Cute but Costly: Most Expensive Dog Breeds to Insure

Find the Cheapest Pet Insurance Quotes in Your Area


Love your pooch, but wonder how costly it is to insure his or her health? You’re not alone.

Using our pet insurance comparison research, ValuePenguin reports on the top ten most expensive canine companions to insure. These furry children can range from 12 inches all the way to 32 inches, and can weigh anywhere from 45 lbs to 200 lbs. In human terms, those are the weights of a six-year old child to a grown man!

The observant reader will also notice that most of these dogs are large. There is a correlation between the size of a dog and the cost of pet insurance. Indeed, due to the nature of their size, large dogs are more predisposed to certain types of conditions, such as hip dysplasia and stomach bloat. Hip dysplasia is a disease that affects dogs’ joints, and larger dogs tend to have more weight and stress placed on those joints. Larger dogs, especially deep-chested breeds, also experience more gastric disorders where the stomach becomes distended and painful. Additionally, some medications are dispensed based on weight size, so the bigger your dog, the larger a dosage it will require. All of these events add up to more expensive pet insurance for your dog, unfortunately.

These top dogs are predominantly European in origin, with three breeds hailing from Germany, two from Switzerland, one from Georgia, one from England, one from Ireland, one from Spain, and one representative from Canada.

ValuePenguin's Most Expensive Dogs to Insure

1. Great Dane: On average, pet health insurance for Great Danes costs about 63% more than the average dog. Hailing from Germany, Great Danes can weigh on average 100 to 120 lbs. You probably knew at least one Great Dane watching television as a child: Scooby Doo. At 7 feet 4 inches, a Great Dane named Zeus currently holds the Guinness record for the tallest dog.

2. English Bulldog: From its history as a tenacious bull baiter, the English Bulldog has now been bred to be amiable and mellow. Its most stressful role these days, it seems, is that of university mascot, much like at my alma mater, Georgetown University. Unfortunately, English Bulldogs also tend to have more health problems, which accounts for their veterinary insurance costing 60% more than other dogs.

3. Bernese Mountain Dog: The Bernese Mountain Dog originates from Switzerland, and has immense tolerance for cold. It has traditionally been bred to guard property and herd cattle. Generally speaking, pet insurance for Bernese Mountain Dogs are 58% more expensive than the average canine companion.

4. Caucasian Ovcharka: Weighing anywhere from 99 to 200 lbs, Caucasian Ovcharkas are the heaviest dogs on ValuePenguin’s list. Cute and cuddly as pups, these dogs were initially raised to be formidable bear hunters in the Caucasus region of Europe. Compared to the average dog, their pet insurance premiums can run 47% higher.

5. Irish Wolfhound: With health insurance premiums 41% greater than pet insurance for dogs in general, Irish Wolfhounds are ValuePenguin's 5th most expensive dog to insure. Irish Wolfhounds were the original status symbol dogs, owned mostly by the nobility and chieftains in Ireland. Their original function was to course wolves and elk during hunts, and were even acclaimed on the battlefield for their valor.

6. Doberman Pinscher: An unlikely IRS agent, this dog was bred to guard and protect Karl Dobermann on his professional duties as tax collector and watchman. Dobermans are intelligent and loyal, and can be found working alongside various military or police functions. Insuring a Doberman Pinscher can cost you up to 40% more than insuring the typical dog.

7. Greater Swiss Mountain Dog: These dogs have been known as butcher's’ dogs and the poor man’s horse - tributes to the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog herding and guarding abilities. Weighing on average from 85 to 140 lbs, these dogs are the third heaviest in ValuePenguin’s list. Costs for canine insurance can be 40% greater than costs for the average dog.

8. Newfoundland: Our second heaviest dog, the Newfoundland is special in that it has webbed feet and a water resistant coat. You might recognize this gentle giant as Nana from Peter Pan. Pet insurance for Newfoundlands is approximately 40% more than pet insurance for other dogs.

9. Spanish Mastiff: Buying pet insurance for the Spanish Mastiff will cost you 39% more than pet insurance for the average dog. This regal giant was originally bred to be a livestock guard dog protecting herds from other wolves and predators. Weighing in at 150 to 180 lbs, this is the second heaviest dog on ValuePenguin’s list.

10. Boxer: This dog breed holds the record for several interesting titles: longest tongue on a dog (17 in) and furthest distance tracked by a lost dog returning home (2,000 miles in Australia) among others. Its name is purportedly based on the dog’s tendency to stand on its hind legs and “box” with its front legs. If you have a boxer, your pet insurance is estimated to be 38% more than the average dog breeds premiums.


ValuePenguin researched and analyzed breed rate factors from health insurers’ rate filings. Top Dogs are ranked based on the median rate factor used by up to eight insurers in our pet plan comparison tool: HealthyPaws, Embrace, Trupanion, Pets Best, Petplan, ASPCA, Pet Partners, and Pet First. Check out ValuePenguin's recommendations on pet insurance.

To learn how to insure your dog with a homeowners policy, go here.

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