Does Dog Pet Insurance Cover Hip Dysplasia?

The unconditional love we receive from our furry companions is second to none, and with it comes the responsibility of ensuring their well-being. As the costs of veterinary care continue to rise, pet insurance has become a vital consideration for many pet owners. But what happens when your beloved pet is diagnosed with a hereditary condition like hip dysplasia? This blog post delves into the complex world of pet insurance to help you understand the coverage available for such conditions, specifically hip dysplasia, and how to navigate the sea of policy options to protect your four-legged family member.

What is Hip dysplasia?

Hip dysplasia is a common orthopaedic condition in dogs, particularly large and giant breeds. It occurs when the hip joint does not develop properly, causing instability and eventual deterioration of the hip joint. This can lead to chronic pain, lameness, and difficulty with mobility. While this condition may be hereditary, it can also be influenced by other factors such as diet, exercise, and weight.

Does pet insurance cover hip dysplasia?

The answer to this question is not a simple yes or no. Some pet insurance companies offer coverage for hip dysplasia, while others may exclude it as a pre-existing condition. As with any medical condition, it is essential to thoroughly research and compare different policies before making a decision.

Types of coverage for hip dysplasia

Pet insurance policies typically offer three types of coverage: accident-only, illness-only, and comprehensive. Accident-only coverage will only cover costs related to accidents, such as broken bones or injuries from being hit by a car. Illness-only coverage will include conditions like hip dysplasia, but may have limitations on the amount that can be claimed. Comprehensive coverage is the most inclusive, covering accidents and illnesses, including hereditary conditions like hip dysplasia.

Treatment Options for Hip Dysplasia

The treatment for hip dysplasia can range from conservative management, including pain medication and physical therapy, to more invasive options like surgery. Depending on the severity of the condition, the cost of treatment can quickly add up.

The Importance of Pet Insurance

Before we dive into details, let’s remind ourselves why pet insurance is not just an added luxury but often a necessity. Pet insurance provides financial support when your pet falls ill or is injured. It can help offset the costs of unexpected medical expenses, from emergency surgeries to chronic conditions that require lifelong management. For many, the ability to say “yes” to the best care for their pet without a financial burden is the core benefit of having pet insurance.

Understanding Hip Dysplasia in Pets

Hip dysplasia is a common skeletal condition seen in breeds with a genetic predisposition, such as large and giant breeds or those with a high energy level. It occurs when the hip joint develops abnormally, leading to the dislocation of the hip joint. This can result in various symptoms, including pain, lameness, and in severe cases, the impairment of everyday activities. As with many hereditary conditions, early diagnosis and treatment planning are essential to maintaining your pet’s good quality of life.

Pet Insurance Coverage

When it comes to pet insurance, not all policies are created equal. Coverage for hip dysplasia can vary greatly from one plan to the next. There are generally three types of pet insurance:

  • Accident coverage covers injuries from accidents, such as broken bones or swallowing an object.
  • Illness coverage, which includes treatment for various illnesses and diseases.
  • Wellness plans, which cover routine care like vaccinations and preventive medications.

When specifically looking at hip dysplasia, most pet insurance plans that offer illness coverage will include treatment. However, some plans may exclude hip dysplasia if it’s pre-existing. Reading the fine print and understanding what a policy covers is crucial.

Pre-Existing Conditions

A pre-existing condition is any illness or injury your pet has before enrolling in a pet insurance plan. This can include hip dysplasia, as it is often present at birth or developed during the pet’s early years. Many insurers consider pre-existing conditions exclusions and will not cover them under their policies.

Factors to Consider Before Purchase

The main factors you want to look at when considering pet insurance for hip dysplasia include the following:

Pre-Existing Conditions and Exclusions

Many pet insurance providers will not cover pre-existing conditions, which include any symptoms or conditions that appeared before the policy was purchased. With hip dysplasia, this means if there are signs or a diagnosis before getting insurance, treatment for it will likely not be covered.

Cost and Premiums

The cost of pet insurance can vary based on several factors, including your pet’s breed, age, and location. Premiums are typically higher for breeds with higher risks of genetic conditions like hip dysplasia.

Coverage Limits and Deductibles

Some policies will cap coverage at a specific dollar amount or limit the times a condition can be treated within a policy year. Understand these limitations and how much you’ll be expected to pay out of pocket before coverage kicks in.

Reimbursement Rates

Reimbursement rates vary from 60% to 90% of the total bill. Be aware that a higher reimbursement rate typically means a higher monthly premium.

Benefits of Coverage for Hip Dysplasia

The benefits of having coverage for hip dysplasia go beyond the financial realm.

  • Financial Relief: Treatment for hip dysplasia can be expensive, particularly if your pet requires surgery. Insurance can help offset these costs, ensuring your pet receives the necessary care.
  • Peace of Mind: Knowing you have the financial support to manage your pet’s health conditions can alleviate stress during a difficult time.
  • Long-Term Health Management: Hip dysplasia requires ongoing management and care. With the right insurance, you can ensure your pet’s health will be consistently monitored and treated throughout their life.
  • Preventive Care Options: Some policies offer optional wellness plans that cover routine care, such as x-rays and joint supplements, which can help prevent or manage hip dysplasia. This preventative approach can save you money in the long run.

Does Embrace Pet Insurance Cover Hip Dysplasia?

Embrace Pet Insurance covers hip dysplasia if it is not diagnosed before the policy inception or during the waiting periods. Their coverage includes the costs of diagnostic testing and diagnosis, surgery to correct hip dysplasia, alternative and rehabilitative therapies, and even genetic conditions. However, it’s essential to carefully read the policy and understand the coverage limits and exclusions before enrolling. It’s also important to note that there may be a waiting period before coverage for hip dysplasia begins.

Does Nationwide Pet Insurance Cover Hip Dysplasia?

Nationwide has a specific plan called the Whole Pet with Wellness, which covers diagnosing, treating, and managing hip dysplasia. It also covers hip dysplasia and other hereditary conditions, if not pre-existing, when the pet is enrolled in the plan. As with any insurance plan, it’s essential to read the policy thoroughly and understand any limitations or exclusions before purchasing.


The decision to purchase pet insurance is personal, and the right policy will depend on your pet’s needs, financial situation, and peace of mind. For conditions like hip dysplasia, coverage can make a difference in your ability to manage your pet’s health effectively. Remember to thoroughly research and compare different pet insurance providers to find the best coverage for your pet’s needs. And ultimately, be comforted that your effort in providing the best for your pet will undoubtedly be repaid in loyalty and love. So, consider pet insurance to ensure your pet’s well-being and peace of mind. Remember that the earlier you purchase pet insurance, the better the coverage will be for any potential future health issues. Don’t wait until it’s too late – invest in your pet’s future today through pet insurance. Your four-legged friend will thank you for it.


Q: Is hip dysplasia a common condition in pets?

A: Yes, hip dysplasia is a fairly common condition in many dog breeds, especially larger ones.

Q: Can I get pet insurance that explicitly covers hip dysplasia?

A: Yes, several pet insurance providers offer coverage for hip dysplasia as part of their policies.

Q: Can I enrol my pet in insurance after they have been diagnosed with hip dysplasia?

A: No, most insurance providers consider pre-existing conditions like hip dysplasia to be exclusions and will not cover them under their policies. It’s crucial to enrol your pet in insurance before any potential health issues arise.

Q: Can I take any preventive measures to reduce the risk of my pet developing hip dysplasia?

A: Yes, things like maintaining a healthy weight, avoiding excessive exercise and high-impact activities, and providing appropriate supplements can help prevent or manage symptoms of hip dysplasia. Consult with your veterinarian for personalized recommendations for your pet.

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