Best Pet Insurance For Australian Shepherds (2023)

by | 1/31/2023

Despite its name, the Australian Shepherd doesn’t have true Aussie roots. First bred in California in the 1840s, the Australian Shepherd is a mix of imported working breeds, including the Carea Leonés, Border Collie, and Pyrenean Sheepdog. 

Behind their merle coats and blue eyes, Australian Shepherds are at risk for a few inherited health conditions that their owners need to be financially prepared to cover.

Continue reading to learn more about the following pet insurance providers so that you can choose the best one for your needs:

 

Our Top 3 Picks for Australian Shepherd Pet Insurance

Spot

Lemonade 

Embrace

Quote

Visit Site

Visit Site

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Our Score

4.9/5

4.8/5

4.7/5

Deductible

$100 to $1,000

$100 to $500

$200 to $1,000

Average Monthly Cost for Australian Shepherds

$30 to $50

$37

$40 to $50

Multi-pet Discount

10%

5%

10%

Wellness Add-on

Yes

Yes

Yes

BBB Rating

A

F

A+

Why Is Pet Insurance For Australian Shepherds Important?

Bred to herd livestock, Australian Shepherds are a naturally hearty breed with an average lifespan of 12 to 15 years. But, as purebreds, Australian Shepherds are up against a few congenital conditions that can teeter into the low-to-mid thousands to treat. 

First and foremost, approximately 50% of Australian Shepherds carry a genetic mutation called MDR1, which makes them hypersensitive to the adverse effects of certain prescription medications, including ivermectin which is in most heartworm prevention medications. Since this mutation is common in herding dogs, even Australian Shepherd mixed breeds should be tested.

If your Aussie tests for the MDR1 mutation, future treatment approaches involving certain medications will have to be tailored around your dog’s sensitivities. 

Australian Shepherds are also prone to hereditary eye conditions, including progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), Collie Eye Anomaly (CEA), cataracts, and distichiasis. Unfortunately, some of these conditions aren’t treatable, meaning that they may result in total blindness. 

Additionally, this breed is susceptible to several musculoskeletal conditions seen in most pedigree dog breeds, including hip and elbow dysplasia. Hormonal issues, including hypothyroidism and Cushing’s disease, are something Australian Shepherd owners should be aware of. 

Below are a few price points to give you a better sense of what an uninsured Australian Shepherd owner might have to pay in full should their dog be affected by any of the following conditions:

Injury/Illness

Estimated Expense

MDR1

$60 for diagnostic testing

Collie Eye Anomaly (CEA)

$50 for diagnostic testing

Cataracts

$3,000 to $4,000 per eye for treatment

Hip dysplasia

$100-$300 per month for medical management; $3,500-$7,000 per hip for surgery

Cushing’s disease

$500 to $1,500 for diagnosis; $50 to $200 per month for medical management

Epilepsy

$300 to $1,000 to treat a seizure episode; $300 to $10,000 for further diagnostic testing

Hypothyroidism

$150 per month for medical management; $200 per year for diagnostic testing

How Much Does Pet Insurance For Australian Shepherds Cost?

On average, pet health insurance for Australian Shepherds can cost anywhere from $50 to $80 per month. Still, the amount you’ll pay per month for your Australian Shepherd will largely depend on your location in the United States.

When you request a custom quote from any pet insurance provider, you’ll be asked to provide your ZIP code. Most carriers will shape your monthly premium around vet costs specific to your residential area. If you’re located in an urban area with a higher cost of living, you’ll likely have to pay a bit more for your policy than someone living in a rural area.

Here’s how the price for the same accident and illness policy varies across different regions of the country: 

State

Estimated Cost

California

$37.12

Florida

$34.46

Indiana

$37.12

New York

$47.59

*These quotes are based on standard accident and illness coverage with a $4,000 annual limit, an 80% reimbursement rate, and an annual deductible of $250 for an alias 2-year-old Australian Shepherd living in the capital city of each featured state. Rates are subject to change at any time.  

Best Pet Insurance for Australian Shepherds

We’ve selected the following five providers because of the breadth of congenital condition coverage they offer relative to the monthly cost. We recommend generating a sampling of custom quotes for each of the policies that interest you. 

Spot for Australian Shepherds

Pet parents who sign up with Spot can choose to have 70 to 90% of their emergency vet bills reimbursed, so long as they relate to an approved accident or illness. Spot policyholders will also have access to an unlimited annual coverage option, which means you won’t have to max out your benefits should your Australian Shepherd ever need expensive treatment.  

Policyholders can add one of two preventative care riders to their policies for additional coverage. Spot’s optional wellness coverage offers partial reimbursements on routine veterinary services like annual checkups, blood tests, parasite prevention, dental cleanings, deworming, etc.  

These add-ons are available in a Gold package for $9.95 per month and a Platinum package for $24.95 per month. 

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • No upper age limits on enrollment eligibility
  • Includes exam fees, microchipping, and behavioral therapy in the base plan
  • 30-day money-back guarantee

Cons

  • It doesn’t cover prescription pet food (only for emergency treatments)
  • Higher than average monthly rates 

Read on about Spot in our full Spot pet insurance review

Lemonade for Australian Shepherds

As the first completely digital pet insurance company in the pet insurance industry, Lemonade stands out from competing insurers for its easy-to-access online coverage. Offering one stock accident and illness base plan through its convenient mobile app, Australian Shepherd owners can secure comprehensive dog insurance for an average of $30 per month.*

With this provider’s standard pet insurance plan, Lemonade customers will be covered for emergency medical care like diagnostics, hospitalizations, surgery, prescription medications, etc. 

Lemonade has a few more exclusions than competing providers. It won’t cover dental illness care, cosmetic procedures, or behavioral therapy claims. 

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Competitively affordable monthly premiums starting at just $10 per month
  • No lifetime caps on any of its coverage options
  • User-friendly mobile app for convenient plan management

Cons

  • Has age limits and restrictions based on breed-specific life expectancy
  • Only available in 36 states and Washington, D.C.

For more information on Lemonade, check out our in-depth Lemonade pet insurance review

ASPCA for Australian Shepherds 

ASPCA’s pet insurance covers an exhaustive list of genetic conditions, including hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, eye diseases, heart defects, and more. Regardless of the pet insurance policy level you choose, you’ll be automatically covered for microchipping, behavioral therapy, and exam fees.

Another perk, especially for Australian Shepherd owners, is that ASPCA doesn’t have long waiting periods for orthopedic conditions. You’ll only have to sit through two weeks before your dog is covered for hip dysplasia and other musculoskeletal issues. 

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Includes alternative therapies like chiropractic care, acupuncture, physiotherapy, etc.
  • No upper age limits on enrollment eligibility
  • Offers a 10% discount for pet owners who enroll more than one pet

Cons

  • Maximum annual coverage option is only $10,000
  • Policyholders can’t make changes to their coverage until their plan renewal date

Check out the full version of our ASPCA pet insurance review for additional details. 

Embrace for Australian Shepherds

Embrace offers robust coverage for Australian Shepherds under 14 years old, covering injuries, illnesses, chronic conditions, hereditary health issues, cancer, and dental trauma. Senior dogs won’t have access to Embrace’s accident and illness plan, but they’re still eligible to enroll in accident-only insurance through this provider. 

Unlike other pet insurers, Embrace has a non-insurance type of wellness coverage which covers its customer for 100% of routine care expenses within annual maximums of $250, $450, and $650.

No carrier in the pet healthcare industry will cover pre-existing conditions. Still, Embrace will cover curable health problems if your dog can go 12 months without experiencing symptoms or needing medical care. 

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Only provider on the market to offer a vanishing deductible feature
  • Offers stackable discounts for up to 25% off
  • Includes broad routine care coverage through its non-insurance Wellness Rewards program

Cons

  • Preventative care coverage is capped at $650 per year
  • Pets older than 14 only have access to accident-only coverage

Continue reading about Embrace in our Embrace pet insurance review

Healthy Paws for Australian Shepherds

Similar to Lemonade, Healthy Paws consolidates its coverage into one main accident and illness plan. This provider, however, is unique from all the other companies featured in this guide in that it doesn’t offer a preventative care plan. So, if you’re thinking about Healthy Paws, make sure you have a handle on your Aussie’s routine care needs.

Australian Shepherd owners should also know that Healthy Paws doesn’t offer hip dysplasia coverage for pets that are over the age of 6 at enrollment. We would most recommend this provider for customers with dogs between the ages of 1 and 5 that are just in need of emergency pet insurance coverage.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Offers unlimited annual coverage benefits for all policyholders
  • Has one principal accident and illness policy for a more straightforward enrollment experience
  • Pets are still covered when they travel with you to anywhere in the U.S. and Canada

Cons

  • It doesn’t offer any preventative care coverage or supplementary add-ons
  • Has upper age limits and narrower coverage benefits for seniors

To learn more about Healthy Paws, visit our Healthy Paws pet insurance review.

Is Pet Insurance For Australian Shepherds Worth it?

Like most purebreds, Australian Shepherds have higher incidences of hereditary conditions than mixed breeds. And as we’ve mentioned, this breed is particularly prone to a variety of congenital eye diseases, some of which can cost upwards of $3,000 to treat per eye depending on severity. 

While having a no-touch savings account solely dedicated to veterinary emergencies might be a more feasible option for some, less than four in 10 Americans have enough money set aside to cover a $1,000 emergency expense. For a modest monthly fee, an Australian Shepherd owner can have the peace of mind that they’ll never have to regiment their dog’s healthcare based on the costs of veterinary services, which are quickly on the rise.  

Final Thoughts 

There is no all-around winner when it comes to the best pet insurance for Australian Shepherds. The right pet insurance policy for you will offer the most accommodating coverage for your Aussie’s unique healthcare needs and your budget. 

If none of the pet insurance companies mentioned in this guide sound like a good fit for you and your dog, check out our more in-depth review of other reputable pet insurance carriers

Our Methodology

​​Here at 365 Pet Insurance, our research team looks to examine all pet insurance policies and comes up with reviews based on:

  • Coverage
  • Plan options
  • Cost 
  • Reputation
  • Customer service 
  • Species available
  • Wellness benefits 

We’ve created a 5-star rating system to score pet insurance brands based on a 100-point scale. To develop a list of the best pet insurance plans, we looked into plans, rating coverage, claims handling, reimbursements, deductibles, and limitations. 

Each factor is weighted differently based on the following factors:

  • Monthly Pricing (25 points): How each pet insurance company charges for their plans is a crucial part of the decision-making process of the customer. Affordable rates and comprehensive coverage are the defining characteristics of providing the best pet insurance.
  • Coverage (20 points): We scored companies based on the treatments and procedures they cover. Providers offering broader coverage and more unique treatments received more points.  Pet insurance policies are not offered by all companies for older pets. Providers who have an age limit on the pets they cover were deducted points.
  • Plans (15 points): Pet insurance providers offer accident-and-illness plans, accident-only plans, wellness add-ons, and pet preventive care add-ons, so customers can choose the right plan for their pets. We also factored in costs to achieve the most comprehensible review for your pet’s needs.
  • Customization Options (10 points): You can ensure your pet only gets what they need by customizing your policy. A higher score was earned by providers who offered a greater range of annual limits, deductibles, and reimbursement rates.
  • Customer Service (10 points): We scored companies based on their website accessibility and usability, mobile apps, and grating points to companies with the most customer experience options.
  • Industry Reputation (10 points): We assessed each company’s industry reputation by reviewing up-to-date BBB ratings and accreditation information, as well as their years of experience in the industry.
  • Waiting Periods (10 points): Companies with shorter accident and illness waiting periods scored higher than companies with longer waiting periods.

Our team revisits each company’s information at the end of every month to make updates and ensure the information is as accurate as possible.