The Rottweiler has a long and proud history as a strong protector of humans. He can, in fact, trace his roots all the way back to mastiff dogs who marched with the mighty legions in Ancient Rome.
It was after the collapse of the Roman Empire that many of the legion dogs 'found work' as cattle herders in the German town of Rottweil. The local butchers also used them to transport meat to market in small carts - a sign of how well trained a Rottweiler can be, as they never took meat unless told they could! There they earned themselves the nickname Rottweiler Metzgerhund, or Butcher’s Dog of Rottweiler and part of the name has stuck ever since.
Many modern Rottweilers continue to be working dogs, but they are also commonly found in homes across America as family dogs. Although they can appear aloof when 'on guard' they can also be silly and playful and contrary to what some imagine, are usually great with kids and other furry members of their family.
Both male and female Rottweilers are usually strong, muscular dogs - although males are usually a little larger - and on the whole very healthy ones too. There are some health problems that are commonly associated with the breed however, and while it is far from a certainty that your Rottie pup will ever be affected by any of them it's helpful to know of what these are.
Although reputable breeders go to great lengths to eliminate this hereditary trait from their stock - by not breeding any pups found to be affected - hip dysplasia is still fairly common in Rottweilers when compared to other breeds.
This orthopedic condition is present when the hip joint is malformed - usually at birth - and the ball and socket joint that creates smooth movement does not fit properly. The disease is a progressive one and can lead to lameness, restricted movement and eventually arthritis.
After a hip dysplasia diagnosis - which can be achieved via X rays - the seriousness of the condition will be accessed and then treatments range from a simple exercise plan and pain management in mild cases to surgery in more serious cases. Such surgeries, while often very successful, can cost between $2,000-$3,500 and after care can also be expensive.
As you might have guessed from the name, this condition is very similar to hip dysplasia, except it occurs at the elbow joint. It rarely causes total dislocation - as hip dysplasia can - but can be painful and limit movement. The surgery to treat the condition is, fortunately, becoming more commonplace and is usually very successful, although once again it carries a price tag of $2,000-$3,000.
This is a condition of the cardiovascular system that sees the blood flow to the heart slowed by an obstruction in one ventricle - usually the left - that leads to it. This means that an affected dog's heart has to work very hard - harder than it should - in order to supply the body with the blood it needs. This exhausts the organ and can lead to a heart attack.
As this condition can occur even in young Rottweilers, it is important that pet parents - and their pup's vet - monitor their dog's heart health carefully. When the condition is caught early, it can usually be treated with diet modification and medication. In more serious cases there are now heart surgeries available to canines that were once only available to humans. These can prolong a pup's life significantly, but they are, as you might expect, usually expensive: between $10,000 - $15,000 in most cases.
The conditions we have just described are some of those common to the Rottweiler, but they may never have to deal with any of them. However, like humans, dogs can get sick - or injured - and so, like humans, they need access to great medical care at least occasionally.
While some vet expenses can be planned for with ease - their annual checkup, necessary shots, routine testing - others, like unexpected emergency visits and the need for surgery for example - take pet parents - and often their bank accounts - by surprise. For this reason an increasing number of Rottweiler owners are turning to pet insurance to help be ready to meet those expenses should they arise.
Pet insurance is not, we should note, right for every pup and his family but it is something that is well worth investigating for any Rottweiler pet parent who wants to help ensure that their pup will have access to the care he needs whenever he needs it.
One of the first things people ask when they consider purchasing pet insurance is, naturally, how much does it cost? The cost of pet insurance for any pup is not a one size fits all proposition though. Premiums will vary according to age, breed, current health, and the levels of coverage desired, and the amount a pet parent is willing to pay as a deductible.
However, to give you a basic overview of the cost you can expect to encounter when shopping for pet insurance for your Rottweiler we ran two sample quotes for a pair of Rotties we know.
The first was for Maximus, a male puppy who is just six months old and currently in great health. The three basic options they presented us from a popular pet insurance company broke down as follows:
We then requested a quote for Agripina, a female Rottweiler who is five years old. Her pet insurance costs broke down as follows
As these quotes are from one pet health insurance company and only apply to two dogs the quote you receive will obviously not be the same, it will be specific to your pup and their current life-stage and health. However, these figures give a basic look at the costs involved in buying pet insurance for your pup.
Just like you would if you were shopping for insurance for yourself, your family and even your car we do not recommend that you immediately purchase the first pet insurance policy you are given a quote for.
Take the time to shop around and request quotes from several pet health insurance companies so that you have a range of options that you can then sit down and compare more closely to help ensure that you get the best ROI on your investment in insurance for your pet.
The good news here is that all the reputable pet insurance companies actually encourage this kind of comparison shopping and offer plenty of online tools and information that will help you do so, so in making this decision you will not be struggling to find the information you need or wasting hours on the phone trying to get answers to your question.
How much you will pay for pet insurance every month is a very important factor when deciding whether you are going to invest in it and if so from which company but what you will get for your money is equally important. The levels of coverage - and just what it does not cover - not only varies from company to company - sometimes significantly but also from premium level to premium level.
It is rare to find any pet insurance company that will offer coverage for a pre-existing condition that a pup has already been diagnosed with. It can also be difficult to find a plan that will provide full coverage to treat diseases and conditions that are considered to be purely hereditary.
One of the biggest reasons that any pet parent considers purchasing pet insurance in the first place is to help meet the unexpected costs of emergency vet care. In the case of an emergency prompt treatment is crucial and the knowledge that there is insurance in place that will help meet what may be expensive treatment can be very comforting for pet parents (and their pups).
Some pet health insurance policies - usually those that are offered at a higher premium - will provide coverage for several routine health services as well and there are even some that offer benefits that are considered less usual; chiropractic, physical therapy, behavior modification and more. And there are even some that offer non-medical benefits, including assistance in paying for burial costs when that sad and unfortunate time comes.
Something else that you should keep in mind when comparing pet insurance policies is the way that benefits are paid. Traditionally pet insurance has been a reimbursement based system, meaning that you pay the vet bill and then send the proof to the company to have that amount reimbursed to you.
A number of pet insurance companies are now, however, offering direct pay options that reimburse the vet or other animal medicine specialist directly. If you are considering one of these plans, make sure that you understand any restrictions it may place on which vets your pet can see to be covered and also on the reimbursement percentage; some companies only pay 80-90% of the bill.
Does your Rottweiler need pet insurance? That is a decision that only you can make. Some pups go through life needing very few visits to the vet and thanks to good genes, a great diet and a lot of love they lead a happy healthy life. That's the ideal that every pet parent hopes for, anyway.
However, often that isn't the case, especially as pup gets older, or, as is the case for the Rottweiler, develops a condition that can be treated but only after extensive (expensive) testing, as is the case for the cardiovascular system issues we described earlier. So perhaps your puppy does not really need pet insurance right now, but it is something you should consider as he gets older. The choice is yours, just make sure that it is a choice that is as informed as possible.