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Why is Most Pet Insurance Breed Specific?

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While scouring the internet for the best pet insurance, you may have noticed a recurring thing: insurance companies will always ask for the type of breed before giving you a quote. So why does a mixed breed dog rescued from a shelter have a lower insurance premium than say, a purebred English Bulldog? The most straightforward answer is genetics.


Understanding the Science Behind an Insurance Quote

The sad fact of dog breeding is that although purebred dogs make the best show dogs, they often don’t score too high in the health department. For thousands of years, humans have been breeding dogs in order to get the desired looks, traits, and temperament. This is how we have different breeds of dogs and cats today.

In our desire to have the most impeccable characteristics in certain dog breeds, breeders tend to mate two dogs with much-coveted looks and traits from the same genetic line, creating purebred canines and felines. And therein lies the problem. With such a limited gene pool, hereditary conditions increase with each successive breeding as the defective genes that are responsible for those conditions are passed on from parents to their offspring.

Thus, purebreds could potentially incur high veterinary bills compared to their mixed breed counterpart. Most of these defects are dormant in the first few years of your pet’s life and will only manifest as they age.


Common Hereditary Disorders

Different breeds have varying risks for certain hereditary conditions. In general, here are some common genetic disorders that affect popular breeds now.


Hip Dysplasia

This condition occurs when the ball and socket of the hip joint are malformed. When the ball and socket of the hip joint don’t fit snugly, your canine friend could suffer from debilitating pain and loss of hip function. Although small dog breeds may suffer from this condition, this is often prevalent in large dog breeds. Depending on the severity of the hip dysplasia, the dog may need braces, an exercise program, and even surgery to lead a normal life. Treatment cost may set you back $4,000 to $6,000 in vet bill.

Patellar Luxation

This disorder happens when the patella or kneecap is out of its correct alignment and is dislocated out of its crest. Although this can be a result of injury, some cases are simply congenital defects that affect mostly smaller dog breeds. To treat a luxating patella, physical exercises, medication, and in some instances, surgery may be needed to treat this condition. Treatment could cost $1,500 to $3,000.

Chronic Kidney Disease

Kidney problems may stem from a variety of factors such as ingestion of a toxic substance and certain types of medication, dental disease, as well as hereditary conditions. Treatment cost varies depending on the type of intervention your furry friend may need, which may include dietary management, fluid therapy, medication, and even dialysis.

Heart Disease

Common hereditary heart defects in dogs include septal defects, boxer cardiomyopathy, and mitral valve disease. Depending on the type and severity of the condition, your pet’s medical bill could rack up from $5,000 to $20,000.


An average of one in three dogs die of cancer. This deadly disease doesn’t just affect humans, your furry companions may have to contend with this deadly disease as well. And certain breeds like Golden Retrievers, Labrador Retrievers, Boxers, German Shepherds, and Poodles suffer from a higher incidence of cancer than other dog breeds. But all is not lost. With the latest advancements in veterinary procedures, cancer, depending on the type, can now be treated. You’ll just have to be ready to foot medical bills that could range from $5,000 to $20,000.

Providing your loyal pet the quality of life they deserve comes at a cost. Fortunately, you can prepare ahead and get the best pet insurance for your furry friend. So that when the dreaded diagnosis comes, you’ll have less to worry and focus your energy in helping your pet recover.


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