Best Pet Insurance For Bernese Mountain Dogs In 2024

In my professional opinion, Healthy Paws offers the best pet insurance for Bernese Mountain Dogs.

min read
Updated: 23 January 2024
Written by
Bob Phillips
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Bernese Mountain Dogs, cherished for their gentle nature and intelligence, are beloved working breeds. Originating from the Swiss Alps, they excel as draft and farm dogs due to their strength and reliability. With a thick and tri-colored coat, they showcase a stunning combination of black, rust, and white.

Energetic and sociable, Bernese Mountain Dogs thrive in active families and enjoy outdoor activities, especially in cold climates. Their keen sense of duty and innate herding instincts make them excellent working partners on farms. As loyal companions, Bernese Mountain Dogs form deep connections with their owners, displaying a gentle and affectionate demeanor. Renowned for their calm disposition and versatility, Bernese Mountain Dogs continue to capture hearts as one of the most cherished working breeds worldwide.

If you own a Bernese Mountain Dog, you’re undoubtedly concerned about its health and well-being. As a pure breed, a Bernese Mountain Dog is more likely to suffer from genetic health issues than mixed-breed dogs. Unfortunately, 4 out of 5 pet parents can’t pay for an unexpected $500 veterinary bill out-of-pocket. However, pet insurance will help you reduce your financial risk.

In this review, we’ll look at some of the top pet insurers for Bernese Mountain Dogs and help you pick the policy that best meets your needs. You’ll find that pet insurance is much like personal health insurance; it provides better treatment options and limits out-of-pocket costs. But unlike private health insurance, it won’t cost you an arm and a leg.

Common Health Issues For Bernese Mountain Dogs

Purebred dogs, like Bernese Mountain Dogs, often face health concerns. Over time, certain breeders have not given enough attention to genetics when breeding Bernese Mountain Dogs, leading to problems that impact the entire Bernese community. Generally, Bernese Mountain Dogs are more likely to experience genetic health issues compared to other breeds.

Here are some common health problems for Bernese Mountain Dogs:

  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus (Bloat)
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA)
  • Bernese Mountain Dog Cancer (e.g., histiocytic sarcoma)
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Degenerative Myelopathy (DM)

Hip Dysplasia

Hip dysplasia is a common orthopedic issue in Bernese Mountain Dogs. This condition involves an abnormal hip joint development, leading to pain and mobility problems. Bernese Mountain Dogs are prone to hip dysplasia due to their large size. Management includes weight control, exercise moderation, physical therapy, and, in severe cases, surgical intervention to improve hip joint function.

Surgery can cost anywhere from $1,000 to $6,000+ per hip, depending on the severity of the condition and the type of surgery.

Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus (Bloat)

Bernese Mountain Dogs are at a higher risk of gastric dilatation-volvulus, commonly known as bloat. This life-threatening condition occurs when the stomach fills with gas and twists on itself. It can lead to shock and death if not treated promptly. Preventive measures include feeding smaller, more frequent meals, avoiding vigorous exercise after eating, and discussing gastropexy (stomach tacking) with your veterinarian as a preventive measure.

Surgical treatment for bloat typically ranges from $1,500 to $7,500

Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA)

PRA is a genetic eye disorder that can affect Bernese Mountain Dogs, gradually leading to blindness. It typically begins with night blindness and progresses to daytime vision loss. While there is no cure for PRA, responsible breeding practices and genetic testing can help reduce the incidence of this condition in Bernese Mountain Dogs.

The cost of treatment for PRA in dogs can range from $2,000 to $3,000 per eye when surgery is necessary

Bernese Mountain Dog Cancer (e.g., Histiocytic Sarcoma)

Bernese Mountain Dogs have a higher predisposition to various cancers, with histiocytic sarcoma being one of the most concerning. This aggressive cancer originates from immune cells and can affect various organs. Early detection and intervention are crucial for Bernese Mountain Dogs diagnosed with cancer. Treatment options may include surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy, with the goal of extending the dog’s quality of life.

The cost of treatment for cancer in dogs can range from hundreds to thousands of dollars per year

Hypothyroidism

Hypothyroidism, an underactive thyroid gland, can affect Bernese Mountain Dogs, leading to symptoms like weight gain, lethargy, and skin issues. Diagnosis involves a blood test, and treatment typically includes daily thyroid hormone supplementation to manage the condition effectively. Regular monitoring by a veterinarian is essential to ensure the Bernese Mountain Dog receives the correct dosage and maintains optimal thyroid function.

The cost of fixing hypothyroidism without pet insurance can range from $850 in the first year, and $300-$700 for each additional year of your dog’s life. However, the average cost of thyroid hormone deficiency treatment is $1,800

Degenerative Myelopathy (DM)

Degenerative myelopathy is a progressive neurological disorder that can affect Bernese Mountain Dogs. It leads to hind limb weakness and paralysis over time. While there is no cure for DM, supportive care and physical therapy can help improve the dog’s quality of life and slow the progression of the disease. Early diagnosis and management are crucial for dogs affected by DM to maintain mobility and comfort as long as possible.

The cost of treatment for DM in dogs can range from $500 to $1,000 per year.

Best Pet Insurance Companies For Bernese Mountain Dogs, 2024

Different pet insurance companies for Bernese Mountain Dogs are the same in many ways in that they will help ensure your pet is cared for and that your financial risk is limited, but they’re also different in some ways. So while one company may be best for your neighbor’s pet, another may be better for yours.

Here’s our breakdown of the best pet insurance companies for Bernese Mountain Dogs:

healthy-paws
Best Overall - Healthy Paws
Lemonade
Best Cheap Coverage - Lemonade
manypetsicon-logo
Best for Puppies - ManyPets
Best Pet Insurance, Bernese Mountain Dogs 2024

Comparison Of The Best Pet Insurance Companies For Bernese Mountain Dogs

As you can see from our breakdown of the best pet insurance companies for Bernese Mountain Dogs shown above, many high-quality companies are vying for the top spots. You can also see that each has its own particular strengths. Here’s a snapshot to give you a glance into each insurer:

Overall Rating Best For Waiting Period Reimbursement % Benefit Limit Get A Quote
Healthy Paws
4.9

Overall

15 days accidents/illness

70%, 80%, 90%

Unlimited annnual and lifetime

Instant Quote
Lemonade
4.8

Cheap

2 days accidents, 14 days illness

70%, 80%, 90%

$5,000 to $100,000 annually

Instant Quote
ManyPets
4.8

Puppies

15 days accidents/illness

70% or 80%
(most states)

Unlimited annual and lifetime

Instant Quote
Pumpkin
4.7

Older Dogs

14 days accidents/illness

90%

$10,000, $20,000 or unlimited

Instant Quote
Spot
4.7

Multiple Pets

14 days accidents/illness

70%, 80%, 90%

$2,500 to unlimited

Instant Quote
Scroll to see comparisons

Our Methodology

Opinions and subsequent ratings were based on reviewing each insurer's website, customer reviews, other review sites, and personal experience having purchased and used pet insurance in the past.

46

Quotes Analyzed

15+

Years Of Industry Experience

21

Brands Reviewed

32d+

Research Hours

Detailed Reviews Of The Best Bernese Mountain Dog Insurance Companies


Best Overall

Overall Rating
4.9

Key Statistics

9/10 Affordability
9/10 Customer Satisfaction
10/10 Claims
10/10 Coverage Level

Why We Like Them

Healthy Paws is the best pet insurance because it has no maximum on claim payouts, per-incident maximum, or caps. This means paying more, but it’s worth it to avoid putting pets down due to policy limits. Healthy Paws has one easy-to-understand policy, no costly add-ons, and allows you to use any licensed veterinarian. Submitting claims is simple through their mobile app or website, with most claims processed within two days.

Benefits & Drawbacks

Benefits
  • No maximum annual or lifetime payouts
  • Most claims processed within two days
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Direct vet payments may be possible
Drawbacks
  • No routine wellness option

Runner-Up For Best Overall

Overall Rating
4.8

Key Statistics

10/10 Affordability
9/10 Customer Satisfaction
9/10 Claims
8/10 Coverage Level

Why We Like Them

We found Lemonade to be the cheapest pet insurance for Bernese Mountain Dogs. While the limits are comparable to those of other companies we reviewed, they are not unlimited like those of Healthy Paws. Lemonade’s coverage limits range from $ 5,000 to $ 100,000 per year, with the premium increasing along with the limit you select.

Lemonade’s standard policy covers accidents and illnesses, including cancer, heart disease, skin conditions, broken bones, and hip dysplasia, a common ailment among older Bernese Mountain Dogs. Like most insurers, Lemonade doesn’t pay for medical costs for preexisting conditions, dental illnesses, behavioral issues, or elective procedures.

Benefits & Drawbacks

Benefits
  • Optional wellness plan available
  • Accident waiting coverage period of only two days
  • You get a 10% discount by bundling pet insurance with home, renters, or car insurance you have with Lemonade
Drawbacks
  • No 24/7 pet telehealth line
  • Coverage for vet exam fees has to be added for an extra cost
  • No coverage for prescription food or microchipping

Best For Puppies

Overall Rating
4.8

Key Statistics

10/10 Affordability
9/10 Customer Satisfaction
9/10 Claims
8/10 Coverage Level

Why We Like Them

ManyPets has the most favorable coverage for puppies. Pre-existing coverages don’t affect the rates, cured conditions may be covered after 18 months, and unrelated conditions are still eligible for coverage.

Like all pups, young Bernese Mountain Dogs can suffer from illnesses like poisoning, ingesting foreign bodies, and accidents stemming from their youthful energy. Covering them when they’re younger makes it far less likely that you’ll ever run into exclusions for pre-existing conditions when they’re older.

Benefits & Drawbacks

Benefits
  • Available in more than 40 states
  • Covers vet exam fees for illness and accident visits
  • Offers optional wellness plans
Drawbacks
  • No 24/7 pet telehealth line
  • Doesn’t cover pet behavioral therapy
  • No coverage for alternative therapies

Best For Older Dogs

Overall Rating
4.7

Key Statistics

10/10 Affordability
9/10 Customer Satisfaction
9/10 Claims
8/10 Coverage Level

Why We Like Them

As Bernese Mountain Dogs age, they are prone to genetic illnesses that can lead to costly treatments, namely cruciate ligament issues and hip dysplasia. Pumpkin has no special waiting period for these conditions and covers veterinarian exam fees if you have to take your older Bernese in for treatment.

Pumpkin has a good selection of coverage options for a wide range of problems Bernese Mountain Dogs can experience, including surgeries and dental illnesses. You get a choice of three different deductibles and 90% reimbursement is standard.

Benefits & Drawbacks

Benefits
  • Optional wellness plan available
  • Discounts for insuring multiple pets
  • 90% reimbursement for dogs and cats 8 weeks and older
Drawbacks
  • No 24/7 pet telehealth line
  • No accident-only plan is available

Best For Multiple Pets

Overall Rating
4.7

Key Statistics

9/10 Affordability
9/10 Customer Satisfaction
8/10 Claims
10/10 Coverage Level

Why We Like Them

Many Bernese Mountain Dog owners have multiple pets since Berneses have such an amiable disposition. Spot provides a 10% discount for insuring more than one pet with them, which can add up to a lot of savings.

Spot’s optional preventive care plan provides coverage for wellness care, such as one annual visit to the vet, one fecal test, and one teeth cleaning. Some vaccinations are also covered.

Spot offers a 30-day money-back guarantee if you’re unsatisfied with the coverage or service. Spot also reimburses up to 90% on eligible vet bills, in addition to a 24/7 vet helpline. In addition, you can visit any U.S.-licensed veterinarian or specialist.

Benefits & Drawbacks

Benefits
  • Covers microchipping
  • Low $100 deductible is available
  • Has a 24/7 pet telehealth line
Drawbacks
  • Accidents have a 14-day waiting period, compared to 2 days with some top competitors

Average Cost Of Pet Insurance For Bernese Mountain Dogs

Company Deductible Annual Reimbursement % Monthly Price Age of Dog
Healthy Paws $500 70% $70 5 year old
Lemonade $500 70% $40 5 year old
Spot $500 70% $73 5 year old
Healthy Paws $500 80% $37 1 year old
Lemonade $500 80% $20 1 year old
Spot $500 80% $54 1 year old
Healthy Paws $500 70% $38 3 month old
Lemonade $500 70% $29 3 month old
Spot $500 70% $83 3 month old

Average Cost Of Typical Vet Procedures

Typical Vet Procedure Average Cost Of Procedure
Puppy vaccinations $75-100
Flea & tick prevention $40-200
Heartworm prevention $24-120
Spay or neuter surgery $200-800
Annual exam $240-600
Teeth cleaning $200-500
Microchip $40

Average Cost Of Emergency Vet Procedures

Emergency Pet Procedure Average Cost Of Procedure
General consultation/exam $100-$150
General bloodwork $80-200
X-rays $150-$250
Ultrasound $300-$600
1-2 day hospitalization $600-$1,700
3-5 day hospitalization $1,500-$3,500
Wound treatment & repair $800-$1,500
Emergency surgery $800-$2,500
Oxygen therapy $500

Is Pet Insurance Worth It For Bernese Mountain Dogs?

Pet insurance protects against unexpected veterinary bills. Many pet owners pay out-of-pocket for their pet’s medical expenses, but most Americans can’t afford a $1500 emergency vet bill. The right pet insurance can literally be a lifesaver. Having coverage will give you the freedom to make medical decisions for your furry family member based on the quality of life, not finances.

The value of pet insurance is largely based on your expectations. If your pet is currently undergoing treatment for a chronic condition and you would like help with the cost of the treatment, you will likely be disappointed as no company in our review covers preexisting conditions.

But, if you understand your policy and what it does and doesn’t cover and have a policy that fits your budget and needs, you are far more likely to consider the policy worth it.

How To Find The Best Pet Insurance Company For You

The costs and types of pet insurance plans available on the market vary by company, making choosing one over the others challenging. To find the best plan for your pet, consider these tips before applying for coverage:

Check Whether Your Pet Is Eligible

Puppies and kittens often must be a minimum of 6 to 10 weeks old to be insured, depending on the company. Senior pets may not be eligible for first-time enrollment with some companies, or they may qualify for accident coverage only. Once the pet is enrolled, though, most plans will offer coverage for life as long as you continue paying the premiums.

Research What’s Covered

Pet insurance plans typically cover expenses like surgery, hospitalization and medication if your pet gets sick or hurt. However, there are certain things that some companies charge extra for or won’t cover at all. Here are a few examples:

  • Exam fees. Say your dog breaks her leg. Some plans will reimburse expenses like X-rays,  surgery and pain medication, but not the vet’s exam fee.
  • Alternative treatments and rehabilitation. Some companies include coverage for things like acupuncture and physical therapy in their standard plans. Others charge extra.
  • Behavioral therapies. Not all policies cover veterinary treatment for aggression or other behavioral issues.
  • Prescription food. Certain plans won’t cover food or supplements at all, even if your vet prescribes them for a covered condition.·
  • Dental care. Pet insurance plans vary widely when it comes to caring for your pet’s teeth. For example, your policy may not cover dental illnesses such as gingivitis or periodontal disease. Alternatively, it may cover them only if your pet has had a recent tooth cleaning. Some add-on wellness plans pay for cleanings.

Note that pet insurance policies usually won’t cover pre-existing conditions, cosmetic procedures, or breeding expenses.

Decide How Much Coverage You Want

Most pet insurance plans cap the amount they pay out per year, although some have no annual limit. Only you can decide the amount that gives you reasonable peace of mind for paying vet bills.

If your dog or cat is relatively healthy, you might go years without paying for anything but routine care. But an unexpected surgery or serious illness could add up to thousands of dollars in expenses.

Understand Reimbursements And Deductibles

Most pet insurance plans reimburse you for a percentage of your vet bill. You can generally choose a reimbursement level — such as 70%, 80% or 90% — when you buy the plan.

Other plans pay what the insurance company deems a standard fee for a given treatment, which might be less than what your vet charges. You’d be responsible for the remainder.

Most plans also have a deductible — the dollar amount you pay out of pocket before the policy pays. You can usually choose from a range of deductibles, such as $100, $250, or more. Some plans apply deductibles to each injury or illness that’s treated. Most have you pay the deductible every year.

Generally, the lower your out-of-pocket costs are, the more you’ll pay for coverage. Alower deductible and higher reimbursement rate can lead to a higher premium, while a higher deductible and lower reimbursement rate can mean a lower premium.

Check Waiting Periods

Most plans include short waiting periods after you purchase the policy for general accident and illness coverage, such as 14 days. Your plan won’t pay for any treatment during the waiting period.

Some plans include longer waiting periods for coverage of certain conditions, such as cruciate ligament injuries — a common orthopedic problem for dogs. The cruciate ligaments help stabilize the knee; when injured, it can make it difficult for a dog to walk.

Examine Extra Costs

Some pet insurance companies offer coverage for routine services such as well visits and vaccinations. While this may sound tempting, do the math to determine whether it’s worth the extra cost. Compare the annual price of the wellness insurance plan with the amount you’d pay each year on your own for services the plan covers. Read the details because the items covered for “wellness” vary by pet insurance company.

Compare Quotes

The cost of insurance varies by carrier and the amount of coverage. Some pet insurers offer discounts; you might be able to save money by insuring more than one pet, for example. But a discount doesn’t guarantee the plan is the best deal.

The only way to find the best insurance for your pet is to dig into the details and get quotes for several plans. Make sure you’re making a fair comparison with similar coverage amounts, deductibles, and reimbursement limits.

Factors That Impact Cost Of Your Pet Insurance Policy

Similar to your health insurance plan, your pet insurance price is going to vary depending on certain factors, such as:

  • Where you live. Pet insurance companies take the cost of vet care in your area into account when pricing your policy.
  • Your pet’s age. Because older animals are more likely to have health problems, their premiums are generally higher.
  • Your pet’s breed. Certain breeds are more prone to health issues. For example, bulldogs and Boston terriers often develop breathing problems, while German Shepherds and other large breeds are more likely than others to get hip dysplasia. These potential problems may be reflected in the cost of your pet insurance plan.
  • Your deductibles, coinsurance and coverage limits. The less you’re willing to pay out of pocket for your pet’s care, the higher your pet insurance premium will be. For instance, choosing a $100 deductible instead of a $500 one means your plan will start reimbursing you sooner for your pet’s care — but it’ll cost you more in premiums.

FAQs

Is pet insurance cheaper for purebred dogs?  

Because purebreds are more likely to have a genetic predisposition to costly diseases and conditions, they are likely to cost more to insure than mixed-breed dogs.

What is the average cost of owning a Bernese Mountain Dog?  

First-year costs are about $3,000 for vaccinations, food, grooming, and insurance, but the price drops to around $1,900 for each year after.

What insurance do you need for a dog?  

A dog should have some level of pet insurance so the owner can pay vet bills that will keep their dog healthy and secure.

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