Does Dog Insurance Cover Surgery?


Spaniel Dog Insurance for Surgery

When it comes to our furry friends, we want the best for them. But when a sudden illness or injury strikes, surgery costs can be overwhelming. This is where dog insurance comes into play. One common question pet owners often ask is, “Does dog insurance cover surgery?” The answer is both yes and no, depending on the specifics of the policy and the type of surgery.

Understanding Pet Insurance

Pet insurance is a type of health coverage for your dog that reimburses you for certain medical expenses. This can help take some of the financial burdens off you, allowing your pet to receive the necessary medical care they need. However, what’s covered or excluded depends largely on the specific insurance plan.

Coverage for Medically Necessary Surgeries

According to Progressive, pet insurance plans may cover medically necessary surgeries, including emergency surgeries and some preventative procedures. If your dog needs surgery due to an accident, injury, or illness, your pet insurance plan could cover it.

Similarly, Embrace Pet Insurance includes coverage for surgery in its comprehensive policy. This implies that if your dog requires surgery due to a serious illness or injury, you could be reimbursed for the costs.

Different types of Pet Insurance and what surgical procedures they cover

Most insurance policies will cover surgery deemed necessary to save your pet’s life but will it cover broken bones, cancer, objects stuck in the throat? It is tricky to give a simple answer as insurers have different policies. As an example, Embrace Pet Insurance covers surgery costs in its comprehensive policies.

  1. Accident-only pet insurance policies cover accidental injuries that require surgery, such as surgery for a broken leg.
  2. Comprehensive insurance policies often cover surgery. As an example, Embrace Pet Insurance covers surgery costs in its comprehensive policies.

Exceptions and Limitations

While pet insurance does cover surgeries, there are exceptions. Most pet insurance companies don’t cover elective or preventive surgeries such as spaying, neutering or dental cleanings according to MarketWatch. These procedures, while beneficial for your pet’s overall health, are seen as optional. 

Moreover, states that elective procedures such as ear cropping, tail docking, and declawing aren’t typically covered by pet insurance. These procedures are often seen as cosmetic and not medically necessary.

As Business Insider explains, pet insurance covers life-saving surgeries but not routine surgeries or pre-existing conditions.

Common Surgical Procedures for Dogs

  1. ACL Surgery: This is the surgery of the cruciate ligament in a dog’s knee. It’s often required when a dog has injured its knee, which can cause pain and mobility issues.
  2. Oncologic Surgery: This refers to surgeries performed to remove cancerous tumours. The specific procedure can differ depending on the type and location of the cancer.
  3. GI Foreign Body Surgery: This surgery is done when a dog ingests a foreign object that gets stuck in its gastrointestinal tract. The object needs to be removed surgically to prevent complications.
  4. Dental Extractions: Dental extractions are performed when a dog has severe dental disease that can’t be treated with medication or cleaning. The affected teeth are removed to prevent further pain and infection.
  5. Splenectomy: A Splenectomy is a surgical procedure to remove the spleen. This may be necessary due to conditions such as splenic tumours or a splenic torsion4.
  6. Luxating Patella: Luxating patella surgery is a common orthopaedic procedure in dogs, particularly small and miniature breeds. It’s performed to correct a condition known as patellar luxation, where the kneecap (patella) dislocates or moves out of its normal location. This can be a congenital condition or developed via trauma.
  7. Hip Dysplasia:  Hip dysplasia is a common skeletal condition in dogs, particularly in larger breeds and specific breeds like spaniels. It occurs when the ball and socket of the hip joint do not fit together correctly, leading to pain and limited mobility.
  8. Gastrotomy: When a dog swallows something that it can’t digest (foreign objects), such as toys, bones, or clothing, it can cause a blockage in the digestive tract. If the foreign object is still in the stomach, the veterinarian may perform a gastrotomy to access the stomach to remove it. 

Average veterinary costs of Surgical Procedures for dogs

The cost of dog surgical procedures in the UK varies depending on the type and complexity of the procedure. Here are some examples:

  1. CT and arthroscopy for elbow dysplasia: £3180.
  2. PAUL (proximal abducting ulna osteotomy -KYON): £2855.
  3. Canine unicompartmental elbow resurfacing (CUE): £4100.
  4. Follow-up consultation following a non-surgical procedure: £145.
  5. Soft Tissue Surgery: Prices range from approximately £475 – £6,400.
  6. Perineal herniorrhaphy: £1,750 – £2,680.
  7. Laryngeal tie-back: £1,960- £2,370
  8. Orthopaedic surgery – Amputate Limb: £950
  9. Orthopaedic surgery – Femoral Head and Neck Excision (FHNE) Dog: £1,000
  10. Routine neutering: £200
  11. Tumour removal: Nearly £1000

Please note that these prices are indicative and actual costs can vary depending on the specific case and veterinary practice.

Choosing the Right Pet Insurance Plan

With so many pet insurance plans out there, it’s important to choose one that suits your dog’s needs. For example, Pets Best 6 offers a policy that covers unexpected surgeries due to emergencies and surgeries for cancer treatment, hip dysplasia, and more.

However, as Pumpkin Care points out, your pet insurance plan will likely not cover surgeries if they aren’t prescribed as a treatment for an accident or illness by your vet. Therefore, it’s crucial to understand what your policy covers and what it doesn’t.

Which Pet Insurance Providers cover Surgery

Several UK pet insurance companies provide coverage for surgical procedures, which are typically considered necessary or life-saving by a qualified vet.

  1. Petplan: Known for its experience in pet insurance, Petplan reviews pre-existing conditions on a case-by-case basis.
  2. Petsure: Offers flexible pet insurance for pre-existing conditions with up to £15k vet fee cover.
  3. Spot On Pet Insurance: A specialist in pet insurance, offering reliable and value-for-money pet insurance policies.
  4. MiPet Cover: Offered by The Veterinary Hospital and Surgery, MiPet provides a range of lifetime cover pet insurance.
  5. ManyPets: Covers up to £1,500 for pre-existing conditions as part of an overall £7,000 vet fee limit.
  6. Animal Friends, Tesco Bank, John Lewis: These were listed among the best pet insurance providers by Times Money Mentor, with Animal Friends noted for overall coverage, Tesco Bank for full lifetime cover, and John Lewis for pets that travel.
  7. New Lodge Vets: Advocates pet insurance to cover unexpected expenses resulting from accidents or illnesses.


In conclusion, whether or not dog insurance covers surgery depends on the type of surgery and the specifics of the insurance plan. While most pet insurance plans cover medically necessary surgeries, elective procedures and surgeries for pre-existing conditions are typically not included. Therefore, it’s important to carefully read and understand your pet insurance policy before deciding.

Leave a Comment