German Shepherd Insurance: What You Need to Know
When it comes to German Shepherd insurance, it need not be any more complicated than buying an insurance policy for any other dog breed. What one must be very clear on, however, is that any pet requires good insurance coverage unless you want to pay out of pocket for their medical expenses.
Having a pet is certainly a blessing, but you must also set aside money to provide for your pet in an emergency situation. This will not only help your pet but will also take the pressure off you to scramble together money for an emergency procedure or in the event of unforeseen incidents, like an accident.
Once you have clarity on whether or not you should get insurance for your pet (the answer is you absolutely should), finding the right coverage should not be such a task. If you are looking for insurance for your German Shepherd, the following are some details you may find useful:
German Shepherd Personality
German Shepherd is a medium to large-sized dog breed that is extremely friendly, loyal and amicable. Their size and strength may make some people wary, but unlike many other large breeds, German Shepherds do not have a reputation of being aggressive or hostile unless provoked to be so.
But, they can also be great guard dogs, so if your family is looking for a watchdog, this breed is a great option, even if you have young children at home. They are extremely intelligent and observant dogs, which should explain why they are seen in police squads so frequently.
Having said that, German Shepherds are sociable animals and do not like to be left alone for too long. They can have a tendency of developing separation anxiety so they need to be trained from an early age to be on their own. They can also become overly protective of the people they love, so as with any other breed, German Shepherds need to be socialized at an early age.
Nutrition and Exercise
Since they are big, often muscular dogs, they need a good degree of exercise to maintain their frame and lead a healthy life. A fully grown German Shepherd needs at least two to three hours of exercise in a day.
If you live close to a park or have the luxury of a yard, it would be nice to let them out and make the most of the space. They have a life expectancy of 10-14 years.
In terms of nutrition, since German Shepherds are large and well-built dogs, they require a lot of protein in their diet so you should plan their meals accordingly. Unless your dog has a specific health ailment, there are no particular dietary restrictions for a German Shepherd.
Of course, they cannot eat all the food that humans do, as is a given with any dog breed. How big your dog’s meals should be will certainly depend on the size of the specific dog and their appetite. Collaborate with your dog’s veterinarian to come up with an appropriate meal plan. With the right kind of nutrition, exercise and engagement, a German Shepherd can live a full and healthy life.
As with any living being, dogs are prone to medical ailments and can have complications with their health. Some dog breeds may be more susceptible to certain types of ailments than others.
For instance, since the German Shepherd is a deep-chested breed, it can be vulnerable to GDV (gastric dilatation-volvulus). This is a possibly fatal condition where the abdomen becomes bloated owing to the dog’s stomach turning and becoming twisted, as a result of which gas, liquid and other contents of the stomach cannot pass.
At its most mild, GDV may only be a case of stomach bloating. Still, it is something that German Shepherd owners must be mindful of when they plan their dog’s meals and take them out to exercise.
Some other illnesses that may be common for German Shepherds include:
- Hip and elbow dysplasia
- Bladder and urinary tract infections
- Von Willebrand disease
All these illnesses will be covered under different insurance plans and depending on the policy you purchase, the coverage may be different for each ailment. However, it is extremely important to get insurance for your German Shepherd, as any of these ailments can set you back hundreds of dollars out of pocket.
A single bout of allergies, for instance, may write you up with a medical bill of $600. So, if you own a German Shepherd, ensure you get health coverage and try as much as possible to have at least some of these common ailments covered in your policy.
Factors in Pet Insurance Costs
The cost of pet insurance will vary from individual animals and the risk they carry. There are some online tools that you can consider to give you an estimate of how much pet insurance for your German Shepherd may cost. Some basic factors that may affect the cost of pet insurance for your German Shepherd include:
- State of residence
- Pre-existing health conditions
The monthly premium for a German Shepherd may vary from $38 t0 $270, depending on the dog’s age (the range has been adjusted for minimum to maximum values and is an approximate figure). The annual benefits limit that you pick, as well as the deductible and reimbursement level, will all impact the final price of the pet insurance.
What Will the Pet Insurance Cover?
The degree of coverage you may enjoy with your pet insurance will, of course, depend on the type of policy you choose. For example, in some instances the policy may cover only illness, while others may cover only injuries caused by accidents, and a third (more expensive) kind of coverage may cover both illness and injury.
There are also some types of coverage that will even provide for routine medical care like vaccinations, visits to the vet’s office for routine medical examinations, etc.
Most pet owners end up buying coverage that provides for accident and illness as those are likely to cost you the most, should it come to that. But while accidents caused by collisions, falls, etc. may be covered in pet insurance, in addition to illnesses that may develop later, there are some things that most pet health insurances will not cover.
This includes pre-existing health conditions, that is, conditions that existed before the policy came into effect. This is not particular to insurance for pets. Even health insurance for people will typically have this clause.
So, for instance, if your German Shepherd had hip dysplasia before you bought the policy or if they were diagnosed with allergies before the policy kicks in, there is a strong likelihood that the policy will not cover those conditions.
You are obligated to disclose any such diagnosis before you purchase an insurance policy. Officers will carry out an investigation anyway should you file a claim, so it is best not to fall into problems then.
The following are some examples of specifications and customizations a policy may have.
- Age Limit: The age range in which the policy will offer coverage. It may start as early as six weeks old, and may go up to 14 years of age. The age at which you take the policy out, however, will affect the price of the premium.
- Benefits: All the benefits you get in the policy, in addition to basic coverage. This may include a money-back guarantee, coverage for micro-chipping, examination fees for conditions that are covered by the policy, etc.
- Discounts: Some insurance policies offer discounts or incentives when you take the policy out. For example, you may get a discount if you buy policies for more than one pet. There may even be a discount if you have served in the military, etc.
- Medical Exam: Some insurance policies require you to get a medical examination done for your dog before you can buy the policy, while others may not have any such requirements.
- Policy Options: The policy options will tell you what all you can expect the policy to cover—accidents, illness, or both.
- Waiting Period: All health insurance covers have a waiting period. This is the buffer period between when you buy the policy and the date it comes into effect. Different policy providers may have different waiting periods. For some it may be two days, for others it may be two weeks.
Finding the Right German Shepherd Insurance
Finding the right German Shepherd insurance may take some back and forth not because the breed is difficult to insure, but because you want to make sure you get the right coverage for your pet. Even if you had a Golden Retriever, there would be other challenges or considerations to make while looking for the right policy.
Whether you are buying insurance for your pet or even for yourself or a loved one, the best practice is to shop around before you select any policy. It is always important to compare different policies, see what kind of coverage you are getting where, before finalizing which cover you want.
When you are shopping for the right insurance policy, you should be sure to look at all the terms and conditions in the fine print. Do not simply get swayed by attractive prices.
If an insurance cover looks too good to be true, that is perhaps because it is (too good to be true). So comb through the fine print and be sure of what you are getting into before you commit to any policy.
In the case of German Shepherd insurance, you want to look for specifics in the coverage that will benefit your dog. Do your research and make note of all the possible ailments German Shepherd breeds may be susceptible to.
Some of those ailments have already been mentioned above but that is, by no means, an exhaustive list. Try, as far as possible, to cover all the major bases when it comes to your German Shepherd’s health.
A German Shepherd is a beautiful, intelligent and loyal animal. But caring for a German Shepherd certainly requires work. In addition to some of the ailments listed above that a German Shepherd may be genetically vulnerable to, there are also other aspects of their health that are completely in your control—their nutrition and exercise.
With a good environment, even the mental well-being of your pet will be taken care of. Keep them engaged, give them challenges and allow them to run around if they need to expend energy, especially when they are puppies.
With this aspect of their health and well being taken care of, a good health insurance should be able to give you a cushion to fall back on in the case of an emergency or illness.
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