Perhaps the question should be - why NOT insure your dog?
Because does anyone want to be in the position of making difficult decisions about the treatment plan of their beloved dog with the financial aspect looming large in the background? I know I don't - quite frankly it's stressful enough seeing them ill or in pain :(
With veterinary care improving year on year, what our veterinary surgeons are capable of doing to repair and improve the quality of our dog's life is truly amazing. But with no NHS for pets, when something goes wrong you learn the true value of that service.
My dogs have had various accidents between them - ranging from Kai's heart-breaking front leg amputation, to Ella & Diva's broken legs and then again Ella's broken toe. I learned the year that Ella did that last one just how quickly veterinary bills can add up and how even the comfort blanket of insurance has its limit.
Fortunately in that particular instance it was only a few months before her annual renewal. And because I insure all of our dogs with Pet Plan on a 'Covered for Life' policy, her £4000 cover kicked in again on the renewal date. But that was a relatively straightforward injury.
Our youngest puppy Etty has recently suffered a much more serious injury to the C2 vertebrae in her neck. Fortunately she wasn't paralysed, but she very easily could have been. Her bill for out of hours care and just 3 days worth of treatment (general anaesthetic, MRI scan, 24 hour ICU care) at a specialist hospital already totals £1730.
The quote for the operation required to mend her injury comes in at £5500 - and that's if all goes according to plan and there are no complications. For us that's £3230.00 to find - something we simply don't have and may mean we have to risk not doing the operation for financial reasons and hoping that she's one of the 60% that don't suffer with the same problem again the future.
And that's just the operation - it doesn't consider rehabilitation therapy and the necessary bandage changes etc. All these bits and pieces add up very quickly.
It's a horrible position to be in. And that's with insurance footing a big portion of the bill.
To avoid heartache my advice is to use an insurance provider like Pet Plan who offer 'Covered for Life' care, and then choose the best cover you can afford.
You may never use it. I'm going to hesitate to tell you which of our dogs haven't really much troubled us with accidents or illness for fear of tempting fate! But we certainly do have less accident prone animals in our household!
But take it from me - when you're faced with your dog looking at you with such complete trust that you'll make it okay for them - you'll be glad you don't have to let them down.