September is Animal Pain Awareness Month - see our News section for info on recognising pain in your pet


Pets can suffer from illnesses and injuries that can be sudden and costly in the short term eg. being in a road traffic accident, or the costs can accumulate over time eg. arthritis, diabetes. It is important to consider both of these when taking out pet insurance, and decide what your requirements are including and to what amount of money. We regularly come across people who do not know what their pet insurance covers, and then they often find it does not cover what they actually want.


Types of Policy


Lifetime Cover: True lifetime cover with an insurer covers illness or injury up to the policy limit per year for every year of the pets life. If a chronic condition develops such as diabetes, then the insurer will pay up to to a prearranged annual limit each and every year without excluding the condition, provided the insurance is maintained.


Maximum Benefit: These have no time limit on a claim but rather than paying up to an amount per year, there is a set limit for the lifetime of the pet. Once this limit is reached the problem is excluded.


12 Month Cover: Often the cheapest type of cover but will only cover a condition for 12 months from first diagnosis. Once this time limit is reached the condition is excluded. This means if a condition is diagnosed in June one year, but treatment is not required until January the following year, the insurer will only pay for treatment for the 6 months until June the same year, and then the condition will be excluded.


Accident Only Cover: This protects against accidents but not illness.


Categorised Cover: A condition will be covered as long as it fits into a category as defined by the insurer. The limitation of this is that often until the diagnostic work up has been done it isn’t known if a condition fits into a category or not, and if not you are responsible for the bill.


Example costs of treatment

·Diabetes treatment for 4 years –this will vary with size of dog and how stable they are on insulin, but at least £5000 in total is likely.

·Spinal surgery –varies but including MRI scan £3000 likely minimum.

·Arthritis treatment for 3 years - for Collie sized dog with mix of intermittent injections and daily anti-inflammatories expect around £1200.

·Emergency treatment and repairing simple fracture for a cat after being hit by a car –around £800


Other costs

Most insurers charge a yearly excess on any insurance policy. This is usually around £60-£100 and payable once per policy year. Some will also include a percentage of the bill to be paid by the owner once the animal reaches a certain age, often 8 years, with other companies premiums will rise with age. It is also worth remembering that any pre-existing condition when insurance is taken out will usually be excluded from the policy. This also happens if you change insurance company after a problem has started.

Reverse Sneezing

Reverse Sneezing

Does your dog make a weird snorting choking sound sometimes? It could be Reverse Sneezing. Click on the photo for more information



All dogs and cats should be microchipped, and it's compulsory for all dogs over the age of 8 weeks. It's very important to keep your contact details up to date eg if you move house. Please click the photo for more information about microchips. It costs just £12 for us to chip your pet.

Advanced Training

Advanced Training

Our vets have had advanced training in medicine, surgery, cardiology and dermatology meaning less referrals and better all-round care for your pet.

Keyhole Surgery

Keyhole Surgery

We are pleased to offer keyhole surgery here at Alfreton Park for bitch speys and other procedures. Smaller wounds, and quicker recovery times. For more info, click on the photo above