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Pet insurance for older dogs

It’s hard to think of our furry friends growing old. But just like people, pets require a different level of care when they start to age. It’s important to start thinking about whether you currently have the correct cover you need for your dog as they age.

Provided by Pinnacle Insurance plc.

What are the different types of pet insurance for older dogs? 

It’s important to take out pet insurance for an older dog as soon as possible, as most insurers will not cover any pre-existing conditions or over a certain age .

When it comes to the different types of insurance for older dogs, there are three main policy types to choose from. These are:

Time limited

Time limited cover from Sainsbury’s Bank may help pay towards treatment for your pet for up to 12 months or £3,000 worth of vet fees – whichever comes first. This short-term cover could help you to provide your precious pooch with the care their need.

Maximum benefit

Maximum benefit insurance allows you to claim for the same condition multiple times until you reach the full limit of cover. You can choose a level of cover from £3,000 to £6,000 – whatever amount works for you and your furry friends.

Lifetime insurance

Lifetime insurance means that you can sit back and relax without having to take out a new policy each year. Enjoy an unlimited treatment period with cover up to £10,000 each year – plus an extra discount for Nectar members. 

How old is a senior dog? 

While your beloved pet may still be spritely, Sainsbury's Bank Pet Insurance consider dogs to be senior when they reach age eight and you can continue to cover your dog up to any age, as long as you keep renewing your policy every year without a break.

You can only take out insurance for the following breeds up until the age of five:

  • Beauceron
  • Bernese Mountain Dog
  • Bulldog
  • Bullmastiff
  • Deerhound
  • Dogue de Bordeaux
  • Estrela Mountain Dog
  • Giant Schnauzer
  • Great Dane
  • Irish Wolfhound
  • Leonberger
  • Mastiff
  • Neapolitan Mastiff
  • Newfoundland
  • Old English Bulldog
  • Old English Sheepdog
  • Poodle (Standard)
  • Pyrenean Mountain Dog
  • Rhodesian Ridgeback
  • Rottweiler
  • Shar Pei
  • St Bernard
  • Tibetan Mastiff
  • Utonagan

You should be aware that once your dog reaches a particular age, there are certain premiums and restrictions added to your policy. As with all polices, limits, exclusions and excesses apply at any age. For full information about what Sainsbury’s Bank Pet Insurance covers, check your policy booklet and certificate. 

According to the PDSA, the average lifespan for man’s best friend is 14 years, with small dogs typically living between seven and 14 years and large dogs living between five and 13 years.

Do you need pet insurance for older dogs?

As your dog ages they become more susceptible to many health conditions and their health can change rapidly in some cases. These changes often mean that the dog insurance you have needs to be amended to reflect the new needs of your pooch.

Pet insurance for older dogs can mean restrictions or higher premiums. It’s also worth remembering that your cover will not include any pre-existing conditions, so it’s important that your policy covers everything you think you need and more before they get older.

This is why it’s key to insure your dog from a young age while they are fit and healthy, to avoid facing this issue later down the line when they’re more likely to develop conditions associated with ageing.

Why is pet insurance for older dogs more expensive?

Unfortunately, the age of your pet does have an impact on price – just the same as it does with any type of insurance for an older human. The cost of your premiums can be affected by your dog’s breeding – some pedigrees are more likely to develop particular genetic illnesses. The cost of pet insurance for an older dog also depends on the excess you want to pay. It’s important to choose a policy that works both for your wallet and your ageing pooch.

Health conditions or dental issues are more likely to appear in older dogs, as things naturally start to deteriorate with age. Some age-associated conditions to be aware of include:

  • Arthritis
  • Diabetes
  • Dementia
  • Blindness
  • Cancer
  • Kidney disease
  • Gum disease

Benefits of taking out insurance for older dogs with Sainsbury’s Bank

There are many advantages to making sure you have pet insurance for your senior dog in place.  

Here are some of the main benefits of taking out pet insurance for senior dogs: 

Higher possibility of developing conditions

As mentioned above, elderly dogs need insurance too – if not even more so. The chances of developing certain conditions like cancer, dementia and arthritis are much more common with a senior dog and will need to be considered as your dog ages.

Feel supported if you need it the most 

It can be upsetting when an older dog takes a turn for the worst. Having a form of cover in place may help to take the stress away and give you one less thing to worry about – so you can spend your time with your precious pooch.

Help relieve financial pressure 

Having a senior dog comes with added financial costs to consider. They may need a specialist diet to support them with age related conditions, or just added nutrients to keep them in tip top shape. If your dog does need to go to the vet, your cover may help towards treatments.

Frequently asked questions

Is it worth insuring an old dog?

Yes, it is definitely worth having pet insurance for older dogs. Vet bills are expensive, and unfortunately this price can skyrocket when your best friend gets older. Just be sure to take out the policy as early as you can – as pre-existing conditions will not be covered.

Can I insure a 14-year-old dog?

With most insurance policies you can only take out cover up until your dog is eight years old (or five for some breeds). However, as long as you already have insurance in place, cover for your pooch should continue. Just check with your provider for any exclusions.

Can I get insurance for an older dog with a pre-existing condition?

Sainsbury's Bank does not offer dog insurance for older dogs that covers pre-existing conditions. You may need to consult a specialist insurer for this kind of cover.

You may be able to insure your dog, but you will not be able to make claims for the pre-existing condition. If possible, it’s important to insure your dog as early in their life as you can, before they develop any illnesses.


Terms and conditions

* The discount is based on information related to you and the Sainsbury’s and Sainsbury’s Bank transactions linked to your Nectar account. For more information on how we use your data, go to