Media Release

The priciest pooches: pet bills equate to billions over a year

  • Australians spent $18.9 billion on pet medical expenses in 2016.
  • analysis reveals the most expensive dogs in Australia to insure.
  • Save by comparing pet insurance policies online.

8 August, 2017, Sydney, Australia – Dog owners are spending big to keep their furry friends healthy, according to new research from, the site that compares virtually everything.

In fact, some of Australia’s most popular purebreds can also rack up the most expensive veterinary and insurance bills, data has found.

According to the RSPCA, many pedigree dogs are predisposed to genetic conditions, such as hip dysplasia, with treatments costing over $10,000 in some cases.

Veterinary expenses were dog owners’ second largest cost totalling $18.9 billion in 2016, which has seen an 8% increase in the number of Australians taking out pet insurance since 2013.

A analysis of pet insurance premiums from six major brands shows that popular breeds such as French Bulldogs, Yorkshire Terriers and Neapolitan Mastiffs are the most expensive to insure by the time they’re five years old, at $1,397 per annum on average.

Bessie Hassan, Money Expert at says those looking to purchase a new furry friend should look into pet insurance, particularly if they are considering a purebred.

“Pet insurance premiums are a small price to pay compared to potentially thousands of dollars on veterinary bills – especially if a serious illness pops up out of the blue.”

Some well known dog breeds that are the cheapest to insure at five years are a Cavoodle, Jack Russell, Fox Terrier, Chihuahua, and Australian Shepherd – all costing an average of $634 per annum.

“If you’re thinking of buying a puppy but are looking to cut ongoing costs, consider a smaller breed or one with less chance of developing genetic conditions, as these are usually cheaper to insure and require less trips to the vet.” tips for cutting doggy medical costs:

  • Some insurance brands offer multi-policy discounts, so if you already have a type of insurance with one provider, you may receive a discount for your pet.
  • Make sure your puppy has the required vaccinations from birth, as treatment for preventable diseases aren’t covered by pet insurance.
  • You can receive discounts from some insurance brands when you insure multiple pets under one policy.
  • To cut insurance costs, compare policies online. You can see prices by breed on this dog breed calculator:

Cost of pet insurance for the most popular dogs in Australia:

RankDog breedAverage insurance premium at 1 year oldAverage insurance premium at 5 years old
1Labrador retriever$808$938
2Staffordshire Bull Terrier$691$834
3French Bulldog$1,118$1,397
4German Shepherd$691$815
5Border Collie$691$812


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The information in this release is accurate as of the date published, but rates, fees and other product features may have changed. Please see updated product information on's review pages for the current correct values.

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