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10 things you need to know about gundog insurance

Should you cover your working dog against illness and injury or should you gamble on it? To help you decide, here's what you need to know about gundog insurance

Springer spaniels with handler

Some people are advocates of insuring their working dogs and others think it’s a waste of money, preferring to pay out if necessary. The bottom line is that when you buy gundog insurance you’re also buying peace of mind, knowing that you can give your faithful friend the very best treatment as soon as it is needed.

A gundog will contribute much to the success of a shoot day and so you’ll want to keep your four-legged companions in the best of health. However, vet bills are escalating and if your dog has an unexpected injury then you could be looking at having to pay out a few thousand pounds which you probably haven’t budgeted for.

Labradors in pickup

Working dogs have different insurance requirements from companion dogs

Still undecided? Here’s a list to be thinking about to help you make up your mind about working dog insurance.

  1. Working dogs are much more likely to suffer traumatic injuries whilst out in the field than companion dogs. Fractures, cuts, torn ligaments and the rest go with the territory of being a busy (and fulfilled) gundog.
  2. If your dog needs to go to a specialist that’s a distance away, some policies will cover you for travel and overnight accommodation.
  3. Even if you go down the route of saving money monthly yourself in order to pay for an unexpected veterinary bill, rather than pay monthly premiums, you may well not save enough for a bill that’s into the thousands.
  4. Ordinary dog insurance probably won’t cover you for gundog injuries and illnesses so check beforehand
  5. It’s worth shopping around specialist dog insurers like BASC and Countryside Alliance.
  6. Vet Neil Mcintosh advises gundog owners to check on what the maximum claim under their policy is and whether it is per condition or claim. For example your policy could cover you to a maximum of £2,000 per annum only OR £2,000 per condition.
  7. Some pet policies have a clause stating that you must keep your dog on a collar and lead when out and about. Obviously this wouldn’t allow a working gundog to do his job properly, so check the terms and conditions.
  8. See what your excess is. Some cheaper policies have a £90 excess plus a compulsary % you have to pay. So if you make a £200 claim you’re not going to get much money back.
  9. Check to see whether you have an annual policy or lifelong. Some annual policies will only cover your pet for a year after diagnosis, whereas a lifelong policy will cover the dog for a disease like diabetes for life. Annual may be cheaper initially , but lifelong could cost you less in the long run.
  10. Finally – always take time to read the small print on any policy carefully before signing up to make absolutely sure that it suits your circumstances and gundog insurance requirements.


We work with trusted insurers Petguard to provide a fully comprehensive insurance package for gundogs. For free, no-obligation quote and to see how Petguard could suit you, look here. Alternatively call 0345 450 7042