We’ve looked at some of the best pet insurance companies for small dogs and found six worth considering. In this buying guide for small dog pet insurance, we’ll discuss what pet insurance covers, the different types of plans available, and some things to keep in mind when shopping for a policy.
A Plos One Danish study published in 2017 on four popular breeds with extreme physical features examined why people purchased dogs with potential health issues related to conformation and inherited diseases.
The breeds in the study included: French Bulldog, Chihuahua, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, and Cairn Terrier. The study explains that “Higher levels of health and behavior problems were positively associated with a closer owner-dog relationship for owners of Cavalier King Charles Spaniels and Chihuahuas but, for owners of French Bulldogs, high levels of problems were negatively associated with an intention to procure the same breed again.”
The study adds that although many of these breeds were predisposed to diseases and other welfare problems, people were still purchasing them while still caring deeply for them. The study suggests that perhaps many of these potential buyers had no idea of the potential health issues that their breeds were prone to.
Another thought was that maybe dog owners “do not perceive the clinical signs of some inherited disorders as problems, but rather as normal, breed-specific characteristics,” Alternatively, it could be that predisposed health conditions were not as important to dog owner’s as other characteristics.
Past research has demonstrated that “specific dog breeds flourish as part of fashion and that the media serve to amplify these developments.” Dog owners may also use particular dog breeds to express aspects of their personalities and preferences.
The study concluded that “owners of Cairn Terriers appeared to be less inclined to acquire knowledge from books and professionals than owners of Cavalier King Charles Spaniels and French Bulldogs.” And owners of ” Cairn Terriers seemed to rely on prior experience with this breed to a much greater extent (45.9%) than was the case with owners of other breeds.”
Pet Insurance For Small Dog Breeds
One of the most important things is to find a comprehensive pet health insurance plan for your new puppy. Small dog breeds tend to be more expensive to insure than larger breeds, as they are more prone to certain health problems. That’s why it’s essential to shop around and find a policy that fits your needs and budget.
When it comes to small dog breeds, a few health conditions are more common. These include:
- Dental problems: Small dog breeds are prone to dental issues, such as tooth decay and gum disease.
- Heart disease: Some small breeds, such as Yorkshire terriers and toy Poodles, are at risk for heart disease.
- Eye problems: Eye problems, such as cataracts and progressive retinal atrophy, are common in small dogs.
- Skin allergies: Small dogs are prone to skin allergies and can scratch themselves raw if not adequately treated.
- Accidents & illnesses: Accidents and illnesses can affect your small breed, so it’s essential to have pet insurance in case of an emergency.
Best Pet Insurance For Small Dogs
Lemonade has earned a reputation in the insurance industry for being one of the most customer-centric companies. Lemonade is a licensed insurance carrier that also features renters, homeowners, pet health insurance, term life insurance in the U.S., and content and liability insurance in Germany, France, and the Netherlands.
Starting at $10 a month, a Lemonade base policy includes accident and illness coverage. It covers the cost of diagnostics, procedures, and medications related to an accident or illness. The preventive packages cover routine wellness like your pet’s annual exam, blood tests, vaccinations, and access to live medical chat.
- The best insurance for small dog breeds
- Illness, accident, & preventive coverage
- Lowest rates compared to others
- 2-day waiting period for accident coverage
- No age limit
- Annual coverage ranges from 5,000 to 100,000
- Medical exam required
Healthy Paws pays out vet bills, with 99% of claims paid within two days. You can choose any vet or emergency clinic you like, and there is no limit on claims with payouts. There are no maximum annual or lifetime payouts, and most claims are processed within two days. Their plans cover accidents, illnesses, cancer, emergency care, genetic and hereditary conditions, breed-specific conditions, and alternative care.
- Flexible premium & deductible options
- No per-incident, annual, or
- lifetime caps.
- No costly add-ons
- App for easy and fast claims processing
With Pawp, you get unlimited video calls or texts with a vet and up to $3,000 in an emergency for around $24 monthly. Once per year, you can tap into a $3,000 emergency fund for an urgent visit to any vet with $0 out-of-pocket expenses. All you need to do is speak with a vet via video call before activating your emergency fund.
If you’re on a budget, then this is a good option. You get to insure up to 6 pets for $24 a month. After only 4 hours of enrollment, you get to see any vet.
The takeaway with Pawp is that there’s no copay, deductible, or credit check, and Pawp pays the vet directly, so you don’t need to worry about being reimbursed.
- Exclusive prices on Rx and OTC
- $3,000 safety net in an emergency
- Curated vet recommendations
- Up to 6 pets per membership
- No copay or deductible
- Features live chat, FAQ, or send photos or video chat with the vet
Spot’s proprietary technology helps pet owners keep their furry friends safe by reporting any adverse reactions or concerns to a vet in real-time. With VetConnect™ ́s 24/7 hotline, customers get access to free help from experts anytime they need it!
Spot also has an impressive 10% multi-pet discount on top of all these great features – making this the perfect solution no matter how many animals you have. Spot also features coverage for microchip implantations, not commonly covered by pet insurance providers, cancer treatments, X-rays, MRI or CT scans, surgery, hospitalization, and pet meds.
- No copay
- Features deductibles from $100 to $1000
- Reimbursement options of either 70%, 80%, or 90%
- Visit any licensed vet
- A wide array of coverage
- No age limits for insuring new pets
Pumpkin is committed to offering affordable pet insurance for your furry friends with the option of adding preventative care packs that are not included in standard coverage. For example, the puppy preventive package includes one annual wellness exam fee and four vaccine injections, and a yearly feces test at no extra cost!
Pumpkin is here to help your pup get the shots they need, no matter where in America you live. With Pumpkin’s Preventive Essentials package — which includes up to four vaccines and lab tests for parasites at absolutely NO ADDITIONAL cost—you can rest assured knowing that if there are any issues with their health before insurance kicks in, then they’ve got you covered!
There are no 6-month or 1-year waiting periods for knee injuries or hip dysplasia issues. However, the waiting period for all conditions is 14-days. This also applies to hip dysplasia. And you get coverage for prescription pet food.
- You can choose any vet or emergency clinic
- Plans are crafted with no limits on claims and no per-incident, annual, or lifetime caps on payouts.
- Comprehensive plans
- Always includes 90% reimbursement for all covered procedures & treatments
- Affordable plans
- 14-day wait period
Pets Best offers customizable annual limits, annual deductibles, and one of three options of either 70, 80, or 90% reimbursement rates. Best Benefit plans feature comprehensive coverage that pays your veterinary bill for unexpected emergencies and illnesses.
Pets Best Benefit accident & illness plans can be customized to meet your small breed’s pet insurance needs and your budget. Coverage includes cancer treatments, hereditary and congenital conditions, ongoing and chronic conditions, dental and even behavioral. You can find a plan to cover ear infections, diabetes, cancer, arthritis, urinary tract infections, etc.
- Option of direct vet pay
- Features a short 3 -day accident wait period
- Low premiums
- Multipet discount of 5%
- Routine Wellness plans are available
- Best Benefits plan is comprehensive
What is pet insurance?
Pet insurance is veterinary insurance that helps cover the cost of veterinary care for your pet. It can help cover unexpected expenses like accidents, illnesses, and routine wellness care. Many different pet insurance plans are available, and not all cover the same things.
Before you start shopping for a pet insurance policy, it’s important to understand what types of coverage are available and what might be right for your pet. Here are six things to keep in mind when shopping for small dog pet insurance:
When it comes to pet insurance, coverage limits are one of the most important things to consider. For example, coverage limits refer to the maximum amount an insurer will payout for a covered event.
Most pet insurance policies have per-incident and annual limits. Per-incident limits are the maximum amount that an insurer will pay for a single event, while yearly limits are the maximum amount that an insurer will pay out in a year. With some policies, you can also hit annual or lifetime caps on payments, which can mean some bills aren’t covered.
It’s essential to understand your policy’s coverage limits before purchasing it. Otherwise, you could find yourself faced with a costly veterinary bill that your pet insurance doesn’t cover.
Another important thing to consider when looking for the best pet insurance for small dogs is the deductible. A deductible is the amount of money you must pay out-of-pocket before your pet insurance policy kicks in. The higher the deductible, the lower your premiums will be.
However, it’s important to remember that you’ll need to pay the deductible each time you make a claim. So, if you have a high deductible and your pet needs regular veterinary care, you could pay more out-of-pocket than you would with a lower deductible policy.
Reimbursement rates refer to the percentage of veterinary bills that an insurer will reimburse you. In addition, pet insurance policies typically reimburse you for a certain percentage of your veterinary bills.
The reimbursement rate is the percentage of your bill that the pet insurance company will cover. Most pet insurance policies have reimbursement rates between 70% and 90%.
It’s essential to be aware of the exclusions in your pet insurance policy. Exclusions are items that are not covered by the policy. For example, pet insurance policies may have exclusions for certain conditions, breeds of dogs, or age ranges.
Many pet insurance policies do not cover pre-existing conditions. However, before purchasing the policy, a pre-existing condition is an illness or injury your pet had.
Most pet insurance policies have waiting periods. A waiting period is the length of time you must wait before your policy becomes effective. Waiting periods are typically between two and four weeks, but they can be longer for some policies. The policy will not cover any veterinary care your pet needs during the waiting period.
Adopting a small dog breed
If you’ve recently added a new dog to your family, congratulations! Small breeds make wonderful pets and can be just as loyal and loving as their larger counterparts. However, before you bring your new furry friend home, there are a few things you need to take into consideration.
Ear infections in small dog breeds
Another common health issue that affects small dog breeds is ear infections. This is often caused by bacteria or yeast overgrowth in the ear canal and can be very painful for your pup. Symptoms of an ear infection include scratching at the ears, head shaking, and redness or discharge from the ears.
Persistent or severe ear infections sometimes need more drastic measures where your pup may need to have his ear canal flushed and debris removed. If the ear canal becomes thickened and narrowed after numerous infections, your dog may need surgery to remove part or all of the outer ear canal.
Opening up the ear canal allows for treatment to be more effective and improves air circulation. However, if your small dog breed needs surgery, this can be costly without pet insurance.
Digestive issues in small dog breeds
Another common health issue for small dog breeds is digestive problems. This can be anything from gastroenteritis (inflammation of the stomach and intestines) to pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas).
Digestive issues include vomiting, diarrhea, weight loss, and abdominal pain. If your small dog breed has digestive issues, it’s important to take him to the vet for proper diagnosis and treatment. Unfortunately, digestive problems can be severe and even life-threatening if left untreated.
Small dog pet insurance
When looking for small dog pet insurance, it is essential to find a policy covering your specific needs. For example, coverage limits, deductibles, reimbursement rates, and waiting periods are important factors to consider when shopping for pet insurance.
It is also essential to see if any exclusions are included in the policy. By asking these six questions, you can find the best small dog pet insurance for your needs. Our top picks for small dog pet insurance include extensive coverage and fast reimbursement.
French Bulldog health issues
One of the most popular small dog breeds is the French Bulldog. While these pups are adorable, they are also prone to certain health problems. For example, the AVMA says that owners’ most common health issues were allergies, skin fold infections, corneal ulcers, and brachycephalic obstructive airway syndrome.
A 2021 study within the Vet Compass Programme published in Canine Medicine and Genetics adds that BOAS clinical signs such as snoring and snorting as ‘normal for the breed’ has been documented in brachycephalic dog owners, with 58 % of owners of BOAS-affected dogs failing to recognize that their dog even had a breathing problem. However, the study adds that 60 % of owners of BOAS-affected dogs were unable to acknowledge BOAS clinical signs.
The findings from this study demonstrate that French Bulldogs had 42.14 times the adjusted odds of stenotic nares, 30.89 times the adjusted odds of BOAS, and 4.88 times the adjusted odds of upper respiratory tract infection compared with non-French Bulldogs. In addition, the study demonstrates the importance of pet insurance for small breeds like the French Bulldog so that pet owners can follow up with regular veterinary care when needed.
Some of the most common health issues affecting French Bulldogs include:
- Brachycephalic syndrome: This condition affects the breed’s short nose and causes difficulties breathing. It can be severe and even lead to death.
- Hip dysplasia: This is a condition where the hip joint doesn’t develop properly, leading to pain and lameness.
- Skinfold dermatitis: This is a condition with an inflammatory process the following abrasion through friction, excessive moisture, and reduced ventilation of opposing skin surfaces.
- Elbow dysplasia: This is a condition where the elbow joint doesn’t develop properly, leading to pain and lameness.
- Eye problems: French Bulldogs are prone to several eye problems, such as cherry, entropion, keratitis, and distichiasis.
- Skin allergies: French Bulldogs are also prone to skin allergies.
- Patellar luxation: This is a condition where the kneecap slips out of place, causing pain and lameness.
While these health problems can be severe, they are all treatable with proper medical care. However, treatment can be expensive, so it’s essential to have pet insurance if your French Bulldog needs medical attention.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is pet insurance tax deductible?
Generally, no. However, there are some exceptions. For example, if you have a service dog, the cost of insuring that dog may be tax-deductible. You should always check with your accountant to see if you are eligible for any deductions.
How much does pet insurance cost?
This depends on various factors, including the age and breed of your pet, the type of coverage you choose, and the company you go with. Though, pet insurance costs between $10 and $50 per month.
How do I know if my pet needs pet insurance?
This depends on various factors, including your pet’s age and health. However, most experts agree that pet insurance is a good idea for six months or older pets who have health problems or are considered high-risk breeds.
What does pet insurance cover?
This depends on the specific policy, but most pet insurance policies generally cover routine vet care, including check-ups, vaccinations, and preventive care. Some policies also cover injuries, illnesses, and even death.
What doesn’t pet insurance cover?
This also depends on the specific policy, but most pet insurance policies do not typically cover routine dental care or pre-existing conditions.
Is pet insurance expensive?
This depends on the specific policy, but most pet insurance policies generally cost $10 and $50 per month. This may seem like a lot, but it is usually much less expensive than paying for vet care out of pocket.
A pet insurance plan with a $5,000 maximum yearly payout for a Chihuahua puppy features prices as low as $21 a month from Lemonade and Pets Best, our top picks.
Can Pet Insurance Save You Money?
Yes, pet insurance can save you money. By insuring your pet, you can budget for their care and be prepared for unexpected veterinary bills. So, for example, a pet insurance plan with a $5,000 maximum yearly payout can save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars in vet bills.
Claudia Bensimoun is a writer who specializes in dog content and veterinary topics! Aside from writing for We Love Doodles, Claudia also writes for other major dog blogs like Fido Friendly, Animal Wellness Magazine, and the United States Dog Agility Association (USDAA). She has a ghostwritten over 50 different dog e-books. Her passions include animal welfare, veterinary research, and wildlife conservation.
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