If you’re after a pedigree dog or cat, how much can you expect to pay and what do you need to know? Are certain breeds prone to certain illnesses and does that mean you won’t be covered by pet insurance? And if you are rescuing a pet, how do you find a reputable animal shelter and what’s expected of you?

Pure-breed dogs and cats are likely to cost you several hundred pounds, with the rarer and more pure breeds costing five hundred pounds or more.

As an example, Labradors are very common, intelligent family pets, but could cost between £300 and £500. West Highland Terrier pure breeds are very pricey, though the dogs are usually full of character! Full pedigrees generally cost upwards of £400, with females often costing more than the males. If you want to go for big, rare and expensive, the Komondor is a very rare Hungarian hunting dog pure breed, and may cost you many hundreds of pounds.

And a cat…

Although much smaller, pedigree cats are priced roughly the same as dogs!

So, a Persian could cost between £200 and £350; a good Burmese will be around £350 to £400; and a Devon Rex could cost upwards of £400, which is a standard price for most other pedigree breeds.

The risk of disease

Any breed of dog can be susceptible to certain diseases. With rare dogs, like the Komondor for example, you might face hereditary problems. There are only around 100 registered Komondors in the UK, and one ailment they can be prone to is dysplasia, a hereditary condition, which is a common problem with big dogs and particularly with pure-bred dogs.

Labradors are certainly not a rare breed but they too are susceptible to diseases including hip dysplasia, progressive retinal atrophy, epilepsy, cancer, metabolic liver defects and ear infections.

The point is that with dogs and cats, it is worth doing your homework to identify which conditions particular breeds are more prone to, so that this can be addressed by your pet insurance policy.

Got it covered?

In general, with Churchill pet insurance, as with most other pet insurers, any condition, which occurred or existed in any form, prior to inception of the insurance policy, will not be covered.

If your pet is ill before the policy starts, we would be unable to cover an illness or condition that is pre-existing, or occurs during the first 10 days of your insurance cover. New policies for cats can be taken out from the age of eight weeks anytime up to and including 10 years old. Dog insurance policies can be taken out anytime from eight weeks up to and including eight years old. Once your pet is insured with us, cover is normally available for the rest of its life.

Adopting a rescue animal

Many people prefer to rescue animals rather than buy them on the open market. So, if you want to rescue an abandoned cat or dog, how do you find a reputable animal shelter?

The RSPCA is a great first point of contact. It re-homes around 70,000 animals a year and is in touch with many pet organisations. Battersea Dogs and Cats Home in London is another good organisation to contact, with a good pedigree and excellent support.

A good dog or cat shelter will look to ensure you can provide a good home for the pet, provide for them, and care for them, and also that the pet is suited to you and your situation, and the other way around.

The adoption procedure reflects this. Although it varies between animal centres and branches, it tends to involve an initial questionnaire, animal viewings, conversations with the centre owners, a home visit, and the adoption itself, followed by support from the organisation.

Before you buy a new family pet, why not get some pet insurance quotes for different breeds of cat or dog from Churchill? You can also buy our pet insurance online in a quick and easy process.