The Cheapest Dogs to Insure (and the Most Expensive)

When it comes to pet insurance, not all dogs are created equal. Canstar looks at the cheapest dogs to insure, as well as the most expensive. Plus, what factors impact the price of your puppy pet insurance.

If you’re welcoming a new dog into the family, you’ll want to treat it as part of the family. And that means looking after it when it’s sick, and taking it to the vet when necessary.

That’s when pet insurance can come in handy. Instead of forking out for those expensive veterinary bills, your pet insurer will be happy to cover much of the cost for you, for the price of your insurance premiums, of course. And that price isn’t the same for all dogs.

Certain breeds can set you back more than others, and significantly so. In fact, according to Cove Insurance, “There can be a $100 price difference per month in insuring one dog relative to another.” That means your choice of dog could cost you well over $1000 a year more in insurance premiums, which is pretty significant.

So to help you in your decision making, we take a look at the cheapest dogs to insure, as well as the most expensive dogs to insure. Plus, what factors impact your pet insurance premiums.

The cheapest dogs to insure NZ

Below is a list of the cheapest dogs to insure. It is in no way comprehensive, and there are plenty of other similar dog breeds that fall into the same price category:

  • Italian Greyhound
  • English Toy Terrier
  • German Hunting Terrier
  • Jack Russell Terrier
  • Jack-A-Poo
  • Lucas Terrier
  • Chihuahua
  • Chinese Crested
  • Kyi-Leo
  • Maltese

The most expensive dogs to insure NZ

Below is a list of the most expensive dogs to insure. As with the above list, it is in no way comprehensive and should be used as a guide to understanding which types of breeds cost more to cover:

  • Bulldog
  • French Bulldog
  • Olde English Bulldogge
  • Victorian Bulldog
  • Bloodhound
  • Black Russian Terrier
  • Bull Arab
  • Russian Black Terrier
  • Rottweiler
  • St Bernard

Why do some dogs cost more to insure than others?

Different factors affect why some dog breeds cost more than others to insure. But it mainly comes down to the following reasons:

  • Some breeds are more predisposed to certain health issues
  • Larger dogs are more predisposed to certain bone, joint, and growth issues

Health issues

Certain dog breeds are more likely to suffer from certain health issues. This means more trips to the vet, and the possibility of expensive surgeries. And because that will fall on your insurer, they need to factor that added risk into your insurance premiums.

It’s for this reason that the most-expensive list of dogs to insure contains so many brachycephalic dogs. Brachy means shortened, and cephalic means head, such as Bulldogs. While the iconic smooshed faces are adorable, these dogs are notorious for breathing issues (among other health issues), and the subsequent expensive surgeries required to correct these breathing issues. So, they cost more to insure.

For this reason, you can expect other brachycephalic dogs, such as pugs, to be costly to insure, despite not making the top 10 most expensive list.

Other expensive dogs to insure include Bloodhounds, which are known for recurring ear infections and a tendency to swallow just about every inedible object they can manage, which can make for regular vet trips.

Naturally, the cheapest dogs to insure are the opposite of this. Dogs that are not predisposed to any particular illnesses and are known to age well.

cheapest dogs to insure vs most expensive - great dane
Zeus the Great Dane was the tallest dog ever, standing at 3 feet 8 inches on all fours, or a whopping 7 feet 5 inches when upright!


Larger, heavier dogs are more likely to suffer from joint, bone and growth issues. And, as mentioned above, if that means they are more likely to need costly vet visits, that means you have to pay more for the insurance.

As you can see from the above list, large dogs like the Russian Black Terrier and St Bernard are some of the most expensive to insure.

Again, this information can help you when choosing a dog breed. Even though not in the top 10 most expensive list, you can expect large dogs such as Newfoundlands, Mastiffs, and Great Danes to be costly to insure.

At the other end of the spectrum, the yappy and divisive chihuahua is one of the cheapest dogs to insure, as are other small breeds, such as the beloved Terrier breeds.

Class of dog

While not necessarily as important (or relevant for us city folk) as the above two points, the class of dog can play a role in your insurance price. Not all dogs spend their days lazing about the house or digging up dirt in the backyard. Certain dogs are used in our rural communities for help with herding, hunting, or day-to-day work.

While these dogs may not be predisposed to health issues, they are exposed to a higher level of risk. For example, the Bull Terrier is a great hunting dog. But that opens them up to the risk of accidents. Which again, will lead your insurer to raise your premiums.

At the other end of the spectrum, a domestic dog known for a lazy and placid personality should be relatively cheap to insure. For example, greyhounds may be known as the Ferrari of the dog world, but they’re also known as the couch potato. Greyhounds are incredibly quiet, sleepy, mild-mannered and non-aggressive. So they’re great for apartments and great for your insurance premiums.

How much does pet insurance cost?

Giving an exact quote for pet insurance is impossible, as there are a variety of factors to consider. In addition to the breed differences we’ve talked about above, there are also things like the age and gender of the dog to consider. And, of course, the plan and the provider itself.

But you can expect to pay anywhere from $10-$20 a month, to well over $100 a month to insure your new dog.

→Related article: How Much Does Pet Insurance Cost?

author andrew broadley

About the author of this page

This report was written by Canstar Content Producer, Andrew Broadley. Andrew is an experienced writer with a wide range of industry experience. Starting out, he cut his teeth working as a writer for print and online magazines, and he has worked in both journalism and editorial roles. His content has covered lifestyle and culture, marketing and, more recently, finance for Canstar.

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