Dog insurance – Pet insurance claims for dogs in Australia

Dog insurance Pet insurance Bow Wow Meow


How much could your dog’s health realistically cost you?

We know that owning a dog can get expensive. In fact, many pooch parents joke that raising kids can be comparable or sometimes turn out cheaper! But in all seriousness, owning a dog is a big responsibility and just as humans do, dogs will fall ill at some point in their lives—it’s just inevitable.

Sometimes they’ll come down with the equivalent of a virus like the cold or a small bacterial infection and may not need any serious medication. At other times, unfortunately, serious illness can take hold and your dog may need important surgeries, numerous visits to the vet or specialist, and even life-long medications.

As you can imagine (or may even have experienced first-hand), the cost of all this pet health care can quickly add up. We see many dog insurance claims for vet bills here at Bow Wow Meow—we’re processing hundreds of them every day. So we thought we’d share some insights into just how much money is spent on healthcare for our dogs.


Common dog health conditions and costs

Some of the most common healthcare costs for Aussie dog owners in 2022 were for skin allergies, ear infections  and gastritis. Here is the breakdown of some average and highest claim costs for a variety of health conditions experienced by dogs during 2022, according to Petsure’s claim figures.


Average cost  Highest cost
Skin allergies $520 $17,460
Ear infections $315 $16,670
Arthritis $423 $12,255
Vomiting  $565 $26,661
Gastritis  $523 $28,232
Diarrhoea $416 $20,663
Skin lumps  $698 $12,012
Anal sac disorder $260 $11,021
Dental disease  $706 $11,923
Cruciate ligament disease $2,408 $25,687
Intervertebral disk disease (IVDD) $3,480 $31,221
Diabetes mellitus $1,504 $19,936
Tracheal collapse $643 $15,202
Hypothyroidism $388 $4,747
Tick paralysis $2,402 $53,331


As you can see from the above table, some of the claims for dog health conditions can be very significant, with the highest claim cost being a hefty $53,331 for tick paralysis. Other conditions such as IVDD, gastritis and vomiting were also very costly for dog owners in 2022.


What does this mean for our pets and our pockets?

Pets experience accidents or illness at any age, with PetSure research showing the lifetime cost of owning a pet is around $30,000.

The researchers also revealed the most common health conditions for dogs by age category:

  • For dogs aged under 12 monthsear infections
  • For dogs aged between 1 and 8 yearsskin allergies
  • For dogs aged over 8 years osteoarthritis


Why do I need dog insurance? Bow Wow Meow


Why is dog insurance important?

While the cost of caring for a sick or injured dog can be expensive, especially once you consider the amount you’ll also be spending on food, flea medication and other essentials, most pooch parents agree that having a healthy and happy dog at home is a tremendously rewarding experience.


Unsure how serious it is?

Bow Wow Meow policy holders can get a complimentary VetChat consult membership which gives you access to 24/7 online vet consults. If you are unsure about any symptoms your pet is experiencing, or have any concerns about your pet’s health, you can contact them anytime via video or live message.

Find out more about our pet insurance options


When is the best time to insure a dog? 

If you are a new puppy owner who is contemplating pet insurance, know that the best time to obtain pet insurance is when they are young and have no pre-existing conditions. If there are already existing health conditions (prior to getting a policy or within the 30 day waiting period), it will generally be excluded from cover.  Puppies can be covered from 8 weeks of age and as they usually do not have any pre-existing conditions at this time, it is definitely a favourable time to get pet insurance.

Rememer that premiums typically rise each year as your pet gets older and is more likely to experience health issues.

Pet insurance dog health costs Bow Wow Meow pet insurance


Pet insurance means being prepared

Owning a pet is a long-term financial commitment. The best thing you can do as a loving pet parent is to know what costs could be around the corner in order to be prepared if your dog does become sick—you’ll most likely need a number of vet visits, maybe even a surgery and ongoing medications. Sadly, these costs can often be too much for people to afford.

If in any doubt, the best way to prepare for any illnesses your dog may develop is to organise dog health insurance.

Because it is difficult to predict the costs of veterinary care, it can help to have measures in place to help prepare for the unexpected. Pet insurance can help by covering a portion of the eligible vet bill if the unexpected does happen. Many an owner can attest to just how life-saving dog insurance can be.


10% discount for multiple pets     
*Please note, any pet insurance advice provided is general only. Refer to the applicable Product Disclosure Statement for details of Bow Wow Meow Pet Insurance cover.

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