Buying a new puppy is very exciting. However, being prepared and pre-empting the problems we may face can hugely help. Getting insurance early in your puppy’s life is important. Many insurance companies have a period of 2 weeks where they will not pay for any claims. So getting your insurance at least 2 weeks before you collect your puppy is important. This 2 week warming up period may vary in length from one company to another.

Why is insurance important?

Setting up pet insurance means you will be paying a regular, small fee to the insurance company monthly. In return, if you should need to pay out for an accident or illness, they will pay the potentially large sum of money for treatment and diagnostic workups. This works well for people who would otherwise struggle to find a large sum of money. But still want to give their pet the best quality of care they can. 

For some people, who are able to save up lots of money and are already prepared to spend large amounts of money at once, you may not need insurance. 

When I collect my puppy, will they have had a health check performed by a vet?

Depending on the age of your pet and your veterinary practice’s protocol, different vaccinations may have been administered in different frequencies. In order for your pet’s initial vaccinations to be administered, a thorough clinical exam will have been completed by your veterinary surgeon. Your pet should have a vaccine certificate so you know which vaccines were given and when. This information is vital as your new vet will need it in order to complete the course of vaccines. 

Many breeders will provide parasitic treatment too. These can be bought from the vet following a clinical exam and weigh in. Some breeders will have bought these treatments from local pet shops. Finding out exactly which treatment has been given is important. Your vet will want to know which product has been used, how frequently it was given and when it was last given. This helps them to know exactly which endoparasites and ectoparasites your pet has been treated for.

Pet dogs should be microchipped, as it is now a legal requirement. Some breeders will opt to have this done with the first vaccination. You should find out exactly what your breeder is planning to do, so you know if you need to change the address on the microchip to your own. 

If your puppy has had a thorough health exam completed by a veterinary surgeon, you are able to gain access to the clinical records in writing from the previous vet upon purchase of the pet.

How much will my insurance cost?

Different policies from different insurance companies will cost different amounts. If you insure a puppy for life, you are likely to get a good deal. Trying to insure your pet once they are older, when they have potentially accumulated diseases, may cause the insurance to cost more compared to starting it from a young age. 

Different insurance companies will cover different diseases and have different limitations. It is important to shop around for the right insurance policies. You should look at how much the premium is, how many different medical conditions they will cover within a set amount of time, if they will cover the same disease process multiple times and how much the insurance increases each year. 

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What will my insurance cover?

Different insurance companies will cover different treatments and assessing the factors listed above will help. Speak to your vets and see if they can recommend a type of insurance; or look on comparison websites, but be sure to check the small print!

Some insurance companies may not cover pre-existing conditions, so being honest about your pet’s conditions and finding as much information as possible from the breeder is important in selecting the correct insurance deal.

What happens if my puppy gets very ill as soon as I buy it?

All dogs can get ill and this can happen at any point in their life. If you know you are unlikely to be able to pay out a large sum of money in one go, purchasing insurance before your pet arrives is a good idea. When dogs are very young and very old, they are slightly more at risk because they are more vulnerable. 

Some handy tips to help to prevent your pet from getting ill as soon as you buy them include:

  • Do not change their diet suddenly, you should either keep the diet the same or slowly, over the period of 10 days, gradually move onto a new diet. This gradual change will be phased in by mixing different ratios of the foods.
  • Try to remain calm around your pet. Keeping calm and not showing high levels of excitement can help to reduce stress levels in our pets. 
  • Get into a routine early. This means waking up time, feeding time, toilet times and exercise times are kept similar each day. 
  • Do not walk your pet until a specific time period (stated by your veterinarian) after your dog’s second lot of vaccinations. This means your pet should have a high level of immunity against the diseases we vaccinate against, reducing the risk of them getting ill. 

If, for some extremely unfortunate reason, your puppy does have a lifelong illness when you purchase them, the purchase price can be refunded. Although a very strong emotional connection will have formed and it may feel difficult to process these thoughts, puppies are bought and sold under the same legislation laws as products. This means that a puppy dying is similar to a product breaking or becoming faulty and means a refund is applicable. 

Should I get anything else before I collect my puppy?

Before you collect your puppy, you should have:

  • Puppy pads
  • Harness/collar
  • Contact a vet to make sure they are taking on new clients and that you can register there
  • Food
  • Water and food bowls
  • Dog bed
  • Poo bags
  • A couple of toys

To conclude, ensuring you have the correct insurance for your circumstances and your pet is important. We would recommend having insurance before you collect your dog, but make sure you know the minimum amount of time allowed until you can make a claim.

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