German Shepherd

Loyal and courageous, German Shepherd’s deserve all the love in the world. Protect them with a Perfect Pet policy!

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Let’s talk German Shepherds

Lifespan, common health issues and insurance

If it’s endless loyalty you’re looking for in your dog, German Shepherds’ natural protective instinct means that they are rarely more than a few feet from your side. It’s this devotion to their owners that make them one of the most popular dog breeds in the UK.

A well-treated and looked-after German Shepherd can live for 10+ years, providing countless hours of companionship along the way. However, German Shepherds, also known as Alsatians, are prone to a number of conditions, and they are reliant on their humans to spot the signs and get them the treatment they need in a timely fashion.

If any of these conditions were to develop early in your dog’s life, they can be expensive to treat over the long term, so it’s always worth weighing up which German Shepherd insurance policies offer the most comprehensive cover for your budget.

Insurance for German Shepherd puppies from just 4 weeks old with no upper age limit for senior dogs

Common German Shepherd health issues

As dog lovers with over 20 years of pet insurance experience, we have a deep knowledge of the conditions typically associated with German Shepherds. Our quoting system has been programmed to account for common breed-specific ailments, which allows us to tailor insurance specific to your dog’s needs.

The most common health issues German Shepherds are prone to are:

Hip dysplasia

A condition that can affect dogs of all ages, hip dysplasia occurs when the hip joint becomes malformed and doesn’t fit precisely into the hip socket. This causes pieces of the joint to painfully rub together, which if left untreated, can result in chronic pain, lameness or osteoarthritis.

Elbow dysplasia

Beginning in puppyhood, elbow dysplasia is a genetic condition which can affect a dog for the rest of its life. Symptoms often begin between 5-18 months, but some dogs may not show signs until later in life, usually in the form of arthritis in their elbows.

Exocrine pancreatic insufficiency

A condition which can be congenital, inherited or acquired as the result of pancreatic infection, inflammation, or injury, EPI is the inability to produce sufficient enzymes to digest fats, carbohydrates, and proteins. This makes it difficult for a dog to get the nutrients it needs, which typically leads to weight loss despite a normal or increased appetite.

Splenic hemangiosarcoma

Older dogs are more susceptible to splenic tumours, with German Shepherds one of the breeds which are at the most risk of hemangiosarcoma of the spleen, or spleen cancer. Splenic hemangiosarcoma can be difficult to spot without an abdominal radiograph or ultrasound, due to the location of the spleen itself.

Health Issues in Pet

Why buy German Shepherd insurance?

Just like their owners, German Shepherds can get sick or injured – especially when they’re very young or entering their later years. When the worst happens, the last thing you want to worry about is how you’re going to pay for a big vet bill. That’s where pet insurance comes in. With the right policy in place, you can rest assured that your lovable German Shepherd will get the care they deserve, at the earliest opportunity.

Get cover up to £4,000 per condition with NO LIMIT on the number of conditions you can claim for. T&Cs apply.

Depending on the policy, our German Shepherd pet insurance plans can also protect against several other eventualities such as:
Death from accidental injury and illness

Processing the death of a much-loved pet is never easy – it’s even tougher when they’ve died from an accidental injury or illness. Our Elite, Elite Extra, Vital, Vital Extra, Essential and Essential Extra policies will pay a contribution towards the original purchase price or donation price up to your policy’s limit, if your German Shepherd is under 8 years old and dies or is put to sleep by your vet as a result of an illness or accidental injury.

Overseas holiday cover

As a big part of your family, you may want to take your German Shepherd overseas on holiday. However, you’ll need to make sure they are insured in the event of requiring emergency vet treatment because of an accidental injury or illness when away. Overseas holiday cover is available with all our policies except Accident Only, and applies to qualified countries within the European Economic Area (EEA) listed by the UK Government’s Pet Travel Scheme (“PETS”).

Holiday cancellation

Injury or illness often occurs when we least expect it. If your German Shepherd requires emergency life-saving treatment within seven days of your holiday departure date, the right cover can ensure you don’t lose all your money should you have to cancel your trip. All but our Accident Only policies provide holiday cancellation cover for the named policyholder for trips of three or more nights booked outside of the UK.

Theft and straying

The thought of your German Shepherd going astray is one that no pet owner wants to have to consider. You can insure against the unthinkable happening – we will pay expenses for local advertising and rewards for your Labrador’s return up to your policy’s limit. Should your dog still be missing after 45 days (during the period of insurance), we will pay a contribution to the original price you paid for your dog, providing they are under 8 years old at the time of disappearance.

Did you know?

If a CT scan is needed to diagnose a condition in your German Shepherd, this alone can cost up to £800.


We can pay
your vet direct

We can pay your vet directly, giving you one less thing to worry about during what can be an anxious time. If your vet accepts direct payment, we can deposit funds straight into their account, saving you the worry of having to find money to pay large vet bills.

Subject to claim approval

Choosing the best pet insurance for German Shepherds

When buying pet insurance, it’s important to weigh up the benefits and cover limits provided to ensure you get the best coverage possible for you and your dog.

We offer a range of insurance plans to suit different needs and budgets. Explore our policies and their suitability for your German Shepherd by clicking on the links below:

Insurance Plan

Lifetime Cover

You can claim year after year for each illness or accident your pet develops, providing you renew annually with no break in cover.

Insurance Plan

Max Benefit

Protect your pet against injuries and illness up to a pre-set limit with no time restriction, providing the policy is active.

Insurance Plan

Time Limited

Cover your pet for injuries and illness for a limited period up to 365 days.

Insurance Plan

Accident Only

Insure your pet against injuries and complications arising from accidents only.

Save with multi-pet cover

Got more than one pet? Insure your other dogs and cats at the same time as your German Shepherd to receive a 15% discount.

*Policies must be purchased direct and at the same time. Public Liability and Accident Only policies are excluded from the multi-pet discount offer.

German Shepherd insurance FAQs

How much does German Shepherd insurance cost?

The cost of pet insurance for German Shepherds is based on several different factors including age, breed associated medical conditions and the cost of vet fees in the area you live. Your premiums will also depend on the level of cover you choose.

How much cover does my German Shepherd need?

This is very much a personal choice, but you should be careful not to leave yourself in a difficult position. So, when making your mind up on which cover your German Shepherd needs, bear in mind things like the cost to treat associated ailments, benefit limits and the duration of cover. The last thing you want is to find yourself having to consider your finances should your dog require some essential treatment for an unforeseen condition.

What policy type will cover my German Shepherd for on-going medical conditions?

Our Reinstatement policies Elite and Elite Extra, also known as Lifetime cover, provide cover for conditions that develop whilst the policy is active. When you renew, these medical conditions will be carried forward and we will continue to cover them up to the policy’s limit.

What policy exclusions should I be aware of?

As with all insurance products, there will be inclusions and exclusions depending on what policy you choose. Which is why it’s important to take some time to read up on what is and isn’t included with your chosen plan; you don’t want to find out you’re not covered for something important just when it matters most. Here are some common exclusions that apply across our pet insurance policies:
● Pre-existing medical conditions and symptoms that existed before a policy is purchased
● Illnesses that occur within 14 days of a policy being taken out
● Accidents that occur with 5 days of a policy being taken out
● Dental or oral treatment (unless a result of an accident)
● Routine treatment such as vaccinations, castration, flea and worming and any treatment because of these not being carried out
● Any complications or treatment relating to pregnancy

What happens if I need to make a claim?

Simply download a claim form from our ‘Make a Claim’ page. Complete and send back to us either by email or post. An excess of £90 per condition per policy year applies to all sections of the policy, except for Public Liability where the excess is £250. This will be stated on your Policy Schedule. The excess amount will be deducted when making a claim as will a co-payment of 15% towards vet bills should your dog be 8 years or older.

A few tips for keeping your German Shepherd healthy

Although you’ll probably expect your fair share of injuries and illnesses to deal with as a pet owner, the key to ensuring your German Shepherd is largely problem-free is helping them maintain a healthy weight.



A German Shepherd is one of the most obedient dogs to train, owing to their high intelligence and desire to obey their owner. But to keep them fit and happy, an adult German Shepherd / Alsatian will need at least two hours of exercise per day – not always easy to achieve!

Without the necessary exercise and mental stimulation, Alsatians can start to exhibit destructive or unwanted behaviours like chewing, chasing, pulling on the lead and barking.



A dog of this size also needs plenty of food in their bellies. Search out a formulation suitable for a large breed of dog – one that ensures they get the correct balance of calcium and energy during growth and adulthood. Too much calcium, for instance, can cause developmental bone and joint issues. If you’re unsure, check with your vet or a dog dietitian to ensure your German Shepherd is on the best meal plan to suit their lifestyle and health requirements.