said, there’s no reason why, if you have decided now they are of an age, you can’t set up a financial safety net for them in the event anything goes wrong. It is, however, imperative that you are aware of what the policy covers. And that you do thorough research into what extra costs may be involved. If you would like any advice on the best way of choosing an insurance plan for your older pet, we would recommend contacting your local Veterinary practice. It is important to note that whilst Veterinary professionals will guide you as best as they can; unfortunately, they are not allowed to recommend or promote any single insurance company due to legalities.

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