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Is pet insurance worth it for large breed dogs?

Getting pet insurance for your large breed dog could make a lot of sense.  Brian Stubbs/Getty Images

Pet parenthood can be an expensive endeavor, and that's especially the case when health concerns arise. Aside from the cost of a vet office visit, you'll also have to pay for testing, medication and other treatment pathways when Fido falls ill. 

And, if you have a large-breed dog in particular, you may be wondering whether pet insurance is worth it for your dog. After all, large breed dogs face unique medical challenges, so will the average pet insurance company be willing to cover the health conditions these dogs face? If so, is that coverage worth the cost of the premiums?

Find out how low-cost large-breed dog insurance can be

Is pet insurance worth it for large-breed dogs?

In short, the answer is a resounding "yes" for most pet owners. On average, a pet insurance policy for dogs costs between $30 and $70 per month. A routine checkup for a dog can set you back as much as $250, according to the experts at CareCredit, and that's not including the cost of any major procedures. 

Here are three reasons insurance makes sense to purchase a pet insurance policy for large-breed dogs:

Large-breed dogs face unique medical challenges

Large breed dogs may face significant medical issues that are less common in their small-breed counterparts, according to veterinarians. And, those issues can get expensive quickly. 

"Some of the larger dogs have a condition where their stomach can twist called a gastric dilatation volvulus. You hardly ever see that in small dogs," Dr. Jeff Strickland, DVM from Briar Creek Veterinary Clinic, says. 

And, according to Dr. Strickland, "larger dogs sometimes have more trouble with arthritis than the smaller breeds." 

That's in addition to other conditions that are common in large breed dogs, including hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, bloat, hypothyroidism, dilated cardiomyopathy, eye conditions and more. Pet insurance covers these conditions and much more.

Get pet insurance for your large breed dog to help cover these added expenses today

You could pay higher prices to treat large-breed dogs

Have you ever called a veterinary clinic to set an appointment and been asked the size of your dog? That's because it can cost more to treat larger dogs. 

When asked about the differing prices between large and small breeds, Dr. Strickland says that "usually it's just the weight of the dog. A lot of the exams like heartworm testing and fecal exams are the same price no matter what size the dog. Say a dog has to have pain medicine or antibiotics, it just takes more because the dog's bigger. Usually, that's where the extra cost comes in, in our practice." 

However, in some veterinary practices, you may find increased costs for every service associated with a large-breed animal. This means you may pay higher prices for everything from office visits to testing and treatment options. Pet insurance not only bridges this gap, but it can cover these costs completely. 

An emergency situation without insurance could be costly

All pet owners should consider whether they'll have the money to cover the cost of a vet emergency if they don't have insurance. For example, if your pet needs surgical intervention, you may have to pay thousands of dollars before your vet agrees to do the surgery. 

Do you have that money available? 

It's hard to think that you'd ever let any amount of money stop you from providing your pet with the medical care it needs. However, if you don't have insurance, you may find yourself with few options in the event of an emergency — especially considering the increasing cost of veterinary care. 

The bottom line

When you adopt a pet, you're not purchasing property. You're inviting a new member of your family into your home. As a member of your family, your pet deserves high-quality healthcare. Although that care can prove to be expensive, you may be able to greatly reduce the cost and protect your pet by purchasing a pet insurance policy.

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