Pet insurance for Labradors

Give your furry friend the care it needs

They might not fight crime or have any superpowers, but the Labrador, or Lab, is always the first dog to rush into any situation.

If there’s a BBQ where humans are clearly under threat of too much food, they’ll be there. If there’s a ball being thrown too far, they’ll be there. If there’s commotion in the park from children having a dangerous amount of fun, they’ll be there.

The Lab’s curiosity and friendly nature means that most humans have met a Lab in their life, and any who do will undoubtedly be taken by their lovable personality. But who is the lovable mutt behind the smile? This article aims to find out.

What do you want to learn about?

History

The Labrador’s kind and honest nature comes from its ancestor, the St. John’s dog – a breed that loved swimming and would assist local fisherman with their hauls. The St John’s dog was crossbred with other breeds and exported from Newfoundland and Labrador in Canada to America and England, taking their hometown as their own name.

From their simple beginnings as dogs that loved getting wet and lending a hand to fishermen, Labs definitely deserve their own superhero capes due to their work ethic, love of all things and courageousness in the face of fear. The St John’s dogs must be smiling proudly from clouds on high at their heroic descendants.

Characteristics

Labradors are medium-large, with males weighing in at 29-36 kilograms and females weighing in at 25-32 kilograms. Their short coats come in a variety of colours, including black, chocolate brown, golden and pale yellow. They tend to shed twice per year or throughout the year in temperate climates.

Their long snouts, smooth heads, trim bodies and wagging tails are widely recognised throughout society.

The toes on their paws are slightly webbed, making them keen swimmers who love going for a dip. Their coats are also slightly waterproof, meaning they are quite agile and aren’t weighed down like other dogs in water. A bonus of this is that they don’t bring the beach back to the house after a swim.

Temperament

Their love of swimming reflects the pure joy they have for life. With the playful attitude of a six year old at a birthday party fuelled by red cordial, Labs love exploring and getting involved in activities, and they will set to any task with gusto.

Their sharp noses make them great scent dogs, and they can easily hone in on a BBQ on the other side of the neighbourhood – which they’ll be more than happy to gate crash.

This enthusiasm and fearless investigating of animals and people may require training and a firm hand to make sure they don’t vanish as soon as they spot anything that gets their tails wagging (aka everything). It also does not make them the most suitable guard dog since they are more likely to invite a criminal in than they are to bare their teeth.

Labs will bark, often at invisible enemies; however, training can ensure they respond to commands such as “Shut up, you boofhead, it’s just me!” Generally though, the Lab is a quiet dog.

Young Labs have a serious level of childish energy which borders on being hyperactive, so training early on is recommended. Their energy levels simmer down once they mature (generally at three years).

A ball is a Labrador’s best friend, but once you start throwing, there is no such thing as “last throw”. Activities are a must for Labs as their energy and intelligence demand regular stimulation. Bored Labs will entertain themselves, and a few hours a week playing catch in the park will keep your backyard from becoming the set for a never-ending version of The Great Escape.

Golden retrievers vs Labradors

Broadly speaking, the golden retriever and Labrador are similar dogs. They’re more close cousins than entirely different breeds, with both dogs descending from the mighty St John’s dog. Their main difference is only fur deep.

Golden retrieverLabrador
CoatsLong, thick and goldenShort, water resistant and in a variety of colours
Grooming and maintenanceHigh maintenance, daily brushing neededLow maintenance, general grooming required
TemperamentAlert, friendly, intelligent and playfulEnergetic, loving, intelligent and boisterous

Do Labradors have health problems?

Because of their size, they tend to develop hip and elbow dysplasia, though no more than other breeds. Generally, the larger the dog, the more prone they are to dysplasia. Knee problems are an issue, and because of their active attitude, they’re likely to sustain any number of joint issues.

Other health issues that Labs may experience include the following:

  • They can suffer from cataracts, corneal dystrophy and other visual impairments, which can be detected by a qualified vet.
  • Muscle atrophy, autoimmune disease and deafness can set in later in life.
  • Compared to other breeds, Labs are favourites to become obese, but it’s often not due to overfeeding, but to a gene mutation that just lets the Lab pack on the pounds.

Labs can also suffer from exercise-induced collapse, a syndrome where they don’t recognise that they’re tired. As a result, the run themselves ragged and end up collapsing at the end of the day. This can result in disorientation, weakness and even hyperthermia, so be sure you take regular breaks.

How much does treatment cost?

Unfortunately, any of the outlined health problems are only the beginning of the different bumps and bruises that can befall your dog. The table below is a rough picture of the treatment costs for a range of common conditions:

Health problemAverage total claim
Fractures$2,715
Cancer$1,798
Snake bite$1,742
Diabetes$2,583
Cruciate condition$2,530
Epilepsy and seizures$1,079
Liver$1,716
Pancreas$1,360

Source: The Hollard Insurance Company (2016/2017)

Why you need pet insurance for your Labrador

While your Lab’s intelligence will hopefully keep it out of danger, its brave and cavalier attitude will also see it rush into danger if it feels it’s needed to save the day. A Lab’s curiosity and friendliness may also see it getting close to certain people or animals that it should stay away from (like snakes, aggressive dogs and cat people).

Like all dogs, your Lab is bound to end up at the vet. Should they develop a long-term illness or an injury that requires regular treatment, the bills that pile up make pet insurance seem like a no brainer. However, getting an insurance plan early is key as pet insurance providers typically don’t cover pre-existing conditions. Pet insurance is better as foresight than hindsight.

See who provides cover for your Labrador

Details Features
Comprehensive Cover
Comprehensive Cover
$80 Woolworths eGift card for new policies, plus price beat promise for similar policies. T&Cs apply.
  • Maximum yearly benefit: $12,000
  • Reimbursement rate: 80%
  • Eligibility: Between 8 weeks and 9 years old
  • Excess options: $0 or $100
  • Paralysis tick benefit: $1,500
  • Discounts: Woolworths Rewards members get 10% off 1st year
Go to site More info
Ultimate Care Plan
Ultimate Care Plan
Get a free engraved pet ID tag when you sign up.
  • Maximum yearly benefit: $20,000
  • Reimbursement rate: 80%
  • Eligibility: Between 8 weeks and 9 years old
  • Excess options: $0
  • Paralysis tick benefit: $3,000
  • Discounts: 10% multi-pet discount
Go to site More info
Major Medical Cover
Major Medical Cover
Get 2 months free when you sign up.
  • Maximum yearly benefit: $15,145
  • Reimbursement rate: 80%
  • Eligibility: Between 8 weeks and 9 years old
  • Excess options: $0, $100 or $200
  • Paralysis tick benefit: $1,200
  • Discounts: 15% multi-pet discount
Go to site More info
Ultimate Cover (Accident & Illness)
Ultimate Cover (Accident & Illness)
Helps support the RSPCA.
  • Maximum yearly benefit: $11,000
  • Reimbursement rate: 80%
  • Eligibility: Between 8 weeks and 9 years old
  • Excess options: $0
  • Paralysis tick benefit: $1,200
  • Discounts: 10% multi-pet discount
Go to site More info
Premium Accident & Illness Cover
Premium Accident & Illness Cover
Pay fortnightly, monthly or yearly at no extra cost.
  • Maximum yearly benefit: $12,000
  • Reimbursement rate: 80%
  • Eligibility: Between 8 weeks and 9 years old
  • Excess options: $0
  • Paralysis tick benefit: $1,200
  • Discounts: 10% refund after your 1st year
Go to site More info
 Premium Care
Premium Care
Helps support Guide Dogs Australia. Advertisement
  • Maximum yearly benefit: $20,000
  • Reimbursement rate: 85%
  • Eligibility: Between 8 weeks and 9 years old
  • Excess options: $0 or $50
  • Paralysis tick benefit: $2,000
  • Discounts: 10% multi-pet discount
Go to site More info
Sovereign Accident & Illness Cover
Sovereign Accident & Illness Cover
With guaranteed renewal you can protect your pet for life.
  • Maximum yearly benefit: $14,000
  • Reimbursement rate: 85%
  • Eligibility: Between 8 weeks and 9 years old
  • Excess options: $0
  • Paralysis tick benefit: $1,200
  • Discounts: 10% multi-pet discount
Go to site More info
Platinum Accident and Illness
Platinum Accident and Illness
No joining fee to pay.
  • Maximum yearly benefit: $12,000
  • Reimbursement rate: 80%
  • Eligibility: Between 8 weeks and 9 years old
  • Excess options: $0
  • Paralysis tick benefit: $1,000
  • Discounts: No
Go to site More info
Top Accident & Illness Cover
Top Accident & Illness Cover
If you're over 50 get 10% off.
  • Maximum yearly benefit: $12,000
  • Reimbursement rate: 80%
  • Eligibility: Between 8 weeks and 9 years old
  • Excess options: $0
  • Paralysis tick benefit: $1,200
  • Discounts: 10% off for seniors
Go to site More info
Accident and Illness Cover
Accident and Illness Cover
Your pet is covered for life.
  • Maximum yearly benefit: $12,000
  • Reimbursement rate: 75% or 85%
  • Eligibility: Between 8 weeks and 9 years old
  • Excess options: $0
  • Paralysis tick benefit: $500
  • Discounts: 10% off for pensioners and rescue dogs
Go to site More info

Frequently Asked Questions

Compare pet insurance for your dog from Australian brands

Picture: Daniel Frank - Pexels

Ask an Expert

You are about to post a question on finder.com.au:

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • finder.com.au is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

Finder only provides general advice and factual information, so consider your own circumstances, or seek advice before you decide to act on our content. By submitting a question, you're accepting our Terms of Use, Disclaimer & Privacy Policy and Privacy & Cookies Policy.
Ask a question
Go to site