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The diminutive Dachshund - famed for his long body and his little legs - is an iconic member of the purebred dog community. Whether his coat is smooth, wiry or long, or if he is standard (16 to 30 pounds) or a miniature (11 pounds or less) he is easily recognizable and easy to love.
These are not pups who are great long-distance runners, and they don't always swim that well either, but they do like to hunt - it's what they were originally bred for - and their smart, inquisitive and even tenacious nature has made them beloved by millions of pet parents the world over.
In case you were not aware, the word dachshund is German for 'badger hunter' and that, for centuries, was this pup's primary profession. Their long slim bodies allowed them to follow badgers into their dens and that tenacity you see in most modern Dachshunds (also known as Sausage Dog) is a throwback to the fact that the average badger made for a formidable foe, and the shrill bark associated with the breed in an inbred signal they were taught so that they could alert their handler above-ground of their underground location.
Few Dachshunds are hunters anymore - although they can track down their toys with uncanny accuracy - but they are still loyal to their families and love to play. Overall, the good news is that the Dachshund is a very healthy breed that has a long life expectancy - 12-14 years on average - and few genetic health problems, something that is not always the case for purebreds.
They do have a few common health problems however that their pet parents should be aware of, and be ready to meet the costs should they need veterinary treatment. And in order to be better prepared an increasing number of pet parents are purchasing Dachshund pet insurance to help them meet the costs of any future treatment. But is this something that every Dachshund pet parent should consider?
As we mentioned previously, Doxies are usually very healthy little pups, free of some of the inherited problems that can be a problem in pure breed pups. But they do have health issues they are at a higher risk for that pet parents should be aware of.
It is perhaps not that surprising to learn that Dachshunds are far more prone to developing back problems than many other pups. Intervertebral Disk Disease in dogs diagnosed more in Dachshunds than in any other breed.
The condition involves herniated - and occasionally ruptured - disks in the lower spine, something that also affects humans. It can lead to low back pain, neck pain and movement limitations. Depending upon the severity treatment can range from pain medication regimens and weight loss programs (being overweight can make IVDD even worse) to surgery.
Surgery can for IVDD in Dachshunds can be very successful, especially in a younger pup, but it can also be rather expensive, with the costs associated with surgery and recovery usually range from $2,000-$4,500.
This is a disease of the thyroid that affects Dachshunds when they between one and three. It is sometimes confused with diabetes and canine obesity but it is actually a lack of production of essential thyroid hormones. The disease usually manifests itself as lethargy and decreased movement and, while it takes several tests to diagnose can then usually be successfully treated via medication and diet. The ongoing costs of medication for Hypothyroidism can run into several hundreds of dollars a year, however.
More than any other pup, the Dachshund is at almost constant risk of accidental back injury. Part of this is due to the fact that so much of their body is comprised of their back, but it is also because the average home is harder for the long, short-legged pup is hard to navigate and things like stair climbing and getting in and out of vehicles can be more hazardous for them and lead to intentional injuries.
This means that a Doxie may need emergency vet care more often than other pups, and those visits can be very expensive, and quite a blow to a pet parent's budget as such incidents are completely unexpected.
There is nothing to say your precious Dachshund pup will suffer from any of this health problems there is simply a higher statistical possibility they might. However, just like humans, especially human children, dogs can easily become ill or injured and often at the most unexpected times. That they get great vet care if that happens is a must.
When humans get sick, they usually have health insurance to help offset the costs of their treatment. Increasingly pet parents are realizing that this might be a good idea for their furkids as well.
But would such health insurance for pets be the right choice for your pup? Insurance of any kind is rarely something people want to pay for unless it can have significant benefits when made use of.
While pet parents want to make sure they will be able to get their Wiener dog the care they need when they need it they also, naturally, want to be as sure as possible that the insurance they pay for will do what it is supposed to - help them cover the costs of vet bills and reduce out-of-pocket expenses. How well does the average Dachshund dog insurance policy do that? Are these pet policies reasonably priced for what they offer? These, and other questions, are what we will attempt to help answer next.
The premiums charged for Dachshund Pet Insurance will vary based on several factors; age, current health, the level of coverage and even the company offering the package. But to give you a look at the average costs you might expect to encounter when shopping for pet insurance we ran two sample quotes with a popular pet insurance company for two of our Dachshund friends.
First up is Dax. Dax is two years old, male and in good health. The premiums for his pet insurance at several levels broke down as follows:
Next we requested a quote for an older Dachshund, our 7 year old fur friend Daisy. Daisy is nine, and also in good health, although she is getting into senior pup territory. Her quoted costs were quite different, primarily because her advancing age is likely to mean she will need to visit the vet more often:
As they are from a single pet insurance company, and only cover two pups, the quotes you will get will differ. These figures should give you an idea though of the basic cost of pet health insurance.
As you would when purchasing any kind of insurance - for your car, for your home, for your possessions or even for yourself it's always a good idea to get several quotes when shopping for healthcare coverage for your pup, so that you have a good 'sampling' of what is on offer to choose from.
Another consideration to keep in mind when deciding whether pet health insurance is the right choice for your pup, and if so which company offers the best, is to make sure you understand just what the plans you are considering do and do not offer coverage for.
The one thing to understand up front is that pre-existing health conditions are almost always not covered under pet insurance. The same is often true of diseases that are considered being solely genetic. As few of these affect Dachshunds this is something that may be less of an issue for them.
Great emergency care coverage is something that any pet parent should look for when shopping for pet insurance. The peace of mind that knowing that the emergency care your pup needs is something he can get without leaving you and your family in a financial bind can be priceless.
Good pet insurance for Dachshunds covers more than just emergency care though. Popular plans - and plan options - offer coverage for routine medical care like annual checkups and wellness visits - something pups of any age should get at least once a year, and the treatment of other more minor ailments and injuries your Dachshund might need to be seen for.
Some dog insurance policies also offer access to - and coverage for - less usual alternative medical treatments - like acupuncture and hydrotherapy - as well as behavior modification and training services.
The way a claim will be paid is something else to consider as you decide between the various pet insurance policies available. Many pet healthcare claims are settled on an after the fact basis, meaning you will need to pay the bills and then submit them for reimbursement.
There are pet insurance companies offering direct pay options these days, but you can expect to pay a slightly higher premium for convenience, and the bill may not be completely covered, as many of these policies only reimburse at an 85-90% level. With a large bill however - the kind that often comes along with emergency treatments - this kind of financial help can be a great thing to have.
The decision to purchase pet health insurance is not one we can make for you, and neither can anyone else. What we suggest is that you take the time to research all of your options carefully before making a decision.
The good news is that there are plenty of good resources available to help you do that here are lots of resources available to help you do that. Most pet insurance companies will offer you a 'quick quote', both online or via on the phone and, once you have several of those quotes you can make comparisons that will lead to a more informed decision.
When you are comparing pet insurance quotes, it is important to remember your final decision should not be based on dollar amount only. The level of coverage provided is just as important to compare. If you take a closer look at the 'fine print' - which is a must whenever you buy insurance of any kind - you may find that for just a few dollars more a month you can access additional benefits other policies do not offer. Some companies will even let you customize your coverage to better suit your pet's needs so that may be something else you want to look for.