Intro/Should I get pet insurance?

Hello I'm new here I do not have a bulldog yet I am waiting for my breeders next litter wihich she is planning aroung march or so. Just a little bit about myself I have been searching for a bulldog for a few months now I am so in love with the breed even with all the health issues and such I just can't imagine having another type of breed. It took me a while to find a breeder that I feel comfortable with I would've never guessed it would be this hard. I can't wait to add my new addition to my family I already have 3 human babies and my hubby and I know bringing a bully will just complete us! 

My question is do I really need health insurance for my bully? I know prices vary from each area but what am I looking at price range for a typical vet visit and shots? Should I wait till the bully is a little older to get insurance if I decide to get it or right away? 

I know I will be back with more questions and will be visiting the forum often I love looking at all of your pics and can't wait to post some of my own.

If you get it, get it right away

I waited until after my baby had his foot stepped on and took him to the vet. After the emergenc vet cost and x-rays, I decided to get pet insurance. I went with Trupanion, because they have a sliding scale on what you want to pay monthly vs, co-pay. They were very reasonable, but like I said, do not wait. My bullys hind leg was stepped on Thanksgiving day and he was hurting real bad so we took him to the vet, soft tissue damage on right hind leg, sent home with anti inflams and pain meds. Mind you he was only 10 weeks old. A month and a half later (Jan 8th) he came down with discospondolytis, infection of the spine. He came down with Strep and it attacked his spine. He was very sick in the 10 days it took to figure out what it was and because it attacked his lower spine, he couldn't walk and would just cry when he had to go potty. I thought he was going to die, I was frantic. After spending 2 nights in the hospital and an MRI, (3k for that visit.) He had to be on antibiotics for 6 months, along with monthly x-rays, which ended up costing almost 4k altogether. Because of the previous vet visit, Trupanion said it was a pre-existing condiition and refused to pay for anything. Although, no 4 month old puppy could be sick with this disease for a month and a half and live. In the 10 days from when his symptoms started and I took him to the vet, until we got into a neurologist, he went down hill fast. No way could he have had it for 2 months prior. After he was stepped on, he got better and was a regular little puppy, until he came down with this. So, get it right away so they cannot say anything was pre-existing! They will do everything they can to not pay, if they see anything they could call pre-exisiting. I love my Jackson with all my heart, he truely is my heart dog because of this. I even moved my mattress downstairs to sleep with him during this time. Hand fed him etc. Which I still have to do to this day, or he wont eat. He was very spoiled because he was so sick and the hand feeding just carried over. He will not eat on his own to this day and he is almost 2.5 yrs old. But, I will do anything for this boy! Anything! He was my first bully, now I have 3 and none of them have had any of the regular bulldog issues. Mine don't even have tail pockets. I love my breeder!


Bean, Chloe, Jackson taking over the bed as always!

Deb and MacKenzie and Ester's picture

Tails ... Good point

I do not have a dog that has a tail pocket.  When you are picking a prospective puppy, do your research on the parents and lines and make sure they have tails.  There is nothing worse then a deep tail pocket and an inverted tail and this is in many lines.  It is painful for the dog and difficult to keep clean and infection free. Severe cases require amputations.  If the bitch and dog have no tails or tails so tight they can't be moved I would do more looking.  Puppies with a tight tail at 9 weeks will have a much tighter tail at 1 year.  The body grows, the tail doesn't. So look for a puppy with as long a tail and as straight a tail as you can find.

My Ester has the cutest tail she can wag it.  I rarely have to clean under any of my dogs tails, maybe every couple of months to get the old dead hair out. 

Deb and MacKenzie and Ester's picture

Typically AKC

in the past has offered a free insurance plan when you register your puppy.  If I remember 3 months.  Enough to help cover some shots.  I had a puppy hurt a leg at 10/12 weeks and it would have covered the xray expenses.  She didn't need anything but crate rest for 6-8 weeks.

In the past I would not recommend insurance.  You have to be very carefull with what the plan will exclude as breed related.  There are others who highly recommend it.  Some would be those that have had extrodinary medical expenses. 

I have figured the cost of insurance premiums over the 16 years I have had bulldogs and the premium cost per dog (5) and have figured I would have broke even.  If I had only had Norbert, Ester and Kohl  I would actually have paid far more in premiums over the years then what I have spend on vet costs.  I personally don't think normal shots and monthly checkups are needed for insurance as that is a normal expected expense you should be prepared to pay and can easily pay when you make plans for a puppy.  It is the unexpected costs that can be expensive (ie surgeries, accident or a illness requiring extended medical help and vet stays).  

I have had my share of big vet expenses.  1 year about 10k, I got a Xmas gift from my vet that year,  I guess I went past the threshhold for a card only.  LOL!   Mostly those costs were unexpected non-breed related surgeries (ie knee, intestinal blockage).  I have had 1 dog out of the 5 with some typical breed specific surgeries (palette, entropian (1 lid) distichia). 

If you have a breeder that is not doing at the minimum breed recommended health testing and is not breeding healthy dogs, then you may want to get insurance.  This breed should not be unhealthy!   And alot of those issues people pass off as normal for the breed, just isn't all that true.  IMO they are trying to explain problems in their breeding program, maybe they should cull their unhealthy dogs and start over.





Vern-Rory-Teresa's picture

I have Trupanion on both my

I have Trupanion on both my dogs - I enrolled my purchased as a puppy bulldog just shy of his first birthday and I enrolled my 3 year old rescue dog when I adopted her in October.

My agenda in purchasing the policies was to have a safety net if and when something catastrophic occurs. Trupanion does not cover routine maintenance like annuals and vaccinations - that's stuff I'd have to pay whether I had insurance or not.

I want the policy for the foreign body removal (i.e., ate a toy) or cancer or something like that. For me, the choice to insure my bullies is peace of mind.

I agree with Deb too - really make sure you are buying from a healthy line. Congrats on the new pup!

Céline and Angel Stella's picture

I say yes

It literally saved us tens of thousand of dollars over the life of our girl.  Admittedly, she had more problems than most.  But I say better be safe than sorry.

And call for it the day you get your pup.  It's usuly less expensive the younger they are - although sometimes there is a premium just because it's a bulldog.