By using the K9 Cover website, you agree to use of our cookies to enhance your experience


Specialist insurance for dogs

Specialist Pet Insurance For Older And Mature Dogs


How are we different? We use MEDICAL SCREENING to assess your dog's pre-existing medical conditions. This means we aim to cover your dog for every condition, including those you may have claimed against in the past, and with Lifetime Cover our policy will protect your dog through to its final years, provided their first policy with us begins before they turn eleven. 


Older dogs are likely to have suffered more medical conditions. Don’t take the risk of these being uninsured – get a pet insurance quote now.


What Constitutes Old Age?


We're all familiar with the 7 dog years to 1 human year analogy but this is pretty flawed when you have an Irish Wolfhound with a life expectancy of 6 years and a Chihuahua at 16. We’ve also found pet food labels to be just as vague. Apparently once your dog reaches 7 they’re considered mature – even for smaller breeds, which surely can’t be the case for those that live well into their teens? Perhaps they charge more for the extra nutrients so it’s in their interests to bring the classification down?


As with humans, old age is reflected in a dog's health but many owners with dogs of the same breed/same age observe one dog being much fitter than another. Our medical screening addresses this but if you were trying to use the old-fashioned method to assign a human age to your dog there's a simple calculation.......


Begin by locating your breed's life expectancy through Google or Wiki. You probably have a good idea of this already. Next we consider the four life-stages of dogs below: -


The Puppy/Adolescent stage accounts for around 17.5% of life expectancy 

The Adult stage lasts from the end of puppyhood through to 60% of life expectancy 

The Mature stage lasts from the end of adulthood through to 90% of life expectancy 

The Senior stage covers the last 10% of normal life expectancy and often continues well after 


To calculate your dog's equivalent human age, take the average human life expectancy of 82 years and divide it by the life expectancy of your breed 


Then multiply this figure by your dog's actual age, in years and months


  • On this basis an Irish Wolfhound aged 2.5 years would be considered an adult, and have a human equivalent of 34 years


  • An 11-year old Chihuahua would be considered mature and have a human equivalent of 56 years


  • A 13-year old Border Collie, whose breed has a life expectancy of 12 years, would be considered senior and have a human equivalent of 89 years




How K9 Cover is re-shaping the insurance market for older dogs


In order to calculate your pet insurance premium we consider your dog's age and the life expectancy of the breed. Like most insurers we look at your location because vet fees vary by region. Next we apply what we already know about hereditary conditions but through our screening process we're now learning more about the severity of conditions in later life and how much they cost to treat. 


It's not a universal approach but many insurers increase the renewal premium after paying out a large claim. Until recently it's not been possible to switch lifetime cover and still be fully-insured against pre-existing conditions so insurers have been able to increase premiums without repercussions. That changes now with the type of product we offer. There are still challenges, including where a dog has chronic conditions but to date we've been able to include most ongoing treatments within our policy. 


In January 2022 home insurance and motor insurance fell under new rules whereby the insurer has a duty to not overcharge existing clients upon renewal, but this doesn't apply to pet insurance. It will be interesting to see whether pet insurers are put under pressure (by policyholders) to be offered the same premium for their renewal as a new client would receive. If you've not compared this recently we invite you to try now. You may be surprised! Then please try us for a quote.